I’m sure you didn’t think there was anything left unsaid about Vegas after my trip in December. I certainly didn’t expect to go back so soon – but about 3 months ago my younger (middle) brother, AJ, announced that he had booked his wedding at Mandalay Bay for March. I somewhat blame myself and this girl - who’s wedding pictures from 3 years ago sparked an interest with AJ and his new wife, Carissa. A beautiful, outdoor wedding that is (somewhat) affordable? In VEGAS? Yes, it is possible.
Of course, he made his announcement 2 weeks AFTER I bought our plane tickets to San Francisco for my youngest brother’s May wedding (all four of us are going $$$$), so I would be lying if I wasn’t a little annoyed and selfish. I might have even said, “But I JUST came back AND I’m already going to a destination wedding!!!” Because you know, weddings are all about me. Obviously, I stopped bitching, bought plane tickets, and booked a hotel. And had tons of fun.
We left Orlando around 4:30 on Thursday and arrived by 6:30. Making a pit stop at Chili’s on our way out. The bride and groom were on our flight as well as the majority of the bride’s family.
The flight really wasn’t bad and we made friends with the woman sitting in our row! I hate flying, so that says a lot
I have to say, I am still amazed at how much energy Vegas gives me.
Not only did I love this place, but my family did too. My hubby went there 3 nights in a row! The food was excellent and the drink prices beat everything in it’s vincity. (FYI, this is NOT the same Burger Bar that we have in Orlando/Sanford)
At some point, my brother, Carissa, and Carissa’s brother-in-law, Ryan, joined us — and then we drank the most expensive beer I’ve ever tasted.
I loved every sip. I can’t say I was alone.
Shortly after this, we called it a night and made the 20 minute hike back to our hotel. During the walk back we vowed to sleep in the next day. Ha.
I SWEAR we slept for hours (I have no idea what time we went to bed), but we woke up a 7am the next day and there was no going back to sleep. So, we got dressed, grabbed a quick breakfast from Starbucks, and started our trek down the Strip.
I had one hotel that I wanted to see and one shopping mall that we had missed in December — The Wynn and Fashion Show.
The Wynn (and its sister hotel Encore) did not disappoint. If I ever win the lotto and have the desire to go back to Vegas – I’m staying here. It was just gorgeous.
I felt like I was in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory – minus the chocolate, plus lots of fancy designers. I’m pretty sure that hotel is the closest I’m ever going to get to Dior, Stuart Weitzman, and Chanel.
After the hotels, we crossed the street to check out Fashion Show Mall, which had almost every store imaginable. I made the hubby stop by Forever 21, Express, and Macy’s — so basically, I was nice. It could have been much, much, worse.
By the time we I was done shopping it was time for lunch. We decided, almost immediately after booking the trip, that despite there being 1,000+ restaurants in Las Vegas for us to try out we needed to eat at our favorite from the previous trip… Mesa Grill.
We both ordered the Pear margaritas. I really need to learn how to make these. We joked about how the drinks are pink — but seriously deceiving. Girly drinks these are not.
For lunch I ordered the 16-Spice Chicken Salad.
There were mixed greens, chicken, some amazing sauces, and goat cheese. It was delicious. Of course.
The hubby ate Bobby’s specialty – Florida Grouper (so glad we went all the way to Nevada to eat it!) and he was NOT disappointed! It was very flavorful and had just enough kick to it.
The bartender later told us that the dinner portion of the grouper is exactly the same as the lunch — but FAR more expensive — so lesson learned: If want to eat at Bobby Flay’s (and really – why wouldn’t you? The man can cook), go at lunch time!
After lunch, and 2 margaritas each, we somehow made it back to the hotel for a nap and to prep for our night out. The hubby went out with my brother, my dad, my mom’s boyfriend and a few of Carissa’s family members…
Photo courtesy of my dad
While I joined the girls for Carissa’s bachelorette party.
Carissa and her sister Nicole
We started at Red Square - a Russian restaurant at Mandalay Bay. Dinner was quick and the service was EXCELLENT, but honestly I wasn’t overly impressed by the food. I order the Butterfish and the portion I got was smaller than I expected. I definitely left dinner hungry. Hungry for some THUNDER FROM DOWN UNDER.
Yes, this really happened. And yes, my mom joined us. That wasn’t awkward at all.
While the boys in this show were adorable and definitely had nice bodies (nice is an understatement), I felt weird cheering them on. There were also several dance numbers (when the guys were fully clothed) where I thought, “Man, the kids would really enjoy this.” Not sure what that says about me… except I’m DEFINITELY getting that Mom of the Year trophy this year.
After the show, Carissa’s sister and I forced her to get a picture with the guys.
They were very charming.
The guy I was sitting with might have smacked my ass as I was leaving.
And after all of that excitement — we decided to call it a night (at *ahem* 11pm). Carissa’s hair appt was at 8, and I despite my nap earlier in the day, I was exhausted. All of those semi-naked men wore me out. I was not lame by myself though – the hubby also met me back at the hotel. What can I say – we are SUCH party animals.
Up next… the wedding!
So tell me… have you ever been to a male review?