What Happened in Vegas

We had an absolutely lovely time in Las Vegas!  It was fantastic to hang out with my friend M., whom I hardly ever get to see any more, and to meet her adorably cheeky leetle baby.  It was also fantastic that the three of us BFFs  actually got to be in the same city at the same time, which is a rare and very special occurrence.

A significant portion of the pictures I took were, unsurprisingly, baby pictures.  I’ll leave those for friends only, but I can show you a few of my favorite things from the trip:

I started getting pretty excited as we flew in over the desert — I have been missing the rugged western landscape something fierce lately, so I savored the gorgeous views as best I could.  The promised lack of humidity had my hair and I feeling pretty fucking pleased as well.

Doesn't that clear, dry desert air look lovely?
Doesn't that clear, dry desert air look lovely?

Our second night in town, M. suggested we have dinner at Craftsteak, one of Tom Colicchio‘s restaurants.  If you’re a fan of Top Chef then you can imagine how excited I was at the prospect (and if you’re not then I can’t help you!) and the restaurant definitely delivered.  I ate all kinds of fresh, delicious, perfectly prepared food, and it will go down as one of the all-time top-five meals of my life.  Here’s a view from our table after we had gorged ourselves with as much food, wine, and Champagne as we could physically hold:

View from the table at Craftsteak
View from the table at Craftsteak - in that copper pot are potatoes sent straight from heaven.

We were definitely feeling a cozy glow afterward.  So much so, in fact, that I declared the glassy doors outside of the MGM Grand (where Craftsteak is located) to be a thing of beauty and I snapped this picture while waiting for our taxi.

Oooh, pretty.
Oooh, pretty.

The next day we explored the infamous Strip a little bit, making me feel the need to take approximately forty-seven frillion photos from the car window, only a few of which turned out well at all.  Here’s one that I think sums up Las Vegas pretty effectively.  Palm trees and casinos and beautiful blue sky, and then a fake Eiffel Tower jutting out of a cluster of buildings.

Something is weird about this picture.  Hmmm.
Something is weird about this picture. Hmmm.

Also spotted: a fake Arc de Triomphe, a fake Nike of Samothrace, and other fake art and landmarks galore.

We also saw some real art, though, when we hung out at the Bellagio for a little while.  Let me tell you that place is pretty opulent.  They had a very nice contemporary art exhibit that we all really liked, but no photography was allowed in the gallery.  My favorite work was a Sol LeWitt floor sculpture based on a modular cube.  I can’t find any photos of it online, but even if I could it wouldn’t matter, because to really see it you have to be able to walk all the way around it.  ANYWAY.  You’ll just have to do without.

I did take plenty of photos inside their glorious flower-filled atruim, though I failed to capture the fucking heavenly aroma inside it.

Icelandic poppies in the flower atrium at the Bellagio.
Icelandic poppies in the flower atrium at the Bellagio.

Here’s what the glass ceiling looked like – similar to the Sol DeWitt sculpture, the best effect is realized by walking around and looking at it from different angles.

The atrium.
The atrium.

After all the gloriously perfect weather, the insanely good food, and the much-needed relaxation with my best friends, I was feeling pretty excellent about life in general.  Even the prospect of a cross-country return flight didn’t faze me (note to future self: only ever travel to places reachable by direct flight; any other type of air travel is not at all worth it).

A little glimpse of the Grand Canyon.
A little glimpse of the Grand Canyon.

After I got back to New Wye, I even felt ready for the onset of spring (even though I maintain that I am constantly being gypped by the weather here and denied of the winters I so richly deserve).  I thanked my past self for planning a light week in all of my classes and for leaving a house full of clean laundry and clean dishes for my return.  Best spring break ever.

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5 thoughts on “What Happened in Vegas

  1. Jake March 27, 2009 / 2:57 pm

    You definitely think more deeply than I do.

    [Editor’s Note: This was a spam comment caught by my spam filter, but I approved it after deleting the URL the spammer wanted us to visit (a site selling diet pills). I thought it was one of the more hilarious spam comments I’ve gotten here, especially since the post in question is in no way an example of deep thinking.]

  2. Kristen March 28, 2009 / 10:01 am

    I could not agree with you more about the direct flights. After my last Fla to Mich flight, when I missed my connection because the dumbfuck at the gate told me my flight was in a completely different concourse (in ATLANTA, y’all), when, in fact, it was about 20 feet away, I decided I’d never choose a connection if a direct was available, particularly if other people are involved (like my husband flying in on a separate — and direct — flight, and my cousin who was driving an hour to pick us up. UGH.

    Glad you had such a fun trip — sounds like a blast! Now I’m hungry.

  3. John March 28, 2009 / 11:55 am

    Sounds like an awesome trip to Vegas. I have never been but always wanted to go. Hope you had a good time! (The doors to the MGM Grand look somewhat hazardous to those with alcohol on board.)

    In other news, I will be leaving France at the end of April. Against all odds, I found a job in the banking sector. I am declaring a week of celebration! I also found an apartment, with a vegetable garden, in a town of population 573, situated smack in the middle of a wine region. It will be heaven.

  4. Alfina the Vague March 29, 2009 / 4:24 pm

    K – I don’t think I’m going to be able to go back now that I have experienced the magic of the direct flight!

    J – Congratulations on the new job! That sounds wonderful! A little town in the middle of a wine region? Perfect.

  5. mel March 31, 2009 / 4:59 pm

    agreed, best spring break ever.

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