Thursday, April 12, 2012

Vegas Anniversary Trip

I finally feel like I have the time to post about my Vegas Anniversary trip! This year, Matt and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary. I have now been married for half a decade. That is pretty awesome. I think it will be even more awesome when I can say that I have been married longer than being single. I was single for 7 years (if you count only date-able years), so in another 3 years, I will hit another milestone.

So, Matt planned a trip to Vegas for our 5 year celebration. We secured Momma Kimball and my Mom to watch our kids for the 4 days that we would be gone. Momma Kimball came over to our house on Thursday afternoon and we were off to Vegas!

The trip down was pretty easy, no major things happened and we listened to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in the car. Matt doesn't read for leisure, so this is the only way that I was going to get him to read the Harry Potter books. We got into Vegas fairly early, so we checked into our hotel and then went to dinner at Wolfgang Puck's Bar and Grill at the MGM Grand.

Oh, I'm going to point out right now that this is going to be a picture light post because I kept forgetting my camera every time we went out and we did not take many pictures.

So, at Wolfgang Puck's restaurant, we were able to be seated right away because it was only 6pm and Vegas doesn't really pick up until later in the night, so we were early. We ordered the crab cakes for an appetizer and they were really good. They were a little crisp on the outside and held their shape, but soft on the inside and there was this green sauce with them that was just delicious. For our main course, Matt ordered fish of the day with asparagus and a very yummy white sauce and I ordered meatloaf wrapped in procuito on a bed of pureed yukon potatoes and sauted brussel sprout leaves on top. Matt really loved his because he never gets to eat fish and is all about the fish whenever he can get it. I don't really care for fish, so we rarely eat it. I thought mine was awesome. I have never liked brussel sprouts, but I definitely liked them the way that they cooked them there. Though the food was awesome, the service was terrible at the restaurant. I saw three tables arrive after us, get their food before us and leave before we were even given dessert menus. Lame. We ordered the chocolate beignets for dessert and if I wasn't so full, I would have eaten more, but the serving sizes were so big that I couldn't eat more than one. But, Matt took care of them.
Here is my scoring for this restaurant...
Food: Excellent
Service: Subpar
Price: Very Pricey (plan on spending at least 25 dollars a plate)

After dinner, we just headed back to our hotel because I was a tired girl and I do NOT like Vegas at night. That is when all the crazies come out.

On Friday morning, we woke up early and went to the Temple. We wanted to do all the things that we don't usually get to do on our trip, so the Temple was at the top of our list. We could go and enjoy and take our time and not have to worry about rushing home to the kids to relieve a sitter.

We ate breakfast in the Temple cafeteria and it was awesome. Matt says that it reminded him of his days at the MTC. It reminded me of my days in Hawaii when I ate in the Cafeteria for all my meals. We both had biscuits, gravy, eggs, and apple pie. Apple pie is totally a breakfast food, didn't you know? It was just a nice, quiet, relaxing meal. The best thing was that it was quiet. After eating in a noisy casino the night before, it was just nice to be able to hear each other speak, even while whispering.

Here is my scoring for the Temple food:
Food: Awesome
Service: Excellent
Price: So cheap! (about 4 dollars a plate)

After breakfast, we did a session at the Temple and it was just so nice. I wish we could have gone back to the Temple on our trip and done it all again, but it was conference weekend, so the Temple wasn't open on Saturday and it definitely wasn't open on Sunday.

After the Temple, we went back to the hotel to change and then we went to the Belagio Buffet for lunch. Then line was super long for the buffet. We stood in line for 45 minutes before we were able to be seated. It is apparently a hopping place. Last time I went to the buffet, it was for breakfast, so I was excited to see the lunch menu. It was the best buffet that I have ever been to. There is so much selection that I just kept going back for more and more and more. Matt ate way more than I did, but that is probably because he is a man. While we were at the buffet, we started getting calls from home about the "snake" problem, so much of our lunch was spent on the phone trying to figure out what was going on with the snakes. My favorite thing at the buffet was the desserts. They bake all sorts of pastries and cookies and cakes and they are all so beautiful! I had carrot cake and pecan pie and macadamian nut cookies and chocolate moose pie and I pretty much tried one of everything because I have a dessert problem.

Here is my scoring on the buffet...
Food: Really Good
Service: Long wait, but good service once you are in
Price: Expensive at $20 dollars a person

After lunch on Friday, we went and took a nap because there is nothing better than relaxing on vacation. I never get naps during the week or even on the weekend because we have kids. So, I took a lot of naps because we were on vacation and I could. My Dad would call this blasphemous. He likes to get the MOST out of vacations. He was always making us wake up early and do things all day on vacation because vacations are not about rest, they are about doing as much as you can in daylight hours... according to my Dad. Vacations with him are always fun and always full, but not relaxing. So, since this was MY vacation, I napped.

Friday night, we went to a movie theater and saw Hunger Games. Another thing that we rarely get to do, go to the movies. So, it was really nice to just go to the movies and enjoy and not worry about the kids while we are there. Hunger Games was very entertaining. I thought it stayed really close to the book and was a very exciting movie. But, Matt got motion sickness during the movie because of all the unsteady cam in the movie. So, after the movie, we went in search of food because Matt was nauseated and only had Reeses Pieces in his belly. (another thing we never get to do, eat peanut butter candy.) So, we drove around and saw a place called Mad Greek and we stopped there to eat.

At the Mad Greek, there was some sort of Birthday party going on and it was obviously a family owned business, so we sat outside to eat, away from the partyers. We both ordered Gyro sandwiches and I ordered Greek fries and Matt ordered Greek rice. The Gyros were amazing! I love gyros. I craved them like mad when I was pregnant with Nicole and ate like one a week. But, then Burger Supreme went under new management, changed their gyro meat and they are NOT good anymore. So, I hadn't had a good gyro in a long time, but these were amazing. The lamb tasted like lamb and not processed beef and their cucumber sauce had dill in it which I thought was really interesting. I didn't much care for the greek fries, but they were a little too burnt for my taste, but Matt's rice was really yummy.

Here is my scoring for Mad Greek...
Food: Excellent
Service: Good
Price: Good (about 10 dollars a plate)

After dinner, it was late (for me 10pm) and so we went back to the hotel for bed.

Saturday morning, we woke up and we watched conference. You betcha, we went on vacation and still watched Conference. It was nice to be lazy and watch Conference in bed and actually be able to listen to the speakers without managing children at the same time. Anniversary trip was all about doing things we don't normally get to do, but want to do. We went downstairs and ate at a cafe in our hotel for breakfast and I am not going to rate it because it was not note worthy. It was yummy, but nothing special.

We went back to our room to watch second session, but I fell asleep and slept through the whole darn thing. Matt was awake and saw it all, but I could not stay awake. It is something about the apostle's voices that just lulls me to sleep.

After Conference/nap, we went over to Mandalay Bay to look for food!

And now, you will get the ONLY pictures that we took during our whole trip. And it is not of us together, but of the wine tower in the Mandalay Bay. We saw this featured on a season of The Next Food Network Star, so we were really excited when we recognized it and took a picture (because I actually remembered my camera).

It doesn't look that impressive in the picture, but it was huge! And they use harnesses, ropes and pulleys to hoist people up to get the wine bottles.

We walked around the Mandalay Bay because neither of us had actually been there and it was a lot of fun to see something new because I have seen most of the touristy stuff in Vegas.

We ate at the Burger Bar, which is known for it's gourmet burgers. I order the Lamb burger with spicy ketchup and Matt ordered the surf and turf burger with angus beef, lobster and asparagus. My burger was not that good. It was dry and really needed the ketchup for me to eat it, but Matt's burger was awesome. It was moist and delicious! Matt definitely ordered better than me here. The fries were nothing special, just shoe string fries, and the service was fairly decent. We got our food fast and our drinks stayed full. Can't ask for much more than that.

Here is my rating of the Burger Bar...
Food: If you order correctly, really good! If you order crappy, pretty yuck
Service: Good
Price: Expensive (about $20 dollars a plate)

After Burger Bar, it was still early, but we didn't have any more plans, so we weren't sure what to do. I didn't want to do any more walking because my legs were already in pain for all the walking we had already done. (I sit at a desk all day and am not used to a lot of walking.) So, we went back to the movie theater to see if there was anything else we wanted to see. But, there wasn't. Good movies are really slim right now. So, we hit a red box, got a movie and headed back to the hotel to watch it.

Sunday morning, we woke up really early. I was very anxious to get back to the kids. It was nice to get away, but I really really missed the kids. I felt like it was one day too long to be away from them. I don't like leaving my babies. So, we checked out and were on the road by 7am. We got home around 1:30pm and I was able to squish my kid's little cheeks before second session of conference.

It was a really good trip that was, lets face it, all about the food and the leisure. I think Matt and I will try and have a night away on our anniversary again, but probably not to Vegas again. Even though we tried to stay away from the touristy and less wholesome parts of Vegas, the whole town kinda has a crummy feel to it and a really bad smell. The food was good, but the atmosphere was less than good. Plus, it was too far from my kiddos. Closer to home next time.


Sarah said...

Sounds awesome! Mark and I want to go on a trip, just us, before we have kiddo #2. But your kind of trip sounds like exactly what we would do. Eat good food and relax. We're all about good food. They have an awesome gyro place here in Alby, Mark and I luuuuurve it.

Laura said...

Glad you had a good time and could relax. I think that we are starting to train Dad into doing some relaxing on vacations now.

Jasmine said...

At first I thought "How have you not heard of the Mad Greek?!?!" ... Then I realized that you don't live in California and thusly don't see it every time you drive through Baker to visit family in Utah. Yes -- it's family-owned and has been around for decades. They just recently (in the last year or two) started opening locations in Vegas (and Primm, I believe). I'm waiting for them to open a location closer to us in Cali, because all I've heard is that they're amazing. (They were even featured on an episode of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.)

Anywho, sounds like an awesome trip!

(If you're ever in my neck of the woods, I'll take you to an AMAZING Greek place in L.A. Justin says they're the best gyros he's had since he was in Europe. Joel and I often find an excuse for me to go visit him at work just so we can eat there. Yum!)

Becky said...

Why does everyone but me have a go to gyro place? I feel so left out.