Leaving Las Vegas

Saturday was our last day in Las Vegas. My family got up extra early for their direct flight back home. My flight wasn’t for two more hours, but I got up too and wandered up and down the strip to pass the time.

That hotel room was lonely by myself! I headed down to the Palazzo for coffee, and then Subway for breakfast. It is one of my favorite things. Wandering around took about an hour… then I proceeded to start heading towards the airport, which I thought was going to be super packed. The security line moved really fast, and I was able to make a direct sprint toward the Terminal D food court my gate.

LAS airport has free wi-fi which was kind of nice since the rest of Las Vegas is pretty much free-wi-fi-less. I read some on my Kindle (so much free time, so much reading to do!) and did make it to that food court for Auntie Annie’s pretzel sticks and Pizza Hut – it was my last day of ‘free’ eating so I was going to make the most of it!!!

The flight to Memphis sucked, aside from seeing the Grand Canyon from the plane window. I was sleeping most of the time, but when I was not sleeping, we went through some pretty bad turbulence. I am usually a good flier, but I was a bit uncomfortable on this flight.

The Memphis airport was eerily quiet, and I had one thing on my mind. And that was Jim Neely’s Interstate BBQ. I really love Eastern NC BBQ, but this stuff really took the cake. You know the BBQ is good when the platter is served with two slices of Wonder bread. Oh yeah.

I got the chopped pork with coleslaw and baked beans as my side. The baked beans had chopped pork all up in the sauce, and the side of bread was served with a side of spicy dip, that I proceeded to pour all over my BBQ and beans. I have been really in to spicy lately.

I will now be scheduling all of my flights on Delta to have at least a 1 hour layover in Memphis, so I can get this BBQ platter again. I could only eat half of it at the airport, but I surely dragged it back with me to Charlotte and reheated it after I got home and unpacked. It was just as good, and may have somehow gotten better on the ~600 mile journey home.

While I miss the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas, I am lucky to have a nice view of Uptown Charlotte from my balcony (ok, the Duke Energy building and the Panthers’ Stadium, but still). Withdrawal was less painful.

I hope you all enjoyed my recap of our family vacation! We had a great time, and it was fun writing down everything that we did. You can check out the rest of my pictures here.

In case you missed parts I – V:
Viva Las Vegas Part I
Viva Las Vegas Part II
Viva Las Vegas Part III
Viva Las Vegas Part IV
Viva Las Vegas Part V

Viva Las Vegas – Part V

Friday: Last full day in Las Vegas and we needed to make the most of it!!

First things first – back to the Imperial Palace for breakfast at the Hash House A-Go-Go. It was amazing but a legitimately ridiculous amount of food… I think they should put one in Charlotte!

I got the smoked salmon, brie, tomato, and pesto scramble. It came with a side of fruit (ha, why bother), a biscuit, and some mashed potatoes. I made a pretty good dent in this plate, but felt so full that I blacked out. I think my parents may have rolled me back to The Flamingo for a nap.

Please note: I did not black out from being so full, I blacked out from the 14 bloody mary’s and 3 Long Island iced tea’s I had with brunch.

Second note: just kidding. I did not black out nor was there room for ANY alcohol on Friday. I think I was full the entire day… yet I just kept eating… Funny how that goes.

Of course, I wanted to wander around Las Vegas some more and see the hotels that we hadn’t seen yet. One on my list was the Aria – a little bit off the strip but the hotel looks so cool from the outside. So. Many. Hotel. Rooms. We stumbled across this chocolate/french pastry shop in the Aria. They had the most beautiful display of chocolates – each one was $2. Way too expensive and way too pretty to actually eat…

I got dressed in my Las Vegas sparkly finest for the last time this year 😉 and we went out exploring again! Jonathan and I really wanted to see the Wynn and the Encore.  These were two of the most elegant hotels I have ever been in! Absolutely beautiful. There were these two gorgeous Asian girls in very expensive clothing taking pictures in the lobby – in my mind, I decided they were princesses! I saw real princesses! Hehe.

While at the Encore, I got some sushi to-go at Wazuzu – Hungry Girl recommended it as the best sushi she has ever eaten. While I don’t take all of her recommendations so seriously because she likes processed foods far more than I do, I couldn’t let this opportunity slip by without trying some of their sushi. I got my usual order of a yellowtail scallion roll. This was probably the best sushi I have ever had – it was all about the rice! So so good. No pictures, it was all mangled in the to-go box by the time my mom found me a good spot on the strip to chow down.

I ate the sushi while watching the Treasure Island Pirate show (again.) While no one seemed to like it the first time around (except for me!), everyone seemed to enjoy it this time. Probably because we were all sitting down on the other side of the street, and not in the middle of the crowd. Then we watched the Volcanoes at The Mirage from across the street at the Venetian! A great spot to catch the show – it was not as awesome as the Pirates or the Fountains at the Bellagio.

We closed out the night with watching 2 of the fountain shows at the Bellagio! The more I watched them, the more I enjoyed them. See below for a video of ‘Santa Baby’ that I took! Sorry that this it is sideways – I am not sure if I can even flip videos I take with my phone? Had I known, I would have taken it the ‘right’ way. Any tips on this would be greatly appreciated!!

At this point, I was exhausted and it was time for bed! I wish I would have been more well-rested (or highly caffeinated) the entire time I was in Las Vegas…. but there’s always next time!!

Viva Las Vegas – Part IV

November 24th, 2011. Thanksgiving Day. My 24th birthday. Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. Based on how much I like eating, this should not come as a surprise to you. However, when Thanksgiving falls on my birthday, birthday wins. This was the least Thanksgiving-y Thanksgiving that we have had as a family. But hey, it was pretty great. Ate lots of good food, took at least one good nap, drank plenty of good drinks, and saw one good show. That is the brief summary – here are a few more details…

I woke up and promptly immediately put on the ‘It’s my birthday’ necklace. You know, in case my family forgot.

Then I got dressed in my sparkly birthday dress and we went exploring (to the Mirage, in case anyone was wondering). 


By this time we were all hungry, and the birthday girl was getting cranky. So we stopped at the first breakfast place we could find. This place was an NY deli sort of place – I had pierogi’s for breakfast. It was a toss up between that and the stuffed cabbage. A polish girl’s dream!! 

Then Dad wanted to watch the Lions game (they lost) and I proceeded to take a nap in the middle of the Mirage sports book bar area. Ehh. Whatever. It’s my birthday and I do what I want!! Then I woke up and ordered a dirty martini.

Phew, time flies when you are in Las Vegas! By this time, we decided to head over towards the Venetian where we had Thanksgiving dinner reservations.

I wanted to go into the (tacky but awesome) Imperial Palace to purchase tickets for Divas Las Vegas. This is a drag show/concert starring Frank Marino (as featured on Millionaire Matchmaker). I had to drag (pun-intended) Mom to go with me… Oh look, I got Divas tickets AND a frozen drink at Imperial Palace!

We finally made our way to the Venetian and wandered around the Canal shoppes for a while before going to dinner.

The Thanksgiving dinner looked really good, and that is why we chose Canaletto for dinner; however, the regular menu looked particularly good. I ended up ordering off the Thanksgiving menu anyway. I am not a big turkey lover, so I was fine with skipping it on Thanksgiving.

Bread served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar – so good

 My Thanksgiving dinner – butternut squash ravioli with walnuts and fried sage. I had taken a bite and realized I needed to take a picture! Oops.
Me and mom with my birthday dessert

Oh yeah! We watched the pirate show at Treasure Isle. I liked that one!!! Now it was time to wander back to the hotel to get ready for Divas! Look how excited she is to go.

Too bad. Deal. With. It. We went over to yet another completely classy trashy Las Vegas casino. I really just like the trashy bars… I can’t help it. It’s who I am. O’Shea’s was maybe my favorite casino. It even has a Burger King. Oh yeah, it had been like a full 4 hours since I last ate. Gimme that Whopper Junior!

Time for the show! Please note: no mothers were harmed during the dragging to the drag show. Turns out, she loved it!!!! You can see pictures of the entire show and all of my other Las Vegas pictures here. My favorite drag queen was Britney Spears! And Frank. He’s so nice.

Because I hadn’t eaten enough burgers that day, after we got back to the Flamingo and I played birthday slots (I think I won like 2 dollars)… we went to Johnny Rockets and I got a mushroom and onion with cheddar cheese burger. It was really good. I went to bed full and happy! Birthday successful.