Vegas Recap {Where we stayed, what we did, where we ate}

Hi there! I’m back for a full recap of our Vegas vacation. If you missed my “What I Wore” recap, you can find that here.

For as long as I can remember, RM has always wanted to go to Vegas together. He’s been so many times, and just absolutely loves it there. I went once years ago with my girlfriends and had fun, but also think I was a little young to really appreciate all that Vegas has to offer (besides clubs open all night 😉 ). When we finally found relatively “cheap” flights for the both of us, we booked a last minute long weekend trip out there- totally uncharacteristic of us to be so spontaneous and book this type of trip 1.5 weeks ahead of the travel dates, but it ended up working out great and we had the best time- enjoy the recap!

Where We Stayed

RM did a bunch of research on places to stay, even though his favorite place has always been the Bellagio. We ended up staying at the Wynn, because, surprisingly enough, they had the best rates of all the hotels that we were looking at. While it’s a bit off the main hot spots of the strip (unlike the Bellagio  that’s right in the midst of everything), it was not so far like Mandalay Bay so it didn’t feel totally removed. We were also a super short walk to the Pilazzo and Venetian, which are also very popular hotels for gambling and restaurants.

The Wynn was an absolutely GORGEOUS hotel. The lobby, the employees,  the flowers, the art, the shopping, the food, the pool, the rooms… everything was really top notch. Our room, in particular, really wow’d us- it was incredibly spacious and well equipped with everything we could’ve wanted or needed. Waking up and getting to just press a button to open the curtains for the view of the strip was really cool (and convenient!).

My sister also surprised me with a bottle of bubbly as a late birthday gift, which was SO thoughtful! This made for a great poolside drink 😉

The main thing I was looking forward to on this trip (well, besides hanging with RM nonstop) was  soaking up some serious pool time. Luckily, the Wynn had multiple pools to choose from so this was easy! For the first day and a half we were at the “party” pool, which was wonderful for people watching. That pool was closed on our last day, which actually worked out well since we were looking for a quieter pool experience.

We also took advantage of the hotel’s gym, which was such a nice hotel gym- it had everything you’d want and we were both able to get in some quick sweat sesh’s before sitting by the pool. Fitness doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to be super time consuming, remember? 20 minutes and we were in and out!

Where/What We Ate

Food is always a big part of our travel. Before trips, we like to think about what types of food we want to eat when we are away: Italian, Steak, Sushi, Mexican, American, etc. Generally when it comes to food, we have a nice breakfast to start the day, we snack on something light for lunch and then go out to a nice dinner. Here were our choices during our trip:

  • Terrace Cafe– This was in the Wynn and we ate there multiple times since it was so good and convenient. Our first day we were starving so we had lunch there- we shared a wrap and the Super Food Salad which was so good that we ordered it another day for lunch, too. It was packed with organic quinoa, farro, baby kale, radishes, tomato, bell peppers, onions and an herb vinaigrette. We definitely plan on re-creating at home, and topping it with grilled chicken! We also had breakfast there every morning, usually consisting of eggs and either yogurt, fruit, pancakes or something similar. We always get one sweet and one savory dish when we go out to breakfast and then share them. They have fantastic eggs benedict options (using a turkey patty as the base or a crab cake as the base) which are worth checking out if that’s your thing.

  • La Cave– On our first night there, we got a bit of a late start (needed a nap!) so we opted to pop into La Cave, also in the Wynn, for a light dinner. We shared another great salad, chicken skewers & a flatbread. It was the perfect amount of food for us.

  • Nobu– This sushi restaurant came highly recommended by my cousin, and was also a “must visit again” for RM. Their first location is in the Hard Rock hotel, but they have a newer location at Cesar’s Palace. Unfortunately Cesar’s didn’t have any availability so we had to trek it to the Hard Rock. it was worth it, though- the sushi was absolutely delicious and the service was impeccable!

  • Delmonico Steak House– We both felt like steak on our last night so we went to Delmonico’s as it’s one of RM’s favorite Vegas steak houses. This was another phenomenal meal! We started with a terrific bottle of Barolo wine, oysters & a salad and then shared their signature Ribeye steak, corn puree & potatoes. Oh, and finished with the most delicious pecan pie 😉 Worth every penny!

I also wanted to share a little tip that helped us save money. Vegas is expensive- there’s just no way around it, but I also think our hotel was exceptionally expensive and when I got the bill for 2 margarita’s by the pool the first day ($32!!!), we realized we should try to find a way to cut back there a bit. During our walk down the strip we found a liquor store and grabbed some beers and mini wine’s and filled one of the bathroom sinks with ice and keeping the drinks on ice in our room. We would take a plastic bag with ice & drinks in it down to the pool and they never noticed or cared! At $9-$20 a drink, it saved us A LOT of money! The bubbly from my sister helped, too 😉

What We Did

We had grand plans of going to see a few shows and night clubs, but once we got there, we realized we didn’t want to be tied down to specific plans.  The Chainsmokers were playing at our hotels club/night lounge the night we got there, but the concierge said they wouldn’t actually get on until 2-2:30am… considering that was PST (3 hours behind) and that we had been up since 4am EST, we decided to forgo that idea. Instead, we went to the new(ish) Cosmopolitan hotel and had a drink at their Chandelier bar, gambled a little and went to their lounge bar which was really a fun scene. We spent a lot of time at the pool- having drinks, enjoying the music and some pretty awesome people watching. We walked a good portion of the strip one day which I enjoyed- the sites are so amazing, the hotels so grand, and you just see things there that you wouldn’t see back home. I learned how to play BlackJack and really enjoyed it (while we were winning!), but want to now learn how to play craps because that looked like so much fun.

Bottom line, you can pretty much do anything you want in Vegas: shows, clubs, lounge bars, pools, pool parties, drinking, walking, eating well… limitless possibilities, which is just part of what makes the city so much fun.

Overall, the trip was so great- I was so proud of us for being spontaneous.

But the real question is… Where to next?!

Ski/Snowboard Trip To Jackson Hole

Now that we are back and unpacked from our trip, I wanted to share some highlights and details with you in case you’re thinking of taking a ski/snowboard trip out west. I’ll preface this post by saying that I am by no means an avid skiier, but it’s something that I am trying to do more of since RM really loves snowboarding. That said, he was the one to plan the trip which was a nice treat! I hope you enjoy the recap!

Why Jackson Hole?

RM generally takes a snowboard trip out west every year and Jackson was a mountain that he had not been to yet. When he started asking around, everyone who had been to Jackson Hole had such great things to say so we decided to check it out. Two of my close friends from college lived out there after we graduated and taught skiing so they were a great resource for us to get our “must do/try/see” list together.

We decided to fly right into Jackson Hole which was a great decision because the views from the plane as we got into the area were literally the most beautiful thing. If you’ve never been, the airport is basically in the midst of the mountains so even when you get off the plane you’re looking at mountains all around. Plus, they serve mini mimosas to you!

Where To Stay

We chose to stay at the Sleeping Indian condo’s in Teton Village, but if we had known it was a 15 minute walk to get to the mountain base restaurants/bars/etc., we would have opted to stay elsewhere. The condo we rented had everything we needed, but was lacking in some of the things that would have been nice. For instance, we would’ve liked if it was a little more updated, if it had an easily accessible hot tub (rather than walking down the road to use a community one) and if it was in a more central location. While the walk wasn’t THAT far, at night when it was dark and cold and we were tired from skiing, it was the last thing we wanted to do! We ended up staying in a few nights because of it. If/when we go back, we will likely stay at the Snake River Lodge, Teton Mountain Lodge or another one of the more centralized hotels. Staying at the Four Seasons would be amazing, but that comes with a hefty price tag 😉 Staying in downtown Jackson is also an option, but that’s about a 15-20 minute drive to the mountain so if you plan on going for a ski/snowboard trip we would suggest staying in Teton Village.

What To Do

Ski! Snowboard! Snowmobile! Snowshoe! Cross-country Ski! Shop! and those are just the winter activities. Even if you aren’t a skiier/snowboarder, there are definitely plenty of things to do, but since we went with the purpose of going skiing/snowboarding, that’s primarily what we did.

Our first full day there was beautiful- low 40’s and so sunny- so we opted to not ski and head into downtown Jackson to do some touristy things. We shopped, took pics at the antler arches, had drinks and lunch at the Snake River Brewery and popped into the famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar because it was a “must do”! RM was so glad we did because we ended up seeing Sanjay Gupta and his family there. If don’t know who this is, it means you don’t watch CNN enough 😉

 

 

We had other things we wanted to do, but since we were skiing for 3 days we just didn’t have enough time to get it all in.

As far as skiing, we were lucky that the first day we skiied was nice because we were able to soak in the most amazing views from the chair lifts/gondolas and throughout our trail runs. It started snowing at the end of our first day on the mountain and literally didn’t stop snowing the rest of the trip, which made for great skiing! We skiied the right side of the mountain the most- Apres Vous, Casper, Teton, etc. We did venture up to Bridger a few times, but between the wind and snow, the visibility was basically non-existent so it was not that fun for me. I loved the blue and double blue trails on the other parts of the mountain, though, but I will say that it is a pretty challenging mountain in terms of steepness so the blues and double blues were no joke! I feel like when I ski here back east it’s going to be such a letdown since the mountains aren’t as tall and there aren’t as many trails to choose from.

 

and just for fun… this video is of me trying to be “good”

 

and this is what reality is generally like…

I could watch that and still laugh a hundred times over!

Where To Eat/Apres Ski

This is probably my favorite thing to recap because there were so many great restaurants/bars for food and Apres Ski.

  • Mangy Moose– Obviously this is number one on the list! Everyone told us that we had to go there because they have the best apres ski and they were not wrong! It was always the most crowded and the drinks (get the margarita!!) and food were awesome- and reasonably priced. There was also a live band every day! If you go to JH, you MUST go to the Mangy Moose. It’s also worth noting that they have a little grocery store in the lower level where we were able to get some staples for our condo- including wine and beer!

  • Il Villaggio Osteria– This was in Hotel Terre and had amazing pizza! One night RM wasn’t hungry (too many apres ski nachos and wings…) and we ended up walking over there and sitting in the lobby bar and I had the meatballs and kale salad which were great. Another night RM was laid up because of a hurt foot (he’s fine now) so I walked and picked up pizza for us and we both raved how good it was. They also have other traditional Italian dishes that sounded amazing.
  • Spur Restaurant – This was in the Teton Mountain Lodge and was another hot spot for dining. We grabbed seats in the bar area and shared a delicious salad, mini tuna tartar tacos, steak and a droolworthy bread pudding. The staff was incredibly attentive and warm- I can’t say enough good things about this restaurant!

  • The Handle Bar– This was a restaurant in a prime location: direct base of the mountain connected to the Four Seasons. We had and Apres ski round of drinks there one day after skiing and were able to sit outside which was a nice March treat. We ended up having dinner there- an incredible burger!- on our last night. They’ve got a great bar inside, too!

  • Alpenhof– They had great apres ski deals, but we only had drinks there. They were supposedly a great apre ski spot, however, the few times we popped in to see if we wanted to stay, it was really quiet. It’s still in a great location so I would check it out if you are in the area!
  • Snake River Brewery– We popped in here during our day in town and ended up having lunch there, too, which was a fantastic idea since the food ended up being really delicious. And who am I kidding? The beer was also really good (and I’m not even a huge beer person!). We shared a salad and steak tacos and both agreed the tacos were the best we’ve had (for the steak varietal).

  • Million Dollar Cowboy Bar– We felt like we needed to pop into this bar since it’s a pretty famous landmark in Jackson. It was fun soaking in all of the details throughout the bar.

We had all intentions of making it back into town on our last night to check out the Silver Dollar Bar at The Wort hotel, but it was still snowing and we didn’t want to make the trek back to town so unfortunately we never made it back 😦

All in all, this was such an incredible trip and we would both highly suggest it to anyone who is looking for adventure in an absolutely beautiful place. I really hope we can make it back out here again!

 

 

Weekending in Boothbay Harbor

Hi! Last weekend was one for the books, so I just HAD to share 😉 My friend Meredith was getting married in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, so we figured we might as well make a little weekend out of it. I hadn’t taken time off of work since Italy, so it felt nice to have a 4 day weekend planned. After a long walk and breakfast, RM and I hit the road.

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Since it was such a gorgeous day, we planned to leave early enough to accommodate a stop at Wells Beach for a few hours. The sand was soft, the sun  was shining and the wine was flowing… not a bad start to the weekend!

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(side note- have you seen these CANS of wine? they are the perfect thing to take on the road with you and I have to say, the rose was delicious!)

We packed up and hit the road to make the remainder of the trip around 4pm and unfortunately hit lots of traffic. We finally made it to the Inn around 6 and were ready for a shower and dinner. The Inn we stayed at was Topside Inn and we cannot say enough good things about our stay there. The owners, Mark and “Buzz”, were awesome and have done a really great job with the business that they bought just a year ago. The rooms were gorgeous and very “beach-y” feeling, everything was immaculately clean and detail was paid to just about everything you could think of- including leaving a wine opener with the wine glasses in each room 😉

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(snacks and vino- a man after my own heart!)
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Weekending: Cape Edition

And we are already amidst another week…. can time please slow down?! RM and I escaped to the Cape last weekend and it really was the most perfect weekend from start to finish. The only bad thing was it ending! I was saying to RM on our way back to Boston yesterday that normally I’m OK with weekends and parties and vacations ending because I love my normal day to day life, but for some reason I really didn’t want last weekend to end.

Friday night, we packed up and headed south around 6:45, but not before I packed up some “healthier” weekend treats. I don’t like to travel without some staple food items because they help me stay more on track with the way I like to eat- here are some staples and some splurges, all picked up at the Whole Foods in Lynnfield.

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We hit ZERO traffic heading to the cape which was awesome! Before we knew it, we were saddled up at The Kettle Ho which is just down the road from RM’s family’s house. We had a few drinks and some dinner and called it an early night since RM had a 7:40 tee time on Saturday.

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While RM was golfing, I took advantage of being down on the Cape and took Aly’s class at the B/Spoke Cape House “pop up studio”.

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The class was AWESOME and judging by the crowds and waitlists, this was a great business venture for them. Aly’s class was crazy high energy, the tracks were challenging and I left there literally dripping with sweat.

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Continuing on with my “morning of me”, I treated myself to a post class smoothie and pedicure at the Mashpee Commons.
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Italy Recap Part 3 (Final one!): Castiglione Della Pescaia

I can’t believe I’m here with my 3rd and final recap of our recent Italian vacation… I’m not ready for it to be over! In case you missed the first 2 recaps, here they are: Italy Recap Part 1: Rome Italy Recap Part 2: Pienza Our last leg of the trip was spent on the sandy beaches in Castiglione Della Pescaia, which was about 2 hours north west of Pienza. The ride on Friday morning was actually quite nice as we entered into the more beach-y areas of Italy. IMG_1387 IMG_1386
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