Saturday, February 6, 2010

Viva Las Vegas!

Wow, what a week it has been! The Powers That Be kept the punches coming and I'm flat out today. I shall now seek refuge with Emma on TV, a guinea pig on my lap, and a huge bowl of ice cream in hand.

But before I do, here is a recap of my trip last month....

The first week of the new year (after the Belle vet scare) brought me to Las Vegas for the CES tradeshow. I was still anxious over the recovery of my little one, but she was in good hands with my mom and sister.

It was my first time in Sin City and here are some of my impressions:

1. WHOLE FOODS - The three people I was traveling with are all vegans so we shared the same concern for finding vegan food. A wrong turn after taking off with our rental car brought us to the Whole Foods Market in Townsquare, which turned out to be very vegan friendly! Take a look at some of their menu boards:

We've seen the vegan bar at the San Francisco locations like this:
but they didn't have vegan pizza with Daiya cheese like this!

They even had a separate pizza cutter just for the vegan pizza. How cool is that?

We ordered a whole pizza with extra vegetable toppings to split between the four of us. It was huge!

We managed to finish all but two slices. (Yes, we were hungry!)

We came back over several nights to have lunch/dinner here:

...until I spotted the flailing legs of a little green insect stuck in my potato salad, blending in quite well with the peas. EWWWW! I'm so glad I paid attention to what I was eating or else that wouldn't have been a very vegan meal, would it? Needless to say, my love affair with the Whole Foods vegan bar ended there.

2. ROOM SELF-SERVICE - It is possible to have a gourmet instant meal made right in your hotel room without a kitchen, or even a stove. Like so:
This electric kettle and a bit of imagination was all we need to cook up delicious vegan noodle soup with some ingredients we brought from home and bought at Whole Foods. We also made yummy vegan sandwiches with Tofurky and veggies for lunch since there's a serious lack of vegan food at the exhibition. It was yummier than anything we could buy anyways!
Tip: If your hotel room doesn't have a mini-fridge, bring an ice cooler and top it up everyday with ice from the hotel and voila! your own mini-fridge!

3. Sin City is really so. You've got:
- Slot machines everywhere, including the airport and Albertson's supermarket. I'm surprised they didn't have it in the bathroom stalls! I played a few of the 1 cent one arm bandits for the first time and actually won a dollar back! Still net loss though. ;-)
- Sex sells well. There are rows of amigos on busy blocks passing out business cards for "hot babes" and they are quite aggressive at it. My only concern was all the trees going to waste making those cards, which just end up littering the streets.
- Smoking is prevalent. Or maybe it just seems so coming from San Francisco. People smoke in the casinos (ok, no surprise there), in the hotel lobby (eww!), in shopping mall (yucks!), and seemingly right beside me whenever I'm outside on the streets (*cough, cough*). I do believe I've inhaled more secondhand smoke in my one week here than I have in my last 20 years.

And lastly, one lasting impression we got from Vegas was:
- Shock, as in static electric shock. I don't know if it's the desert air or the clothes we wore, but every time we touched metal, be it the car or a door knob, we got zapped. Every. Time. So I learned to kick the car door close with my shoes, push doors open with my sleeve pulled over my hand. Doesn't always work, but it did lessen the "ouch!" curses! Up to now, a month after the trip, I'm still cautious with car doors!

We entertained ourselves after the exhibition by hotel hopping to see all the different styles. Some of my favorites are:

Let's just say we're thankful Southwest allowed us two free baggages each!

Oh, and because I missed my Wheekers so much, I couldn't resist getting these two fellas when I saw them at the World's Largest Gift Shop.
I named them Circus Circus. :-)


  1. Wow, glad to see you back, and with such a fun post! I haven't been to Vegan since I was 6 or 7 (I'd tell you what I was doing in Sin City as a tot, but what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! lol) and have zero desire to ever return, but enjoyed my vicarious, vegan Vegas visit through you! :-)

    Bummer about the lack of vegan food at the trade show, and the bug in your tater salad! But it looks like you ate well in spite of it all... very clever how you rigged up your own little kitchenette. Good campers! :-) And am I right to assume you brought all those stuffed animals sitting on the bed back home with you??? Or just Circus Circus? (Which one is Circus, and which one is Circus? LOL) What do Bert and Belle think of their new adopted siblings? :-)

    I love a dry climate, but yes, there is pain involved sometimes! We learn not to scuff our feet, and to use metal-touching avoidance tactics like what you adopted. Pity we can't power our houses from the static electricity!

    I'm glad you had a good time and Belle was in good hands while you were gone so you could have fun! Thanks for sharing your Vegas adventure! xoxo

  2. LOL... I meant to say, "I haven't been to Vegas" (not "Vegan!") (But hey, what a great name for a city that would be!) ;-)