An Evening In Italy

I am obsessed.

IMG_4502

Italy has long been on my list of places to travel to someday. Everything about just strikes me as beyond gorgeous; so until I get my opportunity to travel there for real, I will use yesterday’s travels to hold me over for now. 😉

IMG_4504

IMG_4503

IMG_4505

Last night, Jay and I decided to spend part of our evening visiting the Venetian hotel and, boy can I tell you how glad I am that we went? I’m pretty sure I spent most of the time walking hobbling around, either with my jaw on the floor in amazement, or continuously announcing “Oh my gosh it’s beautiful.

Views from Outside

IMG_4521

IMG_4522

Views from Inside

IMG_4506

IMG_4507

After about 15 minutes of touring the hotel, we actually ended up running right into our friends Eileen and Dan. Of all the places in Vegas we could both be, we see them here. Talk about a small world! So we decided to join them for dinner at Canaletto.

IMG_4508

IMG_4509

I loved everything about the atmosphere of Canaletto. The inside dining room, the “outdoor” patio area, and food exhibition area were all beautiful.

IMG_4510

IMG_4512

IMG_4511

The table was given some fresh bread to start. It was more than welcome at this point, since I was huuuungry! I had about two pieces.

IMG_4513

I ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio to have with dinner. It wasn’t the best glass of wine that I’ve ever had, but it was alright.

IMG_4514

For my entree, I ordered the Cannelloni Di Pollo: Large pasta tubes filled with rotisserie chicken, mushrooms, organic spinach, sundried tomatoes and
smoked mozzarella; bechamel and tomato sauces.

IMG_4516

I was quite surprised when the waitress set my dish down in front of me; I guess I was assuming that the “large pasta tubes” were large ziti’s? I wasn’t expecting a manicotti-like pasta. I was a little disappointed with my entree; I couldn’t really taste the sundried tomatoes, I couldn’t find any spinach, and the chicken didn’t have too much flavor. Bummer. 😳 Even still, it was a great time with even greater company.

IMG_4517

IMG_4519

IMG_4518

Since the night was still young after dinner, we decided to stroll hobble around and do a little more sight-seeing.

IMG_4523

 IMG_4534

IMG_4526

IMG_4524

IMG_4528

IMG_4525

Seeing as though we were right in front of Caesars Palace, I had no choice but to stop by this place…

IMG_4527 

…and pay $10.00(!!!) for the famous Frozen Hot Chocolate.

 IMG_4530 IMG_4531

Honest opinion? I think I could probably make this at home, but even better. It was good, just nothing too exciting. But hey, when in Rome! 😉

IMG_4532

Or in our case, Paris. 😉

IMG_4535 

IMG_4536

And this is when my foot finally said it had enough, and we hauled a cab back on down to the hotel.

I can’t believe how much there is to see and do in Vegas! It’s definitely been one heck of a week, but I’m glad to be heading back home. I need sleep. Desperately.

Question of the Day:

Do you ever feel like you need to “recover” after a vacation, or do you return feeling relaxed and well-rested?

Advertisements

Sushi To Swoon For

Last night, after a long day of fun in the sun, our crew got together to have a few drinks at Octane, which is one of the bars located right in our hotel.

IMG_4406

I was totally diggin’ the atmosphere and cool vibe of Octane. Even though it was small and wide open, it still felt pretty cozy.

IMG_4407 

IMG_4408

While we were there, I ordered a cherry vodka & diet. I was pretty hungry at this point though, so I was really more concerned about my food than the drink, so I probably had about half of it…plus the two cherries. 🙂

More fun with friends!

Me & Eileen – Old College Roomies! 😀

IMG_4409

IMG_4413 

IMG_4414

A small group of us eventually made our way out and on over to MGM to grab some grub. Thank goodness! I still don’t know if my body has adjusted to the time thing yet…my eating is weird while I’m out here???

More view of Vegas!

IMG_4418 

IMG_4419

If you didn’t already guess it, we headed on over to MGM Grand to check out The Grand Wok & Sushi Bar.

IMG_4421

The front of the restaurant already had me sold…how cool looking is that?

IMG_4422

IMG_4423

IMG_4424

I started off with some miso soup, which was delightfully delicious.

IMG_4429

Then our friend, Liz, decided to treat the table to a little Sake. 😯

IMG_4428

Thanks Liz! Cheers! :) 

IMG_4427

I already knew that I was going to get sushi, even though the menu offered an extensive array of Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean, & Vietnamese dishes. Since Jay doesn’t really do sushi, I decided to split three different rolls with Eileen & her boyfriend Dan.

IMG_4425

We ordered the Alaska Roll, the Rainbow Roll, & the California Roll to share.

IMG_4431

IMG_4433

IMG_4432

All 3 rolls were equally amazing. Oh my gosh, I was in heaven. I probably had about 8 pieces, which was just enough to fill me up without going over the top. I don’t know if I could even pick a favorite since they were all sooo GOOD! 😀

IMG_4434

After dinner called for a little “dessert” – I wonder what this fortune means? 😉

IMG_4436

Today looks to be like another pool day, but tonight is the big BACHELORETTE party night! It’s sure to be one heck of an evening I’m sure. Let’s just hope I don’t keep on the granny panties and call it an early night like I did last night. I’m tellin’ ya – I’m gettin’ to be old for this late night stuff! Yikes. 😯

Hope you’re all having a great week!!

Question for the Day:

Have you ever been to or had a Bachelorette party? What was the funniest memory you have of it?

Viva Las Vegas!!

We have arrived!! :mrgreen:

 IMG_4364

IMG_4368

IMG_4370

After a much smoother, yet long day of traveling, we finally arrived in Vegas. WOOO HOOO! 😀

Our flight went very smoothly (thank goodness) and our hotel was a super quick drive away from the airport, so we were able to get settled right away. Here’s the view from our room:

IMG_4352

After a quick drop-off of the luggage and a little primping, it was time to get the party started! We headed down to one of the bars in our hotel for a few cocktails. Our crew easily took up the entire bar. 😉

IMG_4353

While we were there, I enjoyed a couple of Malibu & diets. Yumm. 😛 I also made friends with the bartender, Melanie, who apparently took enough of a liking to me to drop off a free drink. LOVE that! She also taught me a little bit about how to “work the system” while sitting at the bar. Let’s just say I was able to order a normally $9.00 drink for only $3.00. Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. 😉

IMG_4356

IMG_4359

Eventually, we all headed on over for some dinner at The Pub in the Monte Carlo. Can you tell we passed through New York on our way there? 😉

IMG_4366     

IMG_4365

IMG_4371

IMG_4378 

The Pub has over 70 beers on tap, so the guys were more than excited to check it out. I decided to try a Raspberry Redemption beer…it was awful. 😳 Way too dark and heavy to me. Oh well, I gave it a shot!

IMG_4373

Sorry for the awful photo picture! I ordered a chicken patty “burger” with sweet potato fries, which was ENORMOUS and totally delicious! By the time it arrived, we figured it was about 12am New York time, so we’ll just say I was more than STARVING. Hence the reason I gave up trying on the photo. You guys get the idea though. 😉 I ate about half the sandwich and half the fries and was absolutely stuffed. Ooof.

IMG_4383

Then some shenanigans took place…

 IMG_4381IMG_4375

And overall, it was a great first night! 🙂

TODAY

This morning, a small group of us went down to grab some breakfast in the hotel before hitting up the pool. I tried to get a good mix of everything, so I pretty much just ordered off the “Sides” portion of the menu – which actually ended up being cheaper than ordering a regular menu item. Score!

IMG_4385 

Fresh fruit bowl + 1 scrambled egg white + bran muffin

IMG_4387IMG_4388

Along with some a mug ‘o caffeine.

IMG_4389

After fueling up, it was time to hit the POOL!

IMG_4390

We kinda take up a lot of space everywhere we go. 😉

IMG_4403 

IMG_4391

The day has pretty much consisted of sun, heat, fun drinks, & lots of laughs.

IMG_4393 

IMG_4398

After a few hours in the sun, Jay and I decided to split a rosemary grilled chicken sandwich + waffle fries. Breakfast was still doing a great job of sticking with me, so I probably only had about 4-5 bites of the sandwich. Considering it was bought at the poolside “grill,” I wasn’t too sure how it would turn out, but it was surprisingly delicious!

IMG_4396

IMG_4401

We just came back up to the room, I snacked on some homemade trail mix,

IMG_4405

and now it’s time to get ready for another fun night out on the town. We’ll have to wait and see where the night takes us! 😀

T-Minus 3 Hours!

The bags are packed…

IMG_4328 

After some chaotic last minute packing… 

IMG_4327

A sweaty half hour run was taken, and a healthy breakfast was had…

IMG_4325 

Banana oats topped with a small piece of Fruit & Nut Manna Bread, some blueberries, & some PB.

IMG_4326

Cody isn’t quite sure what’s going on… (I’m certainly gonna miss my little guy!)

IMG_4329 

And as soon as my favorite brother arrives to bring us to the airport (so we can avoid having to pay car parking fees), we are OFF!

See you from Sin City!!!! 😀

Airports and Time to Think

Yes folks, at 11:15pm last night, I finally made it back into Albany! As great of a weekend it was, the traveling definitely took a toll on me! But all was well with the world as soon as I turned down the hallway and saw my favorite hubby waiting for me, smiles and all. 🙂 I really missed my two favorite men this weekend!

IMG_0496 IMG_0490

After having a fabulous nights’ sleep in my own bed, it was time to hit the gym. My body was craving a BodyPump class in the worst way, so I hit up the elliptical for an easy 20 minutes, followed by Pump, which felt anything but easy…I hadn’t taken a class since July 25th! YIKES. 😯 But it still hurt oh-so-good.

On my way to the gym, I raided the swag bag for a pre-gym snack…

IMG_4152

A Pomegranate Blueberry Pistachio KIND Plus bar. After the first bite, I almost threw it out. I just wasn’t diggin’ it. But I gave it another try, and obviously it ended up tasting pretty good. 😉

IMG_4155

When I got home, I snacked on a handful of homemade trail mix. It’s soooo dangerous!

IMG_4150

Then I made myself a Mocha Protein Smoothie.

IMG_4156IMG_4158 

And while in the midst of unpacking/laundry/catching up on house stuff, I made a little snack of veggies + hommus,

IMG_4159 

IMG_4160

a juicy peach,

IMG_4162

and my blackberry chamomile Solixir swag. This stuff is fantastic! I definitely need to pick some of this up at the store. 😀

  IMG_4163

Now as you can probably imagine, being stuck in an airport for 8 1/2 hours definitely leaves you with a lot of “me” time. So I decided to use my “me” time to think and reflect a little bit about my weekend. Here’s some of my random thoughts…hey, maybe you’ll even agree with me on some of ‘em. 😉

  • I have no intentions of traveling on “standby” anytime in the near future.
  • Chicago has some beautiful sights to see…I need to go back with the hubby.
  • I think staying in a hotel that is “haunted” is pretty interesting…but I probably wouldn’t have felt that way if I was staying in Gina & Sabrina’s room.
  • I take the water pressure in my shower for granted.
  • I envy strong-willed people who have the guts to just go for what they really want, despite obstacles, without looking back.
  • Just because they’re veggies, doesn’t mean you can eat yourself to oblivion with them.
  • I think all fruit and vegetables should come pre-washed and ready to eat, displayed on pretty platters.
  • Wi-Fi helped me keep my sanity.
  • My one major fail of the weekend: I did not get authentic, Chicago deep-dish pizza. 😦
  • Despite being surrounded my numerous vegetarians & vegans, not once did I get the urge to become one. And I’m proud of that.
  • I still have no desire to become a marathon runner. But I love my short distance runs. 🙂
  • The “L” is much more bearable when you’re not scrunched in a corner with a group of 6 ghetto girls & guys bragging about their latest theft binge.
  • Walking 5 miles in flip flops is possible. But I wouldn’t recommend it. You’ll have blisters. Lots of them.
  • I’m already thinking about the next time I can eat Indian Food.
  • Thoughts on calorie intake goes right out the window after being bumped from two flights in a row.
  • I wish I had a river or pretty lake to run past everyday. It’s so motivating.
  • If you don’t have a smart phone at a blogger conference, you’re definitely out of the loop.
  • I’m so thankful to have met so many fun, friendly, smart, and beautiful women at HLS. Despite my horrendous travels, I wouldn’t trade it in for anything.

In case you missed anything from my weekend in Chicago, here’s some recaps!

A Shaky Start: http://sweettoothsweetlife.com/2010/08/12/a-shaky-start/

Chicago on Foot: http://sweettoothsweetlife.com/2010/08/13/chicago-on-foot/

Kickin’ Off HLS: http://sweettoothsweetlife.com/2010/08/14/kickin-off-hls/

Healthy Living Summit = An Eating Frenzy: http://sweettoothsweetlife.com/2010/08/14/healthy-living-summit-an-eating-frenzy/

A New Love Affair…With Indian Food: http://sweettoothsweetlife.com/2010/08/15/a-new-love-affairwith-indian-food/

Bon Voyage Chicago!: http://sweettoothsweetlife.com/2010/08/15/bon-voyage-chicago/

Hope everyone’s Monday is off to a great start!! 😀