Fall Colors in Las Vegas

Last week, I was in Las Vegas once again for work. I’ve told you all about all my favorite things to do in Vegas before – there’s just too much fun to be had. While nice restaurants and themed clubs are fun, my truly favorite thing to do is to put down my cocktail, take off the party shoes and take a simple {totally free} walk in a garden.

When in Vegas, I always visit the Conservatory at the Bellagio (I’ve never actually stayed at the Bellagio but day dream about how fancy and wonderful it must be). The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is a gorgeous display of flowers and plants plus lighting and props dedicated to the current season or holiday. Gorgeous flowers from all over the world create an unbelievable, storybook-like scene that patrons can wander through leisurely to snap photos, take in the details and enjoy a little peace among the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas.

When I was there last week, the display was the 2011 Harvest Season – it was stunning! Here a few photos from the garden (my favorite is the tree!).

And here’s one I snapped outside looking out from the Bellagio on the walk back to my hotel – wouldn’t it be awesome if this was your view? I just love it!

Viva Las Vegas!

Happy Friday!

This weekend I’m heading off to Vegas for a five-day trip….for work. Work + Vegas, hmmm. How does one survive such a trip?

If you’re like me, Vegas is typically reserved for the big 3-0 Bash, bachelorette parties, or get-a-way weekends with the spouse. So, how does one prepare for Vegas when you’re going with your coworkers and boss? Well, here a few things I’ve learned from my travels ala employment:

Dining Out
Do some homework here. You do not want to gorge yourself on the all-you-can eat seafood buffet or hope for coupons for free soy-dogs when dining with coworkers. Know thy Vegas chefs and make some good suggestions when the topic of where to eat comes up. Not only will you eat at some amazing places, you’ll wow all your work friends with your advanced palate and knowledge of culinary trends. You can steal my faves: Lavo, Mesa, Nobu. (Cool places are no longer than four letters.*)

*This is completely untrue.

Clothes that might inspire compliments such as “Are you sure that’s a dress, seems like a shirt?” or “That hat makes you look like the Hamburglar” are to be left at home. Sure, you bought that crazy getup for “the next time you’re in Vegas” but save it for the next time you’re in Vegas for a bachelorette party (or not at all. If you think Vegas is the only appropriate place to wear it, sista please, put it back on the rack!).

Party clothes should be fun and trendy, but you ain’t no ho so keep the skirts to an appropriate length. And kick the crazy down a notch, you don’t want people to confuse you with a fictional character that steals burgers from clowns.*

*Ronald McDonald is the only reported case of Hamburglar activity, but he’s suspected in several other clown robberies. 

Never, ever, ever accept an invitation from a co-worker (even if it’s your boss) to go to a club that requires a two-bottle minimum table service. This terrible idea could result in:
A. Dancing on a couch.
B. Picking a fight with a 200+ lb male rugby player.
C. Doing A and B infront of your boss.*

This is another pre-Vegas research opportunity. Look up classy joints that are entertaining and unique, but that provide an atmosphere where you can converse with your coworkers and limit yourself to one or two drinks. There are LOADS of these places in Vegas and you don’t have to “get in” with a group of 20-something gals or drop $400 on a bottle of Kettle One. Some of my suggestions are: The Red Square, The Rum Jungle, the Piano Bar at Times Square, or The Wine Cellar at the Rio.

*Thank goodness I have a very nice boss.

Day Time Activities
Since you’re all big kids, I assume I don’t have tell you that when you are in Vegas for work, you cannot sleep all day to get rid of your 4am, couch-dancing hangover. Seems unfair, I know. That being said, even with the best intentions, work events can sometimes get a little out of hand so you should be prepared to help yourself and coworkers feel better. Stock up on breath mints, Advil, and Tums before you leave. Even if you don’t need them, your coworker will be singing your praises when you get them through their red-eyed morning.

Okay, now that we all feel better…Once the work is done, what do you do in Vegas if you don’t plan to gamble all your hard-earned money away? I have a couple of recommendations: The Conservatory, rent a Cabana, watch the water dance, visit the Big Cats, shop in the Forum Shops,* ride the rollercoaster, or take a ride on a Gondola.

*If not spending all of your cash is the purpose of not gambling, do not go to the Forum Shops. Bye-bye, Money! Hello, Jimmy Choo!

Traveling with coworkers is a bit different that traveling with your best buds. It’s not really okay to have the giant suitcase that takes up all the room in the back of the cab or to constantly be without cash for a tip for the doorman.

To prepare for a trip, pack carefully in an appropriate-sized bag (your coworkers won’t appreciate having the four pairs of black heels they can borrow like your girlfriends will). Have cash on hand. Get to know your Swingers, Hangover, Leaving Las Vegas, Vegas Vacation, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, and The Cooler one-liners so as to contribute hilarious quips to conversations.*

Also, spend some q-time alone. Skip happy hour to squeeze in your workout before dinner or take a nice walk at lunch to clear your head and re-energize. You are there to work, so be sure you give yourself the rest, workout, and structure you need to be successful.

*Completely non-essential to a successful work trip. Also, could backfire if timed poorly.

Well, I think that’s all of it. For today’s toast, now that we’ve learned so much:

“You’re so money and you don’t even know it.” ~ Vince Vaughn, Swingers