Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Do you accepted the challenge.

I sent a mass text out to all my friends asking them to draw "a man riding a bear using a bullhorn" and they are to send me the picture of their drawing.  Why did I do this? Shrug.. why not?

I will post them up as they come in.

Here's mine


Howie's. Not bad I must say.

Here's my coworkers attempt. Teresa. Even though she used the pictures above as references while she was drawing, this is what she came up with. I told her a bullhorn, but I'm not sure if she understood.


Here is Edwin's attempt at it. Looks like he spent a lot of time on it and so far looks the best. 

While we were at Grill'Em having some cocktails. 
Which by the way has one of the best happy hours. 

$2.50 well drinks 
$3 draft beers
$4 house wines
$4 margaritas
$5 appetizers 
and on Thursdays $3 Mojitos: Lime, Peach, Pomegranate, Strawberry and Mango.

So we told our bartender Rebecca about the challenge and so she made her attempt. 
To me it looks like a cat smoking a joint riding a pig. LOL

Next we have Linh's attempt. A Panda bear... I would have never thought of that.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A quick get away to Las Vegas.

It's been a while since I had been to Vegas. I decided to surprise my lady friend with a quick overnight trip to Vegas.

Since we were only going for a day I wanted to utilize as much time as possible there. So we took the first flight out. It was a weekday so I was pretty confident that the hotel would have early check in. We stayed at the Aria at the City Center. It was my first time staying there.

I always bring my camera with me, but this time I forgot to put my SD card in it. So I had to purchase one when we got to the hotel. Unfortunately I missed out on some photos of us arriving and the lobby. Picked up a 4g micro SD with adapter at the Elements in Aria. It was about $25 with tax. Just in case anyone needs to find one.

My review of the room at the Aria. We stayed in the deluxe king. The room was very nice and very spacious. We were given a room with a view of the pools. There is a daily resort fee of about $22-$24. The fee includes access to the gym, wifi, airline ticket printing at the front desk, and some other stuff I forgot, but must not have been important.

Upon walking up to the room the doors no longer have a key card slot. All you do is wave you key card in front of the black sensor and it will unlock the door. So you can keep your key card in your wallet and just wave your wallet in front of the sensor. It makes it so much more convenient than fumbling for your key card when you're drunk. Or if you're skilled enough you can just keep your key card in your pocket and just hop at the door sensor. Good luck with that.

I guess the card or room is programmed so that when you first enter the room all the lights turn on, the TV turns on and the curtains open up. It's a pretty nice welcome.

With how the hotel is designed the rooms make it seem like you have a corner room due to the 90 degree window view. It was a nice touch.

Next to the bed is a control panel that you can control everything from. temperature, curtains, music, TV, lighting, alarm clock, and room service. Also based on who's key card is used to open the door their name is displayed on the digital remote. The bed huge and super comfortable and there are way too many blankets on that thing.

Your normal flat screen TV and there is a media outlet on the desk.

The bathroom is nice.

The bathtub is situated inside the shower. It's different, but I guess it's nice that you can do both without leaving one area for the other.

After we checked in, we ended up sleeping. Way to start the trip. We ended up passing out until noon. I got up and while she was getting ready I ran out to grab tickets for the Jabbawockeez show at the Monte Carlo.

I snapped a few pictures on my way out.

After grabbing the tickets we headed out just to walk around. The place I wanted to go to for lunch didn't open till 3pm. So we had a few hours to burn. So we strolled through the Crystals shopping area. Nothing but high end stores there.

After exiting the shopping area you end up at the Cosmopolitan Hotel.

We walked through the Cosmopolitan real quick and next door to that is the Bellagio.

The garden at the Bellagio was well decorated for the month of November.

The tree actually moves and talks.

After the Bellagio next door to that was Caesar's Palace.

We were starving. All we had since we woke up was a croissant and tea. Linda wanted to grab a smoothie to hold her off until lunch.

After the quick snack we were off to the Forum shops.

Linda had been looking for a specific Gucci wallet to match her purse. She couldn't find it at the Gucci store back at home. So we took a peek inside...

Fortunately this store had it so I picked it up for her.

I went to check out the old FAO Schwartz store. I know after FAO was gone it was still a toy store, but when I went to check it out this time it had been converted to a H&M store.

After the forum shops we headed across the street to the Venetian. I wanted to make a quick stop at the Christian Louboutin store. My friend had been looking for a pair of sneakers by C.L but they have been sold out for quite some time. I thought I would give it a try.

It seemed like the Venetian was setting up for some kind of Christmas event or something. They had speakers and stages set up all over the place. You can see the Christmas tree type thingy to the left of the picture. It wasn't completed yet.

Got to the C.L store and they did not have the shoes, but it looks like they were going to be doing a restock. So I was able to get my friend on the waiting list. The shoes he wanted are pictured below. Unfortunately the black on black is not being brought back yet, but the black with silver is what I got him on the waiting list for.

By the time we were done it was time for lunch finally. I took her to a place my friend Pierce took me too back in February when I was here. It's off the strip a bit located in Chinatown. It's called Ichiza. It's a Japanese Tapas restaurant. It's really good and they don't price gouge like they do on the strip. It's worth a visit.

Sear Ahi Tuna

Check out those specials on the wall.. Don't mind the girl.

Jalapeno fried rice. It was awesome and spicy

pictured below is Fatty Yellow Tuna sashimi on top and the bottom octopus in ponzu sauce.

a closer picture of the Fatty Yellow Tuna. It was amazing and I hate fish. Almost as good as Toro (Blue Fin Tuna Belly)

fried shrimp with mayonnaise.

Grilled squid.

Sauteed spinach and mushrooms.

Tuna Tartar.

Seared oysters.

I think that's it. We ate a lot and were stuffed. Everything was amazing. I wanted to have the honey toast, but didn't have the room for it. They are quite known for that dessert.

After the late lunch we went downstairs and had some milk tea at Tea Station while we waited for our taxi to come. I originally called Yellow Checker Star. We waited about 30 minutes and no one arrived. I called them again to check on our taxi. They put me on hold which ended up hanging up on me. I called again and this time no answer. WTF! I ended up calling Desert Cab Inc. I waited a bit and they showed up right when I was about to call them again. Just look at the reviews on yelp. Stay away from Yellow Checker Star. They suck!

We got back to the hotel and took a quick 30 min nap. Then we had to get ready for the Jabbawockeez show. The rooms looks a lot better at night. Vegas in general looks better at night.

Night view from our room.

We got all fancied up and headed out the door.

Snapped some nice night shots on our way to the Monte Carlo.

Snapped a quick photo of the stage at the show. The show was awesome. I'm was a fan ever since I saw them on America's Best Dance Crew. I didn't know what to expect from the show, but Linda wanted to see it and I'm glad she did. The show was entertaining all the way through. I loved every bit of it. Plus they played a great selection of music. I would see this again with friends that have not seen it. It was nice to see something different from the usual Cirque Du Soleil stuff. Do arrive a bit early. About 10 minutes before the show there is a guy going around entertaining the crowd.

The show was 1 1/2hrs long. We were out by 9pm. The show seemed longer than that though. I had plans for a nice dinner, but we were still stuffed from our late lunch. So we just headed out for drinks.

Our first stop was The Chandelier at Cosmopolitan. Marquee the club was open that night so we assumed it would be busy at that hotel. We were early and it was slow.

After a drink at the Chandelier. I wanted to check out other bars at other hotels to see if anything else was busier. So we walked next door to the Bellagio. We stopped off at the first bar we saw which was Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant and Lounge. It was dead here too and it looked like they were about to close. We had a drink here and chatted with the bartender. She told us that the palce to be on a Monday was Cosmopolitan. So we headed back after finishing our drinks.

Back at "The Chandelier"

We ended up staying at The Chandelier. We chatted up with the bartender there. Found out that one of the bartenders (Derek). Does magic tricks and he was quite good at it. He did some pretty awesome card tricks. We were both pretty buzzed but he did his tricks just inches from my face and I couldn't catch the slight of hand. It was really awesome. It was like watching street magic live. Some of the memorable tricks were the balloon trick where Derek stuck my cell phone inside an inflated balloon. Another one, he bent and creased the card that I chose and stuck in the middle of the pile and some how made it warp to the top of the deck. That was pretty awesome and one trick he had Linda holding the deck of cards and was somehow able to switch it out of her hands in exchange for a plastic cube. That was pretty cool. If you ever get stop by The Chandelier for drinks ask for Derek. He is there Fri-Mon nights. Great Drinks and free magic tricks.

Here's a picture of the plastic cube that Linda ended up with.

After watching this video I can see where the slight of hand happens, but when I saw it in person I didn't catch it. Still awesome free entertainment. I can't complain. Plus I had been drinking. LOL.
After being at the lounge for a few hours we called it a night and head back to the room.

Woke up the next morning and packed our stuff. Checked out and headed out for lunch before our flight.

We ate at Lemongrass at Aria. Thai food.

Nothing like fresh coconut juice to help with a night of drinking.

Tom Yum soup.

Basil Mushroom steamed rice.

Curry Duck. This was amazing!

The restaurant was good. It was a bit pricey for casual dining and Thai food to say the least, but then again it is Vegas. We had about 15 minutes to kill before leaving the hotel. Linda had been eyeing "The Hangover" movie themed slot machine the whole trip. So I told her she should play it. Next to it though was a Star Wars slot machine and she loves Star Wars. So she decided to play that instead.

She ended up turning $20 into $80 in a matter of minutes. It's not a million bucks, but all the lights and sounds made it exciting. To bad we couldn't add a zero to that payout. I was more excited than she was. LOL and it was only a few dollars. I'm easily entertained.
Got to the airport and we were hungry again. So we had nachos.
Then hopped on our flight. A quick flight and we were back home. It was a fun and quick trip. Definitely would do it again.
It was not enough time to do everything, but was enough to give you a teaser of Vegas. Las Vegas I will see you again in January.

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