Vegas... Day 5

After my mini-meltdown last night I figured I had to do something to make me feel better.  So this morning I started packing! It did make me feel a little better.  I still have a long day ahead of me and a few sessions tomorrow morning before I can catch a cab and head to the airport to head home.

I slept better last night but not great.  Wide awake at 1:18 this morning listening to the construction in the street down below.  Not sure when I fell asleep again.

I guess it's tradition now, here is this mornings sunrise.  Another cloudless day here.  It is supposed to be 77 degrees this afternoon!

And I got a nice shot of the Area 51 plane this morning.  I promise, last one!

I'm wearing "sensible" shoes (my Saucony's) today and I'm really feeling that blister.  It's about the size of a quarter.  Let's hope that doesn't decide to pop.

There were no really note worthy events or people in my sessions today.  The rooms weren't as full.  Maybe people were watching basketball or celebrating St. Patrick's Day out on the strip. I was a good girl, I endured the PowerPoint presentations.

I had a good long break over the lunch hour today and since I didn't want dried chicken again, I decided to go out to lunch.  I decided on Giada.  Considering how I'm feeling, I guessed by 6pm tonight I would just want to head up to my room and be done with the day.

Getting out in the air was just what I needed.  Remember, I've been stuck in conference rooms until 6 or 7 every night.  Sunshine and fresh air were just what the doctor ordered.

Giada is in the Cromwell which, based on the casinos I've walked through, is one of the classiest.  I didn't smell any smoke.  It was clean an tastefully (rather than gaudily) decorated.

I was led to the absolute perfect spot for me!  A table right near the big windows, which were open providing the perfect breeze, overlooking the strip.  I could have stayed right there all afternoon.

I haven't had lunch there before so I asked my waiter, Julian, what he recommended.  He had four recommendations, the Carbonara pizza, the Waldorf Panzanella Salad (which sounded amazing), the Lemon Pesto Grilled Cheese or the Lasagna.  I was split between the Waldorf Panzanella Salad and the Lemon Pesto Grilled Cheese.  I picked the grilled cheese and I opted to add Prosciutto di Parma to make it a grilled "ham and cheese."

I had a choice of a salad or "zucchini scapecce", I chose the zucchini.  What is scapecce?  Apparently it's a word made up by Giada meaning skinny curls of fried zucchini.  I Googled it and after pages and pages of posts about Giada's zucchini scapecce, I found one or two posts that referenced "zuchhini a'scapecce".  Based on those posts, the dish is sliced zucchini marinated in vinegar, mint and a little fresh chili pepper, which sounds delicious.

That, however is not Giada's definition. They were finely shredded pieces of zucchini that were breaded and fried.  Do I care?  No.  They were delicious. They didn't taste like zucchini, they were almost sweet, crispy but not hard like shoestring potatoes, and just enough salt!

But the sandwich, that was amazing.  The lemon pesto was divine, just enough lemon, not too much.  I'm not even sure what kind of cheese it was!  The lemon pesto with the salty prosciutto and the sweet heirloom tomato was, well, quite possibly the best "grilled ham and cheese" I have ever eaten.

I paired my lunch with a nice Italian chardonnay.  Like I said, I could have sat there all day. I know, wine during "work" hours. You sit in a windowless conference room for three days and tell me if you wouldn't like a drink at lunch.

To drag out my time at the table I decided to just look at the dessert menu.  Yea, right, I didn't just look.  Last time I was there I ordered the assorted cookies which came with two of those divine lemon ricotta cookies (which I now know how to make so I can get them at home), two chocolate chip cookies (I think mine are better) and two peanut butter and jelly cookies (also not my thing).  So this time I decided on the chocolate tiramisu.

It was delicious, perfectly creamy with just enough chocolate, not too much booze, ladyfingers that weren't all mushy, and it was the perfect size.  The only think missing was a spatula to scrape the cup clean!

It was so nice out I walked back, slowly, to the MGM. It is cold and snowing at home, I wanted to get a little vitamin D while I could.  Today is St. Patrick's Day.  There were a lot of drunk people dressed in green on the strip already.  Interesting people watching.

I really, really did not want to go back to the conference center.  It was SO beautiful out.  I had two sessions left, I could do this!

Neither session was really worth the time and by the time the last one ended, I was done, DONE.

The number of green-clad drunk people had multiplied in just those few hours and being in a crammed elevator with them really wasn't all that much fun.  Shocking I know.  So I decided dinner would be somewhere in the hotel. One of the only choices available (that wasn't a buffet or look up at the menu place) was Wolfgang Puck's restaurant, so that's where I went.

Nothing on the menu really sounded good to me.  I really wasn't that hungry after that big lunch, but I was hungry enough to know that in an hour or so I would be hungry and by then things would be even more crowded.

There was a burger on the menu. It was a prime burger with onion marmalade, Vermont cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles and it was served with fries.  Done. I'll add to my Vegas burger comparison.

The burger was good, as good as Gordon Ramsey's, better than Hubert Keller's.  The burger was better seasoned than Gordon Ramsey's, at least for my taste, lots of pepper on it.  It was juicy and flavorful.  The toppings were massive, kind of like at Burgr.  The onion marmalade gave it a little sweet flavor and also made it a fairly messy burger to eat.  The pickles on it were bread and butter pickles, not dill. I prefer dill but it didn't ruin the burger.

The fries were "skinny" fries like the ones at Keller's Burger Bar, but these were better.  They were hot, crispy and just had better flavor.  I'm guessing they are frying in something other than canola oil.  And, lucky me, regular old Heinz ketchup!  No "fancy" stuff like at Gordon Ramsey's.

So, in order of preference top to bottom I think I have to go Gordon Ramsey, Wolfgang Puck then Hubert Keller.  I don't need a burger for a very long time now.

I get to go home tomorrow!!!!!  I heard it snowed there today.  Not really looking forward to that but I am looking forward to seeing my hubby and my "kids" and sleeping somewhere where there is no road construction going on!

And I got to see the night shift fly off to Area 51!  I know, I know, but I only promised no more pictures.

Good-bye Vegas.

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