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Old 06-12-2012, 08:01 PM   #1
Dlandmom2
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22 Hours in the Desert

I debated whether I would write up a TR for my super quick jaunt to Vegas, but I figure a short TR is better than no TR! Here goes....

My brother and sis in law were in Vegas this past weekend for a conference (esthetics, beauty, spa, stuff like that). They invited me to join them, but I wasn't positive I was going to go until a week or so ago. I've had lots going on the last week, and I wasn't sure I'd be in the right frame of mind for even a short trip. We had to put our dog down on Friday and my daughter had some medical issues that required an outpatient procedure yesterday. Needless to say, try to have fun in the middle of this was questionable. Anyhow, I'm glad I decided to go because it was great to see my bro and sis in law.

After about 6 hours of sleep (because I kept thinking about my dog, cried, thought of my dog, cried, etc), I woke up Saturday morning and hit the road about an hour later than I had planned.

I made a pit stop at Lenwood, about 1.5 hours after I hit the road. Then, about 1.5 hours after that, I stopped at State Line (between California and Nevada) for another pit stop. In addition to 3 casinos, there's also the Fashion Outlets at Las Vegas, which is one of my favorite outlet malls. I made the requisite pit stop and then browsed a few shops before hitting the road. Vegas would be about 35-45 minutes away.

I was craving a super huge brunch at Hash House a Go Go at the M Hotel in Vegas (Adam Richman visited another Hash House a Go Go Vegas location in a Man v. Food episode). I was also craving sushi and thought about going to Todai at Planet Hollywood. In the end, I realized I didn't have much of an appetite because I was still missing my dog, so I drove directly to the Las Vegas Convention Center to meet up with my bro and sis in law. They had an extra ticket because they had planned to go to a session that they weren't going to attend, so they gave that ticket to me since technically I'm helping them with some marketing work for their new business in Hawaii.

Wow, this conference/convention was awesome! There were so many beauty products being displayed. They even had spray tanning booths on display (but they were only spray tanning their models, not the conventioneers!). It was fascinating to see everything, and it actually helped that I was seeing what was out there so I could come up with better marketing ideas for them.

That day's session ended at 6pm, and we needed to figure out where to eat. A few years ago, the three of us (along with a friend of my bro's) tried Lotus of Siam for dinner since it had received great reviews from lots of travel resources. It was awesome! We decided to try and go there for dinner again. My brother had tried to call all day to get a reservation, but there was no answer. It turns out they're not open for lunch on the weekends! We called again at 6:30ish and were told they weren't taking reservations for that night, but we could try walk up, which is what we did. It's a short drive off the Strip. We checked in and were told 15 minutes. 5 minutes later we were seated!

We were all starving! Perri had Thai Iced Coffee, I had Thai Iced Tea, and Minnie had water. We ordered a Beef Salad, Crispy Duck on Drunken Noodles, and Crispy Sea Bass on Drunken Noodles. All were super delicious! They tend to make things pretty spicy there, so when they ask you the level of spice from 1 to 10, we chose 2 since Perri and I are spice wimps...we love flavorful spicy, but we don't like hot spicy. Trust me, level 2 was plenty spicy...not too bad, but enough to notice the heat.

Sorry there aren't pics of the beef salad. We were so hungry that we were completely done with it before I thought to take a picture! I did to take pics of the Crispy Sea Bass and Crispy Duck!





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Old 06-12-2012, 08:14 PM   #2
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I'm so sorry about your tough week! *hug* Sounds good so far, though - I always love hearing about good food and even a short TR is better than none, as you said!
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:07 PM   #3
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I'm so sorry about all the hard things going on at once for you! Hope Sophia is doing better. Sounds like a mini-vacation was what you needed, and this one sounds like it'll really help with the marketing strategy. I Thai food, but, like you, I like flavors, not-so-much heat! I can't imagine what the level 10 spicy version was like if you could feel the heat with a 2! Probably it would have to be a 1 for me.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:09 PM   #4
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Dinner came to about $75 before tip, which is sorta pricey for 3 dishes (that weren't very big) and 2 coffee/tea drinks, but I think some of it has to do with how popular this restaurant has become. The food is really good, though, so we were happy we went!

We were all pretty tired, especially me since I only got about 6 hours of sleep the night before and had driven for 4 hours in the desert! After a quick stop at a Food 4 Less on the way (1.5 liter bottles of Crystal Geyser drinking water for 58 cents each...amazing!), we arrived at South Point Resort and Casino, where we were staying. I totally forgot to take a picture of the room, sorry!

The room was nice, and the hotel has lots to offer, especially for families. They have a bowling alley, movie theaters, plenty of restaurants, and lots of gambling options for those who are so inclined! I'm a big gambler, you know...I'm a terror on those penny slot machines! We hung out in the casino for a few hours...played some craps, black jack, and my beloved penny slots!

I went back to the room around 1am. I didn't fall asleep until about 3 or so. The alarm woke me up at 7:30am because Perri and I were going to go to Hash House a Go Go for breakfast, and then I was going to hit the road for home. Well, at 7:30am, after 4.5 hours of asleep, I was in no shape to get ready for breakfast. I have no idea what I was thinking! I called Perri, and he was moving in slow motion as well. We didn't leave for breakfast until about 9:45, lol!

The M Hotel was a short 5 minute drive from South Point. It was a very pretty hotel, and yes I totally forgot to take pictures (amazing what 9.5 hours of sleep over two nights can do to your brain!). There was a 15 minute wait for a table or immediate seating in the bar area. We decided we wanted a table, so we took a buzzer and then walked around the casino. I found a fun penny slot machine that was themed on The Princess Bride! Perri and I played there for about 10 minutes. I was down almost $10 at one point (even with pennies, you can lose super quick!), but I hit a great bonus game and won almost all of it back. I quickly cashed out, losing about 17 cents at the end!

Right then, our buzzer lighted up, so we headed back to the restaurant. We had a great booth seat that looked out toward the pool area. We decided to order what Adam Richman had on Man v. Food, the Fried Chicken Benedict (Andy's sage fried chicken w/ fresh spinach, hardwood smoked bacon, market tomato, griddled mozzarella, chipotle cream and scrambled eggs) and an order of Bacon Waffle (it's a Belgian style waffle with slices of bacon baked in!). I also had a cup of coffee, which was strong enough to wake me up big time!

Here's the menu for your perusal...the food there is insane! Hash House a go go - Twisted Farm Food - Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Breakfast was awesome! The food wasn't fantastic, but it wasn't bad by any stretch. It was just amazingly different to have such a decadent breakfast! Even though Perri and I were sharing these two dishes, we only made it through half of it. To give you perspective, the plates you see below are about 18 inches long!





Breakfast came out to about $30 before tip. For all the food we got, it was way worth it. We packed up the leftovers, and I took them with me. We made sure to eat all of the chicken since that wouldn't have survived my long drive home!

I drove Perri back to South Point, said our goodbyes (I had hugged Minnie goodbye in the morning as she left for her morning conference session), and I hit the road for home around noon...about an hour later than I had hoped...and you'll see why shortly!

Back at State Line about 35 minutes later, I made a pit stop. The drive between Vegas and home is mostly desert, so it's a good idea to make pit stops when you can! This time I remembered to take a picture of the outlet mall:



About an hour after I left State Line, traffic came to a halt...and I mean a halt. It took me an hour to go the next 15 miles. What was the problem, you ask? Well, just outside Barstow, California there's an agricultural checkpoint to make sure you don't bring fruits or plants carrying pests into California. There's probably a better mission statement for them, but that's how I see it, lol! Anyhow, usually when I drive through the checkpoint on a weekend day, it's not manned, and you just drive right through the checkpoint. Sometimes they'll have people stationed there who ask you where you're coming from or where you're headed, yada yada. Not sure what they're looking for when they ask you those questions, but there you have it. Anyhow, today the checkpoint was manned. They weren't stopping people, but all of them had clipboards and were jotting things down as cars drove by...I'm guessing the state on your license plate. Anyhow, even though people were driving through, many were slowing down thinking that they were going to be stopped and asked questions. Nope, everyone was waved on by. I saw no signs of accident during the 15 mile traffic jam, so I can only guess that the checkpoint was the cause of the backup. That plus the fact that "regulars" know that they must leave Vegas pretty early or else they run into traffic jams like that. You can only imagine what it's like if you drive to or from Vegas during a 3 day weekend...not something you want to do! I've done it, and I avoid it like the plague if I can! In the end, what should have been a 3 hour 45 minute drive turned into a 5 hour drive. Ugh.

I made it home just after 5. By the time I got the kids to bed that night, it was 9, and I finally fell asleep around 10. I woke up the next morning at 4:15am to get ready to take Sophia for her outpatient procedure. Needless to say, I crashed pretty bad last night, lol!

And that is the boring end of my 22 hours in the desert!
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:20 PM   #5
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I'd love to be that close to Vegas!!!! Maybe we can meet up there one weekend next year!!
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:25 PM   #6
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I was just sending my comment on your first post when this one appeared! I've been thinking about Thai iced coffee and tea now since reading your last post! I want some iced coffee NOW! I always forget about this. I can make a version at home but it never tastes as good as it does in a good Thai restaurant.

INSANE is the only word to describe that breakfast! I've never seen that episode of Man vs Food, but I'll be on the watch for it.

The traffic jam in the middle of nowhere sounds so irritating! You must have been exhausted when you got home. I hope this week is not as eventful as last. for you all!
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Principessa_di_Fata View Post
I'm so sorry about your tough week! *hug* Sounds good so far, though - I always love hearing about good food and even a short TR is better than none, as you said!
Yes, I was thinking that, too. At the very least I had to give you my food reviews!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lauriep View Post
I'm so sorry about all the hard things going on at once for you! Hope Sophia is doing better. Sounds like a mini-vacation was what you needed, and this one sounds like it'll really help with the marketing strategy. I Thai food, but, like you, I like flavors, not-so-much heat! I can't imagine what the level 10 spicy version was like if you could feel the heat with a 2! Probably it would have to be a 1 for me.
I love Thai Beef Salad, and for some reason it's always spicier (hot) than I expect. Even at a level 2, that salad was fairly spicy. Even Minnie, who loves hot spicy food, thought it was plenty spicy as it is! The other two dishes were just fine at level 2...you could taste the heat, but it wasn't overpowering at all. It really was just perfect for me! Honestly, I wish those two crispy dishes were bigger because I wanted more!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Principessa_di_Fata View Post
I'd love to be that close to Vegas!!!! Maybe we can meet up there one weekend next year!!
Now Melanie, I can create a great vacation for you and Meri and your mom! We've got the pool, a few palm trees, a misting system over the patio, a hot springs spa 15 minutes away, and then we can make the quick drive to Vegas for a few days and back! The invitation's out...just waiting for you to accept it, lol!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lauriep View Post
I was just sending my comment on your first post when this one appeared! I've been thinking about Thai iced coffee and tea now since reading your last post! I want some iced coffee NOW! I always forget about this. I can make a version at home but it never tastes as good as it does in a good Thai restaurant.

INSANE is the only word to describe that breakfast! I've never seen that episode of Man vs Food, but I'll be on the watch for it.

The traffic jam in the middle of nowhere sounds so irritating! You must have been exhausted when you got home. I hope this week is not as eventful as last. for you all!
Do you have a Cost Plus World Market near you? I don't know how big that chain is, but you can probably order from them online. They sell an "Authentic Thai Iced Tea" made by Wangderm Brand. They are individual tea bags and it makes the orange tinged tea that's in Thai iced tea. It tastes just like you find in the restaurant. If you can't find it, let me know and I'll buy a package for you before your trip here.

Thanks for asking about Sophia. She's doing great, way better than I would have been! Despite the pain that she'll have for a few more days, she's happy that mom has told her she has permission to lie on the couch all day and watch tv.

Sophia and I love Man v. Food. The episode with Hash House a Go Go was for a Vegas challenge at the Sahara Hotel (which is now gone) where he had to eat a 6 pound burrito. Now THAT is insane!!! I really liked Hash House a Go Go. I'll definitely be returning to try more of their menu. They have several locations, including San Diego, which would be a much closer drive for me! I just saw that they have a location in Chicago.

Hey Melanie, Hash House a Go Go is in Chicago. Maybe you and Meri should try it the next time you're there!

Oh, and about the traffic jam, one time my best friend flew into town after work. I picked her up at the Ontario Airport, which is on the way to Vegas, at about 7:30pm. The trip should've taken about 3.5 hours from the airport. We arrived in Vegas at about 2am because there was an accident along the way that had us completely stopped on the road (literally, with everyone's car turned off) for a good 2 or more hours before traffic started inching along again.
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My Previous TripsWDW Nov 2013 OKW and POR; Jan 2009 Offsite at HGVC then Beach Club; not listing DLR...I don't think I can count that high!

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Old 06-12-2012, 10:48 PM   #8
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I'll definitely check into getting that brand of tea on line. I've never heard of Cost Plus World Market, but we do have a couple of big world-food grocery stores around here. I'll check there as well. I love to browse all the exotic veggies. The mother of a friend of mine grows many Vietnamese veggies in her garden and often gives me some, along with suggestions for how to cook them. I love it!

I hope Sophia's pain eases soon. Being allowed to laze around all day is nice for a short time!

It's a good thing I don't have a car. I have no patience for traffic!
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:35 AM   #9
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What a fun way to spend 22 hours! Only been to Vegas once and I liked it more than DH. We added a driving tour of National parks (looped from Vegas to Zion to Grand Canyon to Lake Haveasu to Hoover Dam back to Vegas). It was a great time. Thanks for sharing your adventure.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:14 AM   #10
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How great to have a mini-break like that, especially after everything you've been through recently. Sorry about the lack of sleep and the traffic jam on the way back (good to know about that...) but apart from that, it sounds like you had a fun time.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:55 AM   #11
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Thanks for sharing your short trip with us!
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:54 PM   #12
Dlandmom2
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Originally Posted by lauriep View Post
I'll definitely check into getting that brand of tea on line. I've never heard of Cost Plus World Market, but we do have a couple of big world-food grocery stores around here. I'll check there as well. I love to browse all the exotic veggies. The mother of a friend of mine grows many Vietnamese veggies in her garden and often gives me some, along with suggestions for how to cook them. I love it!

I hope Sophia's pain eases soon. Being allowed to laze around all day is nice for a short time!

It's a good thing I don't have a car. I have no patience for traffic!
Yum! I'm trying to garden more. I have 3 different types of tomatoes growing, some herbs, a white peach tree, a white nectarine tree, a Meyer lemon tree, a pomegranate tree, and a grapefruit tree. I want to grow more vegetables, but I haven't had a chance to work on that yet!

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What a fun way to spend 22 hours! Only been to Vegas once and I liked it more than DH. We added a driving tour of National parks (looped from Vegas to Zion to Grand Canyon to Lake Haveasu to Hoover Dam back to Vegas). It was a great time. Thanks for sharing your adventure.
Ooo, that sounds like a great trip! I've been to Havasu and Hoover Dam, and I've driven past Zion on the way to Lake Powell. I really want to visit Zion and Grand Canyon and a lot more national parks!

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How great to have a mini-break like that, especially after everything you've been through recently. Sorry about the lack of sleep and the traffic jam on the way back (good to know about that...) but apart from that, it sounds like you had a fun time.
It was really nice, and I wish I could've stayed longer! Thankfully I've been able to get some good sleep the last two nights, and Sophia is starting to move around a little more. Of course now she's already bored because she's already gone through all the books, magazines, tv shows, Kindle Fire games, and my phone games that I've given her. Help!

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Thanks for sharing your short trip with us!
Thanks for reading! I can't wait until I have a nice long trip so I can do a full size TR!
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My Countdown Counting down to: Hopefully My 3rd WDW Trip with the Kids!
My Previous TripsWDW Nov 2013 OKW and POR; Jan 2009 Offsite at HGVC then Beach Club; not listing DLR...I don't think I can count that high!
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Old 06-13-2012, 06:46 PM   #13
lauriep
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I envy you that climate for growing things! A pomegranate tree!!
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:04 PM   #14
pamcarey
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Sounds like a great quick getaway (other than the traffic jam)! You enjoyed some time with your brother and SIL, and had some great food! What could be better?
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:55 PM   #15
Dlandmom2
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I envy you that climate for growing things! A pomegranate tree!!
I'm often surprised by what grows here, since I'm pretty far inland, so we really feel a lot of the dry and hot summer heat where I am. Still, I'm not complaining! My peaches are just now ripening, and I tried my first one yesterday...deelish!

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Sounds like a great quick getaway (other than the traffic jam)! You enjoyed some time with your brother and SIL, and had some great food! What could be better?
Exactly! It was a lovely quick trip!
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Huge Disney Fan...Always Have Been...Always Will Be!

Disneyland 60th Anniversary Celebration TR here!
2013 WDW trip here!
2011 trip to Hawaii here!
My Countdown Counting down to: Hopefully My 3rd WDW Trip with the Kids!
My Previous TripsWDW Nov 2013 OKW and POR; Jan 2009 Offsite at HGVC then Beach Club; not listing DLR...I don't think I can count that high!
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