Monday, March 26, 2012

March Madne$$ in Las Vegas - Part 2

Instead of giving a recap the rest of our March Madness 2012 trip, for this post I decided to list a few of the things that, in my opinion, are worth checking out when in Vegas (these are in no particular order).  However, I just realized that we did most of what's on this list on our March Madne$$ 2012 trip, so in a way it actually IS a recap of our trip!

1.  The Fountains at Bellagio:  In my opinion, the water show at the Fountains of Bellagio is a must see at least once.  Seeing it at the end of the movie Oceans Eleven is not the same as seeing it up close and personal. Watching it during the day is nice, but I would hold out for a night show because the lights really make a difference. I remember one trip a bunch of us were staying at NYNY.  One night we were headed to Pure at Caesar's Palace and one of my friends (a guy) insisted that we walk instead of cab it.  It was fine for the first 5 minutes until the girls realized we were wearing heels and then the whining started and it was all downhill after that.  By chance, just as we reached the Bellagio Fountains, the music and the water show started, causing us to stop and enjoy the show.  At the risk of sounding corny, it was totally magical and improved our moods immensely (and for a few seconds, we forgot about the pain our feet were in).

2.  The Cosmopolitan Hotel:  Just when you think Vegas can't get any more "over the top" they do something to make you reconsider that thought.  In this case, that "something" happens to be The Cosmopolitan Hotel, which opened in December 2010.  Everything about this hotel is over the top, but I love it.  Seriously, how can you not love the outrageously extravagant chandelier in the center of the hotel (one of these days I'll get around to having a ridiculously expensive cocktail at one of those bars the chandelier surrounds).  Seriously though, even just walking through here, you feel like you should be wearing a suit and/or fancy dress.  When we were here last July (sort of as a joint bachelor/ette party), our friends took us to dinner at STK at The Cosmo.  It's definitely pricey (but what steakhouse isn't), but worth it - if you decide to try it, I highly recommend the skirt steak.

3.  The Banana Cream Pie at Emeril's at the MGM:  I'm going to start out by saying that the gumbo and the chowder at Emeril's, which Rich and I usually have as our first course, are very good.  However, the real reason that we keep going back to Emeril's is for the banana cream pie.  No matter how stuffed we are, we always have room for dessert at Emeril's - although how full we are dictates whether we share a piece or order our own.  What sets this version apart from other banana cream pies is that there's more banana and less cream (and the cream in this pie is thicker, which I like).  Trust me, it's a winner!

4.  The Michael Jackson Impersonator at New York New York:  When we were in Vegas in November last year, NYNY was promoting Michael Jackson the Immortal show, a Cirque du Soleil show that highlights the music, dance and message of Michael Jackson.  In order to promote the show, they had the Michael Jackson impersonator come out every few hours and perform a compilation of MJ hits.  In addition to the music, you could always tell when he was performing because all you can hear is screaming.  This past trip we found him still performing -if you're in the area, definitely check him out!

5.  Minus 5 Ice Bar at the Monte Carlo Hotel:  On our bachelor/ette trip, my friends took me to Minus 5 Ice Bar.  Everything in Minus 5 is made of ice, including the glass your drink is served in.  There are different packages, but we got the $50 which got us a deluxe parka, furry boots and one drink. After drinking from the ice glass, I swore I would never drink from a regular glass again (that didn't last long).  Despite the parka, it's still really cold so we only lasted about half an hour in there (I'm not sure how people stay in ice hotels).  If you're looking for something different but still fun, this is for you.

6.  Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill at Caesar's Palace:  Rich and I are avid Food Network viewers and we especially like Bobby Flay, so naturally we've added Mesa Grill to our list of Vegas dining spots.  In fact, it's become a tradition for us to have our last dinner here. This is a Bobby Flay restaurant, so if you don't like spice, it might not be for you. Tip 1: make a reservation.  Tip 2:  the bread basket is pheonomenal, but try not to fill up on it or you'll ruin your appetite.  Tip 3: Pork tenderloin - do it!  On this last trip, there were 7 of us and 5 out of the 7 diners ordered the pork tenderloin (because no one wanted to share theirs).

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