The Venetian in Las Vegas
Western US Travel Diary

Day 4: Exploring the Las Vegas Strip

After waking up really early in the past few days, we allowed ourselves to sleep in a bit today. Exploring the Las Vegas Strip would be our main priority.

We finally got ready and headed down for breakfast around 10:30 am. We were going to go to the regular café but realized it was just as much if not more than the buffet. So we made our way over to the buffet so we could eat as much as we wanted and whatever we wanted.

The Bellagio buffet was delicious! They had a ton of pastries and fresh fruit (my favorite) and Eric’s omelette was enormous, complete with crab meat. We hung around for about an hour to get our money’s worth. I may or may not have snuck a couple of small pastries in my bag to eat the next morning (whoops).

After finishing breakfast, we headed out to explore the Las Vegas Strip. The last time I was there I was 15, so this was a whole new experience. We walked to all the nearby hotels (Mirage, Venetian, Caeser’s). Then we met up with the partner from Eric’s company, Scott, who was there for the same conference. We walked a bit further down, stopped in The Flamingo (super old, smelled like a 50-year-old ashtray), then ultimately went to Aria where we caught the tram back to the Bellagio. Aria was beautiful and enormous!

When we got back to the Bellagio, Eric and Scott played blackjack while I sipped on a few bloody Mary’s and observed. I’m pretty sure no one won anything this time, but the dealer was this nice little old man who had been dealing almost his whole life. He said he loved it and never wanted to stop!

After they gambled for about an hour, we decided to find a bar to sit at and chill until it was time to get ready for dinner. We went over to the sports betting area where they had these big comfy leather chairs. While we were sitting there, this couple was playing a computerized game (I think it was some kind of card matching game). Over and over again they were winning and the attendants kept having to come over to get them to sign forms. I think they won over $7,000. Eric wanted to ask them what they were doing, but they did not seem like they would have appreciated being interrupted so he refrained. We wanted to know their secrets!

I went up to get ready for dinner around 5pm. We left the Bellagio to go over to Caeser’s Palace around 6:30pm to gamble a bit before dinner. Eric actually won a little this time!

Scott made reservations for the 3 of us for Bobby Flay’s restaurant, Mesa Grill. Eric was worried I wouldn’t eat anything, but it was Bobby Flay; anything I got would be good.

One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is while we are here there’s a HUGE rodeo in town; cowboys EVERYWHERE. How do I know they are cowboys? Let’s just say I haven’t seen that many cowboy hats and boots ever in my life. Every time we turned a corner, didn’t matter what casino we were in, there were just gaggles of cowboys.

I mentioned this now because the food that sounded the best to me at Mesa Grill was the prix fixe menu made special for the rodeo. Southwest crab cake, followed by shrimp and grits, with a pecan pie tart for dessert. Yeehaw! Eric got lamb and Scott was supposed to get veal, but we think he got lamb by accident. Also, Scott ordered a bottle of wine to go with dinner which was delicious.

My favorite part of dinner was obviously when dessert came out. I did the prix fixe, so dessert came with my dinner. Our waitress told me I could switch out the pecan pie for whatever I wanted so I got the blueberry cheesecake instead. Scott said he really wanted the banana cream pie so he ordered that too.

Five minutes later, we were brought cheesecake, banana cream pie, AND a pistachio butter cake with ice cream. It turns out not only did we get our desserts, we received the dessert for the table next to us as well! Now that’s my kind of Vegas luck! It was all incredible, but the cheesecake was the best in my opinion. It had a shortbread cookie crust… I mean, COME ON!! Mmm… bring on the visual feast:


We finished dinner around 10:00 pm and headed back to the Bellagio. I had to work at 5:30 am and the conference started early the next day so we gambled a little bit more then headed to bed around 11:30 pm.


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Continue reading my Western US Diary: Day 5: Working from Las Vegas and Dining at Nobu

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