Monday, March 21, 2011

Fat Girl Takes Vegas

In order to keep us all from falling off the wagon (they really should put restraining devices on that thing), let's, for just a moment, forget that this blog is typically dedicated to my adventures in exercise, self-awareness, and attempting to eat better.  Forgotten?  Good.
From Wednesday to Saturday (and a bit of Sunday), I threw all caution to the wind and ate my way through Las Vegas.  My husband went to bet on the NCAA Tournament games and to play Craps.  I went so that I could forget that I'm trying to lose 50 pounds and that I gave up fried foods for Lent (I had to apologize to Jesus several times throughout the trip (and once on Sunday... and again at lunch today).
My adventure started in a small airport in Kansas with a half of an Almond Joy and a delicious Ham & Turkey on Asiago Cheese Bagel from the Great American Bagel Company.  I love that place.  Since we began by forgetting things, lets also forget that bagels are like 10,000 calories per each half, and who knows how bad they are when you load them up with entirely too much real mayonnaise, mustard, cold cuts, and a few veggies.

After the plane took off, all bets were off (because, as we all know, calories DO NOT count on vacation), so I enjoyed a King Size Snicker Bar.  Yes the whole thing.  It was fabulous.

We were starving when we landed so we picked up dinner #2 at the hotel (my husband opted out of dinner #1 because he has the will power of a steam roller on steroids), which was a Meat Cravers Pizza from California Pizza Kitchen.  I'll admit, I'm kind of partial to Pizza Hut, but it served it's purpose (that purpose being, feeding the growling beast in my belly and helping me turn back into 'Nice Kelsey' from 'Gozer the Gozarian', as my husband likes to call me).
The hotel in which we stayed was the Mirage.  The room was absolutely beautiful, very modern, with a comfortable king sized bed.  What I was most excited about was the refrigerator in the room.  I was busy telling my husband about all of the delicious cold-leftover-breakfasts we were going to be able to eat.  I was pumped.  I opened this door to heaven to put our leftover piece of pizza and almost shrieked with disappointment.  The little tiny fridge was already full of junk food.  You would think that I would have been happy. No no.  Each item in the refrigerator is setting atop a sensor, if you even so much as remove the item you will be charged an exhorbitant amount for it, plus a ridiculous restocking fee.  Thank the Good Lord that my lack of will power when it comes to junk food can be quickly suppressed by my frugality.  No moment of weakness can be given into for a absurdly priced pack of M&M's.
So no cold leftovers, bummer.  The next morning my immediate first stop was the Starbucks in the hotel lobby for a Grande Skinny Mocha Frapuccino.  Starbucks is overpriced, I know that; but I still love the cold frothy goodness of a Mocha Frap, really I do.  We headed to Denny's for a good hearty breakfast before we headed out exploring Sin City.  I enjoyed a French Toast Grand Slam (complete with two over-medium eggs, two sausage links, and two pieces of crispy bacon) and a Diet Coke.  Have I mentioned that I'm back on the hooch?  The last two weeks have been a complete failure as far as my vow to never drink soda again goes.  I'll start that again next week.  In the meantime, Dear Kidneys: I'm sorry.

My longtime friend Jennifer and I then headed to every outlet mall in the surrounding area while our husbands were busy gambling, betting, and spotting C-List celebrities.  We shopped, and shopped, and shopped, and shopped some more.  We shopped and browsed and bargain hunted until our ankles were swollen and our calves were aching.  We stopped for lunch at an Outback (I really enjoyed a Prime Rib Dip with French Fries).  And then we shopped some more.  I was excited to get back to the hotel and go through all my super cute new clothes, only to realize that I had hit the Osh Kosh, Gymboree, and Carters outlets much harder than I did Ann Taylor Loft and the Gap.  Oh well, I'm sure my son will be super thrilled with his new digs.

Evening came and I absolutely could not wait for dinner.  This was going to be the highlight of the entire trip, this was what I was waiting for.... Serendipity 3.  If you haven't ever been to Vegas, or you haven't eaten at a Serendipity...  GO!  For the love of all that is good and holy, book your plane ticket and make a reservation.  I first heard about Serendipity 3 from this blog and it was love at first read.  I had been telling my husband and the other two couples who went with us (and anyone else who would listen, for that matter) about how amazing it was going to be.  I could not wait.
Jennifer and I decided to split a delicious Cheeseburger and French Fries so to be able to fully enjoy what we came for: DESSERT.  My husband suggested that we split a dessert but I kindly insisted we not do that, explaining to him that I only ate half of a giant cheeseburger in order to eat a ridiculous amount of dessert.  Rolling his eyes, he complied.  I decided on the Jackpot Sundae, which was a glorious combination of dark chocolate and strawberry ice creams, drenched in hot fudge and strawberry toppings topped with a whipped cream and a fresh strawberry.  More accurately, it was a bowl full of heaven.
 Jennifer and her husband shared the Broadway Sunday, which, if my sugar coated memory serves me correctly, it was chocolate cake, dark chocolate ice cream, hot fudge and whipped cream.  Also delicious.
 My husband chose the Oreo flavored version of the dessert that Serendipity 3 is famous for: The Frrrozen Hot Chocolate.  It has the taste of hot cocoa, but comes in the form of a cold thick shake.  As you may have guessed... delicious.
I had to sample all three desserts (for journalistic purposes, of course), and could only eat about a quarter of my own... I really should have listened to my husband and split a dessert with him, but I'll never tell him that.  Serendipity is, in one word, sweetlydeliciouslyamazinglydecadent (yes that's one word).  In fact, I had to change from my cute jeans to my mom jeans after dinner... next time I'll pack sweat pants, not even bother to order dinner and go straight to dessert.

The next morning I had a solo brunch while my husband hit the Craps tables.  It was peaceful and quiet, much different than this mom-of-a-toddler is used to.  I enjoyed the Pepperoni & Cheese Toasties at Onda, an Italian restaurant in the Mirage.
Lunch was a at quirky little restaurant, way of the strip called Chicken D'Lish.  It was, surprisingly, really yummy.  I ate the Walnut Chicken Salad Wrap which included chicken, lettuce, tomato, walnuts, grapes, and apples.  On the side were Garlic Roasted Seasoned Potatoes (garlic being the operative word).

Before our 7:30 show, we had Starbucks cookies for snacks so that Gozer the Gozarian wouldn't come out to visit.  We saw a Cirque Du Soliel show, and they never disappoint.  I can't even imagine the amount of training and rehearsal that goes into perfecting these performances.  I am always blown away when I see them.  I imagine that they probably would have been upset if they would have caught scent of my chewy chocolate chip cookie.

For dinner we traveled off the strip again, this time, to Bahama Breeze where we spotted another C-List Celebrity (we really should try to get jobs at TMZ).  I enjoyed the Coconut Shrimp with rice and broccoli.  I was quite impressed with the menu, food, drinks, and the reasonable price.  I felt like it was maybe a place that locals went, it felt super laid back and wasn't overflowing with tourists.
Our last morning in Vegas, all six of us were all ready to get back home, especially to our kids and dogs.  Three nights spent in Vegas are plenty.  Even for the most conditioned city-people.  Trudging through the concrete jungle of scantily clad woman in too tall of heels, and an endless amount of foreign travelers taking pictures of everything while dragging their exhausted children behind them (in cute flats that made my heels bleed nonetheless... seriously why can't I ever bring myself to pack tennis shoes) for a few days is almost more than a person can handle.  This is just a side note, but speaking of children in Vegas... don't bring them.  It's not a place for children, if you are going to vacation in Sin City, leave the babies at home.  Back to my bleeding heels... I was lucky enough in one of my shopping adventures to be able to find an adorable pair of sliver ballet slippers ON SALE that made my feet feel as if there was nothing between them and the ground (which is the way I prefer it).  It was the best $12.00 I have ever spent.  These shiny beauties took me all the way through the last evening of our trip and all the way home to the land of Oz.
Before leaving to head back to the airport, after stopping for my Mocha Frap and a blueberry muffin at Starbucks, I decided to stop at a store I had been admiring our last two visits in Vegas, but had never let myself go.  The Sugar Factory.  Yes, it's as fabulous as it sounds.  Wall to wall gummy, chocolaty, crunchy, jaw breaking, tooth rotting, diabetic coma inducing, drool making deliciousness.
I settled upon milk chocolate covered peanuts mixed with dark chocolate covered almonds.  They were just the perfect treat for the plane ride home, and the right kind of medicine for my husband's flared sinuses (as I've said before, I firmly believe that there is nothing that chocolate can't cure).

You would probably suspect that my biggest souvenir of all was a few (dozen) extra pounds, but I was not so unlucky!  Thank goodness for all of the walking around and shopping-till-I-nearly-dropped (and double thanks for calories not counting on vacations), because I was able to work off all of the amazing meals and endless desserts almost as fast as I was inhaling them.

Take a vacation (and take walking shoes).  Love yourself.  And remember... you're In Good Company.

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