Las Vegas Trip (3): F March 28, 2015

We slept in the next morning and then rented a car. First, we drove towards the south end of The Strip, where the famous “fabulous Las Vegas” sign is. I love how this selfie photo turned out!

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Then we drove to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, about a half-hour away.

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We hiked all afternoon in the wonderful sun. The rock was beautiful.

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We enjoyed the flora and the fauna, too. We saw lots of pear cactus, a rattlesnake, a little gecko, and little wildflowers.

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We weren’t successful in avoiding sunburn, but it was totally worth it!

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For dinner, we decided to visit a buffet. Vegas once had a reputation for having very inexpensive buffet restaurants. This is no longer true. Our buffet dinner was not cheap, nor were most of our meals!

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Here is a view of another of the huge themed hotels on the Strip, this one with a New York City theme.

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Our flight home the next morning was supposed to leave at 8:30am. Our flight was mysteriously delayed until 2pm, however; so we ended up spending the entire day at the airport or in the plane. We landed in Detroit around 9pm. On the upside, I finished reading an excellent book on piano teaching, and Paul and I spent time dreaming about how we are going to use the travel vouchers that Southwest gave us.  🙂

It was a fun trip! Three days was the perfect amount of time to see the city and do some tourist-y things. Next year’s MTNA conference is in San Antonio — and I’m already looking forward to that!


Las Vegas Trip (2): Th March 27, 2015

In the morning, Paul’s internal coffee meter was running low as usual. We went to a great little coffee place attached to the Monte Carlo hotel.

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I enjoyed a huge blueberry scone.

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We walked back to the hotel to get a few hours of sunshine and reading by the pool. It was lovely. 🙂

Photo of the Day

When we had enough of the pool, we walked around for a few hours again. The Bellagio is another huge, fancy hotel, this one with an Italian theme. Out front, there is a pool with a fountain show synced with music that plays every half-hour in the evenings.

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The lobby features blown glass art on the ceiling.

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The Bellagio also has a indoor conservatory.

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Here is a panoramic view:

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The Bellagio hotel has an art exhibition which was currently hosting a Fabergé exhibit. Paul has always wanted to see this, so we went. The detail work on the Fabergé eggs, frames, and other art is amazing.

For dinner, we ate at a Spanish tapas restaurant called Jaleo. The food was absolutely incredible! We were floored by every dish we ordered.

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After dark, we went back to the Ballagio Hotel to see the fountain show at nighttime.

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Outside of the Mirage hotel, they have a “volcano” that spews fire and water every half hour.

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Then it was time to catch the “Beatles Love” Cirque du Soleil show. One of my adult students was generous enough to buy us tickets for Christmas when he heard we were going on this trip. Photos were not allowed during the performance, but here’s a selfie photo before the show! The athleticism and grace of the performers was incredible, and the costumes/acts were very fitting to the Beatles songs we heard.

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It was a full day!


Las Vegas Trip (1): W March 26, 2015

I thought I’d do a little bit of travel blogging about our mini trip to Las Vegas following the MTNA conference. Paul flew to Vegas on Wednesday, the last day of my conference, and we stayed through Saturday.

Paul took a taxi from the airport to meet me at The Rio, which is the hotel where my conference took place. Together, we walked to “The Strip” as it’s called (Las Vegas Boulevard, the main street through downtown) to find some lunch. We ended up eating at a French restaurant called Mon Ami Gabi.  I ordered a ham and cheese crepe and Paul ordered an ahi tuna burger. We were starving, so we also ordered an appetizer: warm brie with honey, roasted chestnuts, and garlic.  Everything was delicious. And we got to eat outside in the sunshine.

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Next, we checked into our hotel, The Carriage House.  This was a great place to stay because it was just a block from The Strip — so it was quiet, but still within walking distance from everything. There was a nice outdoor pool and our room even had a kitchenette.

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We spent quite a few hours walking around The Strip, exploring and admiring the huge, themed hotels. For example: The Eiffel Tower replica (part of the French-themed hotel where we ate lunch) shown below is half the size of the original, but cost over $40 million to build!

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For dinner, we went to Yusho: a Japanese restaurant. I ordered a chicken wings kabob and Paul had pork shoulder fried rice with caramelized kimchi. This restaurant was very affordable but the food was absolutely incredible!

Stay tuned for Day 2!