Casino Art

One of of my favourite activities in Vegas….. yes, THAT Las Vegas is to consciously take in the public art. I think it’s one of the most enriching non-gambling experiences you can have there.

Exceptional art is everywhere. You’ll find it in the halls and lobbies of every MGM hotel, in the shops and even in the casinos.

I LOVE the art experience at Aria Hotel & Casino. From the minute you arrive in the valet drive, to the minute you head up to the buffet, there’s creative and poignant art to dazzle the senses.

If you choose to explore your desire to see fine art, head over to Bellagio to their dedicated gallery. Admission is $14/person but is well worth it.

We’ve seen an Andy Warhol exhibit there, and most recently (Summer ‘18) a Water Exhibit.

 

Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art

 

Bellagio Gallery of fine art.

 

Felt art in the halls of Park MGM
Felt art in the halls of Park MGM

 

Ceramic art at Aria

 

Design and functional art everywhere you look.

Raving about Lago

I was in Las Vegas  two weeks ago for a quick couples’ getaway and I want to tell you, briefly, about one of the best meals I’ve had in recent memory.

It was our wedding anniversary and I wanted to eat at Lago (restaurant) at Bellagio (hotel).   As I love to research and to know what I’m getting into before I set foot in a restaurant,  I looked at the menu online and also read the Trip Advisor reviews.

In doing the research I estimated a dinner bill of about $300-$400US for what we would likely choose.  That being out of the budget I went ahead and made a lunch reservation instead. (This is definitely your take away tip from this blog post.  “Don’t skip the restaurant, just have lunch instead of dinner.”)  By the way, this restaurant has a wine list where bottles range between $75 and $3500.

At lunchtime this particular restaurant even offers a “prefix menu.”  Basically it is a modified menu where you choose an item from each course offered and pay one price. In this case, Lago offers a 3 course lunch menu at $28 per person. Example: choose one of 4 appetizer options,  choose one of 4 entrées and then dessert.

First, let me say that the ambiance was amazing! The view was amazing! The service was amazing! And the menu choices were amazing! Do you get the picture? Simply amazing!  Long before the food was even served I was loving Lago.

I started with a fancy gin cocktail.  So fancy that it had little flavoured blood-orange beads and an orchid in it. Fancy!!

For entrées I had Seabass and my husband had lasagna.  They were each very well crafted. Delicious! Really outstanding  flavours, perfectly cooked.

The dessert was chef’s choice and I have to say absolutely outstanding! They tasted even better than they looked,  if that was even possible. I can only describe the tiny cake as a cheesecake hugged by cherries and chocolate, glazed with more chocolate and  garnished with chocolate. And I do like chocolate!

I finished the meal with a cappuccino and lingered over the view a little while longer.

Definitely the best meal I’ve had in a long time, likely top three lifetime.

I’m very glad we went for the lunch option rather than bypassing the restaurant all together.

Our bill was just over $100, plus a generous gratuity. Excellent value, in my opinion. I would highly recommend Lago.

 

 

 

 

Live Centre Strip Las Vegas

Maybe the occasional visit to Las Vegas isn’t enough for you. Maybe you’d like a more permanent address, right centre strip? Well, now you can live at Aria and the CityCentre Mall complex.

Imagine strolling past Prada on your way to lunch at the Todd English Pub, or picking up some chocolates at Jean Phillipe Patisserie on the way into the casino.

The lifestyle could be yours for $300K or less. Then again, you might want a 3 bedroom penthouse for $2 million. Regardless, it’s now possible at the Veer Towers. And it can come fully furnished.

 

ps. Please remind me to pick up a lotto ticket.

 

Bombarded with inspiration

Ever feel overwhelmed by travel planning? I’m feeling it right now. Travel planning anxiety…is that a thing? TPA?

Here’s the thing, I want a vacation. I need a vacation. But there seems to be a veil of social media pressure to have an AMAZING vacation. And right now, it clouds the view on everything. There is an air of pressure to have THE BEST vacation, a hey LOOK at my photos vacation. And every single time I open my email there’s a “LIMITED TIME OFFER that is EXCLUSIVE” for me.

I’m tired of being shouted at. I just want to go somewhere quiet and lovely and relax. Am I right, or am I wrong? Can’t anyone just casually tell you about their happy place?

I opened an email this morning from KLM Airlines. I’m a fan. They definitely know a thing or a million about travel. Today’s sales lead was about the new Dreamliner planes flying from Toronto and Calgary four times a week (as low as $685 direct and tax in). I found myself clicking links and looking for flights that suited my budget and wondering when I could go to Amsterdam and with whom. And then I started to feel stressed.

And then I started to think about the Tropicana Hotel in Vegas, because it’s been over a year since I’ve been to Vegas, and Vegas is my default (quick, cheap and always a good time) getaway. And I truly love Vegas, because when I’m there, I’m bombarded with lights and activity that I forget about work (which is admittedly very hard for me to do). And I like that feeling of “forgetting about work.” The Tropicana is alluring for me because it smells like coconuts, and is so small that you can get to the pool from your room in 2 minutes, and there’s a Starbucks on the way and right now I’m so tired (from work) that a two minute commute to a lounge chair is all I have energy for. And their rooms are pretty and white and tropical, which I love. BUT my inbox also has invites and “exclusive offers” from The Wynn (which I have never been to, but is definitely on my list) and The Bellagio (which is my favourite but is expensive and I don’t know if any visit can ever compare with the time I was upgraded to the Bellagio Suite, so why bother) and Caesar’s Palace (which is celebrating their 50th anniversary and I love their Laurel pool) and Monte Carlo (which is so central and has a great pool and I could stay practically free) and lastly (probably not lastly, I ignore a lot of emails) The Cosmopolitan Hotel (where I would love to stay to try to be hip, but I probably wouldn’t fit in, but still, “see Bruno Mars at the Chelsea” at the Cosmopolitan Hotel is on my Bucket List).

And I desperately want to go back to the Turks and Caicos because it probably IS my happy place. And I even see great flight prices right now, but I can’t get the time off work. And I probably don’t have the budget for it right now. It’s expensive, but less so in the summer. And honestly, there is no wrong time of the year for the Caribbean.

So there it is, dear travel diary, my cluttered, overwhelmed travel thoughts and why I’m stuck in the mud right now and desperate to go, but overwhelmed with offers and flat broke in time.

I have TPA. Travel planning anxiety. And I’m going nowhere.

Do you feel it too?