Hello! After my long nap – ok, all night, I was slowly waking up to a beautiful Las Vegas morning. Coffee is the one and only thing missing in my cozy room.
Just so happens there is a diner downstairs called the Coffee Shop. It’s reminiscent of an old fashion neighborhood 24 hour diner. Think Denny’s or a Village Inn and go back a decade or two. The lady’s uniform consists of a brown dress, apron and comfy walking shoes. She serves up coffee in carafes and plates full of eggs and pancakes and bacon and, I could go on and on but I think you get the picture.
I ordered coffee and an English muffin. I can see your eyebrow raise. The matronly waitress had the same look that said “is that all?” Hey, I’m petite and not a huge eater. I was in search of coffee and a place to slowly wake to the city before I headed outside for a walk down the strip and this, in my very own good opinion, was perfect.
The Venetian is across the street from Treasure Island. It houses my favorite bakery, Bouchon. With an order of raspberry beignets and a small cup of coffee yo go, I began the familiar trek towards Bellagio.
Early mornings are absolutely the best time to take in some vitamin D and the scenery without a crush of people.The last few trips I have been blessed with beautiful weather and today was no exception.
Here’s a 15 second zen moment – don’t forget to breathe….
Once upon a time ago, like last year, there was a restaurant called Serendipity that sat out front of Caesars. I’ve had several nice brunches there over the years. Today it’s Stripside Cafe & Bar. Whatever the name, there is a great patio area with tables that is a great stop on the way to Bellagio. Take a seat and enjoy some people watching.
But before you do say a prayer at the Brahma Shrine.
I sat down to enjoy my raspberry beignets and breathe in the sunshine. Be prepared to be tickled watching the little birds prance about hunting for treats. Enjoy the comedy.
I love walking through the high end shops on your way into the Bellagio casino. I have a dream that someday I will be able to go shopping here. I’d stop at Fendi for a bag. Then into Tiffany’s for something shiny. And for fun I’d buy a beautiful Chanel jacket and pair it with a silk Hermes scarf. It’s a lovely dream.
But since I’m on a budget I window shop on my way to see my most favorite place in Vegas – The Bellagio’s Conservatory. It’s a stunning display of flowers and art. The theme on display in vibrant color is the Fire Rooster for the Chinese New Year. I wrote a post on this year’s New Year and just let’s say, “bring it on!”
Tip: It is FREE!
Valley of Fire State Park
Tip: Get Off The Strip
When we were in New York a few weeks ago I mentioned that we needed to get off the beaten path and do something we had never done before. And we did.
About an hours drive out of Las Vegas sits 40,000 acres of brilliant red sandstone outcrops waiting to be explored – The Valley of Fire. Be prepared to be amazed at nature’s majestic colors. The park offers visitors hiking trails, picnic areas and even camping opportunities. Go early in the day if you can to catch the sun. By the time we got there it was already nearing sunset and the hills were falling into shadows. But where the sun hit the sandstone it turned into the color of soft sherbet – a feast for the eyes and rest for the soul.
The beauty of being in the natural world was striking after being in the chaos of the city. It reminded me that we are so small compared to the larger world. The vast ocean of painted rock and desert resonated deep in my soul. I breathed it in and let the stress melt away. It was almost better than the massage from the day before.
Tip: Day use entrance fee: $10.00 per vehicle. Camping: $20.00 per night + $10.00 for sites with utility hook ups.
Lawry’s Prime Rib Dinner
After a full day we dressed for dinner and headed to Lawry’s, a few minutes off the strip that specializes in prime rib. According to the restaurant, doggie bags and valet service originated with Lawry’s…who knew! With a flash of silver carts and spinning salad bowls, a delicious meal appeared and was un-apologetically devoured.
To be perfectly fair, this is not a budget friendly restaurant. In life and in Vegas you sometimes have to splurge a little. This was worth it and A was very happy and that’s all that counts!
Tip: FREE Line Dancing Lessons @7pm
Who loves to country dance?
We missed the free line dancing lessons. Time gets away and it’s hard to fit everything in that we want to do. We got there for the just in time for the live band so we paid the $10 cover charge. No surprise, the cover was worth it.
The band was amazing. Unfortunately I never did find out the name of the band but their performance was exactly what you come to expect from most Las Vegas entertainers – supremely talented. The lead performer was a petite young woman with a giant voice that filled the huge hall. They seamlessly played a mix of country, tossed in some good old rock and even some pop to keep everyone happy.
Drinks flowed, delivered by beautiful cowgirls dressed in chaps. I’m sure they had every man in that place ordering non stop just to see the pretty cowgirls.
I have to share the one mischievous-late-night-saloon-thingy that A taught me. I’m a very slow learner so we started it at dinner and took half the night before I could repeat the following phrase with out stuttering or just fall out laughing:
Dirty rotten, lying, no good, son of a bitching bastard!
My mother would be so proud…LoL!
If you like good music and the opportunity to dance the night away then Gilley’s Saloon is the place to be.