Monday, January 3, 2011

My Holiday Vacation 2010, Part 1: Las Vegas

Well my original vacation plan was to spend over two weeks back in the town where I grew up, Las Vegas, Nevada...I was also hoping I'd be taking more pics of Yui for my vacation. However, I realize after a busy year spent working late and going back to school, I just needed some rest. I did take a few pics during my Vegas holiday, though.

While some people like taking pictures when engaging in Christmas traditions, I don't, and I don't feel like explaining why here. I guess it's the same way that I haven't taken any pictures during Thanksgiving or Easter...it just doesn't occur to me to take pics during those holidays.

However, after Christmas, I get into a picture taking mood. I met up with a friend of mine who wanted to show off his 3D television. I also wanted to introduce him to more anime by showing him Strike Witches season 1 (didn't make it to episode 7). Then we got hungry and headed off to CityCenter in hopes of checking out The Cosmopolitan that just opened nearby.

For dinner, we headed off to Crystals in hopes of finding cheaper food than at Bellagio where we parked. We had two choices, Wolfgang Puck's new place or Todd English's new place...Well, I find Wolfgang Puck everywhere, and I only know Todd English from Olives which has a location at Bellagio, but his new place looked interesting...



Definitely a better sports bar vibe than the ESPN Zone that no longer has a Las Vegas location...the back walls were painted like giant dartboards, and you can get magnetic darts to throw at it. In addition, there was a gumball machine that vended beer pong balls. Instead of breadsticks or tortilla chips, we got popcorn to nosh on before ordering...



For $16.95 (if I remember right), you can get the Brown Bag Lunch, which actually comes in a paper bag...



The meal consisted of a grilled bologna and cheese sandwich, kettle chips, and a chocolate chip cookie. Despite the description, the sandwich is really tasty and gooey...



Now our evening was cut short as it turned out this night was the night of the annual midnight game for the Las Vegas Wranglers ECHL hockey team.



If the background looks dark, it's because the themed dress for the night is Black Out...I hear the team hosts other themed dress nights like prison night. It was also neat because Mini Kiss (as seen on the Dr. Pepper ads) provided the pre-game and between-period entertainment. Unfortunately, they were a man short (pardon the pun) because one of them was stuck in New York because of the blizzard. The Wranglers lost to the Utah Grizzlies 5-3.

The next day, I took my mom to a movie, but she wanted to try something different for lunch...When I think of fast food, I think it starts in the U.S. and expands overseas, not the other way around...



Yes, the Filipino chain Jollibee has been in Vegas for a while now, but my mom has not tried it. I'm just happy they have a $5 menu...now this beats a $5 footlong from Subway...



Dessert was convenient because of what was next door...



I've never had ube cake until last year, but I really like the taste and the color...



Now for my last day in Vegas, I couldn't miss trying a new buffet, and it couldn't be just any regular buffet, it had to be a...



Feeling nostalgic, I wanted to check out a place on Spring Mountain Rd. I enjoyed growing up. As the years passed, this street has become to Las Vegas to what I guess Sawtelle Blvd. is to Los Angeles, with a wide variety of Asian shops and restaurants all on this street. However, I don't remember Spring Mountain Rd. for those places...I remember it for donuts...



As I enjoyed my glazed donut with milk, two girls who appeared to have just arrived in Vegas for New Years seemed to be talking about how neat the place was...I guess tourists do read the Best of Las Vegas issue of the Review-Journal as this place actually was voted Best Donuts in the past. However, some of the readers' picks over the years were not that great...For example, I recall Taco Bell was voted Best Taco.



It's not complete without milk from Anderson Dairy...

Before leaving Las Vegas, I met up with friends for a birthday dinner at Don Vito's at South Point casino/resort at the southern end of the Strip. I remember sharing in appetizers that included stuffed mushrooms, an antipasto platter, and fried calamari. My dinner was chicken copa, sliced chicken breast topped with prosciutto, provolone and mushroom marinara along with a side of penne pasta.



My dessert was a cappuccino cheesecake, yum.



Next up, New Year's in the OC...some drop a giant crystal ball to ring in the new year, but we drop people...

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