Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Aftermath

I am probably going to talk about my dissertation for a while still, so please bear with me as I make what I can feel is an important transition in my current life.  I'm scrambling this week to make the final edits, but I'm feeling somewhat refreshed because I took off this past weekend for a little trip in order to clear my mind.

Destination: Vegas (where else?!)

On Friday morning, "The Ukrainian" picked me up at my house, and he drove for two hours before we started getting dizzy from hunger and stopped at a Denny's for breakfast.  That's kind of our go-to place... I usually have egg whites, oatmeal, biscuit, and hash browns.

I had been wanting to get my first full-body massage, and under my irresponsible watch, I did not look into it until that morning.  Here's "The Ukrainian" looking up the directions to the place I found, which was quite off the Las Vegas strip.  As we neared, I started fearing that it was shady, but it was actually fine -- just a small place in a suite with other pampering boutiques (salons, etc.).  We ended up getting a 50-min couples massage for $145.  Not bad!

I felt SO much lighter afterward, although I thought the pressure could have been more in some areas (and less in other areas).  Well, no matter.  I can't get used to the idea of getting pampered -- that was a very special occasion.

We headed to our hotel and wound up with a huge room.  We're not big people, so this was really more place than I knew what to do with.

There were TWO sinks, which was great since I got to throw all my crud everywhere.  And this tub also took up a considerable space in the room.  I didn't quite get to use this like I had wanted (eating gummy bears while submerged and the jets soothing my troubles away), but it was pretty sweet, anyway!  (I ended up eating my candy in bed... another luxury!)

For dinner that night, we headed to a pub... because we like pub culture and pub food.  And with a name like Tood English attached to it, why not? (located at the CityCenter)

"The Ukrainian" will eat almost anything, but this is the one thing he will not.  I ate this entire 2-ish cup serving, since the last time we had a meal was in the AM.

Three for you, one for me.  Note: beer was not cheap.

A salad that we ordered to counteract pub greasiness -- this is a kettle chip salad with zucchini, tomatoes, and other chopped veggies.  It was dressed lightly and topped with some sour cream or something like that, which I avoided.

We shared this fish and chips as well.  I must say that this was one of the best fried fishes I've tried, but yeah... greasy.

We also split these onion rings, drenched in some sort of spicy aioli.  I was done for after two of them.  So was my credit card.  This place was NOT cheap (mostly due to beer)!

We spent maybe, oh, 80% of our time gambling at the slot machines.  I think at the end of the trip, I was only down about $20, which for all the time I spent, isn't bad!

The next morning, we opted for this place instead of crepes, our original idea.

For $12.99, I could have had as much of this as I wanted... plus, I was able to request French toast, which I definitely did!  Unfortunately, I am not a good buffet eater, so by the time I got through most of this plate, I was done until dinner (gambling in the interim).

Dinner was at Otto at the Venetian.  It's a Mario Batali restaurant (to add to Todd English from yesterday).  This place is special because we dined here three years ago on my very first trip to Vegas.  Who knew there'd still be an "us" to come back to this place?  In reality, we came back because other places had too long of a wait.

I felt like everything there was very saturated in olive oil, including the little dish for our bread.

Eggplant... so delicious -- we split this.  Happy graduation / birthday / anniversary to us!!

"The Ukrainian"'s pizza.  The crust was heavenly... or maybe it was the sauce.  I can't imagine what it would have tasted like with cheese and toppings.  Best crust ever.  Must be the best pizza ever, too.

I got a trio of "verdure" (vegetables) -- English peas with preserved tuna, citrus cauliflower, and lentils.  I didn't do a very good job finishing everything -- they were rich!!

And look, I'm not in my sweats for this one!  I bought this dress years ago (Forever21, size S, $14), but this was the first time I got to wear it... shows how little I get to dress up!

Wonder why I'd dress up?  Oh yes, we did.  This was my first go at a Vegas nightclub.  We actually got in for free due a promo on the street.  I (as a "lady") was able to get free drinks for a part of the night.  I had four -- haha (well, we shared, but I gluped).  But no matter how much I tried to chug them down, I could not get buzzed enough to enjoy myself in there.  The dance floor was wayyy to crowded with people trying to dance with drinks in their hands, and the music could have been MUCH better.

I started to wonder if I'm just getting too old for this kind of thing.  I really enjoy dancing and all that, so I expected this experience to be BOMB, but it just kind of bombed.  We left before midnight and spent the rest of the night (yes, there was more "night" after that, shockingly to my 9 PM bedtime self) getting out the rest of our slot machine jones.

The next morning, it was time to haul ourselves back home.  We had to stop a second time at the place that Los Angeles really needs!  They actually have some pretty healthy options (pictured: egg white/veggie sandwich).

We bought these for "The Ukrainian"'s grandparents, as we headed to their place straight from Vegas for dinner.  This was the first time in more than a year that I've had any bite of donut.  Those chocolate ones are actually really good!  I was good and only had one of each kind.

So now that I am back home, I am in great need of some detoxification.  But I did come back raring to go on this busy week I have.  Mission accomplished!


  1. Cute dress!

    You deserve to celebrate (and talk about the diss.) - it's definitely a big deal. And I'm pretty sure a massage was one of the first things I did post-defense, too :)

  2. Tao and Dunkin Donuts = The two reasons I love Vegas. The food all looked amazing!!!

  3. looks like a great getaway, and well-deserved too!

  4. Love that dress, You deserved a getaway. All that food looked yummy.

  5. You deserved that time off! You look so gorgeous and like you had a great time. Also, that food all sounds delicious...even if some was $$$. That's vacation, right? ;)

    PS - Jealous of your massage! LOL