Thanksgiving, Part One

Since I’m still waiting to get some additional photos from Michael and James, I will blog about Thanksgiving in two parts.

This year we had planned to stay home for Thanksgiving rather than stress about flying up to the Bay Area for the busy travel weekend. But Bill had a few free nights offered to him from a couple of hotels in Las Vegas. (courtesy of the slow economy) Since they were mid-week only, we decided to go during Thanksgiving week with Bill’s parents staying at Caesars, and Bill, Tommy and I staying at Encore, the second of the Wynn resorts. We arrived on Tuesday evening with a wired baby and very cold temperatures. Tommy probably spent over an hour running around our hotel room looking at himself in the mirrors and looking out our 62nd floor view. He LOVED it. We got show tickets for Bill’s parents to see Le Rêve at the Wynn on Tuesday night. They said it was an entertaining show; a fun mix of dancing, diving and synchronised swimming.

Because our flight was a little delayed, we finally got settled right around Tommy’s bedtime. Of course it took a while to get him to bed…

The first night gave us a pretty sunset:

As you can see, the Wynn is right next door:

How can you sleep when you have a floor-to-ceiling window like this?

After the sun had gone down:

The lighting in the foyer was pretty awesome for photos and Tommy really enjoying looking at himself in the mirrors on either side, but I just couldn’t get him to sit still long enough for any decent photos. All I have are these two.

Wednesday morning we hit up Whole Foods to stock up on some snacky food for Tommy and then spent the afternoon cruising through The Forum Shops at Caesars. Tommy enjoyed watching the fountains and the fish in the big aquarium at the far end of the mall and the three of us shared a cup of $9 strawberry and mango gelato. It was tasty, but definitely not worth nine bucks.

For dinner that night, Bill’s parents watched Tommy while Bill and I went out to B&B Ristorante at The Venetian. It was started by Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. I debated snapping photos of our food, but it was really dark in there and I didn’t want to use a flash. So you’ll just have to use your imagination. We shared an antipasti of 12 to 24 month aged prosciutto (the waitress said it’s made by the head chef on the premises) with what could only be described as savory, slightly cheesy, bite-sized doughnuts. This was probably the best prosciutto I have ever tasted, I barely needed to chew as it just melted in my mouth. For dinner I had goat cheese tortelloni with dried orange and wild fennel pollen. It was quite rich and I really like the blend of flavors and textures… the sweet and tart between the orange and the goat cheese and the smooth texture of the cheese compared to the bite of the fresh pasta. Bill had beef cheek ravioli with black truffles and crushed duck liver. He was generous enough to share a bite with me and it was delicious. Almost made me wish I’d ordered it, except that it was also quite rich and I wouldn’t have been able to finish the plate. And I would have felt bad leaving anything on my plate in a restaurant like that. For dessert we shared a dish of grilled Gilcrease pears with lemon ricotta cream. Gilcrease is the name of the orchard in north Las Vegas where they are grown. The dish proved to be nothing like we expected. First off, the dish was chilled and the pears were quite crunchy, layered in between thin pieces of shortbread with the lemon ricotta cream beneath, and the whole dish sprinkled with roasted hazelnuts. My first bite actually didn’t impress me. I thought it was too sweet. Then I added a hazelnut to my next bite and the dessert took on a whole new level. It was sweet and tart and nutty. I really liked it after that. We had a really nice time at B&B and we hope to be able to go back there to try something new.

On Thursday morning we slept in and played in the hotel room for a while.

I can’t remember what this was about…

And Bill enjoyed watching airplanes take off and land.

That afternoon we headed to the outlet mall that is south of the Strip. I was a little unsure that the shops would be open, but they were. I got some clothes for Tommy and me while he snoozed in the baby carrier. It never ceases to amaze me how babies seem to get heavier when they fall asleep.

Once we got back to the hotel room, Tommy still wasn’t finished exploring:

It actually took him a couple of minutes to squeeze into this spot so he could push the buttons that control lights and the curtains.

Right about the time I was working on getting Tommy to take an afternoon nap, Bill’s dad went to scope out the line for the buffet at the Wynn. We were a little worried that it was going to be long. Goodness, it was! Bill’s dad waited in that line for three hours! Bill joined him about two hours in to it and called Tommy and me when they were nearly to the front. I didn’t feel bad at all cutting in front of people when I got there. Better to cut than try to wait in line for three hours with a one year old. Thankfully, the food was delicious with a wonderful variety. From Alaskan King Crab and lamb chops to prime rib and roasted turkey.

Taken near the front of the line. We have no photos of the food because we were all very hungry and just happy to be there!

On Friday morning Tommy really wanted to sleep longer… but we had a flight to catch.

Is it cruel when we laugh at his bed head?

Before heading to the airport, we stopped by the Las Vegas sign to snap some photos. If you haven’t been to Las Vegas in a while, they now have astroturf and parking spots in the center median in front of the Las Vegas sign. It’s a whole lot safer than driving up onto the curb to snap photos… as many people used to do. Conveniently there was a guy there offering to snap photos with your camera, and was happy to accept a small tip in return.

We were happy to give him a couple of bucks if he knew how to compose a shot; and he did. Bill and I speculated on whether he actually worked for some company, perhaps the visitor and tourism authority, or if he was just there on his own.

Please hold on to the hand rail, for your safety. They didn’t say anything about chewing on Daddy’s badges…

We had a very smooth flight home and really enjoyed our time in Vegas. It was interesting being there with a toddler. I joked that it was cheaper for us since we can’t play at the tables with him. It was a little disappointing that it was so darned cold though. We had highs in the mid 40s most of the time, dropping into the mid 20s at night. It was just too cold to do any outside sightseeing. I would have liked to bring Tommy to see the Bellagio fountains and the volcano at The Mirage, but that will have to wait for another trip.

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About wobetxela

Artist, mom, traveler, hiker, babywearer (for as long as they'll let me) and hobbyist photographer.
This entry was posted in California, Home Life. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Thanksgiving, Part One

  1. stebow says:

    Great post Alex, Loved the pix of the boy.

  2. oldpartner says:

    Sounds like a nice Thanksgiving!  What wonderful pictures!

  3. jandsschultz says:

    It think Tommy kept busy enough exploring his indoor environment that the fountains, etc. can wait until a future trip.  Great pictures.  Glad you had a good time.  Thanks for sharing.

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