Friday, February 22, 2008

Our Vegas Vacation - Day One

Thinking back on our 4 day, 3 night stay at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas makes my head spin. I feel like we did so much that I'm forgetting most of it. So, instead of making an enormous post where I cram in the details of all 4 days, I'll break it up into sections and post over the next few days. Yeah. That sounds like a plan.

Also, the photos will be scaled down. I urge you to click on them to see them in their full glory. The way nature intended.

The flight to Vegas was unremarkable. By that I mean that we got on the plane, spent almost 3 hours either sleeping or watching videos on our MP3 players, and then we got off. Pretty painless. When we got to the airport we found a taxi that took us to Harrah's where we met my mom, my sister, and my brother. My brother works at Harrah's, so pretty much all of our meals were comped (which was awesome). We had breakfast at the buffet. I have to admit, I hate buffets. Something about eating until you vomit isn't so appealing. But my family likes them so The Hubs and I went along for the ride. We were pretty sick afterward, but a nap at the hotel made us feel much better.

Welcome To Las Vegas! The Long Hallway

The Place Las Vegans Call Home Harrah's

I was pretty overwhelmed with all the slot machines and poker tables and sports booking rooms. My only exposure to casinos as an adult was at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. And that's nothing compared to just one room in Harrah's. This was the very first thing I saw when we got to Harrah's, and it pretty much sums up the Vegas experience, real or imagined.

Inside Harrah's

After breakfast and a short nap, we decided to walk down the strip and take in the sights. The Hubs and I aren't gamblers (ok, I gambled a little, but The Hubs wanted nothing to do with it) so we eventually separated from the family. We saw Paris and New York, which, I'm sorry to have to admit, was pretty cheesy. I mean, nice to look at, but the over all concept screamed "cheese" to me. The best part about New York New York was the pizza at a place called Sirrico's. Seriously. I took one bite of that pizza and it brought me right back to my childhood. I haven't had pizza that good since I left New York. I wanted to go back and get another slice, but there was so many other things to do.

Eiffel Tower Paris Vegas+ Eifel Tower

New York New York Sirrico's Pizza in NY NY

I liked the statue of Liberty, but could have done without the plaque describing the heroes of 9/11. Call me an asshole, but yeah, didn't need to see that.

Statue of Liberty

We stopped at an Irish Bar and had some really expensive drinks. The Hubs had a Guinness and I had a drink called a Michael Collins. Seriously, the best drink I've had in a very long time. It should be good, since it cost $10! I can't seem to find the recipe for it on the Internets, but it had vanilla vodka, caramel irish creme, some sort of butterscotch, and something else. SO GOOD!

The Hubs + Guinness Drinkin' a Michael Collins

After walking for what seemed like miles, The Hubs and I went back to the hotel to rest up. At dinner time, we took the shuttle back to Harrah's and met my family at my brother's restaurant. He's the executive chef of the Oyster Bar. For the next (almost) 2 hours we were treated with some of the best seafood I've ever tasted. I'm not joking when I say that the meal I had at the Oyster Bar was the best meal I've had in the 32 years I've been on this planet. Everything was super fresh, the presentation was outstanding, and the flavors were delicious. My favorite dishes of the night were the shrimp Crostini and the crab cakes. TO DIE FOR! If you like seafood, and you're in Vegas, you really need to try out the Oyster Bar.

Oyster Bar @ Harrah's

Shrimp Crostini Shrimp Crostini

Tiger Prawn, Crab, Lobster, and Oysters Crab Cakes

Angel Hair Pasta and Lobster Berries and Cream

The plan was that The Hubs (who doesn't eat seafood) and I would share a steak. Well, I could hardly finish these appetizers that just kept coming out so I left the steak to The Hubs. I did have a bite and it was very tender and flavorful. When I go back again I will have to make sure my brother lays off the fanfare and tells the chef on duty to stop bringing out so much food. Don't get me wrong, I appreciated it and it was delicious, but it was just too much for five people.

We took the shuttle back to the Hotel where we promptly passed out. We wanted to check out the local goth/industrial dance night, but the two of us were so exhausted that we didn't even have the energy to change out of our clothes! We literally passed out on the bed in our jeans and t-shirts, only to wake up at about 2am feeling hung over from the food coma we just endured.

That was Monday, day one. Stay tuned for Tuesday, which I hope to post tomorrow. Here's a random photo from our stay. Enjoy!


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