Vegas: Part One: Top Ten things that made me Smile

After spending 72 hours in Sin City009 I have concluded a few thoughts.  There are good aspects, bad and most definitely ugly. This blog is all about the good, Part 2 in the near future will reveal what I didn't love so much.

I was fortunate to travel with a friend who was so easy to get along with  and we just seemed to be in sync the whole trip.  That was a blessing!IMG_1358

The last time I was in Vegas was approximately 15 years ago and this trip was about finding the cool spots under the categories of dining, shopping, sightseeing, gaming.  I did indeed find some, but I know more research is needed!!! At least I am off to a good start.

Vegas Top Ten  that made me Smile and I highly recommend

1.  The Signature Hotel.  A boutique hotel, separate from the Parent MGM Grand Hotel  which was all suites and  is non- gaming.   Luxurious retreat  many with balconies & all with kitchenettes & spa tubs.signature hotel  I stayed here and loved the feel of it.  Gated, private, and I didn't get lost finding the elevator as opposed when you stay in a Casino Hotel.

2.  Mandarin Hotel.  Another non- gaming hotel that is absolutely gorgeous!  Quite, Zen and beautifully decorated.  This was our elevator exit eye candy on the 23rd floor! ddd  The 23rd floor offers a magnificent view, and the bar looked choice.ccc - Copy  I was drooling watching people enjoy their cocktails!eee  A visit to the public restroom was a treat also.  The room was infused with Musk and just the right amount to please the senses. aaa - Copy I also treated myself to lunch one day  at Twist by Pierre Gagnaire, very expensive but worth it.las-vegas-restaurant-twist-4  I devoured my Miso Black Cod, with Marinated Daikon Radish and Sauteed Spinach.IMG_1390  A crisp Sauvignon Blanc washed it all down.  And I couldn't resist the Bread and Dipping Sauces.  I love the good life!

3.  Aria Resort and Casino. I only visited the lobby one evening and I was impressed immediately  with an aura of minimalism, Sophistication and chic. bbbb Located in  the heart of both the Las Vegas Strip and the incredible City Center urban complex. It sports a design that spans modern architecture, which rich touches of decor and art.  I felt confident a Chihuly sculpture spanned the lobby.aaaa - Copy  I took a peek inside the restaurant Sage and dining there is on my to do list next visit.cccc

4. The Shops at Crystals. 100 Located next Aria in the City Center.  Designer heaven.  I love to  look at these shops for their  exquisite beauty and design, the gorgeous merchandise, and most of all  inspiration and over the top eccentricity.  I was surprised Chanel and Ferragamo weren't invited to the party!

Roberto Cavalli Boutique


Emilio Pucci Boutique


Jimmy Choo Boutique


Van Cleef and Arpel Boutique


BallyBottega VenetaBulgariCarolina HerreraCartierChristian DiorErmenegildo ZegnaFendiGucciHarry WinstonHermès,HSternIloriKitonLanvinLoro Piana, Louis Vuitton, Marni,MikimotoMiu MiuPaul SmithPorsche Design, Group PradaPucciRoberto CavalliRichard Mille Rimowa,  Tiffany & Co.Tom FordTourbillion,Van Cleef & ArpelsVersaceYves Saint Laurent.

5. The Bellagio Hotel Casino.  After dining at Todd English Olives Restaurant located in the Bellagio, Madeleine and I decided to try our luck playing Black Jack. We liked the vibe, and felt comfortable in the Casino.Blackjack_board We found a $15.00 minimum table and a gentleman sitting at the horseshoe position who knew how to play.  This is so important because if you sit down at a table with a rookie at the end spot they could mess up the whole table if they take hits or holds on cards that could benefit the dealer and then everyone looses.  We were lucky charms for the table and had so much fun playing with our new fast friend " The Australian Well Dressed Gentleman "  In 30 minutes Madeleine and I turned $50.00 into $358.00  We walked away winners!!!!!

5.5 . The Bellagio Fountains.  WOW!!!!!!  WE have all watched the scene in Oceans Eleven as the Magnificent 7 gloat with their successful heist as they watch these fountains.  Well let me tell you it is so much  better live and absolutely spectacular to view in person.  I thought it was better than any fireworks display I have seen.   I loved it.vegas_bellagio

6. Vegas at Night.  Lights, Lights and more - Copy  You can't help but get a feel of excitement taking it all in when the sun sets and the lights take over the strip. Casinos,  Bill boards, buildings, palm trees, stores everything is lit up!cc - Copy  Even the cars driving on the strip participate in the illumination.022dd  I enjoyed the energy the night "lights" gave me.018

7 Zara.  I love this store and it was located at Fashion Show Mall. Woo Hoo!!!  Zara is considered fast fashion- great style and design at a great price.  If you are not sure what is in style these days just go to and you will find out.  Madeleine and I both found some great pieces to compliment our fall wardrobe.  I bought cigarette ripped jeans,cigarette jeans and two thick, wooly infinity scarves.013 014Madeleine bought a grey cotton Jumpsuit, and a scarf as well.037

8. Buffalo Exchange.  No trip is complete without a Buffalo Exchange outing if the city has one. The excitement of what you may find is always exhilarating to me.  Located downtown, we took the city bus and found our way to their new location.  Did we score???  Of course.  Madeleine found great jeans and a vintage Coach bag, simple and gorgeous leather.bbbbb - Copyccccc  I found an amazing crochet dress, and a Black little cutout tank.  I guess I was in a peekaboo mood!!!!015012

9. Carson Kitchen 124 South Sixth Street.FullSizeRender (14)  OMG what we stumbled upon has left me hungry and wanting more.  As we were navigating to find Buffalo Exchange in a depressing part of downtown we both noticed some cool signage in a small window front.  We peered closer and realized a restaurant was hiding behind the window, so hard to see with the bright glare.  We walked in and surrendered immeadealtely.  Great decor with an industrial vibe, delicious aromas coming from the kitchen and all organic!IMG_0884

We sat down at the bar and chowed and toasted and cheered to our great find. We enjoyed a Beet Salad and Rabbit Ragu with Spaghetti Squash.FullSizeRender (15)IMG_1364  It was a local hangout and packed by the time we left.  I will always come back here when I visit Vegas.

10.  Lotus of Siam.  My husband and I dined here 15 years ago and  our meals were out of this world , along with exceptional service.  I never forgot that wonderful experience so I wanted to return and  bring my friend to try it again.  It did not disappoint!20120523-207684-lotusofsiam-redchilidip

You don't have to be a food insider in Las Vegas to know about Lotus of Siam. Despite its unlikely location in a non-descript strip mall, the outstanding and authentic food at Lotus of Siam has garnered attention from countless national media outlets, including the title of Best Thai Restaurant in the United States from the late Gourmet magazine.

72 Hours and our trip was packed. Looking forward to the next trip and taking more in-- So much more to do and see!!!!!  Next blog: Part 2 The other side of Vegas from my point of view.







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8 Responses

  1. Carol Gordon
    Again - love your blogs!!! In fact, I think you should travel more so I can read all about it - more! One thing I'm missing on this one - what you wore. I always love that!
    • Thanks Carol, your right - never leave the wardrobe out!
  2. Wonderful photos. I love armchair traveling, Monica but I may just have to get out of that chair and go to Vegas. The last time I was there was in 1972 (not counting a flight layover a few years ago). Things have really changed - used to be so sleazy.
    • It still is sleazy but there is a lot of cool things to see and do too! Thanks for reading it!
  3. Melissa
    Looks like great fun! I'm with Carol - perhaps a part 3 blog post with the "what I wore" info? Can't wait for part 2.
    • Thanks Melissa for reading it. I didn't get picks of my ensembles this time. I was more interested in the Vegas Scene. What was I thinking??? It is all about what I wore!!!! Hope all is good with you, love your profile pic!
  4. Julia Higgins
    Enjoyed your blog and living vicariously thru your adventure.
    • Thanks for reading it, and Vegas can be so much fun if you go to the right places

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