Saturday, April 30, 2011

What I Did on Vacation

This should probably be two posts, but I'll try to make it as short as possible with lots of pictures. My hubby and I just got back from our first vacation without kids! We have a four year old so that should tell you how much we were looking forward to this! We were originally going to go to Paris, but we only had 6 days and we didn't think that was enough time with the time change. Instead we went to Las Vegas and Portland. We've been to Vegas before (lots of times for me) and we always have fun, but neither of us had been to Portland so that's how it made it on the list.  We had a great time with lots of shopping, lots of eating, and lots of walking to off-set the eating!

On the plane headed to Vegas.  We had to get up at 330 am to catch our 520am flight!  Excuse our dark circles!

Hotel lobby of Bellagio!  Aren't the umbrellas cool?

Bellagio knows how to do flowers!

Ceiling of Bellagio

Waiting to checking in and dreaming of a drink!

View from our hotel room!

Hotel room

The bathtub was so deep!  It was awesome!

A shower too!

After checking in, we went to eat lunch at Mesa Grill at Ceasars' Palace.  I had a 16 spice chicken salad and Chad had the BEST pork loin sandwich!  Seriously, it was great.  We also shared some goat cheese queso that was to die for!

Cool art at Mesa Grill

Our margaritas at Mesa.  When these first arrived my hubby thought they were small, but both of us were schnockered after just one!  They load those bad boys up with good stuff!

On our way out to eat a steak dinner and see "O"

We had dinner at Prime, a steak house in Bellagio.  These were our desserts. :) We each had a steak, creamed spinach, and some crispy potatoes (with bacon and cheese!).  Then, I got a honey creme brulee and Chad got chocolate cake.  On first glace there was nothing special about the cake, but when he cut into it, it oozed out chocolate sauce and chocolate POP ROCKS!  No kidding!  It was neat!  While this dinner was wonderful and the service was top notch, we both thought it way overpriced--think twice the price of Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. 

Off to see "O"!  We really liked the show, but I think I preferred Mystere (another Cirque show)

After super fab croissants and coffee at Bellagio--really, you have to get a croissant at the Bellagio, they are the best I've ever had and I've been to France--we went to the spa for some relaxation.  I had a foot and hand massage and Chad got a regular massage.  The spa was great and the facilities are some of the best I've ever seen!  Next we went shopping a bit and took this pic outside Caesar's big mall.  The weather was perfect!  Sunny, but not too hot!

Then we went to BLT Burger at the Mirage where they have these delicious spiked milkshakes!  Mine had Bailey's and Kahlua and Chad's had Maker's Mark.  Super tasty!

They also had one of my favorite things, fried pickles!  They were good, but I honestly prefer the ones at Hooters.  The burgers here were fantastic!  I got a turkey burger and my hubby got a regular old bacon cheese burger.  He claims it was the best burger he's ever had because it was so juicy.  Mine was great too--lots of herbs in the burger.  Still, the star at this place for me was that milkshake!

My new DS bag in Vegas!  That bag sure came in handy!

Before our reservations at Bartolotta in the Wynn, we browsed some of the shops in the Wynn.  I saw this teal mirror and fell in love, but it was over $2K so I had no trouble leaving it in the store!

We ran into some trouble at Bartolotta.  Our server was terrible and completely ignored us!  The appetizer (bacon wrapped rabbit) and pasta (mushroom ravioli) courses were wonderful, but neither of us really loved our main courses.  However, our waiter would never know this since he didn't check on us at all.  When I went to the manager to complain, he insisted on giving us dessert.  I refused to go back and sit in that waiter's section, so he told us to sit at the bar.  He then proceeds to send out SEVEN desserts and two glasses of wine!  HOLY FREAKING COW!  We were in dessert heaven.  I can't even begin to describe how fantastic these were!  This place wins the customer service award for our trip!

View from our room at night.

We could see the fountains from our room!!!!

Next, we went to rainy, cold Portland. :)  This is our hotel.
We went to Toro Bravo our first night.  I think this was the best meal I have ever had in my entire life!  No joke.  Best food!  It's a Spanish tapas place.  I know that's not everyone's thing, but seriously, I'm in love with restaurant!

Gotta love the blurry self portrait!

This is charred bread with cheese and greens.  Above that is a pulled pork (kind like barbecue) with toasts.  We also had their steak, drunken pork, and ox tail croquettes.  The charred bread was my fav! 

The next day we went to Pine State Biscuits, sorry, no pic!  I had super yummy biscuits and gravy and Chad had a biscuit with chicken, bacon, apple butter and some other yummy goodies.  We had to walk all that off so we went window shopping and stumbled upon this place.  They sell cupcakes, invitation/party items, and lots of other cool things!

Isn't this display just like eye candy?


They had cool "make-you-own-banner" cards!

And a purple fridge!

And a cool bird pillow I'm totally copying!

A fun displays!

I got these post cards from that store.  Chad thinks they're creepy, but I dig 'em!

Yep, another self portrait!
Next up?  Fabric shopping!  I went to Cool Cottons first.  They had all these great shot cottons.  I wish they would have had some pre-made bundles! 

Cool Cottons blue room.

Cool Cottons--what you see when you walk in the front door!

Next was lunch at Pok Pok.

I always forget to take pics until after we're done!  This were yummy pork skewers with an Indian type sauce.

These were the spiciest, most delicious wings!

Across the street from Pok Pok are all these great food carts (there are about 10 of them!).  We decided to try some pie from the pie spot.

On the left is the Buttered Pecan and on the right is the Hazelnut Chocolate Nutella pie.  YUM!  The crusts were as good as the fillings!

Chad wasn't feeling well after that evening, so I went to Fabric Depot!  Bless Portland's public transportation!  It dropped me off a short walk from here.  Can you believe this place?!?!?

Yep, there's more!

And more!  That night we ordered room service and took it easy.  Luckily, our hotel had great food at normal prices so this wasn't a hardship. 

The next morning was beautiful!  I decided to take pictures while we drove to breakfast.

We went to Arleta Library Cafe for breakfast. 

We both ordered the biscuits and gravy--sweet potato biscuits with rosemary sausage gravy and sliced pork loin on top! 

However, they were in the process of making more biscuits and didn't have enough for both orders, so Chad got the semolina pancakes with bacon and fresh fruit.  We shared everything and it was all fab!

As an apology for the lack of biscuits, they gave us some coffee cake!  This place excels at baked goods.  Don't go there if you're on the Atkins diet!  The biscuits, the coffee cake and the macaroon we ate late were unreal! The macaroon was dipped in chocolate and rolled in pistachios!   

The community center across the street from Arleta.  How beautiful!

The park across the street from Arleta.  It's not so much that there are lots of trees in Oregon--I've been places with lots of trees, it's the sheer size and beauty of their trees that sets them apart!

Next we drove out of the city to do a little wine tasting!

Stunning views!


After wine sampling, we went shopping in the Pearl District, but Chad had to stop for a brewery tasting.

I had to stop for a new hat and fabric flower. :)

Again, sorry for the after pictures!  There used to be a hazelnut covered cheeseball here!  We went to Farm Cafe for yet another amazing meal in Oregon!  Forget New York people!  Oregon is the place to go if you love food!

Potato, leek, fennel soup. 

Chad's trout--he said it was really good, but since I don't eat seafood I'll have to take his word on that.

Braised greens ravioli topped with a white wine, butter, and shallot sauce.  Un-freaking-real.  Let's not forget the fresh herb bread either!

We also stopped by Voodoo donuts to pick up some goodies for the next morning.

Bacon maple, chocolate dipped chocolate donut with Cocoa Puffs, and a Smores donut.  There were two others, but they mysteriously disappeared!

It was a good thing I brought that DS Cosmo bag because it was chop full of fabric when we left!

My loot!  On top is my haul from Fabric Depot.  They were having a sale with 20% off everything!  The four prints in the top left were an additional 50% off because they were "remnants"  I don't really think 1 and 2 yard cuts are remnants, but I wasn't doing to argue!  The bottom 6 prints were from Cool Cottons.  I paid almost the exact same for these two purchases and got over twice as much at Fabric Depot!

Hope I haven't bored you!  I did try and condense!  If anyone wants any more info/opinions on the places were went/things we ate, just email!

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