January 20, 2009

Viva Las Vegas

Our kids had a four day holiday this past weekend so Jeni and I decided to make the best of it by taking a last minute, whirlwind vacation to Las Vegas. We had a great time shopping, eating and seeing a few shows. Here is our top 10 list of memories:

1. Eating at Cheesecake Factory - nothing beats their Miso Salmon. Nothing. In fact, I not only finished mine but helped Maddy finish hers. See my previous post about this amazing dish.

2. Eating at Grand Lux Cafe - one of our favorites from our days in Houston. This was the original at the Venetian. Jeni gets the Herb Roasted Chicken and I get the Santa Barbara chicken sandwich every time.

3. Seeing Vegas' version of "Phantom of the Opera" - Jeni, who has seen the Broadway version several times, prefers this version as the theater was custom made just for this show. From the falling chandelier to the incredible special effects, this was a memory for sure.

4. M&M factory - Every trip to Vegas includes a quick stop here to buy some M&M's from their colorful wall display as well as seeing the 3-D movie.

5. Being called up on stage as part of Nathan Burton's magic show - Joey loves magic so I took him to this family friendly 1 hour show and ended up as part of it. Very embarrasing, I had to wear a clown mask, blow up balloons and then pop them with my rear. At least I got a free DVD out of it.

6. Shopping at the Miracle Mile, Home decor and outlet stores - Jeni and Maddy's favorite, not neccesarily Joey and mine but we were good sports (I hope).

7. Dinner at Lombardi's - Great Italian restaurant in the Miracle Mile shopping center. I tasted Truffles for the first time as part of my Risotto with Parmesan and Truffles dish. Wow!

8. Joey's new floating card trick - Joey couldn't resist this one and mastered it pretty quickly.

9. Ice cream at Ben & Jerry's - need I say more? I have no idea where Joey gets these faces.

10. Backwards dinner - One night we sat down to eat at a restaurant and realized that the menu wasn't very appealing. The waitress had already brought bread and drinks, so...quick solution. We ordered dessert and then moved on to another restaurant for dinner and then an appetizer. I'd like to continue that tradition, at least the "dessert first" portion.