My weekend was pretty great. Aside from celebrating my best friend's 30th birthday on Saturday night, I did a lot of relaxing, napping, and general putting back together of my real life after a week (that felt like a month) in Las Vegas. The last couple of weeks were so crazy preparing for the conference and then being there and working that I have definitely been neglecting this blog, my real life, and also, my sleep schedule... but I'm back!
|Somewhere over the Rocky Mountains...|
And no complaining here: Even though it was work, it was a fabulous trip! I thought I'd start out this week by sharing some snapshots of my trip with you... enjoy!
The conference was hosted at the Wynn Las Vegas and if you have to stay in Vegas for a week, this is where you want to do it. The Wynn is one of the most upscale resorts on the Strip, so staying here is a total pleasure. It is over the top (like all of Vegas), but all of the details are thought out and lovely: from the ornate chandeliers...
... to a Jeff Koons right outside the casino...
... to this crazy frog that pops up and sings karaoke by the waterfall every evening. On this particular evening, he was singing "Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks. Weird, but true.
Before the conference kicked off, we ventured across the strip (one of my few trips outside of the Wynn!) to Stripburger for dinner. Stripburger is actually a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, so we felt right at home at this low key burger bar.
Early morning meetings make for cool photo opps outside my window:
I don't have quite as many food photos to share from this trip because most of our meals were part of the conference, but I do have to commend the Wynn's catering-- and the desserts, in particular. I can't remember the exact name of this one, but it was something like Chocolate Extreme or Chocolate Overload... enough said, right?
And how pretty and perfect is this lunch dessert? A trio of sorbet and yogurt topped with a dried pineapple chip. I want to try and make these!
And in addition to the presenting and networking that took up most of the conference, we had fun too-- like a performance by Frankie Moreno with special [surprise] guest, dancer Lacey Schwimmer from Dancing with the Stars!
And we also ended the conference with a fabulous party at TAO Nightclub at the Venetian. The club is huge and gorgeous and, as you can see, the party was a great success!
And my friend in work and blog life Holly of [Im]perfectly Balanced was there too. So fun to hang out with her!
On our last night in Vegas we got to do a little celebrating, which was such a great way to end the trip. After our last networking event, a handful of us ventured down to Allegro, located just on the edge of the Casino in the heart of the Wynn. As you know, I'm a sucker for good Italian food as is my work/travel partner Kerri so with as many restaurant options as there are at the Wynn, Encore, and between, Allegro totally won out based on both menu and location. The atmosphere here is casual-- perfect for the laidback wine, carbs, and conversation that we were there for that evening. It's location directly next to the casino also makes it an ideal spot for my favorite Vegas activity (besides eating): People watching.
Both the service and the food at Allegro was wonderful. First off, they were sensitive and accommodating to the food allergies at our table, which was a refreshing note on which to start our dinner. Another great way to start dinner? The homemade white bean dip that Allegro serves with an assortment of housemade crackers and bread. It was really delicious!
For my entree, I tried the zucchini and shrimp ravioli. It was surprisingly light for ravioli, but with a ton of tender shrimp inside the ravioli and served on top as well. The pasta was tender and the sauce was a great combination of sweet tomato and peppery arugula pesto. And I stole a slice of Kerri's thin crust margherita pizza and it was delicious as well.
And like a blur, it was over and we were headed back home to frigid Chicago. And when the city greets you like this upon your return, how can you possibly be upset to come back?
Want more Vegas? Check out my post from last year's trip to the Cosmopolitan in Vegas here!