Category Archives: Las Vegas

Best Places: Indulgence

As promised, this is post one in my ‘it is winter so I’m not really traveling right now Travel Channel inspired’ series of Best Places.  The first episode, and thus my first post, is about ‘The Best Place to Indulge’.  I’ve thought about this for several days now, and I have to say that I’ve officially come up with a tie.

I know, I know, that’s cheating.  But I honestly cannot decide between Las Vegas and Amsterdam.  So I’ll discuss the relative virtues–er, vices–of both, and let you decide.

My discussion of Amsterdam really needs no words–only a photo or two:

That’s a really big beer!  But I don’t drink beer.  So I need a photo of my own….

That’s a really big pot of the best mussels I’ve ever had.  Fortunately, we were sharing–though it does look like he’s going to eat them all himself!  In addition to the food, Amsterdam was also indulgent to the eyes.  Check out the flower market…

Ahhh Amsterdam.  I understand why my husband wants to go back.  And I understand why I’m even considering returning, despite many good reasons to stick with a domestic vacation this year.

Speaking of returning, and of domestic vacations, Las Vegas was pick number two.  To be honest, it would easily have been pick number one but for one single factor–cost.  I guess the word ‘indulgence’ implies that something is expensive–in that case, Vegas wins hands down.  But for me, to be able to indulge without cringing, my excess needs to be affordable.  That giant pot of mussels was less than 20 euros.  Three single mussels in Vegas would be $65, easy.  At a lower end restaurant.

But Las Vegas has its charms, and they are all indulgent.  Take, for example, the day we spent between the pool and the French restaurant in our hotel.  We got a lot of sun, drank a lot of wine, and ate a lot of cheese.  If that’s not an indulgent day, I don’t know what is.

I think that last photo really seals the deal of indulgence.  I mean, who puts that much effort into a dessert?  The answer?  The lovely people at The Bellagio do.  God bless Las Vegas.

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A Grand Anniversary

I continue to realize that I started this blog to record the planning of two trips–our Europe trip as well as our return to Las Vegas trip.  But Europe has taken over, and I only occasionally remember that we are also going to Vegas.  To be fair, we booked it on Christmas day, and I started planning The Great Europe Mid-Life Crisis Trip on the first of the year.  So it was easily forgotten about.

But that does not mean that I am not very excited about it.  We went last year at the same time–it was my first trip to Las Vegas, and I loved it, which is why we made the return trip our Christmas gift to each other this year.  And this year, thanks to the way the dates fall and how late we will be in school, we will be in Vegas for our 4th wedding anniversary.  Which is why my husband asked me this morning to think about where I wanted to go for our anniversary dinner.  And I did think about it–for about fifteen seconds.  I scanned the list of fancy restaurants we didn’t have time (or money) to visit during our last trip, and I looked him in they eye and told him where I most wanted to have dinner–at the Grand Canyon.

No, that’s not a name of some fancy restaurant with a $200 tasting menu (though, to be fair, there are so many restaurants like that, it just might be!).  I want to go to the Grand Canyon.  I want to eat a crappy National Park Service hamburger and look out over the edge of the canyon.  That is what I want to do for our anniversary.

And so I have taken a brief break from Europe trip planning and have started googling new phrases–‘grand canyon vegas tours’ and ‘reviews of papillon tours’ and ‘best way to get to grand canyon from vegas’.  I’m watching promotional videos and doing multiply-by-two math.  I’m discussing with my husband and weighing the pros and cons of a bus trip over an air trip–he seems to think an air trip is the only way to go, whist ever-cheap me faints at the cost (that’s an extra week in Europe, I exclaim) and leans toward 10 hours on a bus (all while dreaming of a flight plus helicopter plus river cruise tour, that would cost more than the entire week in Vegas).  But I’m trying to put it into perspective–we could go out for a fancy dinner.  And that would cost me that same week in Europe.  And I wouldn’t get to see the Grand Canyon.

I may need to start putting larger bills in my Saving-for Vacation money jar!  Or get a second job.  And a third!