On Sunday, January 28th, I flew from Portland to Las Vegas for a trade-show for work. My supervisor was on board with me, and she got in trouble from the stewardess at the end of the flight for having a bag in the aisle. We went to the Las Vegas Hilton where the trade-show was held, and where we were staying. It might have been nice to stay at the Venetian or Wynn, but the convenience factor to just walk from our hotel through a hall and to the show was certainly a big plus.
The first night, our British distributor James, Tiffanye from our sales department, and myself went out. James had never been inside a casino before, so we decided to basically show him A LOT of them. We took the monorail down to MGM Grand, grabbed a drink there, and then walked through The Tropicana, Excalibur, New York New York, Monte Carlo, Bellagio, The Venetian and Wynn. I personally would have swapped out a few of those (The Tropicana, Monte Carlo and Excalibur for example) and show him Caesars, Aladdin and Paris instead..but I was not the tour guide. We gambled and had drinks at most of those spots, watched the Bellagio fountain peformance thing and had a good evening. I think I lost about $50-$60 at craps that night.
On Monday evening, I went out myself, expecting to meet up possibly with Tiffanye later, but she was out with one of our clients, so I went out myself and shopped at the Forum Shops and at Aladdin, and had an amazing dinner at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill
. As mentioned in my previous psots, some of our team went to Yorie's or Yolies or whatever the heck it was called..but screw that, I wanted GOOD FOOD. I had 2 mojitos, the tiger-shrimp and roasted corn tamale, the Fire Roasted Veal Chop and some amazing negro modelo and pumpkin ice cream sandwich thing. Needless to say, my meal cost $114 with tip. Worth every penny.
Tuesday was fairly uneventful and I flew back to Portland on Wednesday morning. I went straight to work and came home in the late afternoon, packed and went with my wife on Thursday to Los Angeles.
That night we went out with 2 of our friends, Sandrine and Alex, who are moving back to France. It was a good opportunity to start using my spiffy new Nikon D-80, so you can check out the weekend's photos here
(sorry..I didnt bring the cam to Vega$). We ate at Typhoon
at the Santa Monica airport, whose menu had obviously changed in the last 6 years when I last ate there, as now there was scorpions, crickets, white sea worms, ants and other assorted insects and sea life that is not normally found on the menu at places I enjoy.. So my crosshairs were locked on to anything insect related. The rest of the menu really was of no interest to me, although Typhoon does offer a wide variety of very creative Pan-Asian fare by a talented head chef from Thailand named Eid. She and owner Brian Vidor would have to be geniuses or, perhaps, just plain mad to offer up such taboo food. But I wussed out and I had a shrimp dish, if you must know.
Friday we went for a long walk, had lunch at La Pain Quotidien
on Ventura Blvd, and then my Dad and I played golf
. Neither of us played particularly well, but not horribly. However, one shot on the 8th hole was memorable, where I hit 3 trees in succession (pinball bumper style) in one shot. Later that evening, my wife and I had dinner at my grandmothers house.
Saturday, my wife and I visited her friend Jen, her husband and their baby. We went out to lunch at Kay & Daves
and I left my wife to have some time and chit-chat, while I zoomed home and again played golf with my father. That night we went out to Pasadena to meet up with my brother in law and his fiancee, along with my mother and father in law for dinner at Cafe Bizou. I personally thought the place and meal were average at best, but a few people seemed to enjoy their meals. However, more importantly, it was good to see everyone, and I think everyone had a good time. The 2 sides of our family dont get together all that often, so it was a fun evening. On the way back, we stopped at The Coffee bean
and I had my old favorite, an English Breakfast Latte.
Sunday was the day of the game, but first I went out with cousin Mike, his wife I vee and my new niece Li-Na Isabella. She was extremely well behaved for a 3 month old, and quite cute. You can see a few pics of her here
. We had breakfast/brunch at Tommy Ray's
, and both my cousin and I each had an eggs benedict served on crab cakes with roasted red pepper hollandaise sauce. Quite yummy. We then strolled around Ventura blvd and into a couple shops; Storyopolis
, which is an amazing bookstore for kids, Maxwell dog
, and a baby store. At Maxwell gdog, I bought Maximus yet another toy (that he will destroy in possibly under 14.6 seconds). This toy is a blue and white striped fish that says "Gefilte" on the side, and when you squeeze it, it says "Oy Vey!" and then has some bubble sounds. Positively hilarious!
We all went to my cousin Gina's for the Superbowl, had some incredible appetizers and enjoyed the game. On Monday morning, extra bright and early, we caught a flight back home to Portland, and my wife picked up Maximus and then went to work in the afternoon. I went to straight to work from the airport. We had fun, but it was good to be back in Portland.