Sunday, January 23, 2011

Running on a Trip

This entry is supposed on be about running while on trips, and while it is, I am also including a lot of other miscellaneous details of my recent trip to Vegas to belatedly celebrate my sister's 21-dom (perhaps Tea Time will document the trip better than I did... HERE).

I was not planning on doing any real exercise while gone. After all, it's vacation... duh! But "The Ukrainian" was set on committing to his fitness goals this week and told me to pack some running clothes with me.

We got into Sin City late Friday afternoon and proceeded to have dinner with my sisters and company. We went to the buffet at the Monte Carlo hotel. My eyes were bigger than my (hungry) stomach, and I filled my large plate! In fact, I was so hungry that I didn't capture photos of anyone else's plates. :$

Any buffet that serves brussel sprouts is a winner in my book! I wasn't purposely trying to to eat so many veggies, but those were the main items that appetized me. I finished most (2/3+) of the plate. :)

Plus sampled desserts like these. I mainly liked that pumpkin cheesecake/bar(?) at the bottom.

After some gambling (I was up ~$50 for the weekend, and "The Ukrainian" won a small load ~$250, both from slot machines), we turned in early. Like at 11 PM-ish, which in Vegas, is early.

The next morning, at around 7 AM, we got up to do this:

We did a 3-mile run around some of the hotels. "The Ukrainian" had his Garmin and told me we ran the first half at 9:30 pace and the second at under 9:00 pace. The headwind was pretty bad in the first half.

Then, it was time to explore the free gym. It was rather crowded... props to those people who are willing to commit to exercising while in Sin City!

For brunch with the sisters, I had an omelet similar to this one that "The Ukrainian" ordered, but this photo turned out better. His also came with that square of nice polenta. My omelet had fresh veggies inside (asparagus, zucchini, tomato). It tasted healthy and was perfect for a post-workout meal!

And guess where we had this lovely meal? Il Fornaio! I didn't know they had a breakfast menu, but they had several healthy/wholesome choices.

We walked around the strip for a few hours, which added to my exercise for the day:

After some hours of walking around, I needed an energy boost from a cafe called Va Bene at The Cosmopolitan. I needed (decaf) coffee and got this pine nut cookie (right) to go with it. Yes, you read that right: pine nut cookie. It had a delicate almond flavor with toasty pine nuts on top. Certainly unique!

"The Ukrainian" wanted to try the custard-filled pannetone (left). It was a mini-version of those pannetones that are found in markets around the holidays.

Dinner that night was at D.Vino, a lounge/restaurant. This was our "fancy" meal of the trip.

Foccacia bits with roaster garlic and pesto.

With a small goat cheese, frizze, pecan, and roasted beet salad with raspberry vinaigrette. The lighting made it tough to get a clear photo.

I ordered potato gnocchi with tomato pomodoro. Best gnocchi I've ever had -- tender and flavorful, probably because it absorbed the sauce well. My portion looked small compared to everyone's meals, which was sad because I was very hungry. Still... good gnocchi.

A couple of people at the table ordered seafood linguine. I sampled the pasta and found it tender with a light sauce. Overall, D.Vino had great-tasting food, though service was a bit slow considering the relatively light volume that night. Also, I am still disappointed by small gnocchi portion, even though it was not cheap.

We saw the Jabbawockeez that night. I had been skeptical since I saw them dancing on TV and didn't see how a Vegas show could come out of that, but it was full of GREAT music and sequences!

I am greatly satisfied with being able to work out while on vacation. It takes discipline (sleeping early, packing the right gear, and committing to wake up on time), but it was SO worth it. I had more energy that day than if I had stayed up late and slept in. Of course, sleeping in is nice, too, sometimes. :P

Lastly, here's what we saw at the Bellagio hotel, a garden display for the upcoming Lunar New Year. I'm sure this topic will be mentioned in upcoming posts, so stay tuned!

Thanks to Tea Time for arranging such a nice and fun trip!


  1. yummy food pics :)

  2. so much good food, sounds like it was a great trip!

  3. Looks like a great celebration! My little sister turns 25 in two weeks - it sounds silly, but I can't believe she's that old.