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What a great birthday trip to Las Vegas.

Let’s see. First the bad news. (1) We were running really late for our plane going out, got halfway to the airport and my husband realized that he’d left his cell phone at home. Had to turn around and go back. (2) There was a problem with our room that we dealt with most of the afternoon and the hotel finally moved us. (3) We got stuck in an elevator for about 20 minutes. (4) I have blisters on top of my feet from wearing my new spangly Skechers flip-flops; (5) There was a mechanical issue with our plane on the return trip and we spent an extra three (uncomfortable) hours in the airport; (6) One the drive home from the airport, my bottle of water leaked in my tote drenching my laptop, my Kindle, my cell phone, and my leather wallet.

Like I said, we had a great time.

The upgrade gods worked their magic and we got our first-class upgrades on both flights.

The hotel was wonderful — we stayed at the new Cosmopolitan resort which is just beautiful. They’ve got inventive, amazing art sprinkled throughout the hotel which only complements and enhances the amazing interiors. The problem we had with our room was an issue with the safe that they couldn’t get solved so they moved us from our gorgeous “standard” room to an incredible suite that overlooked the Bellagio lake/water show. It had two full baths, a full kitchen with refrigerator, oven, stove, and a washer-dryer. I’ve lived in apartments smaller than that room. The staff at the hotel is the most polite, courteous, and helpful I’ve experienced in a long time, anywhere.

The spa was nice. We switched our massage appointments from Friday afternoon to Thursday afternoon and when we did, the person booked a couples massage instead of two singles. But we managed to straighten it out without t0o much of a problem. The spa was beautifully appointed with sandstone walls and a water feature. If I were picking nits, their lounge area was small and the only refreshments they offered were water and hot herbal tea. Usually in the nicer Las Vegas spas, they offer bottled water, juices, fruits, etc. Also the treatment rooms were upstairs from the wet areas, and climbing a flight of stairs is not (in my opinion) a great way to start a relaxing massage.

The food was incredible. I’m not much of one for buffets, but we decided to eat at the Cosmopolitan’s version — The Wicked Spoon — for brunch on Thursday. It was so great we went back again on Saturday. We also ate at two of José Andrés restaurants — Jaleo and China Poblano. Jaleo is a tapas restaurant and we had quite an array of tasty dishes, the only disappointment was the paella. What we were served was the equivalent of rice and lobster that no self-respecting Spaniard worth his saffron would call a paella. The real high point, though, was Scott Conant’s Scarpetta. I’ve seen Chef Conant on a number of Food Network shows and the word that comes to mind when I think of him is arrogant — even for a celebrity chef. However, his food spoke wonders. Amazing heirloom tomato salads, incredible pasta dish, and I had Branzini (Italian sea bass) and my husband had proscuitto-wrapped pork loin. The service, with the exception of the maitre d’, was professional, helpful, courteous, and attentive. The maitre d’ took arrogance lessons from Chef Conant.

We didn’t do a whole lot except explore the new hotel and get some daily walking in for our “wellness program.” I’m sorry to report that knees, hips, and ankles weren’t the most cooperative so our walking was sprinkled with frequent rest stops, which is not bad, but something that I need to correct.

Probably the most entertaining was getting stuck in an elevator. We met some very nice people from Michigan and California along with some very nervous security guys. The elevator was outdoors and only three stories high — from the sidewalk outside one side of City Center to the pedestrian walkway leading to the Mandarin Oriental. It had glass in the doors so we could see outside and we were only stuck half a floor up, so even if the elevator fell, it wouldn’t have been more than a few bumps and bruises. The weather was (thankfully) unusually cool, so it wasn’t even that warm in the elevator. The security guys got really nervous when I jokingly told them that one of the passengers was a lawyer. (Yes, I really did.) What was really fun was before the security guys showed up, several people pushed the elevator button and were startled that we were stuck. At any rate, we eventually convinced the security guys to see if they could pry the doors open for some ventilation and when they did, that reset whatever was stuck and up we went.

So now it’s back home and back to work. Busy week ahead with looming deadlines and long hours, but a great vacation to start it off.

I hope whatever adventures you’ve had in your life lately were happy ones.

Thanks for checking in.

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