Poker, Pool Time and Pigging out in Las Vegas!

My husband and I recently joined three other couples for a long weekend in Las Vegas. The goals: gamble, eat good food and enjoy the warm weather for a few days. We exceeded all expectations and came home full, pink skinned and really tired! It was pretty much what one would expect of a group of empty nesters getting together and blowing off a little steam.

The four couples all had different arrival times and we arrived thursday evening.

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View from our plane

We flew in around 2pm and it was well over 90ºF. We made our way to the Aria Resort and Casino. We have stayed there several times and really like its location on the strip, the restaurants and the pools. I am partial to their fitness and spa center as well. I took a few pictures of the exterior of the Aria.

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This view is from one of the three pools,  looking back toward one of the towers

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This view is from one of the other pools

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This is the pool where we spent most of our time

 

My hubby wanted to head straight for the pool that first night, I had a hard time getting him to leave but we finally made our way to dinner.

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This was our only night that we dinned alone as our friends were still arriving from various destinations. We chose to dine at Bardot Brasserie. The food was French and delicious! bardot restaurant

We started off with the King Crab Crepe. A buckwheat crepe filled with trumpet mushrooms, sunny -side egg, and a Normandy cider beurre blanc. It was outstanding!

buckwheat crepe

My entree was the Salmon Aux Lentilles prepared with King salmon, beluga lentils with a smoked tomato vinaigrette. This trip was starting out on a great foot!

salmon and lentils

The next day was Friday and that meant that my hubby was in a poker tournament all day. He plays the WSOP events in June and it is variable as to how long he will be in the casino. If all goes well he will start at 10am and play until 2am the next morning! Or he could be out in an hour! So, I decided to get a message at the Aria spa to help work on my back injury. So glad I did! My back did feel better from the masseuse and the jets in the hot tub. Meanwhile my husband played all day Friday, until he was out. Unfortunately, that turned out to be sooner rather than later!

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No big poker winnings this year! We met up with our friends and had dinner at Javier’s, a Mexican restaurant at Aria. This was my least favorite meal on our trip. It wasn’t bad, I had the callitos mazatlan which were pan seared scallops with a chipotle sauce and the ubiquitous rice and beans found at every Mexican restaurant. No pictures, it was a typical and well executed meal.

We spent the rest of the evening in a lounge listening to live music (very good live music) and having a few too many cocktails-we had a blast!

Saturday we all had some personal time until our dinner and show reservations that evening. I decided to head to my two favorite hotels on the strip. My husband and I took the Aria tram to the Bellagio. We have stayed there several times and love the interior of this casino.

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The tram cycles between the Aria, The shops at Crystals and the Bellagio

In just a few minutes we were at the Bellagio, me with my camera in hand. The Bellagio is bright, airy and colorful. It is impossible to capture any one image that will convey all the amazing scenery. I have highlighted a couple examples that really speak to me every time I visit.

 

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This is one of many domed skylights which allows light into the long corridors

 

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These gorgeous arrangements are on every table top as you weave your way through the walkways into the main buildiing 

 

One of my favorite shops of all time is Jean Philippe Patisserie and I visit every time I am in Vegas.

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This is where you will find the largest chocolate fountain in the world. It runs from floor to ceiling and has milk, dark and white chocolate pools

And, of course, there is the pastries!

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A truly stunning experience!

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The patisserie is close to the conservatory and botanical garden that showcases floral artwork. This season is dedicated to the Chinese new year. This is just a small fraction of what there was to see!

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The detail was amazing! As you leave the conservatory area you enter the main lobby of the Bellagio. The ceiling is covered with glass flowers made by Seattle’s own Dale Chihuly. Even though he is right here in my own backyard, I marvel at this ceiling every time I visit Vegas.

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We travelled down the long corridor to the exit of the Bellagio, on our way to the Paris Hotel and Casino. There were a few more beautiful ceiling elements along the way.

We exited the building and crossed the street. We entered Pairs hotel and immediately felt the ambiance change. Where Bellagio was bright and open, Paris was darker and had the feel of Europe in the middle ages. It was as if we were in underground Paris in the 1800s.

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It is like you are at an illegal club!

 

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The sky ceiling is similar to the one in Caesars Palace

 

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The building facades look so real

 

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This could be any shopping avenue in Paris

 

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The French have there own version of amazing pastries to choose from!

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This Chinese restaurant is stunning!

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They really captured that nighttime feel.

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A bistro along the avenue!IMG_1805

This is my favorite Creperie, anywhere! I always have a crepe when visiting Vegas from this shop. Today the hubby and I split a Monte Cristo crepe. Ham, Swiss cheese with strawberry sauce, powdered sugar and basil. Just the perfect lunch!

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crepe at paris

Then it was time to head back to the Aria and meet up with our friends. There were a few sights on the way back!

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Our dinner reservations that evening were at the steak house, Mastro’s Ocean Club at the shops at Crystals. This was a fantastic meal! The restaurant is in an old tree house that now sits at the heart of the mall. It is two stories and we were seated inside this structure. More importantly the food was killer! If you have never tried Wagyu beef (and you have an extra kidney to sell to afford it) I do recommend it!

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We throughly enjoyed this meal and then set out to see Zumanity, a Cirque du soliel show at New York, New York Hotel and Casino. If you like nude acrobats then you will love this show!

Sunday morning I got up early and ran 4 miles. It was hot (81°F at 6:15am), hard and full of stairs but I needed to work off some of the “fun” I had been consuming! Plus we are still half marathon training! The hubby said no to accompanying me and we all reconvened at the pool for our last day of mini vacation. I posted a picture on Instagram of my shoes taking a break by the pool. I caught my husband trying to steal one of the drinks.

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This trip was a bit of a whirlwind, looking back I did not get the right amount of sleep or eat as healthy as I would have liked, but we all need a crazy, fun break every once in a while!

Oh, and as for gambling

the only time i won

This was the best result I had the entire time!

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Half Marathon Training, Week 14 Update!

This training week has been all about fitting in run time with a bad back and a mini vacation. In my last update I declared that I was not going to let me back stop me from running 5 miles on Tuesday, May 30th. That was true and I did run that day, however I went 6.27 miles, a little further than I was targeting originally. What happened? Well, when I started running that morning EVERYTHING hurt for the first 3 miles, then the numbness set in and I was feeling better, so I wanted to enjoy the run while I had the benefit of endorphins to dull my senses. I was pretty sure that when I stopped my back would be feeling it! And, it did! I did go slower, the run was at a 10:18 pace, but it felt great to exercise! I get so cranky when I am unable to hit the pavement.

Thursday morning we had the flight to Las Vegas and needed to leave for the airport by 9:30am so I was on the path by 6:00. Both my husband and I wanted to get these 4 miles in because we would be stuck in airports for awhile had no idea if we would be able to run in the hot desert! I was motivated to get this done quickly so I could shower, change and finish packing and ran at a slightly faster pace of 9:53/mile. And that is when it really hit me that my back is not 100% yet. Due to the running, and the sitting on the plane for a couple hours, it really was sore and was quite uncomfortable.

My husband plays in the WSOP poker events held in Vegas every June and I knew he would be at the Rio for most of Friday so I took that opportunity to have a message at the spa in the Aria Resort and Casino where we stayed. I am so glad I did this! The masseuse was able to loosen up the muscles and get me walking much more smoothly! I also used the jets in the hot tubs on the property to work on my back and that helped too!

Saturday was relax and recover time for my injury (also spent time at the pool, and then dinner and a show). By the time I went to bed Saturday night I was itching for some activity. I decided I would get up early to beat the heat and get some sort of run accomplished before spending the day at the pool again. My husband refused to run as he was on vacation, so I was on my own. I hit the strip a bit after 6am and it was already 81 degrees! At 6am!! If you have ever been to the strip then you know that often crossing the street means using pedestrian overpasses, so I had to run stairs (see the left bump in the picture below). That might look like a little flight of stairs, but it it not! I had not mentally accounted for that when I set off from the Aria!

 

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You can see how my pace suffered from overpasses, waiting to cross the street at the crosswalks, and the heat!

 

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I had wanted to run 5 or 6 miles, but felt like Clarke Grisswold toward the end of the first two miles, so I turned around and settled for 4 miles total.

 

 

My back is still sore but slowly improving. At home I can apply ice and heat regularly and am using Aleve, and Ibuprofen. The Seattle Rock and Roll half is only 12 days away! We have 22 miles for week 15 planned, I will have to see how it goes!

 

May 2017 June     2017 July 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
 week 14

 

 

May 30

5 miles

1

4miles

2

 

3

Some run

4 miles

4

week 15

5

 

6

12miles

7

 

8

4miles

9

 

10

6miles

11

week of the race

12

 

13

4-5 miles

14

 

15

4-5 miles

16

carb load

17

 

18

13.1 miles!

19

 

20

 

21

 

22

 

23

 

24

 

25

 

26

 

27

 

28

 

29

 

30