Life as we know it

Our family adventures

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Dinner at the Wynn

We didn’t really hit any super fancy restaurants in Vegas. We almost couldn’t have if we’d wanted to because we were eating at such weird times. We did, however, hit two of the nicer buffets in town, at the Wynn and the Bellagio. We paid more than I’d thought I’d ever pay for a buffet restaurant… but both were quite worth the price.




The picture below doesn’t do the scene justice… out that window was a restaurant with a water fall on the wall.



Here’s the super fancy casino (you should have seen the bathroom here! I didn’t take a picture though because that would be weird).









A sampling of the dessert spread… and dinner was even more massive. I couldn’t believe how big this place was!




More shops I could never even browse in!




After we were thoroughly stuffed, we hiked back down to catch the Pirates at Treasure Island. I think if we’d laid down, we might not have gotten up.

I took some great pictures of the sunset. This is my favorite:


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New York, New York

Start spreading the news…
I’m leaving today…
I wanna be a part of it…
New York, New York
My three favorite resorts in Vegas were the Bellagio, the Venetian and New York, New York.
New York, New York was one of the easiest ones to navigate. It seemed very compact, though maybe we didn’t see it all.
I love how this shop/restaurant area looks like a NY street!
And the replica of the Ball on Times Square.
And the neon lights on the tables that mimic the skyline.
As well as the murals of the skyline.
This place was awesome!

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Dolphins and white tigers

Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat was an easy (and non-exhasting) attraction as it is at the Mirage. It really is a secret garden though, as we had to walk surprisingly far to get there!
We were able to get up really close to the dolphins. I think that’s why they searched bags so diligently. I had my purse searched even more closely than I had at the airport!
You could pay a lot to have up close and personal dolphin time. We just watched someone else do this. I didn’t get any pictures of the dolphin “painting” a picture. They had the guest hold a small canvas and the dolphin held a paint brush and actually painted! Now that would have been a cool souvenir.
After the dolphin session was done, we headed to the secret garden.
Some of the kittys were tired! I don’t blame them, it was hot!
The white tigers, however, were pretty active.

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The Bellagio was one of my favorite resorts. Its just pretty.
It was a long walk around the Bellagio. We set out on Friday aiming for Mandalay Bay, but also to explore the Bellagio and find the spa since that’s where I had my massage on Saturday. I’m glad we scouted the place!
Every casino had their shops… and I don’t think I could have afforded to shop in any of them! Definitely not Gucci!
It took a lot of walking just to find the casino!
(And by the way, I got a hot stone massage, and it was amazing. I could have spent all day at the spa).
So much to look at, especially above!
After walking all that way to find the spa, we were hungry. We found a pastry shop near the spa, and waited at least a half hour in line for crepes. The wait was worth it. The pictures of that shop will come later.
Friday the botanical gardens in the Bellagio were being changed for the season, so they were closed. When we were back on Saturday, it was all done.
The #1 thing I wanted to do in Vegas was see the fountains at the Bellagio. We didn’t make it to them until Saturday night. Before the fountains, we stopped in to see the gorgeous gardens!
And then we saw the fountains, and they were just as cool as expected.
By the time we were walking back to the Mirage, we were a little tired to really enjoy the strip all lit up… that seemed to be a common theme. We had to walk so much to get where we were going, so it was hard to enjoy the destination! I did get some great pictures of the strip at night though.

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Fight night in Vegas

If Vegas is pretty crazy on a normal day, it is just insane on fight night. Isn’t there some saying about that?
Friday we set out to walk the Strip down to Mandalay Bay to see the sharks. We made it as far as the MGM Grand and instead spent a couple hours checking out the atmosphere.
Doug and I had already picked the weekend of Sept. 12-15 before the Mayweather Canelo fight was announced. When it was announced we decided to book anyway so we could experience the atmosphere, maybe see a few celebs. As it turned out, we may have seen Mayweather’s kids, but no confirmed celebrity sightings.
As the weekend drew closer and Doug was surprised at the amount of coverage the fight was getting, we were afraid the atmosphere would just be waiting in more and longer lines. That really wasn’t the case in most places, but the MGM was packed and crazy. We got there on Friday about two hours before the fight’s weigh in.
We weren’t interested in the fight at all, but the display with Mayweather’s wardrobe from notable fights was cool to see.
They had a ring set up in the center of the main lobby with the MGM lion. We walked through the MGM on Saturday afternoon as well, and it was even more packed and crazy and there was someone standing guard there.
I guess the weigh in wasn’t a ticketed event because Doug wanted to walk down by the arena to check out the scene. We went all the way into the concourse but decided we didn’t want to stay for the event because we were exhausted from all the walking. 149
The weekend was Mexican Independence Day, maybe thats why the fight was scheduled then? There was a mariachi band playing outside the concourse and when we first walked through there was a TV crew filming them. We saw that mariachi band later on ESPN so its likely we were watching them filming that highlight!
By this time the weigh in was about an hour away and was going to last an hour. I don’t think we’d had lunch yet and we were exhausted from the morning’s walking. We had gone into the MGM to find the monorail and ride down to Mandalay Bay and when we finally got to the monorail, we found that the MGM was the last stop. So instead we went back to the Mirage for a little vegging time.
I got these last couple pictures of the front with the iconic lion on Saturday. On Friday we’d just ducked into the first entrance we came to so we could cool off.

We saw our show on Saturday night and the place was basically empty, so our free tickets in the balcony were complementary upgraded. I don’t know if it was because of the fight or if the place is normally empty, but we didn’t ask questions!

We did get in on a bit of betting action in Vegas with some little loyalty bets. We also put a little money on Mayweather and won!

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Sick baby

Peyton didn’t nap well yesterday and he didn’t sleep well last night. He woke up this morning and was in a seemingly good mood. He’s got these perpetual red eyes from not sleeping. He has them again tonight.
This picture is amusing because Allie likes to have her Allie-gator sit in the high chair during breakfast. And she insists Allie-gator stay even when Peyton is to occupy the seat.

I took his temp a bit later and found he had a low-grade fever. He had some tylenol at daycare today and slept 5 hours. Tonight he’s just sat in my lap without doing much and he’s with Dada now. We have a sick baby. 😦 He was falling asleep so I put him to bed before 7 and he slept about an hour. He woke up and has resisted going back to sleep. I think we’re in for another long night here in the Durso house 😦

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Literacy Network 5K

Taking a break from Vegas…

Yesterday was the Literacy Network 5K. I’ve done this race twice before and really enjoyed it. It seems like maybe they have a different management company doing it now or something because I didn’t like it as much yesterday as I have in the past.

Either way, it was a race and I ran it. And my sister Jeni ran it too! Well, she walked a lot of it, but key component to one’s first 5K is finishing, and she did that! Here are a few pictures from before the race.
The runners.
This is a nice family picture, I think! I love races when my family can come!
And Jeni with her family, Dave and Tyler! Its great having cheering sections!

I hadn’t done this race for a few years, so I thought this was like other downtown races where we have to navigate Observatory hill. I was pleasantly reminded, however, that this race is down on the Lakeshore Path. So not only were there not really any hills, but the nice soft gravel surface!

My goal was to finish in under 40 minutes. And I did! I also felt really good and strong and I ran the whole thing! My last 5K in August was tough with the heat and hills; I finished in 40:54. I thought yesterday’s race was my best time, but just had to look up my results from the June 5K (that I managed to never record here in this blog!). Anyway, I found I finished that race in 37:39!

Yesterday I finished in 37:58 by my Garmin and 38:15 by my chip. So a few seconds more than June’s race. But I felt so much stronger in yesterday’s race! It must have definitely been all the walking we did in Vegas because I haven’t been running as much as I’d like!

Hmmm, the clock here says 38:10, I wonder how my chip said 38:15! The timing chip was a new kind I’d never used before and we didn’t go over a mat to start timing. I think they just started the chip when the gun went. Whatever. A few seconds doesn’t matter. But I wasn’t thrilled to see the race run out of food (if I’d been running the 10K, I wouldn’t have gotten any) or that they only had water in cups, no water I could take along. The thing I really liked about this race in the past was the nice long-sleeve t-shirt. Well this shirt is comfortable, but thin and not as nice as shirts in the past. The race was also a couple weeks earlier than it had been before (used to be in mid-October). But like I said, whatever, it was a race and I ran it. On to the next one.

Jeni ran it too! After I finished, Allie and I went down the road a bit to cheer for Jeni as she came in. She said she heard us all the way down the road.

That’s Jeni in the blue shirt. I am so proud of her finishing her first 5K!