a vegas-y labor day weekend

las vegas is one of our favorite vacation spots. despite having visited more than our fair share, we keep returning for the awesome food, drinks, and pool time. everything we could want to do is in vegas, and despite the fact that everything in town is just a bit "more" than everything anywhere else, it's always been an affordable vacation option. this trip marked the first time we saw the family since moving, so we had a blast visiting our usual hot spots and catching up! here is our "can't miss" list for sin city:

-the patio at olives (bellagio)
this little patio extends over the fountains at bellagio, and can be a tricky seat to get depending on the season. you can put in a special request with the hostess, and when you make your reservation to increase your odds, however patio seating cannot be guaranteed. eating on the terrace while the fountain show plays is one of my all-time vacation favorites! if you can, try and time your seating around 8pm, when the show switches from every half hour, to every 15 minutes. 

-bellagio conservatory and gardens
prior to (or after) dinner is a great time to check out the gardens at bellagio. the garden display changes 5 times each year, and the glass ceiling of the lobby is gorgeous!

-eiffel tower restaurant
the eiffel tower restaurant in paris across the street from bellagio is another great place to catch the fountains. this restaurant is pretty pricey, so we like to just pop up for an after dinner drink.

-the forum shoppes at caesar's palace
the forum shoppes at caesars is one of our favorite places to kill an afternoon. it's a very strategic plan: a light lunch at trevi, which boasts vegas' best dirty martini (hands down, this is fact not opinion, and their flatbreads are pretty damn tasty as well!) then lots of walking around oogling all the high end stores until we are in a position to eat again, at which point we head over to serendipity 3 for the world's most perfect dessert- the frozen hot chocolate. and just in case you were wondering, the singular serving easily serves two people...especially two people who have recently eaten lunch. learn from our misadventures and don't get suckered into ordering a "hot chocolate for two" which really serves about a family of four.

-the grand canal shoppes at the venetian
the grand canal shoppes are another one of our favorite destinations in vegas, given that the venetian is our favorite hotel. we love the gelato, watching braver tourists than us take rides on the gondolas, and we always stop for a break at canonita for margaritas and mexican food. on this particular trip we couldn't help but laugh at the fact that we flew 3 hours north of mexico...to eat mexican food.

lounging by the pool
we usually don't come to vegas without scheduling a little sunshine time.  the weather in vegas is perfect for sunbathing with such low humidity. however i can't stress enough...between the alcohol, altitude, low humidity and heat- hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! the pools are also a great place to enjoy your morning cup of coffee. and if you happen to be "so over" starbucks, we highly recommend bouchon bakery. we may or may not have stopped for a pastry and coffee every. single. morning.

cirque du soleil
of all the vegas shows we've seen, the cirque due soleil acts are our favorites! in our humble opinions, the best shows to see are "o" and the love show (we're beatles fans), but this time around we caught "mystere" at treasure island. also on our list to check out is the new michael jackson show at the newly renovated delano (previously thehotel at mandalay bay.)

tao nightclub and bistro
i know you can't walk 10 feet in vegas without tripping over a spot to have drinks, but we tend to be a little selective of where we spend our happy hours. tao nightclub and bistro is another one of our favorites. we're not much into the "nightclub" aspect of tao so we stopped by earlier in the evening. their menu features unique choices such as the lychee martini, and is a great intimate spot to relax, share a drink and get away from the neon lights and casino atmosphere.

hotel exploration
while i don't recommend this at high noon in the summer, if the weather is nice walking the las vegas strip and exploring the nearby hotels is a great way to see most of what vegas has to offer, while burning off those many many calories from the delicious eats and drinks.

mix lounge at the delano
mix lounge resides on the 64th floor of the newly renovated delano hotel (formerly thehotel at manadalay bay) and offers one of the best views of the strip. you even take a glass elevator on the way up and down, which is fantastic for viewing, but not so fabulous if like me, you aren't great with heights.

so there you have a quick round up of our most-recommended places to stop and shop if you're in sin city. we're headed back home on a jet plane now, but as always, hope to come back again very soon!

-l
made to border