Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Las Vegas Weekend

Saturday morning, Laurie and I drove out to Las Vegas to see Andy and Jenn and their two English bulldogs, Blitz and Dooley, one last time before I fly off to Hässleholm.

Our trips to Nevada are not the usual "What Happens in Las Vegas Stays in Las Vegas" vacations. Our weekends are definitely more family and food oriented.

With this in mind, the visit started off with Andy dropping a bombshell on me . . .

DIET Ironbeer

Now it needs to be noted that Ironbeer is the "National Soft Drink of Cuba", a.k.a., the old country to the Contreras family.

Along with Communism, revolutions and cigars, Cuba is known for its cane sugar. Now I always thought that the cane sugar was always grown specifically for the Ironbeer company. Lots of sugar in Ironbeer, kind of like Jolt Cola on steroids.

The Diet version of Ironbeer tasted OK for a diet drink but, come on, it is just not right in the face of years and years high octane Ironbeer history and tradition. I finished my one can and swore on my Father's grave to NEVER, EVER do it again!!!

I'm a purist at heart.

On Saturday night, Jenn and Andy combined to make a delicious breaded pork loin dinner. The weekend's caloric in-take was off to a splendid start.

We made dinner at home Sunday night, Italian of course, as we watched the U.S. Men's Olympic Hockey team's stirring 5-3 victory over highly favored Team Canada. What an upset, eh?

Snow on the mountains surrounding
Las Vegas

Monday morning we all went out to breakfast at Freudenberger's Original Pancake House in the Aliante Station Casino. It was a beautiful day but it was only 47º F. (8º C.) with a brutal wind chill factor that must have dropped the temperature down into 30's!

Meanwhile, Uffe Palmbrink, the Hurricanes' President informed me that southern Sweden is going through the worst Winter in over 30 years! It has snowed for the last 24 hours and the temperature there as I write is 26ºF with a wind chill of 17ºF.

I'm definitely packing a sweater for the trip.

Three hugry people waiting to chow down
at the Aliante Station Casino

After a great breakfast and goodbyes, Laurie and I decided to endure the extreme weather conditions and stop on The Las Vegas Strip to visit a couple of the major casinos.

Chinese New Years celebration at the Bellagio

This is the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese calendar and we are smack dab in the middle of their two week New Years celebration so the Las Vegas casinos on the Strip are making the most of it.

Very colorful indeed.

Cool Bellagio Lobby Horse

Maybe not up to Leonardo's Horse in Milan but impressive nonetheless.

The Bellagio has an unlimited budget for
Dale Chihuly's fantastic glass art.

The Las Vegas Strip

Can you guess which one is the Paris Casino?

Laurie with the northern part of The Strip behind her

Interesting but we decided not to go in

Caesar's Palace

The Caesar's Palace Forum Shops

I've just spent the better part of the last two years living in Italy, why am I taking pictures of these knock-offs?

We escaped with Laurie only spending $10 on a shawl . . . WHEW!

Chocolate covered Bacon

Two of my favorite food groups together at last!

It was for sale in the Bellagio, I should have but I fought off the temptation somehow.

Why did I do that???

The Temple at Segesta, Sicily

The February 21, 2010 Los Angeles Times
Sunday Travel Section's lead article
"Sicily Then & Now"

When we arrived back home in Camarillo, we found this great article on Western Sicily. It brought back some very fond memories but I wish they would have focused at least a little on Catania and the East Coast of this great island.

Click here for the entire article:


Andrew said...

I would like to go on record that I never tried the diet Ironbeer as it goes against the very principles that my father has instilled in me. I will take this opportunity to blame my wife for the purchase of the diet six pack (I purchased eight regular Ironbeer six packs and she slipped the diet passed me at the checkout stand).

George said...

Yes dear . . .