Running Lately (TOL #28)

I noticed that most of my posts lately have been more travel related than running.  Honestly, I don’t mind because I have the wanderlust bug bad and love sharing my travels with you.  With that being said, my life is still full of running and training I just don’t think its an interesting as other posts I’ve done.  In true thinking out loud style let’s do a run down of what’s going on with my running lately!

Thank you Amanda for hosting the link-up.  Check out the full link-up here.

Thinking-Out-Loud

  1. I’m still with my running coach, she is still giving me widely varied workouts (which you can see from my workout recaps) and I’m still happy with my decision to hire her in the first place (see post on that here).

470e2bde13c7aa367f3a66c9d20d38e12. I don’t have any big races until Disneyland Paris Half in September so no big goals coming up or anything exciting like that.  Which is also probably why there isn’t much to talk about running wise.

disneyland paris half3.  I do have a 10k coming up that is more for run though than anything else.  Its in a hilly part of Texas but the reward is all you can eat BlueBell ice cream when you are done!  I will be posting my goals and a recap of that soon but its a 10k so not much training needed for that.

bluebell fun run4.  Not much training for the 10k because some of my weekday runs are close to 5 miles as is.  Since a 10k is 6.2 miles its not that much of a stretch to reach that goal.  Saturday runs are coming to the double digits so again, not hard to do the 10k distance.

10k meme5.  I’m enjoying tempo runs and speed work more than I thought I would.  Seeing 50 minutes of running with tempo paces seems scary when reading it but when I’m out there doing it I feel like the time goes by so much faster.  I’m just thinking about the current set I’m running, then catching my breath, then the next set.  Its not like a long run where sometimes its about counting down the minutes.  You know we have all been there 🙂

slow_and_steady_funny_meme6.  Speaking of long runs…anyone else worried about the heat?  We didn’t get a winter at all down south which worries me greatly about high summer temps.  On Sundays I have been waking up later to get those runs done when the sun is up to try my best to get the body adjusted to the sun.  Don’t know if that’s good or not but hey that’s what I’m doing right now.

so-damn-hot-outside-gif7.  I don’t take the dogs much on runs anymore.  Its sad but also hard to train when you have to stop and pick up after the dogs.  Recovery runs yes I bring them but any other run I usually go alone.  I know Oreo gets upset with this but Joe has started going on walks daily after work so they are still getting their exercise thankfully.

the puppies8.  I’m getting lonely running.  I’m at a weird pace, even in races that people are either faster or slower than me.  This means that most times I’m running by myself which is lonely and no one to talk to.  Anyone in the Spring/Woodlands TX area want to meet up for runs 😀

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9.  How is your workout life going?

WIWW #35

Let me tell yall something…zero part of me wanted to wear something nice, get out of bed, exist…you know standard carb deprived feelings.  I made myself get up, run, and wear my most happy dress to try and force my brain into a happy mood.  So far its not working, but hey leave some nice comments and that may do the trick 😉

This dress was the first ever dress purchase from ModCloth.  I screamed “UP” to me and I just had to have it.  I decided to switch up the jewelry though and wear some pieces I got from a super cute shop on Etsy (links below) when I went to Disneyland.  I love Etsy.  Anyway, I decided to do something different today and include close up shots of the jewelry since you don’t really see the details in the full shot.  Especially since this jewelry is so detailed I thought it deserved its own pictures.

WIWW

 

Dress: ModCloth

Sweater: Target (only available during the holidays)

Earrings: Enchanted Candy Carousel

Necklace: Enchanted Candy Carousel (currently unavailable but restocks happen often, check out the shop home here)

Shoes: Express (no longer available)

CHIME IN!!!  Do you happy clothes?  Do you love the movie UP?  Whats your favorite shop of etsy?

Workout Recap 3/22-28

This is supposed to be a recovery week but after the workout Tuesday I call BS on that!  Lots of long miles this week and speed work as well.  I see a detox bath in my very near future.

Tuesday: 50 minutes of faster than temp pace intervals.  15 minutes warm up with 3×20 second pick-ups.  5×3 minute intervals at average 8:10 pace with 2 minute rest in-between each interval.  It was rough going and I struggled to regulate a 8:10 pace but I did all 5 rather than 4 so that’s a win in my book.  I didn’t go as far as was projected (5.10 instead of 5.5) but I needed to go a little slower on the rest intervals to catch my breath.  No stopping today either so win win win!  15 minutes stretching / foam rolling that night.

self timer ftw

Wednesday:Today’s run was a recovery run and the goal was to stay in zone 1 for heart-rate no matter how slow that was.  I was so tired this morning I went back to bed and did the run on the treadmill during lunch.  I think that tiredness followed me to the gym because ugh my heart-rate would not stay down.  I managed to keep below a 145 with a 12:30 pace.  yeah…12:30.  it was also warm in the gym so that all plays into the higher heart-rate.  I ended the run 10 minutes earlier than scheduled to give myself time to cool down and shower.  Ended with 40 minutes, 3.2 miles for a 12:33 pace.  I started at 11:45 pace but had to bring it way down.  Hopefully tonight I’ll get some better sleep and have a better run in the morning.  I don’t know if the tired feeling is because of the sugar detox or just lack of sleep…considering they are both happening at the same time its hard to tell.

wipped out

Thursday:Rainy morning meant running at the gym during lunch again today.  Luckily the weather cleared up and was actually really nice out so I decided to take my run to down the Bayou.  Today was 8×30 second repeats at faster than race pace.  The 30 seconds were from 7:50-9:05 paces but I should have done a lap workout to get a better read on the times.  Rest periods were 1min 30 seconds with 1 longer rest to make sure I didn’t get splashed with water.  Legs felt pretty heavy today but I’m going to chalk that up to the detox.  15 minutes stretching / foam rolling that night.

running the bayou

Friday:Rest day today and I couldn’t be happier!  I have to work today (boo!) but my legs are not feeling the best so I’m wearing my compression socks to work like a rock star.  I had big plans for stretching and such after work but life had other plans.  My little nephew was on his way so I actually headed over to my brother’s place to dog sit!

rest day

Saturday: I had a long run scheduled today, ate breakfast, got my gear on, headed to the fitness center…then I couldn’t get in. I had a tight schedule so my only option this morning was the fitness center. It didn’t work out today so I’m going to try again tomorrow. Chris told me about a few trails near his apartment so when it gets light tomorrow I’m going to try and head out again.  In the meantime I’m hanging out with this adorable face!
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Sunday:  Ok take 2 of the 9.25 mile run.  Had breakfast, took the pup out real quick then headed out to find some trails.  To say I was exhausted and physically drained was an understatement.  I decided after the first mile to drop down to 6.25 instead.  This sugar detox is taking a tole on my physical endurance and I’m not happy about it.  Luckily my brother lives 1 mile from Herman park which has some nice soft trails and lots of people out so the run was fun and a nice change from the normal runs.  I did run about an hour later than normal to make sure the sun was up and to be safe.  My safety is paramount people!  I ended with a 12 minute mile…yeah I told you it was rough.  15 minutes stretching/foam rolling that night.

Monday:  Today I had the option to either do core class or take a rest day.  Y’all I’m taking the rest day.  This weekend was pretty stressful for me and I just don’t have it in me to do any kind of workout.  Still did 15 minutes of stretching / foam rolling that night.  My hips are feeling much better so gotta make sure I keep up with it.

CHIME IN!!!  How did your workouts go this week?  Do any speed work lately?  Can you take better low light pictures than me?

Disney Dining Tips @ Magic Kindgom

Originally I was going to post general tips on dining at Walt Disney World but then I realized each park has its own quirks and really each deserves its own post.  I decided to start with the Magic Kingdom since its the most iconic and a “must do” on every Disney visitor’s list.

PhotoPass_Visiting_Magic_Kingdom_Park_7609877893

In the many times we have been to Magic Kingdom I think at this point there are only 3 restaurants we haven’t been to:  The Plaza, Crystal Palace, and Skipper Canteen (brand new), two of those three I have no interest in either so ha!  This list is by no means a complete list of dining at Magic Kingdom (check out Disney Food Blog for that) but more recommendations of things you should absolutely try the next time you are there.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

PhotoPass_Visiting_Mickeys_Very_Merry_Christmas_Party_7544920997

In no particular order,

  • Dole Whip—This delicious commodity can only be found in 3 locations in the continental US, 2 of which are at Walt Disney World.  I love getting a Dole Whip float during the summer.  Its cool, refreshing, and iconically Disney.  You can find Dole Whip at the Aloha Isle in Adventureland by the Magic Carpet ride.  Be prepared to wait in line though, its as popular as some attractions!

 

  • Churro—but seriously.  This deep-fried cinnamon sugary goodness is like heaven in stick form.  Delicious alone or with the chocolate sauce make sure and grab this snack when walking through Frontierland.  The kiosk can be hard to find though, I’ve only seen the one.  Its in Frontierland in-between the Turkey Leg and Frozen Lemonade kiosks.

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  • The Grey Stuff Cupcake—just like the song says, “try the grey stuff its delicious” I highly recommend the grey stuff in cupcake form.  While I’ve never had the grey stuff by itself (its not a menu item, you have to get a nice cast member to bring it out for your celebration) I much prefer the cupcake at lunch to the torte at dinner.  The cupcake has grey stuff in the middle of the cupcake as well as the topping.  Trust me, you will not want to share and you may even want to order 2.  The Master Cupcake (as its called on the menu) is only available at lunch at Be Our Guest.  Be Our Guest restaurant is located in New Fantasyland next to Enchanted Tales with Belle, there’s a castle on top, you really cant miss it 🙂
    • I feel Be Our Guest deserves a sub-bullet point here.  All meal times offer excellent french cuisine.  I haven’t been for breakfast yet but lunch is by far the best lunch option in the park and dinner is on par with Royal Table and is the only restaurant in Magic Kingdom where you can have alcohol with dinner.  I have never had a bad meal here so if you can snag a coveted reservation slot, get it and enjoy!  Oh and dinner, you can meet the Beast after your meal, its the only place you can meet him now and in his ballroom scene finest no less.
  • LeFou’s Brew—I LOVE this drink.  Its a slushy type consistency which is perfect for those hot Florida days.  The drink itself is frozen apple juice with hints of toasted marshmallow topped with a passion fruit-mango foam.  Delicious, sweet (Joe thinks its too sweet but I think its perfect) and refreshing.  It also doesn’t hurt that this drink can only be found inside Gaston’s Tavern so you get a chance to sit in Gaston’s chair and possibly meet the hunky “villain”.  I use quotes because, really, on the villain scale he’s pretty tame.  I digress…get your tail over to Gaston’s Tavern and pick up a stein of LeFou’s brew and thank me later 🙂  Gaston’s Tavern is located in New Fantasyland behind the statue of Gaston.
  • Loaded Mac and Cheese—who needs regular mac and cheese when you can have LOADED mac and cheese.  To my knowledge you can only get this amazing concoction at Friar’s Nook which is only open depending on the crowd levels.  If you are lucky enough to be around and hungry when its doors are open you will need to grab some loaded mac and cheese.  The menu varies from time to time but I have tried the pot roast and bacon cheeseburger versions.  I loved the pot roast version, plenty of meat, creamy mac and cheese, a very filling snack.  I had it for a meal it was so filling actually.  Joe had the cheeseburger version and said it was pretty good but also liked my pot roast better.  I think the new chicken barbecue is going to be the real winner though.  There is just something about the barbecue sauce/mac and cheese combo that I love.  Friar’s Nook is located in Fantasyland right around the corner from Princess Fairytale hall.

pot roast mac and cheese

  • Casey’s Corner-–The whole restaurant is on here rather than just one item because its really that good of a quick service locations.  Gone are the days of giant hot dogs for minimal prices, but Casey’s still stands the test of time.  Re-vamping their menu to include more specialty dogs there really isn’t anything here I don’t like.  Personally I love the barbecue slaw dog, but you really have to be in the mood for that much food.  The fries here are great, the regular hot dog is solid but most people I know go crazy for the corn-dog nuggets.  I don’t like corn-dogs so I don’t prefer them but many people rave about them.  Sad news—thanks to the silly government you cant get hot cheese here anymore but that doesn’t mean the hot dogs still aren’t worth a trip.  Because of the location (right on the end of main street with perfect views of the castle) the lines here get pretty busy but they move quickly.  Casey’s is located at the end of Main Street.  Grab a dog, a seat on the lawn and enjoy the hopefully nice day.

barbecue dog

  • Cinderella’s Royal Table—While I have only been here a few times, eating inside Cinderella’s castle is an experience all by itself.  Skip breakfast, instead opt for lunch or dinner.  Preferably dinner because you can see the fireworks if you time it right and get a good seat.  I’m not going to say much about the food itself because the menu does change seasonally but what I will say is its a character dining experience you need to have at least once.  My favorite picture from our bridal shoot was actually taken on the steps to the dining area.  Seriously cool experience.  Cinderella’s Royal Table is located inside the castle, there is a little entrance on the back right side opposite Bibbity-Boppity-Botique.  Advanced dining reservations are a must, don’t expect to walk up and get a table.  Characters do change from time to time but you will always get to meet Cinderella before your meal.

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CRT 2

  • Main Street Bakery—Oh how I love thee, let me count the ways.  Rick Krispy treats, macarons, cupcakes, chocolate covered s’mores, fudge, caramel apples…the list just goes on and on.  We always stop at the bakery for at least a chocolate covered s’more for the road.  Its always fun to stop in and see what new creations they have, watch the caramel apple makers, and of course grab a few treats.  Main Street bakery is located, duh on main street very close to the main entrance.  Follow your nose and you cant miss it 🙂  Actually, in the below picture with the macaron its behind my head on the right!

 

  • Sleepy Hollow Waffles—While it seems for now the amazing savory waffles have vacated the menu, you can still get the nutella and fresh fruit waffle.  Filling enough to be a meal these waffles really are worth the price paid.  Add to that the seasonal waffles (red velvet around valentine’s, pumpkin spice around thanksgiving etc) offered later in the day and you truly have a hidden gem.  Sitting on the outskirts of Frontierland hidden in with storefronts, blink and you miss it Sleepy Hollow is a great quick service location to grab a bite.  On top of that it has one of the best views of the castle.  I’m all about great places to stare at the castle 🙂  This is also the only place you can get a homemade ice cream sandwich, but I prefer the waffle.
  • Loaded Waffle Fries—Truth be told I’ve never actually had these, but I see them crop up on food blogs from time to time and really want to try it.  Like Friar’s Nook this location is only open during peak seasons and even less frequently than Friar’s so you have even less of a chance of eating here.  Why  bring it up then?  So that when you see this space open you go try the waffle fries and report back of course!  Below is a menu from one recent opening.  I know you want to get your hands on some loaded waffle fries just as much as I do.  I cant even decide which one I would try they all sound delicious.  These fries can be found, again seasonally, at the Golden Oak Outpost in-between Adventureland and Frontierland close to Splash Mountain.

There you have it, my list of dining spots at Magic Kingdom, next up Animal Kingdom!

CHIME IN!!!  What is your favorite thing to eat at Magic Kingdom?  Have you tried the waffle fries?  What’s your favorite spot to check out the castle?

BLTE’s Rachael Style (Foodie Friday #29)

You guys!  I have found the best version of a BLTE!  Wait…sorry…what is a BLTE you ask?  Well its bacon, lettuce, tomato, and egg!  Extra protein yall 🙂

Joe and I love a good BLTE, we make it quite often for dinner when we don’t feel like making a full blown dinner.  Its filling and not that bad for you either!  I say its the best version because I swapped out the actual tomato for a SURPRISE ingredient!  My issue with tomatoes was they go bad pretty fast, faster than we eat them normally and I hate wasting produce.  That got me thinking what could be a good substitute for fresh tomatoes.  That’s when it hit me, sun dried tomatoes!

I hit up the Italian section of my local grocery store and saw what would become my best friend.  Sun Dried Tomato Pesto!  Not too terribly bad for you, full of flavor and doesn’t go bad nearly as fast as regular tomatoes!  Score on all fronts!!!  We tried this out and, yall, seriously its amazing.  The cheese in the pesto brought out the salty in the bacon with the cool crisp-ness of the lettuce.  Wow, just wow!  Don’t take my word for it though, try it out for yourself 🙂

BLTE

Rachael’s BLTE

Servings: 1        Prep Time: 2 minutes           Cook Time: 5 minutes           Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 3 slices of bacon (I use turkey bacon)
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato Pesto (this one, buts its much less expensive at the grocery store)
  • Sandwich thins*

Instructions

Heat a skillet to medium-high heat.  Add bacon and cook until crispy,about 3 minutes on each side depending on the type of bacon you use.

While the bacon is cooking, place the sandwich thins in the toaster and set to the hottest setting.  While the toast is going, preheat a small skillet to medium-high heat and spray with olive oil spray.  Crack the egg and cook to your preference (I cook mine over easy, medium runny-ness).

Once the bacon, bread and egg are done you can assemble your sandwich.  Spread the tomato pesto on both pieces of bread then layer the lettuce, egg, and bacon in the order you prefer.  Enjoy!

Notes*:  I use sandwich thins because they, in my opinion hold up better and make the sandwich more manageable.

CHIME IN!!!  Do you like BLT’s?  Ever had tomato pesto before?  What’s your go-to easy dinner?

Sugar Detox, Spring and Netflix Oh My! (TOL #27)

The last few thinking out loud posts have been pretty structured which is cool but I’m ready to dump so thoughts on yall!  Thanks Amanda for hosting, check out the full link-up here.

Thinking-Out-Loud

  1.  Joe and I started a 21 day sugar detox Monday (this one).  Its probably too soon to say anything about it but yall, its EXPENSIVE to go sugar free.  All the “pantry staples” I had to get, sheesh.  Healthy is really for the upper class an not in a positive way.  Below is a sample of what we have made…homemade beef jerky.  Looks nasty but its pretty good!

homemade jerky2.  I’m not traveling for the next 3 weeks which I’m happy about but man does it make the work week longer.

work week

3.  Flowers are blooming, the pollen is out and spring if officially here!  I love the smell of spring and all the beautiful flowers.  My wisteria is in bloom right now and its gorgeous and smells divine.  I’m so happy we found a plant that was already blooming because according to the guy at the nursery wisteria can take 10 years to bloom!  Crazy right!

wisteria4.  In true “go out with a bang” style I made Unicorn Bars for movie night with Amy.  They were so simple and delicious and are making me sad I cant have them for 3 weeks.  I had Joe take the leftovers to work Monday morning so there were no temptations left in the house.  Better safe than sorry!

unicorn bars5.  One of the bad parts of the sugar detox is headaches and acne.  Sometimes my headaches only go away with a coke so this will be interesting.  But oh the acne…evil horrible acne.  Has no place on an almost 30 year old but yet I’m plagued by acne.  I don’t want to relive my awkward teenage years…k thanks

acne troubles

6.  Netflix completes me lately.  With Daredevil Season 2 coming out to finding a pretty cool series, The Lizzy Borden Chronicles (hello Lifetime, when did you start making good TV) I’m a happy camper.  Beware the binge watch!!! LOL

daredevil

7.  I recently tried Kevita, a sparkling ProBiotic drink that helps with digestion.  The more I’m on a plane the more my digestion gets messed up.  I have found that drinking Kevita actually helps with that, so when I get back from trips I pick on up at the grocery store to get things back on track…if you know what I mean 🙂 (PS—not sponsored, just though I’d share).  I think the flavors are slightly too sweet and not the best combos out there but it does the trick.  A’int nobody got time to be backed up!

kevita

8.  When did I get to the age where I’m older than a lot of people…when did this happen?  I just recently became aware of this and I don’t know how I feel about it.  Should I have all these pearls of wisdom now that I’m usually the oldest person in the room?  I mean I’m pretty smart but that’s a lot of pressure 🙂

smart meme

9.  What are your thoughts today?

WIWW #34

Good morning everyone and happy spring!  My second favorite season is here and I’m so happy for the mild temperatures.  Its still pretty windy here but I don’t mind, as long as it keeps the heat at bay I’m happy with it.

This skirt is actually from Forever21 from like, seriously 10 years ago.  I haven’t shopped there in years because I personally think the quality has gone down.  I love this skirt though, yes a lot of the sequins have fallen off but that’s to be expected.  I actually had a liner put in the skirt to make it not see-through and a little heavier to not blow up Marilyn Monroe style.  Comfy and cute…my favorite combo 🙂

WIWW

Top:  Express (cami, blouse)

Skirt:  Forever21

Sandals:  Amazon

Earrings:  Kendra Scott (they are on sale!!!)

Necklace: Kendra Scott (similar)

CHIME IN!!!  What’s your favorite season?  Do you shop at Forever21?  Ever had a Marilyn Monroe moment?

Workout Recap 3/15-21

My last travel week for a little bit and I’m so happy about that.  My coach was awesome and worked around my flights so I still got 5 runs in this week.  No cross-training this week but back at it next week.  Let’s talk runs!!

Tuesday:  Rest day today.  I have a super early flight then straight to the Dallas office, unfortunately no time for a workout today.  I did check out downtown Dallas and walked the street where JFK was shot.  See those people in the bottom right, they are standing at the spot of the second shot.

Dallas

Wednesday:  I had a tempo workout today yay!  4×3 minute repeats at tempo pace (which for me is 8:59 pace).  Since I was on the treadmill I was a little at the mercy of the treadmill paces.  Tempo ended up being 8:57, close enough right!  I did 5 minutes warm-up and cool down at 11:00 pace and 10 warm-up, cool down, and rest intervals (1 minute each) at 10:31 pace.  I ended with 3.96 miles average pace o 10:07.  I was working up a great sweat and felt great after the workout.  Extra bonus there was a foam roller in the gym so I got my stretching / foam rolling in right after the run for 15 minutes.

foam rolling

Thursday:  I almost missed today’s recovery run.  I set my alarm for the wrong time and thought I didn’t have enough time but figured if I didn’t foam roll or take a super long shower I would be fine.  Ran 3 miles at 11:31 pace no issues for once.  I was getting pretty bored but it might also have to do with me feeling stressed about running late.  I did 5 minutes stretching after the run and 5 minutes hip openers when I got back to the room at the end of the night.  PS—Happy St. Patty’s day!  I took 1 single sip of that green beer just to say I’ve done it 🙂

st pattys day

Friday:  Rest day, again perfect timing because I’m traveling home today.  Staying off my feet and 15 minutes foam rolling / stretching tonight.  Plus spending time with this guy 🙂

snuggle time

Saturday:  What a beautiful morning!  Overcast and cool I was ready for a great run.  Did 8 miles with an average pace of 11:23 for a total time of 1:31:06.  I ran with my group and for 6.5 miles I ran with a guy who does 50 milers!  It was nice, he talked almost the whole time and kept me entertained.  My heart-rate got a little high around mile 6 combating the strong winds but ended strong for a great run.  Bonus, bluebonnets are out and making the run prettier than usual!  Epson salt bath when I got home and 15 minutes stretching / foam rolling that night.

bluenonnet running

Sunday:  Took it night and easy this morning, not getting on the road until 10am!  i know that’s late for me but I needed the rest.  From the word go I was tired, my legs are feeling the strain for traveling and yesterdays run.  Luckily my coach said if I was feeling sluggish to take the 5 miles down to 3.  It was especially good because my heart-rate would not stay in zone 1 (the goal today) and was struggling to keep it in zone 2!  I think the wind was rougher to deal with than I thought yesterday and it was back again today.  I’m glad I got to wear my Gasparilla shirt today, the wind was cutting through me.  Ended the 3 miles with an 11:20 average pace.  15 minutes stretching / foam rolling that night.  Trying to make a pirate face below but I don’t think it worked out lol.

pirate face

Monday:  Rest day from running but did a 45 minute tabata class.  Worked up a nice sweat today too 🙂  Hopefully my legs wont hate me tomorrow!  15 minutes stretching / foam rolling that night.

workin up a sweast

CHIME IN!!!  How did your workouts go this week?  Did you get the cold snap this weekend?  Ever done tabata?

Vegas Baby!

Seeing as Vegas is one of my favorite weekend getaway destinations, I decided to come up with 5 items to add to a “must pack” list of Vegas essentials. While I was definitely inspired by the Vegas.com, these tips are all straight from me to you, no compensation was given for this post

Vegas Checklist Rachael

That inspired me to share with yall my ideal weekend in Vegas!  First when are you going to go?  I actually enjoy Vegas in the summer.  Nothing screams Vegas Vacation to me more than sitting in a cabana, drink in hand watching all the crazy drunk girls at the pool.  Flights tend to be a little cheaper in the summer as well which doesn’t hurt.  We usually end up flying Southwest because they have great rates but Frontier and Spirit are getting pretty aggressive in their Vegas airfare as well.  While I don’t trust Spirit to get me anywhere on time, there is something to be said for a $100 round-trip ticket.

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Now that you made it to Vegas, where to stay?  While I love the Bellagio and all its grandeur I think I’ll have to park myself at the Wynn.  I love the detail in this hotel, the gorgeous pools and the slot floor isn’t bad either 😉  If I cant get the Wynn, I would check out the Aria or the Cosmopolitan.  Both are fairly new hotels, right in the center of the strip and I’ve been dying to check them out.

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Drop your bags at the hotel, put on your sundress, sunglasses and tieks and walk the strip.  Bonus!  You can walk around the strip with a drink in hand.  Save some money, buy a soda and pour that travel size alcohol in.  Day drinking is fun and all but don’t forget water.  Seriously, you are in the dessert, hydrate with more than just sugar.

caesars2

I love walking into the hotels and just walking around.  I’m totally a weirdo and love checking out the details of different hotels.  Of course you HAVE to go to the Bellagio and check out the conservatory and the largest chocolate fountain at Jean Phillipe Patisserie (wouldn’t hurt to get something to snack on either 😉 ). Oh yeah and the fountain show…I mean that kinda goes without saying but its spectacular.  Best free entertainment on the strip!  After you check out the Bellagio make your way over to Caesar’s Palace take a selfie with a Roman and play a few slots if your feeling lucky.  If not, check out the mall and grab a bite to eat.  Next head on down to Treasure Island and check out the Pirate show on the Pirate Ship.  Not sure when/how often they do this daily but again, fun free entertainment.  Cross the street and head up to the Wynn and Encore.  Check out both hotels, the interiors alone are worth the trip.  Grab lunch at the Wynn in one of the many restaurants then head back down to the Venetian.  No passport required this hotel really does its best to transport you to the streets of Venice and I have to say they do a pretty darn good job.  The indoor shopping, gondola rides, and architecture here will keep you entertained for a while.

conservatory

Head back to the hotel and change into your party dress, grab your clutch and head to dinner.  I KNOW you made reservations at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant. They have excellent french cuisine and unparalleled views of the Bellagio Fountains.  After dinner, you know its time to hit a club.  I’m not big on the club scene but its Vegas baby!  They have some of the best clubs in the country!  I love the Foundation Room, but you have to be/know a member to get in…good luck with that.  If you aren’t super VIP like that check out Tao or XS.  These clubs have been around for a while and that should tell you something right there.

bday dinner 2

the girls at foundation

If clubs are absolutely not your thing there are so many shows you wont know what to do with yourself.  I personally am DYING to see Britney Spears (I’ve heard great things) but Cirque du Soleil is not to be missed.  My favorite show is Mystere but “O” also gets rave reviews.  There are also Broadway quality shows like Phantom of the Opera, comedy acts, musicians, Revue shows, Impersonators…the list just goes on!

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Fast forward to the next morning.  I’m sure that advil will come in handy today.  Day 2 is always the best day to put on that bikini and hang out by the pool.  Like I said earlier, grab a cabana, a drink and just watch the crazy unfold.  Cabanas are pretty pricey but seriously, if you are going to do Vegas, you better do it right.

vegas

After the pool scene has run its course, listen to your killer playlist to get your head in the game and make your way to the casino floor to try your hand at some blackjack, craps, slots, whatever you feel (this might be a good time to don that lucky underwear…if your into that kind of thing)!  I myself enjoy blackjack, craps is a little too intense for me.  Gamble how you like, I play until I’ve doubled my money and get on a losing streak.  So far I’ve come back home with at least what I left with, and that’s fine by me.  If you don’t know anything about gambling or don’t have an awesome uncle to give you tips (thanks Vic!) brush up on the gambling for dummies you  brought with you…but don’t bring it on the casino floor.  Nothing says noob more than a gambling for dummies book.

Once you’ve lost your life savings…just kidding, WON your life savings get yourself a table at Joel Robuchon.  No seriously…if you have a ton of money you HAVE to go here.  If I ever won the lottery I would eat here no question.  However, if you didn’t win your weight in gold you can always take a cab to In N Out Burger 🙂  Check out Vegas.com for more dinner recommendations because, truth be told, its Vegas and restaurants go in and out of style so quickly its hard to keep up.  After dinner check out another show (but seriously, Cirque du Soleil) or head down to Downtown Las Vegas and check out Fremont Street.  Its pretty cool at night and has some cheap slots, food and table games.

fremont

Sadly that’s all the time you have…but honestly a weekend is a perfect amount of time in Vegas.  I hope you had fun, I know I sure did 🙂

CHIME IN!!!  What would you do in Vegas?  Have you ever been to Vegas?  Cabana or pool chair?

The Original Chick-Fil-A (Foodie Friday #29)

A few weeks ago I had the good fortune of visiting the Atlanta office for work and extra bonus spending some quality time with Amy in her home town.  Priority one for me was to go to the original Chick-Fil-A or better known as the Dwarf House.  I didn’t really know anything about the location other than it was the original but Amy said it was pretty cool and unique to regular Chick-Fil-A’s.  I thought today would be a great time to share with you what a Dwarf House is and what kind of food they have!

exterior

First and foremost…this location offers sit down waiter service in addition to counter and drive through service.  How cool right!  The inside is more like a diner feel with counter seats and vinyl booths.  The waitress was a little slow but I didn’t mind I was spending time with Amy.  The interior was so cute with the back wall show-casing a moving picture with 7 dwarfs.  Very similar to a certain Disney movie, but its ok I don’t mind a touch of Disney in my normal life 😀

dwarf house

Silly me forgot to take a picture of the menu but its much more than the standard Chick-Fil-A.  There are plates and platters, kids menus, desserts, sides…like legit food other than just the standard “fast” food.  I decided to go classic and get the chicken sandwich but with a side of mac and cheese and corn bread.  Amy said I should try the Hot Brown (chopped up chicken in a rich cream of chicken broth) because its only available here so we shared that because, like Gizelle says, “Try Everything”!!!  The chicken sandwich actually came with more than 3 pickles!!!!!!!!!!!!  The mac and cheese was very rich but the corn bread was disappointing.  The Hot Brown was interesting, not something I would get again to have as an entree but it was ok.

food

I also saw they have ice box pie!  What!  Am I just not noticing this in local stores but coconut, lemon and chocolate ice box pie!!!  I got that as well, I think the Lemon would have been better but the coconut was decent.

coconut ice box pie

Free refill of my sweet tea-lemondae mix (on point of course), paid the check and we headed out.  Before the sun set we took a few pictures with Truitt Cathy.  Such a cute location, friendly service and good food.  I was a happy camper and of course the price was right!

truitt me and amy

If you find yourself in Atlanta make sure and check out the Dwarf House, its not like they have the fanciest food ever but its a neat experience especially when shared with old friends!

CHIME IN!!!  Have you been to the Dwarf House?  Do you like Chick-Fil-A?  Cornbread fan?