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Chihuly glass ceiling, Bellagio, Vegas

Chihuly glass installation, Bellagio, Las Vegas

In January my husband and I took a short flight to Las Vegas to join our friends for a long weekend of planned eating, rocking and rolling, football betting and well yes, drinking.

The Good

  • I did the flights without anxiety drugs!  It was clear blue skies the whole way, which I did check a couple times before our trip.  : )  That kept me calm when normally if I saw bad weather in our path I would've started fretting way before taking off.  If not these flights, I thought, when will I see if my belief in a correlation of being relaxed to a safe flight to be an oxymoron prove to be untrue?  So how did I do it?  I focused on my breathing like one does in yoga or meditation.  Any time a negative thought came in I stopped, focused on breathing and it disappeared.  Seriously I was amazed!  I loved that I was able to read and not just doze and count the minutes.
  • Food coupled with art!  Our first night we ate at Picasso in the Bellagio.  Besides the beautiful and tasty food there were originals of Picasso's work throughout.  Add the dancing fountains outside the window and the ambiance was very romantic.
Picasso photograph
  • Chinese New Year (year of the snake) is Sunday, February 10th this year.  All the hotels had their lobbies and casino areas decorated for it.  Of the ones we checked out, we enjoyed the Bellagio atrium area the best. 
Chinese New Year celebration, Vegas
Chinese New Year Celebration, Vegas
  • The second night we ate at the top of Mandalay Bay in the Foundation Room and then went back down to see Santana in the House of Blues for his premier!    We chose to do the dinner and show tickets so that we could get good seats.  It was very expensive, but we felt it was well worth it, because we were dead center in the front tables.  The worry was that the food wouldn't be very good since it was a package, but the Foundation Room surprised us with really good food, incredible views of Las Vegas, unusual art, and Bohemian feel with excellent service.

Lord Mahavir, Foundation Room, Vegas

Lord Mahavir, Hindu God of Love and Compassion

solid marble (3000 lbs)

entrance to Foundation Room


Gothic Room, Foundation Room, Vegas

Private room at the Foundation RoomWalls were taken from a Scottish church that was bombed during WWII.

Gothic Room, Foundation Room, Vegas

All the art and furnishingshad stories.  Food was very good andthe ambiance exotic and cool.

Santana stage, opening night, House of Blues, Vegas
Santana on stage, opening night, House of Blues, Vegas

Theme was Past, Present, and FutureSantana melded the first together and had you believing the Future would be more of the same good vibes.

Santana past and present, House of Blues, Vegas

Andy Vargas, Santana, House of Blues, Vegas

But it was local (Watsonville) boy, Andy Vargas,that had me feeling like a wanna be groupie.  Something about the way he moved.

  • The Mob Museum - the bad and ugly of the mob, 3 floors of photos, film, interesting facts, multimedia presentation, and actual guns, knives, shot up wall, barber chair, etc.  It is all held in the former U.S. courthouse and post office that saw its fair share of mobsters in its day.  Allow plenty of time to go through the museum, because you'll be disappointed if you have to leave before you've made it through.
The Bad
  • DH lost overall on his football bets for the first time since he started doing the playoff games.  I guess it wasn't too bad, as he never bets much and it kept us entertained for the hours we spent sitting on our butts eating, drinking, and cheering.
The Ugly
  •  I'm sorry, but it grosses me out to see two teenage girls in sexy outfits having dinner at an upscale restaurant with a creepy man that was mainly just watching them eat and probably hoping they'd hurry up and not want dessert.  I did like that they were focusing on the food.  (No, these were not his daughters.)


Heart Attack Grill, Vegas
  • The Food!  We actually didn't go in, but we found the Heart Attack Grill signs to be hilarious.  Check out the description of their prescribed diet online - if only!  However, the realization that this was not only a caricature of American dining, but also all true a little unsettling, too.

Heart Attack Grill, Vegas

Over 350lbs eat free!

Butterfat Shake, Heart Attack Grill, VegasHighest Calorie Burger, Heart Attack Grill, Vegas
Cash only at the Heart Attack Grill, Vegas
The Good has always prevailed for us in Las Vegas, but the Bad and Ugly keep our trips to just 2-3 days once every couple years.  The casinos are still smoky although not as bad as they used to be.  Since we don't gamble other than on football it's not that big of a deal.

Mallards, Venetian lagoon, Vegas

A couple of mallards found a quiet spot near the Venetian Lagoon.


Sounds like a fun trip! And

Sounds like a fun trip! And luckily the good outweighed the bad and ugly :)

That glass installation is

That glass installation is amazing -- triple good. And as someone who remembers the young Santana, I would have loved to have seen him in person.But Vegas does have its dark side.Great post.

Looks like a mostly Good

Looks like a mostly Good Vegas trip :-) Past, present, future. It's all good with Carlos!

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