Monday, June 16, 2008

Our 14th wedding anniversary!


My parents came to stay with the kids for four days so Matt and I could take a trip to Las Vegas Nevada to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. "Thanks Mom and Dad!!!"
We left Thursday morning for the airport and when we boarded the plane we were shocked to find that we had been bumped to first class! It was a great way to start off our trip!

Matt with his "pre-flight beverage" in first class! (Coca Cola)!

We stayed at the Excalibur!
Photo of the Excalibur at night -- reminded us of a Disneyland Castle (from the outside only)!

After checking in, we decided to walk down to The Venetian, which is located at the opposite end of the strip. Before we left everyone gave us advice to wear our most comfortable walking shoes. Thank goodness because in the Las Vegas heat (over 100 while we were there), that 1 1/2 mile walk was HOT and you couldn't help but feel sorry for the "fashion conscious" that were wearing their 3 inch stilletos.

Photo of the Venetian (from the internet)
We went out to dinner at the gourmet restaurant Zefferinos in The Venetian.

You can check out their website at

Zefferino restaurant is on the upper left of this picture (off the internet). From your table you can look down and watch the gondolas that run through the center of the hotel. From the link above you can see the menu and take a virtual tour of the restaurant.

After dinner we went to watch The Blue Man Group!

The show was great and very funny! For more info on their show check out the link below!
After the show we walked back down the strip, stopping to tour many of the hotels along the way. When we got to New York New York we took a midnight ride on the rollercoaster!

Photo we took across the street from New York New York. If you click the photo it will enlarge and you can get a better view of the rollercoaster. The Statue of Liberty in front of the hotel is surrounded by water and there is a memorial for 9/11.

We woke up Friday morning and took a Taxi to The Stratosphere Hotel! We had been told about the rides at the top and while on the ground we bought tickets for all 3 rides they offered! Now, keep in mind I'm scared to death of heights, so when we got to the top and I actually saw how far up we were my stomach started flipping over and over like it does when you drop 20 feet on a rollercoaster. I collected my nerves and then we proceeded to go on all 3 rides.

Photo we took from the base of the Stratosphere.

Looking down from the observation deck!

Looking at the Insanity Ride from inside the Observation Deck. I have to say I panicked once I saw how far down it was. The ride is 909 feet above the ground where the mechanical arm swings you 64 feet over the edge of the tower, tilts you at a 70 degree angle and then spins you at a force of 3 Gs while you look down. The ride doesn't have shoulder harnesses so you are held in place by a lap bar.

Photo from the internet looking down on the Insanity.

After I calmed my nerves I insisted we go on the Insanity first (I thought it was the scariest and wanted to get it out of the way. I was definitely wrong about that, it was my favorite ride!)

We then went to go and ride the X-Scream. It is a giant teeter-totter that holds 8 passengers (thankfully we were in the 3rd row and not the front). You start out level, then it tips and you fly at break neck speed off the edge 27 feet straight down where you are 866 feet above the ground. (I knew you tipped down, I didn't realize how FAST you went and it scared me to death). Once you are facing down, it drops you a few more feet and then brings you back up to do it over again and then holds you at the downward angle. Once again, no shoulder straps, just a lap bar.
View down while on the X-Scream (off the internet)

Photo of the back of my head and the X-Scream from the observation deck.
The last ride we went on was the Big Shot. It is on the very top of the Stratosphere and shoots you straight up 160 feet at 45 mph until you are 1081 feet above the Strip.
Tina on top of the Stratosphere!
Matt on top of the Stratosphere! For more information go to the link below

After we finished the rides we walked across the street to have lunch at teh Nascar Cafe!

Photo of the cafe (from the internet)

Car hanging upside down from the ceiling in the Cafe

Matt at the cafe. Cars were around the top of the cafe so it looked like they were on a racetrack and the tables had a map of the Las Vegas International Speedway. For more information on the cafe go to

After lunch we hopped on a bus and went to the Bellagio hotel where Matt spent a few hours playing 21 where we had the best group of peope and a fabulous dealer by the name of Lisa from Idaho Falls, Idaho. If you go to the Bellagio be sure to hit her table! This hotel was by far our favorite and if money is no object the place we'd have chosen to stay. For more info on The Bellagio go to this link

Picture of me in front of the Bellagio where they put on their water show and looking across the street to the Paris Hotel.
Fountain in front of the Bellagio.

Inside the Bellagio they have Jean-Philippe Patisserie. In the photo the woman in the center is made of chocolate!!! Gorgeous tiered cakes on either side!
To the right of the patisserie is the world's largest chocolate fountain. It is 27 feet tall, and has over 2100 pounds of melted dark, milk and white chocolate. Go to the link below and click on the video tour!

After touring the Bellagio we went to see Cirque Du Soleil's show "O". The show was absolutely amazing with a swimming pool built into the stage! For information on the show click the link

Outside the Bellagio on our way to the show!
Matt took this photo claiming even people in Las Vegas are "duck fans". He is sure the O is not for the show, but in representation of the Oregon Ducks!

View of the Paris Hotel across the street from the Bellagio after the "O" show.

After the show we went to the Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay resort for a late night dinner. We had their gourmet burgers which were really good.

We got up and had a Krispy Kreme breakfast and then headed back to Mandalay Bay to go to their Shark Reef Exhibit. On the way there you could view their swimming pool, which isn't a pool but a huge Oasis of pools, including a wave pool and sand beaches.
Photo from the internet of Mandalay Bay's pool !
At the Shark Reef exhibit we saw everything from sharks to pirahanas to sea turtles. They have handy phone sets that you carry throughout the aquarium to hear information on each individual exhibit. For information on Mandalay Bay and/or the Shark Reef click the link below

Shark Reef tunnel
After touring the Aquarium we toured more hotels on the strip (our recommendation -- stay away from the Tropicana -- cheap, dirty, disgusting) and then headed over to the MGM Grand.

Matt on an overpass with the Las Vegas Strip behind him

Photo of the MGM Grand (from the internet). This hotel is our second choice to stay however, for gambling we preferred the Bellagio. Matt lost all the money he'd won at the Bellagio at the MGM.
For lunch we went to Wolfgang Pucks Bar and Grill where we had the best meal in Vegas so far.
Photo of Wolfgang Puck's Bar and Grill (from the internet) For more info on the restaurant
After lunch we toured several more hotels along the strip and then went back to the MGM to see the Cirque Du Soleil Show "Ka"
The show was amazing and our favorite of the weekend! To see more about the show go to
After our Krispy Kreme breakfast we packed up and left for home! It was nice to be back in Oregon where everything is green! Leaving Las Vegas at 11:45am the temperature was 96 degrees and expected to be 104. We checked the weather in Canby at 11:45am and it was 58 degrees. Gotta love the blue skies with the mild weather in the Pacific Northwest.

1 comment:

Erik and Mary said...

Awww HOW FUN! Congrats on all the wonderful years of marriage! Looks like you had a blast!