Vacation, Sans Kids

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September 3, 2012 by Melissa

Happy Labor Day everyone! Summer is pretty much in the history books at this point and I’m looking forward to cooler weather, apples and pears and pumpkins, walks through leaves. Fall is my favorite season and the season of Chris and I’s wedding anniversary. This month we’ll be celebrating 11 years of marriage and as a delayed 10 year celebration, we went to Vegas. I was huge pregnant with Alice on our 10th anniversary so we vowed to take a trip once the girls were old enough to leave with my parents.

Now, I’ve never had Las Vegas on my list of must visit places of the world. My husband has been there several times for work and for fun and it just never seemed like a place I’d like. I’m not a gambler or a night owl. I don’t drink a lot and the city seemed to be geared for all those activities. Chris had always wanted to show me the city and I finally said yes. Airfare was cheap this time of year, hotels had great deals, and he promised we’d eat well, be lazy, and act like adults: sleeping in, going to really nice restaurants, not having to bring more than a little purse with me when we left the hotel (we stayed at Mandalay Bay with the amazing pool and aquariums).

We had a great time. Everyone out there was there to have a good time and that was fodder for a great mood had by all. We ate some of the best food I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. We ate dinner the first night at Bouchon, the bistro opened by Thomas Keller. Chris ordered the foie gras and I fell in love with that little jar of heaven. We had wine and cocktails and mussels and all things I didn’t have to cut up for someone else or shovel into my mouth as quickly as possible before the girls lost their patience.

We then went to a Cirque du Soleil show. My parents got us tickets for our anniversary so we opted for the Ka show. Oh. My. God. it was amazing. We didn’t have any expectations about this as we’d never seen one of these shows before but we were very impressed. It didn’t hurt that we sat in the 10th row and sometimes had acrobats over our heads. Fantastic live theater-I’d highly recommend it to anyone.

The next day we had completely open so we wandered the strip, stopping in bars here and there to have a drink and talk, talk, talk. The Strip really is an amazing thing to see. The chandelier at the Cosmopolitan, the painted ceilings, architecture and art in the Venetian, the inside of the pyramid at the Luxor, the fountains at the Bellagio, on and on.

Our second night we ate at Alize-a French restaurant at the top of the Palms casino. We decided ahead of getting to Vegas that rather than spend money on gambling, we’d spend it on eating well and this was our big ticket meal. We’ve never spend this kind of money on a meal and didn’t know if we’d find it worthwhile. It was worth EVERY DAMN PENNY. We got the chef’s tasting menu of seven courses and it was divine. Not only was the meal impressive but we got to watch the sunset over the mountains and watch the lights come on in the strip. It was beautiful. We were there for a glorious three hours. The crab salad, the heirloom tomatoes, the pea puree, the duck, the cheese, the souffle…it was all perfect.

The next morning we got to lounge a bit before heading to the airport. Two days in that city was about perfect. I was refreshed and rested and satiated. We left the girls with my parents and I’m so lucky that I can say I never once worried about the girls or my parents. I knew a good time was being had by all. They were spending some great time one on one without us there. It was probably a refreshing vacation for the girls as well.

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So if you’re in need of an oasis for grown ups that isn’t expensive, give Las Vegas a try. I never thought I’d like it as much as I did.

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