Saturday, February 11, 2006

Virtual Vacation Comp

Since Cowra is a small town and this was a weekend we were staying here in the country, I decided to take you readers on a virtual vacation with me. Well actually, I just wanted to score a really cool food hamper from Reid of Onokinegrindz. He and his pal Alan are organising a virtual vacation contest to help bloggers beat the Febuary post holiday blues.

I thought back to our recent vacation to the US of A and my mind floated to what was easily the best sector, Las Vegas!When we visited in July, it was a sweltering 41 degrees celcius (106 F). Currently, it is a cool 17 degrees (61 F). We did a lot of walking on foot and I felt that was one of the best ways to explore the strip and all it has to offer. We did a split trip of Vegas, staying one night then driving through Arizona to the Grand Canyon, before continuing on to New Mexico where I met up with some long time net friends and stayed a couple of nights with them. We then headed back to Vegas for 2 more nights.

There is so much to gush about but I think I should get back to the main points of what inspired me to make a dish to recreate the feeling of "Viva Las Vegas!"

This is a picture of us getting plastered geared up for a great night. While walking through the Caesars Palace Mall, we came across people sipping from giant mugs of various shapes and sizes. They all said 'Fat Tuesday' and close to the Expensive Car Showroom and a dessert cafe near the Fate of Atlantis exhibit, we found a haven of frozen margaritas. They came in many different sizes but we chose a quart which is about a litre! I chose one with armaretto and pineapple flavours and Richard chose the 190 octane which has lots of spirit and an orange flavour. It was much bigger than we expected but hey! The night was young and we had much exploring to do. There is an amazing energy about the place, something in the air makes you feel like you can go on and on- and we did, staying up for 30 hours!

We started one end of the strip and wandered into various resorts. We were staying at the Luxor which was the egyptian-themed hotel, boasting a real exhibit of king tuts tomb, various themed simulation rides and a museum. All resorts have activities and features, most of them working around their theme. For example, Excalibur has decorations throughout spouting medieval merchandise, a live show featuring knights on horseback, various side shows with magicians and musicians and a fun park. I just can't believe how much effort is placed into each resort. New York New York had a "Coyote Ugly" club with of course bar top dancing, and had a roller coaster on top of the hotel. Forget the gambling! We were there for the fun and experience of stepping into another world behind each front door.

This was taken near the front entrance of the Venetian, I looked up at the massive paintings and had to take a shot of its ceiling.
This was also taken inside the Venetian. Of course we also went on a gondola ride. And our own gondolier sang for us as she poled the little boat through the waters.

There is just so much to share! The shopping on the strip includes many specialty shops throughout the malls, Caesar's Palace easily being the largest. It has about one mile of shops!!The shops are made to look like you are walking through a roman village, including fountains, statues and little stalls. There is a false sky with the light changing from dawn to dusk with every hour. Then there are the fashion factory outlets located just outside of the strip with many branded outlets at greatly reduced prices. The food!! There are just so many buffets to choose from. Naturally you get what you pay for but when dining at a few recommended ones such as the Spice Market buffet at Aladdin (sadly soon to be remodelled into Planet Hollywood), the french one at Paris(oh the way they serve it in cute little "shops"), and the one we had at the Luxor, you get quality as well as quantity. The nightlife!! We went to watch the Blue Man group live which was interactive, very creative and enjoyable. We also couldn't resist going to the Star Trek Experience the little geeks that we were and scored a free backstage tour as they were trialling it out! We got lots of great show facts and how everything works at "The Experience".

Needless to say, we had a lifetime of memories and all I can say is, leave at least 5 days to see everything, not forgetting the day tours such as Hoover Dam and Valley of Fire which we didn't get to visit.

Now that I am home, I made a few cocktails to put us in that party Vegas mood. I arranged it on this 3D collage of our souvenirs from Vegas. The strange looking litle glass is a Ferengi shotglass, conical and on a stand. The other two are one creamy cocktail and one fruity refreshing one.

These are my own creations that I know of, so please feel free to experiment according to the ingredients you like. We have given them names we feel capture the spirit of the drink (no pun intended).

Desert Rose
To make a smooth, creamy cocktail;
2 shots Baileys
2 shots Frangelico (hazelnut liquer)
1 shot butterscotch schnapps
Add some cream and blend with ice till smooth. Goes down easy and preps you for a great night.

The Strip
To make a strange green coloured refreshing cocktail;
1 shot blue curacao
1 shot Stones green ginger wine
1 can (250ml/metric cup) of V or other citrus energy drink
serve over lots of ice
Richard really really loved this one and said we had to make it again

Hairy Chested Klingon
To make a nutty coffee shot;
1 third Kahlua
1 third Frangelico
1 third Vodka or Butterscotch schnapps if you have a sweet tooth
Toss it back and enjoy!! Guaranteed to bring out the growl in you

Vegas baby yeah!!!


At 4:42 AM, Blogger KirkK said...

Hi Rachel - Did you sleep at all in Vegas! LOL! I do have some rather interesting comments on your drinks - other that they sound yummy. Especially the Hairy Chested know the joke about, ahem, what Star Trek and Toilet Tissue have in common...WAIT, I'll stop right here, especially when you throw hair into the whole situation!!! Seriously, sounds like a great vacation, and I like the display of souvenirs. Great photos as well!

At 11:19 PM, Blogger Flatfeet said...

Quick quick wear that CU shirt and start serving us(bloggers) the cocktails please! Heh, but I've always preferred sex on the beach *hoot!
I like those star faces. Is that using the Adobe paintshop? I've only got Jasc paintshop - just another different software I guess.
I actually took up a bar course in Perth. Quite cool to be a bar maid leh.
Imagine being the bar maid in Singapore:" eh uncle how many tigers har?"

At 2:10 AM, Blogger Rachel said...

Hi k-man !
now you got me curious. Whats the punchline? I really want to know!!

Dr Feet :))
wah! so talented! can treat feet as well as pour the perfect beer. I am sure most guys will want to know more about you when they find that out! :) hehe yeah I know its always those "uncles" who drink beer in singapore. Eee

At 2:14 AM, Blogger Rachel said...

Oh sorry, I forgot to add that we used fireworks by macromedia to do the stars :) Richard does web programming on the sides so he has all the "big gun" tools ;)

At 5:52 AM, Blogger Dr. Mommy, D.D.S. said...

hello doctor! i went to vegas about 4 years ago and had a blast. we stayed at the circus circus, one of the older, original hotels with an indoor amusement park and trailer park. we ate like kings for virtually nothing, steak and lobster dinner for $11! yum!

yeah, it's bloody hot over there in july. how long was the flight from australia to vegas???

At 3:27 PM, Blogger milgwimper said...


Those drinks sounds so yummy! Alas all my trips to Las Vegas weren't as fun and yours! Maybe I will have to talk DH into going yo LAs Vegas without anyone but ME! :)

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

Hi dr mommy, we flew sardine class to taiwan and then to los angeles as we got super cheap tickets. In prime summer time holiday season, it normally costs about 2K for each ticket but we got it for about 900 each. As a result we spent 21 hours in the air. Usually it takes about 14 hours direct from Sydney to Los Angeles.

I have msised you milly!!! YEs it would be great fun if it was a girl only thing to go to Vegas! We can get up to much eating and unimpeded shopping! Do you like riding on rollercoasters?

At 11:18 PM, Blogger Katie said...

Rachel.... WOW!! That was awesome - you did a great job of capturing the spirit of your adventure! And when I'm in Cowra next, I'm coming to your house for that Desert Rose!!

At 8:36 AM, Blogger cin said...

sounds like you had a blast! I remember being greeted by poker machines in the airport when i stepped off the plane.

At 2:46 PM, Blogger alan said...

Funny thing, but people from Hawaii love to go to Vegas. It's the single most popular off-island vacation spot for locals. I've yet to make it there myself though.


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