Monday, April 12, 2010

McCall Wedding/Vegas Getaway

I was absent from the blogosphere these past couple of days because the hubby and I were in Vegas celebrating the nuptials of our friends, Pappy and Shawn.  We've made a habit of going to Vegas once or twice a year, so we were more than happy to make the trip on account of such a special occasion!  Pappy and Shawn had an awesome turnout of family and friends, including 3 other couples that we know, so it was quite a fun weekend.

Jer and I stayed at the Palazzo as usual.  We first stayed there back in 2008 right after it opened, and we've been hooked ever since.  I think this was our 4th stay with them, but I'm starting to lose count!  All the suites are beautiful, and we upgraded ours to one on the 32nd floor to get a nicer view.

When the sun came out on Friday, my sister Jo and I made a beeline for the pool.  I had been craving sun, and this was my first chance to lay out since the arrival of Spring.  The Palazzo has a few nice public pools, but when Jer and I had eaten lunch at Dos Caminos earlier that day, I saw some passes for free admission to the hotel's more private pool, Azure.  It's reserved for people over 21, is more secluded, and has much better waitress service!  I'm not sure what the admission price normally is, but free sounded good to me.

Azure pool - photo by Jacob Andrzejczak of IS Photography  

So Jo and I present our passes to the Azure hostess and she gives us our wristbands for access.  She also informs us that it's a $50 minimum per person.  Oopsie.  Our passes got us past the velvet rope for free, but that was it!  Oh well, it's Vegas, and we're on vacation, so we just rolled with it.  We found two open loungers in the area pictured above and got our sun-tanning under way.  The drinks were pretty expensive, so it didn't take long to reach our required minimum.  They also serve food, so next time we'll just plan to have lunch there and that'll take care of that minimum in no time.  At first I thought it was a bit of a rip-off, but having been to Vegas so many times, I've accepted the fact that EVERYTHING costs more.  Having a waitress that was dedicated to just a couple of patrons made it worthwhile too.  We never had to wait long for a drink.  Couple that with actually being able to find two open loungers next to each other and not having tons of other people around, and overall it was pretty nice.

Friday night was the ceremony for Pappy and Shawn at the Shalimar Wedding Chapel.  The couple said their vows underneath an outdoor gazebo and the temperature/weather could not have been more perfect at the time.  They actually had more guests than could be accommodated in the pews, which I thought was awesome!  These guys are very loved.  There was something about the way these two looked into each others eyes during the proceedings that got both my and Jer's attention.  We could see so much emotion and pure love being emitted and we both thought it was just one of the nicest things to witness.

After the ceremony, we all went to the Peppermill Fireside Lounge to celebrate.  That place had a really cool vibe, and its indoor "flaming pool" was impressive.  We enjoyed some drinks and grub, and mingled with the newlyweds and the other guests.  Shawn had everybody sign her dress, which I thought was a really neat idea.

Saturday was another opportunity to catch some rays, so six of us ladies headed to the GO pool at the Flamingo.  This is an over 21 European pool, aka women are allowed to go topless.  I figured this would give me a practice experience before we head to the French Riviera this summer.  I did not personally oblige this tradition, but a couple ladies at the pool did.  Not that I have a "preference," but why does it seem that the most overweight people are the most comfortable with being naked??  Just sayin'.

Saturday night Jer and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Morels French Steakhouse and Bistro at the Palazzo.  I had a Caesar Salad, Steak Frites, and Peanut & Gianduja Chocolate Dome for dessert.  Jer had the same, except he opted for Creme Brulee for dessert.  His came with three different flavors - vanilla, caramel, and pistachio.  Everything was delicious!  I would definitely recommend eating there when visiting Las Vegas.

Since Saturday night was our last night there, we hung out with the group again at the Flamingo.  The guys played craps, while I gave Let it Ride a shot.  You can go through some pretty bad dry spells in that game, but when you hit something good, it's a big payout (especially if you play the 3 card bonus bet and the 5 card bonus bet)!  I got trip 5's dealt to me at one point, and a full house in another hand, so I ended up walking away from the table with a lot more than I started with.  My dad would've been proud!  When Jer and I left the Flamingo, we went back to the Palazzo to finish off our last night with some slot play.  We didn't get to bed until after 4:30am, so I knew waking up the next morning at 8 was not going to be fun.

All in all, we are so glad we got to be a part of Pappy and Shawn's special day, and we had a wonderful weekend with good friends.  Since this group is pretty much our Supper Club Group (minus Erika & Brandon who didn't get to make it -sad face), we will be seeing them again soon!  And, since the Palazzo loves to send us comped room offers, we'll probably be seeing Vegas again soon too.  :)        

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