Return to Sin City

Hello 2007.

Time to make resolutions…and later bang my head against a wall for not keeping them. Still, I think I’m making some reasonable promises to myself.

1. Get back to the gym – ASAP: I ate too much on my vacation and I expected that. When I’m in Cali and Vegas — I don’t want to miss out on flavors that I can’t get back in Vegas. But then I start missing my tummy-full cues and well, then my weight gets screwed. I came back with a nasty cold, so next week, I’ll be back on the treadmill.

2. Assume the positive: In my brain, I know people are not out to get me and screw me over. But I’m paranoid and I tend to assume I’m annoying to people…thus…they wouldn’t mind if I fell on my face. So for this year, I’m assuming people are a little more alturstic than I give them credit for.

3. Finish some short stories: I started several in 2005 and I haven’t touched them in a while.

4. Get organized: Because I need some order in my life.

So Happy 2007. Wish me luck!
On to my fab vacation on the West Coast.

We spent the last few days of our vacation in Las Vegas. We had some amazing food – plus all those yummy Filipino dishes at Ate’ Gigi’s house. I had a Lady Luck by my side at the penny slots. We walked through the Vegas intepretation of Paris, Italy and other cosmopolitan locales.

Good times.



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This is the view from our Augustus Tower suite in Caesar’s Palace. My dad the reservations for us. He said the hotel clerk almost booked us into an older tower but he told her his daughter was visiting from Kansas. Apparently that swung in our favor and he scored this beautiful room with a view.

He also gave us tickets to see Jerry Seinfeld doing stand-up at Caesar’s. We’re so grateful to my dad and his never-ending generosity. I told Mark as soon as I hit the jackpot – our parents will get a major slice of the booty. Maybe I’ll get really lucky on our next trip.



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Ever since I read about this amazing wine tower in some travel magazine, I’ve always wanted to check out Aureole at Mandalay Bay. On our last night in Vegas, we did drinks at the wine bar underneath the tower. According to the web site, the tower is kept at 55-degrees F and 70% humidity. We watched the wine angels, clad in black, hook up to harnesses. The flew-up the tower and grabbed bottles for their guests. The web site said the tower’s designer created this process based on the Mission Impossible Scene. In the first Vegas episode for Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, I watched Ted Allen moonlighting as a wine angel.

The bartender told us they mostly keep cheap red wine in the tower. He pointed out that it wouldn’t be good business to risk keeping expensive bottles up there and having a wine angel drop one of them.

A food critic at the bar recomended several restuarants to check out on our next visit to Sin City: Keller’s Fleur de Lys (yes, the same dude who has Fleur de Lys in SF) and 808 at Caesar’s. I was also intrigued by his description of the Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay – where you can top off your burger with foie gras and/or lobster. This dude basically inspired us to turn every Vegas trip into an oppertunity to indulge in at least one cutting-edge, gourmet meal. This town is a mecca for fine dining – with all the hot chefs in the country staking a claim at one decadent casino after another.



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Mark shot this picture and I thought about submitting it to the Threadless T-Shirt gallery. I fell in love with the designs after reading about them on Wil Wheaton’s blog. This design is called “Future: Under Construction.” I thought Aureole’s four-story wine tower looked very much like something out of a swanky vision of the future.

On the plane back to Kansas City, I read a magazine article on the whole Threadless craze. Major props to the founders of Threadless – they created a community for creative souls and managed to make money of it. They didn’t go to business school nor did they have any intentions of doing the t-shirt thing full time…but they’re a dot-com success and hopefully it lasts. Check out more cool T-shirts at Threadless.com



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After the wine…we ran into Ate Gigi and her nursing friends. They were on their way to see the Black Eyed Peas in concert. Crazy! This picture was snapped after Ate’s “one” Mai Tai. I suspect she may have had another cocktail before the end of the evening. It’s Vegas afterall.



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Ate Gigi picked out this sweet leather bomber jacket for Freddy. It has Goofy’s mug on the back. Freddy hated putting it on. The old man even growled at her as she put one cute furry leg after another into the jacket. Freddy’s 12 year’s old and he has a good life.



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What a stud! I told Ate she should dress him up in the jacket when she takes him to the dog park. He’s such a tiny dog and the jacket would give him more street cred. Word.



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Inspired by Freddy’s sweet wardobe, we headed to Lush Puppy inside Mandalay Bay and shopped for a Xmas present for Daisy. A doting pet owner could easily spend a thousand dollars on her four-legged baby in this store. Cute doggie jackets went between $150 to $300. A little bling in the collar rings up to another $200. If I had a boy puppy, I would be tempted to snap up the “Bitches love me” t-shirt. ($27) So cute! Since I work in the news business, I headed for the clearance area.



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I found this “California Girl” t-shirt on sale. It has a pretty pink flower on the back. We argued about sizes…Mark like to think of Daisy as his little girl. But as a woman, I know she’s getting a little chunky, 25 pounds. Mark’s worried I’ll give her a complex about her weight, but I just want her to look her best. Just like how my parents obsess over my weight and figure. It’s done in a loving way.

Daisy hated the t-shirt in the beginning. She tried to chew her way out of it. After modeling for the camera in her new fashion, she gave up on getting out of the shirt. She looks so damn cute!