Tag Archives: Las Vegas

Wynn-ing Big

22 May

Our hotel in Las Vegas, the Wynn, was awesome. So awesome, and so much to eat, drink and do, that I just couldn’t fit it all in to all of the posts I wrote. To that end, here’s a post of some of my (mostly food, but some other) highlights from the Wynn that I haven’t previously mentioned.

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Mini desserts. The Lakeside Grill, where we went on our first night, has a selection of mini desserts – you can pick just one, or get 3 for a set price….so delicious and so much fun! See those truffles in the back? Champagne truffles covered in chocolate-coated popping candy! Isn’t that so much fun?!

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This is how you control everything in your room. That’s right: lights, curtains, temperature, room service…all in one spot, beside your bed. I’m going to miss being able to open and close curtains with the touch of a button….sigh!

 

 

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IMG_1295This is what they feed you on a conference lunch buffet (and that’s only the stuff I took)! Amazing salads, toasted crostini with ricotta cheese and other spreads, meats, cheeses and bread for sandwiches, tomato basil soup, fruit salad, panna cotta and biscotti (plus a bunch of other stuff, which I resisted) for dessert….YUM!

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They have amazing (if expensive) mocktails. As someone who doesn’t really enjoy or drink alcohol on a regular basis, I still like to indulge in a “special,” “fancy” drink. While at the Wynn, I had an exotic sparkling lemonade, a tropical dreams smoothie, and a Wynn signature fruit punch – all delicious! Funny story: I had to show id to get in to the outside cocktail area where I ordered my fruit punch!

IMG_1290Beautiful flowers are everywhere! Seriously, they do an amazing job at this one! I can’t even begin to imagine what their flower budget must be, but they really do make the hotel look lovely. Not only are there arrangements everywhere, but there are also flowers growing in the lobby!

Now do you see why I enjoyed it there so much?My mom and I both agreed it’s the nicest hotel we’ve ever stayed at. We probably never would have stayed there had it not been for her conference – so thanks, CI, for introducing us to the Wynn.

I’m not sure when this will be posted due to internet issues. I’m typing this on Saturday night from the Grand Canyon – we saw a great sunset tonight. How has everyone’s long weekend been?

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A Tuesday in the Life of Vegas

18 May

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Approximately 5:45 AM: Wake up early, because you are an early riser, still maybe affected the the 3 hour time change, and your mom set her alarm clock early. Go for a 50 minute run along “the strip.” Get dressed for breakfast.

IMG_12267:30 AM: Go down to the conference breakfast buffet. Enjoy the luxury of cherry jam on your pb and toast. Eat a couple of bites of the pain au chocolate (puffed pastry wrapped around chocolate) because it IS vacation, after all, but leave the rest. Load up on fruit.

8 AM: Swim for 1/2 hour, dry off, get dressed and ready for your cooking class inspired by the movie Julie and Julia at 10 AM.

10 AM: Go to the cooking class (which was really more than a demonstration, since it wasn’t hands-on at all), and although it was very French, did not mention the movie at all.

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Watch the chef prepare French onion soup, Boeuf Bourignon and Chocolate mousse, eat all of the above. Give yourself a pat on the back because although it was delicious, you did not eat all of the boeuf bourignon. Feel slightly less proud at eating the entire portion of that incredibly delicious mousse.

IMG_126012:30 PM: Walk the strip for 4 hours, wandering in and out of stores, hotels/casinos, in an effort to work off your lunch and work up an appetite for supper.IMG_1271

3:30 PM Because your feet are tired from walking, stop to have something to drink and sit down for a few minutes. Because you’re on vacation, you decide to totally splurge and treat yourself to a double chocolate ffffrozen hot chocolate outside of Caesar’s Palace. *Another note: I made myself stop and I did not drink the whole thing! It was really good, but not over-the-top amazing….still a yummy and delicious treat though!

4:30 PM: Crash at the hotel and then get ready for the evening’s “dine around” event, hosted by different fund managers at your mom’s conference.

7:00 PM: Arrive at Julian Serrano restaurant for a DELICIOUS SpaniIMG_1279sh tapas dinner. Look at menu with excitement. Proceed to sample everything brought to the table. Potatoes are best (hello, garlic…YUM!). I even sampled the seafood, even though I am not a fan. Scallop was ok, did not finish the salmon though. This event was really fun, and the people we sat with were really interesting and we had a lot of great conversation (not the boring financial types I was worried about)! I loved the tapas meal and the format – we got to try a little of a lot of different things. The pacing of everything was perfect too- eat and talk, eat and talk, eat and talk…a GREAT way to spend an evening! The funniest thing about this restaurant? When you went to the bathroom, they had recordings of a woman teaching you how to say basic words in Spanish!…hilarious!

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I really am having a great time! So much delicious food, so little time! Seriously, there are so many places I want to eat. And it’s hard to pick what to blog aIMG_1289bout too…believe me, what makes it on HHH is NOT all I’m eating! Special thanks to Katie and Donna for giving me a (loving) kick in the pants for my food-guilt on earlier posts this week and encouraging me to just enjoy…I am on vacation! Hope you are all having a great week!IMG_1264

 

 

 

 

PS: It’s not ALL food here…we have seen a Cirque de Soleil show, went to the Hoover Dam, and got in some shopping….just thought I’d let you know! Winking smile

The best thing I ever ate

17 May

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Hello again from Las Vegas! I must admit, the food here is fabulous! And I’ve been eating LOTS of itEmbarrassed smile! The name of this blog is Hungry Healthy Hilary, but I’ll admit, the HUNGRY is in the driver’s seat right now. I have made some healthier choices, but many that are not-so-healthy. Like I said before, the 20 percent of the 80/20 rule isn’t big enough for me this week! It’s more like 20/80! But anyway, enough with the self-depreciation, I really am having a wonderful time (and trying to get in as much activity as possible)!

Do you watch Food Network? This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you, but I am a FN junkie! IMG_1176There are so many shows/celebs I love to watch, one of which is The Best Thing I Ever Ate. For those of you not familiar with the show, basically, each half hour episode has a theme (like food on a stick, brunch, chocolate, etc), and Food Network stars and celebrity chefs tell their favourite food on that theme, why it’s so amazing, and the camera goes behind the scenes at the particular restaurant. Sometimes, I don’t know why I put myself through all that torture of watching delicious food parade across the screen….I think of it as food pornography….and yet I still watch.

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Well, you can imagine my excitement when, a while before we left for Vegas, Giada de Laurentiis mentioned a restaurant in our hotel!!!!! It was in either a“chopsticks” or “noodles” episode (I can’t remember which). The restaurant is called Wazuzu, and it serves several varieties of Asian foods. The dish Giada raved about is called “drunken noodles with chicken.”

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So of course, once I found out about this place and its notoriety, I made sure that dining here would be a priority. And let me tell you – Giada knows her stuff! Those noodles were FAN-tastic! You could choose the spiciness on a level from 1 to 5. I went for a 3, and found it not too spicy at all except for the fresh chiles on top. The noodles were like none I’d ever had before – extremely wide, which made them easy to pick up with chopsticks (I’m not extremely skilled at chopsticks, but I gave it a go for part of the meal). The sauce was sweet – I can’t really describe it very well, since I’m no expert at Asian flavours. You can also see from the pictures that it was a very nice restaurant – a far cry from the typical low-brow Chinese buffets you’d go to.

I’m a little ashamed to say I ate that whole big bowl – even after a day of indulging in other less-than-healthy choices. Embarrassed smileThey were just SO good – and, how you can say no to the best thing you ever ate?

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Since I’m all about keepin’ it real here at HHH, I’ll tell you that I also had dessert – even though I TOTALLY didn’t need it (you haven’t seen all the other stuff I ate that day). And if the entree was the best thing I ever ate, this dessert most DEFINITELY falls into that category and it was absolutely out-of-this-world divinely delicious. What you are looking at is a Thai crepe, described on the menu as: “Thai roti crêpe, condensed milk, sugar, topped with coconut crunch ice cream.” Just wow. It was a absolutely perfect combination of flavours and textures. The crepe was crispy and flaky, and sticky from the soaking of condensed milk. It was hot, the ice IMG_1177cream was cold, and the toasted coconut gave it a nice crunch…..HEAVEN (unless of course, you don’t like coconut)!!!

My mom said she’d have a bit, but when it came, she said she was too full (kudos to her for listening to her gut in the face of an amazing dessert). It was all I could do not to eat the whole thing. Thankfully, the waitress came with our bill while the dessert was only partially demolished, so I was able to leave after eating 4/6 pieces…I don’t know how much longer I would have been able to stare at that thing without giving in!

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So, if you ever find yourself in Vegas, make time to stop at Wazuzu in the Encore (sister property to the Wynn, where we’re staying….the buildings are joined). You won’t regret it, and you may just find it’s the best food you’ve ever eaten!

So, as I admitted above, I really am struggling with balance, discipline and self-control with all the amazing food here. I am making some healthier choices. They may be few and far between, but I’m trying to celebrate my successes. And we’ve also been walking a lot (due to traffic on “the strip,” in order to cross the street, you have to go up and down stairs to bridges over the roadway, so that’s a good thing). And I’ve fit in some activity every day (I coughed up the $15 for the fancy gym yesterday). I probably will come home a few pounds heavier. IMG_1141But, I AM on vacation, right? And this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m enjoying things I’d never normally eat. In the end, it’s JUST FOOD. I can’t let it rule my life, right? I should stop now though, you probably don’t want/need to hear all my ramblings/self-analyzing. Like I said before – just keepin’ it real!

I’ll be back with more. We had our first “conference” event last night – another wow. As I said to my mom, “if they treat us like this the whole time, I’m ok with that!” So much to share with you, it’s hard to know what to choose. I’ll keep you posted!

The Wynn Workout

15 May

We woke up early yesterday. As in, before 6 AM early (blame it on the time change). IMG_1114We spent some time in our room, but wanted to have some food in our tummies (and my mom wanted coffee). so we got a fresh fruit and yogurt platter (and coffee for her) from room service. I’m not even going to tell you how much it cost, because it was ridiculous. Let’s just say it made Pearson International Airport’s $4.99 fruit salad look like a bargain.

Now onto the workout. I was stoked to see the amazing-looking gym at our hotel. Less stoked to find out that it costs $15 per person, per day to use! Sad smile Wicked bummer! So it was either skip the workouts, or pay through the nose to stay in shape. The pool, while amazing, does not open until 8 AM. And on our first day here, my mom and I attempted to take the stairs….also a fail. They are CLEARLY not meant for anything other than a fire escape, as our wild goose chase to a sketchy exit door we had no idea where it went so we turned around and climbed up back to our floor escapade proved (I found the whole incident kinda funny…my mom, not so much). So, I was feeling a little bummed on the exercise front.

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BUT, thanks to my memory (of personal training/other exercises I’ve done, my ifitness app on my ipod touch and a little ingenuity, I came up with a pretty AWESOME workout. I wanted to share it with you, because you could easily do it anywhere you have stairs and no access to fitness equipment. It’s great for at a hotel, but it would also work well at home too, for those of you who like to work out but can’t make it away from home. Start to finish, it took me about 50 or 55 minutes, but, you easily increase or decrease that time by adjusting the amount of cardio you do. Most of the exercises came from past personal training sessions/SHAPE magazine workouts, and a couple from the app.

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So for the stairs, I just went to the previously mentioned sketchy staircase (which conveniently, is next door to our room) and ran up and down one floor. It sounds incredibly boring, but with my music, it went by surprisingly quickly. I’m not gonna lie, my pace slowed down a bit on each set, but I managed to keep up fairly well. I did 2 sets of each exercise listed, and between 1o to 20 reps of each, depending on the exercise (after the running crunches, I held for almost a minute, I held the wall sit for 1 minute and the side planks for 45 seconds on each side). If you want more specific instructions for any of the exercises, just ask!

I was a sweaty mess by the end (just ask my mom!) so a dip in the pool felt GREAT! I did lengths for about 1/2 and hour (alternating between breast stroke and front crawl). I love to swim, and since I graduated and no longer have free pool access, I don’t get to do it very often. You may be thinking that’s a pretty big workout. Well, yes, but….

Then we went to THE BEST BRUNCH I’VE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE! Seriously, it was UN-BE-LIEVABLE!

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You know how usually you go to a buffet, and the food is good, but it’s not really superior quality, and some or all of it is just so-so? Not at the Wynn! Yes, we paid dearly for it, but it was SO worth it….and we got our money’s worth, let me tell you! And, I will sheepishly admit that all of that food is mine! Embarrassed smileBUT, I focused on things that I couldn’t get elsewhere, and, other than dessert, I left something on my plate from each course. It was all good, but the highlights were: corn succotash, homemade granola (but I’m sure it’s not as good as yours Katie), pulled pork and coleslaw on corn bread, Mexican chilaquiles frittata, thick-cut slab bacon with lots of pepper (seriously, all other bacon will never be the same again), fresh salsas and naan bread, and the AMAZING bread pudding and apple cobbler! Mmmmmm!

Since it was our first full day of vacation, we opted for the $10 extra “champagne” option, which includes unlimited mimosas (champagne and orange juice), champagne or bloody marys. I went for the mimosas – whew, I am such a lightweight! I was definitely feeling the buzz….or something. I said after the fact that if I was doing it over again I would skip the Mimosa, as it didn’t really do that much for me…oh well, live and learn.

We really didn’t eat again until later on, and then it was just a slice of pizza before our show and Ben and Jerry’s after (and I even got fro yo)!

This place is like nothing else….seriously! I’ll leave you with a few more shots.

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I still plan on trying out the gym though, by the way. What do you do when you can’t do a workout as you’ve planned? What’s the most creative workout you’ve come up with?

Travel Day Eats

14 May

We made it! All travel went smoothly…up at 4:30 to make it to our flight, but we arrived with no major hiccups. IMG_1085

Here’s what I ate on the go. I brought a Vitatop from home in hopes of a Starbucks in our terminal: no dice! Sad smile So I went with plan B and got a seriously-overpriced fruit salad and a yogurt (not fat-free as I would have liked, but you take what you can get)…$7.54!!!!! Can you believe that?

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On the plane, I ate the provided Bits & Bites (only 60 calories in this little bag!) and a diet Pepsi.

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Later on, my mom and I ate one each of the Peek Freens Life Style: blueberry brown sugar with flax cookies provided (actually quite tasty, I might seek these out at the grocery store) and I had a bit of the Cracker Jack mix I bought her as a trip treat…these boxes are 3 for $1 at Walmart and have only 110 calories a box…score! I also drank a cup of tea, which I spilled all over myself in true Hilary style.

Undocumented were a fibre 1 100 calorie bar (big shocker there), and some of the Jelly Belly jelly beans I also bought my mom in her vacation “surprise bag” (this was my take on a tradition that she did for us on long car trips: she packed a bag full of treats and things to do for us on the long car trip. As a “grown-up,” I’ve turned the tables on her and made her her very own surprise bags for trips.

After all those carb-y snacks, a day of travel and a 3 hour time change, my body was craving real food. Luckily for me, after we had unpacked at the hotel, we had this:

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….a 3 dip pita/veggie platter at the Wynn’s Terrace Cafe, the poolside restaurant. The 3 dips were hummus, baba ganoush and tzatziki with feta…the last one was my favourite! We had to request more pita chips though!

 

 

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Given the hot weather (Smile I am NOT complaining), the day of travel,  and the prospect of a big dinner out, salad sounded really good to me. I got a chopped veggie salad with provolone and Parmesan, served in a rice paper bowl with white balsamic dressing. It was sooo satisfying! A perfect light meal for a hot day. The rice paper bowl was actually surprisingly good too, but I didn’t eat it all, ‘cause I’m pretty sure it was fried.

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This is what we ate lunch next to (and swam in afterward)! This place is SO swanky…and $EXPENSIVE$! It will be easy to drop a lot of money, even without gambling! …stay tuned!