Hey guys, hello from Las Vegas! I’m here with Mike and his family to celebrate E’s 21st birthday! It’s my third time here, but the first time with the family. They used to visit once a year since it’s fairly close from LA, but haven’t been in a few years, so we were all excited to have some fun together. Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve been up to so far.
We arrived here Tuesday afternoon via a long car ride from LA, which went by a little more quickly for me with help from the season finale of The Sing-Off. No spoilers, but I thought the right group won and I’m looking forward to the eventual release of their first album!
A view from the car – for those of you who haven’t been – Las Vegas really is in the desert and the drive from LA to Vegas is quite monotonous. Thankfully, there wasn’t too much traffic and we made it in four hours or so.Once we arrived, we checked into our hotel rooms at Vdara. I’ve never stayed here before so I was really impressed by the rooms! Vdara is designed to accommodate longer-term hotel stays, and so each room is actually a suite with plenty of amenities! We sprung for a slightly larger room for the kids, and we love having the larger kitchenette with a microwave, full size fridge, dishwasher, and stove! The staff provided dishes, bowls and utensils upon request. We’re making full use of this kitchen by picking up stuff for breakfasts and snacks from a supermarket nearby. The microwave is gonna be clutch for making instant ramen and tea :) The suite also comes with a washer and dryer – how crazy is that?! While we won’t be here long enough to make use of this, it would be awesome for families/ groups staying longer than a few days.I LOVE this huge bathtub – I took a bath last night and will probably be taking another one tonight. Hey, we’re on vacation, right?
After checking out the rooms and relaxing for a while, we headed out to eat dinner. We really wanted to eat at Lotus of Siam, which has gotten tons of press for their amazing Thai food. We were definitely not the only ones to follow up on all the hype, because the wait list for our group of 7 was at least an hour when we arrived at 5:30! We quickly opted for take-out instead, and an hour later, we were enjoying our food back at the hotel.We thought their portion sizes were a little small, but the flavors were dead-on. My favorite dishes were the pad see ew and lad na, and my sister-in-law E raved about the tom yum ka soup. Definitely recommend this place; just be sure to make reservations a few days in advance! After dinner and a movie in the room, we decided to turn in early for the night and rest for a day of fun the next day.
Wednesday – Christmas!
Mike and I “slept in” (meaning we slept past 7), and hit up the gym before breakfast. My knee started to bother me on the treadmill, so I got off after a few miles and finished up with some ab work in the room. Breakfast was a yogurt cup, obtained from the supermarket the night before.Christmas outfit pic! Sparkly INC sweater and black leggings from Banana.
After the rest of the family was awake, we decided that Christmas brunch felt right and the adults headed to The Oyster Bar inside Palace Station for some seafood. Guys, I didn’t think I could eat seafood so early in the day…I was wrong. This place was amazing, and I’m hoping we get a chance to go back before this trip is over. The oysters were super fresh, the clam chowder was just about the best I’ve had (and I’m kinda obsessed), and the bouillabaisse, which is like a spicy seafood soup in a rich broth served with rice, was out of this world! This place is open 24/7, so if you’re planning to come, try to arrive between normal mealtimes to avoid the long lines – there’s only 14 seats or so at the bar and this place is popular!
After brunch, Mike’s mom, E and I walked around City Center and visited some of the art galleries nearby.The pieces in the galleries were gorgeous, but a little out of my price range ;) I loved the vase below, but the price was in the neighborhood of $50,000. I told the salesperson I’d think about it. After our dose of culture, we went back to the room for a quick family Christmas service before dinner. I know it seems a little immoral that we’re in Vegas on Christmas, but we really do love Jesus! Praise God that He loved the world so much that He sent his only Son into the world to become the bridge between earth and heaven.
Dinner was a special treat – Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse! It was our belated anniversary/ birthday gift to mom and dad, and one that we all enjoyed very much. After dinner, I was pretty bushed and headed back to the room for my favorite activity ever. Bathtime while watching TV. So…I’ve been in Vegas for 48 hours and haven’t gambled a dime yet, lol. I think I’m gonna remedy that tonight ;)