Adventures in Vegas!

Hello from Paris! Err… I mean, Vegas!



Don’t let the palm trees fool you — it’s COLD here!


Meghann, new blogger friend Stephanie, and I had fun exploring Vegas yesterday! Since, you know, walking around for 8 hours straight (after having already gone out dancing the night before) is a really good idea before running a half marathon.


Yesterday’s highlights included checking out the beautiful Christmas displays in the Bellagio hotel:


How cute are these penguins?!


These polar bears are made entirely out of flowers!


I was also seriously impressed with this display:


Which was made out of real trees, flowers, branches, etc. SO creative! It smelled great, too. :)


For lunch, we walked over to Caesar’s Palace to hit up Mesa Grill (one of Bobby Flay’s restaurants).



Caesar says “holla”



The restaurant was packed — we had to wait about 30 minutes for a table. Luckily we were able to get a bread basket to tide us over while we waited. Starvation was imminent. I didn’t get a photo, but they had seriously THE best cornbread. Spicy and delicious!


When we were finally seated, I ordered the Ancho Chile Honey Glazed Salmon with Spicy Black Bean Sauce and Roasted Jalapeno Crema.


It was AMAZING — loved the honey glaze on the salmon and the black bean puree. It was all so flavorful! There was some sautéed spinach buried under there, too. :)

After lunch, we continued on our mission to destroy our feet/legs before race day and walked over to the Ghirardelli shop for a big running blogger meet up! There’s a TON of people in town for the race this weekend.

chocolate meet up

Photo courtesy of Janae’s Twitter feed

It was fun meeting some new friends! Meghann and I took advantage of the opportunity to hand out some Attune Foods coupons to everyone, too. :)


Following the meet up, more walking ensued — it was off to the official Vegas Rock n Roll race expo!


This happened:


And this hilarious video happened, too. I need to work on my slow motion running skills, apparently — oh and yes, I always run in peacoats, jeans, and boots. Doesn’t everyone?


The official race shirts are cute, too! I like the guitar. :)


By 5 p.m., Meghann and I were feeling like this:


But apparently Vegas doesn’t believe in benches (unless they are in front of some sort of gambling device), so we walked back out into the Venetian shopping area and basically collapsed on the floor in the middle of a hallway. Win.


After 30 minutes of really entertaining people watching and relaxing, we decided to be grandmas and go to dinner at 6 p.m. sharp. Which technically was 9 p.m. for us east coasters, anyway, so whatever.

I was in LOVE with the Venetian hotel. How cool is this place?!



Above with Janae and Meghann

There’s even art on the ceilings, just like in Italy. :)


That sky below is fake — it’s the ceiling! Doesn’t it look real?


What do you guys think? Fake Venice here in Vegas:



Vs. real Venice (picture from my trip there last winter):



We had dinner at a place called Otto in fake Piazza San Marco!


We both loved this place — great food and fun ambiance, too!


We sat “outside” and they even dimmed the ceiling just like it was dusk.


So cool.

Meghann and I decided to share a bunch of stuff — I love sharing since it means you get to taste more of the menu!

We started with a salad — escarole, pear, and walnut:


Plus some roasted beets in balsamic:


And a pizza! This was the pancetta and goat cheese pizza with tomato and caramelized onions. REALLY good.


I ordered some tea after our meal — a peach green tea that I thought was just a normal bagged tea. Then… this arrived:


A wine glass with hot water and a flower sitting in it!! SO cool! I was clearly unnecessarily excited.


I took out the flower after about 5 minutes of steeping and it tasted just like normal green tea! So unique and fun. I liked having tea in a wine glass, too. :)


After dinner, Meghann and I wandered around a bit more killing time and making our way over to Planet Hollywood.



We figured that while in Vegas, you should go see a risqué show, so earlier in the day we bought tickets to see Peepshow, which is starring Holly Madison (Hugh Hefner’s former girlfriend featured on the TV show “Girls Next Door”).


It was an AWESOME show — there were some seriously impressive dance skills and acrobatics! There was a girl up on a swing blindfolded for awhile doing all sorts of gymnastics moves and a guy who did this crazy cool performance climbing up and down a rope (he was even hands free flipping down it for one heart attack inducing moment) — you have got to be SO strong to do that sort of thing! I was sufficiently impressed.

Time to get organized and head off to brunch! The half marathon starts at 5:30 tonight — so weird to not have gotten up early and went off to run this morning! I’m hoping that my stomach holds up okay — trying to stick to breakfast type foods until the race just in case. :) We’ll see! Given how tired my legs feel right now (and how crappy my throat/lungs feel from all the stupid secondhand smoke everywhere here), this likely will not be a fast race — but it should be a REALLY fun one, and that’s our main goal.

Vegas half marathon or bust!! Stay tuned for a race recap!


  1. 1

    Ahahahha omg. That video is quite possibly the funniest thing I’ve seen all day.

  2. 2

    I’ve been to Otto in NYC a couple of times and had what I think is the exact same pizza as that last time! Love that place. Good luck tonight!

  3. 3

    I can’wait for the recap :)!

  4. 4

    This makes me want to go to Vegas at Christmas time. The Bellagio just looks simply amazing! Good luck tonight! :)

  5. 5
    Annette @with a side of brownies says

    Great pictures, I was married in Vegas almost 12 years ago and the Venetion had a bunch of people picketing out front so we didn’t get to see it. Good luck on your race tonight!

  6. 6

    Sounds like we had a similar day in Vegas, lunch at Mesa Grill, checking out the Expo and LOTS of walking. Glad that you enjoyed the show! I think that everyone I met this weekend who is in town for the race feels the same – Vegas is not the best place to PR. It is so different to be running this race at night. Hope you enjoy it!

  7. 8

    Good luck tonight! You pegged my major issue with Vegas…smoke EVERYWHERE! It’s amazing how a room can be both over oxygenated AND reek of smoke. It’s actually the main reason I avoid Vegas and casinos (because it feels like to do anything in Vegas you have to trapse through a casino first). Hope the secondhand smoke doesn’t hamper you too much!

  8. 10

    I went to dinner there when i was in Vegas! have fun and good luck in the race!

  9. 11

    What an awesome live photo!

  10. 12

    Good luck tonight!! You guys are going to do awesome!!!

    You and Meghann look adorable in the pics. Looks like a great time so far! :)

  11. 13

    looks like your having an awesome time! I LOVE mesa grill! I’ve been to the one in the bahamas, so good! Good luck with the half!

  12. 14

    Awesome. Good luck tonight

  13. 15

    Love the vid. Ahmazing! Haha :)

  14. 16

    What a FUN time! I love Vegas. The Bellagio is one of my favorites to admire all the decor. They’re always changing it up and displaying unique decorations! And the Otto place you went for dinner – I so badly wanted to go there last time my husband and I were there, but we just weren’t able to squeeze it in. I thought it looked so neat and I loved the atmosphere. Glad you enjoyed it! Good luck with the race this evening! :)

  15. 17

    Yay for you! Can’t wait to read the recap and no worries on your time – just finishing is awesome!

  16. 18

    As I’m typing this you are running, and I’m watching the live feed. It looks fun, and I hope it was a great experience for you. The venetian looks BEAUTIFUL! I haven’t been to Vegas in years, and hardly remember it. Thanks for sharing the pictures!

  17. 19

    Hey Anne! My name is Ro. I’m new to your site. Glad you’re having fun in Vegas. I sure did two years ago. Enjoy your run!

  18. 20

    You got beautiful pictures. I am shamelessly stealing but will give you credit. I am happy you got beets!!! Meanwhile we went to Otto last night on your recommendation. Sooo good. You guys could teach me a thing or two about Vegas. Debating peep show

  19. 21

    The tree with the glass art on the ceiling in the Bellagio? Oh my gosh. So beautiful.
    I hope you had a fantastic time.

  20. 22

    Okay, that video of you two absolutely made my day. I LOVED meeting you gorgeous girl and wish we could have hung out more. That pizza made me drool a little bit. I can’t wait to hear about your race and everything else!

  21. 24

    What an awesome recap! And as far as decorations go, it’d be difficult to find a place better than Vegas for holiday cheer!

  22. 25
    kristen @ livinlifeinlouie says

    I have never been to vegas but it looks like so much fun there. Iw ould love to go to the Venetian hotel

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