My family needs “a reason” to travel together, which may come as a bit of a surprise considering I fill my thoughts with travel plans and can turn anything into a reason to go away. But outside of our reunions every other year to Japan, the Bando’s don’t travel a lot as a family.
Last summer, we had a great time in Osoyoos celebrating my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary and this year we knew with my brother’s big milestone birthday, we should plan something fun as well. Las Vegas seemed like the logical place to go, seeing it’s easily accessible and there’s “something for everyone” there. The best thing about a Vegas escape is that only a few hours after leaving home, you can find yourself sunning it up poolside!
Our first dinner was a family repeat at Lawry’s Prime Rib but before dinner, the “kids” met downstairs at the lounge of our hotel for a drink.
Lawry’s is a big feed, perhaps bigger than anyone needs. But I eat prime rib so rarely that I was excited to indulge. But isn’t indulgence what Vegas is all about?
After our big feed, a walk on the Strip was warranted. Unfortunately it was too windy for the Bellagio fountain show to be running, but there’s always enough action on the Strip to keep us entertained nonetheless.
The next morning we got up early with the intention of going to EggSlut in the Cosmopolitan for breakfast. Unfortunately, we weren’t the only early birds out there and ended up having to figure out a Plan B.
After breakfast, most of us headed to the pool to soak up some more rays. We didn’t last long though because the heat of the sun was too much for us to bear. I decided it was time to take a seat next to my dad and brother to watch the ponies run.
Being such a bad gambler, I got bored quickly and my attention was (easily) diverted towards the thought of food. While there are so many options on the Strip, I didn’t really feel like sitting down for an overpriced meal. And while I know that the off-shoots of famous restaurants that land in Vegas are often not as good as the real thing, I couldn’t help but stop at 2 such places to satisfy my fast food cravings.
Back at the hotel, thoughts looked forward to dinner. We weren’t feeling like hitting the buffet as planned in advance, so we scoured other options. My brother usually hangs in China/Asiatown when he’s in Vegas, so we started checking out our options there. When I found a Italian/Japanese restaurant that looked interesting, my brother said, “hey I think the Chef there is a friend of a friend”. When I mentioned a few dishes from the menu to my dad, you could tell his interest was piqued as well. A few calls were made and before you knew it, we were at Trattoria Nakamura-ya for dinner.
I introduced my family to Uber/Lyft on this trip and we relished in the convenience (and low cost) of using it. It’s always a surprise as to what you’re getting picked up in, but when a Tesla Model 3 came to pick us up from Nakamura-ya to bring us back to the hotel, I think everyone got a boost from that.
We’re not a “party” family but seeing as we were in Vegas, it seemed like we had to take the time to go drinking together on our 2nd and last night together in Vegas. We only made it as far as the Whiskey Bar at the MGM but we didn’t need more to be entertained by the lounge singer for the evening.
My sister and brother left Vegas on Sunday morning which left me with my parents for the day. Seeing as it was Mother’s Day, I wanted to make it special for my mom. When I asked her what she wanted to do, she said “shopping”! So we headed to the outlet mall, and while I knew it was for my mom, we all had thoughts for my dad as well.
Of course shopping made us hungry, and I had just the lunch in mind for us.
For dinner, I wanted to treat my mom (and dad) to a fun Vegas experience. When we noticed Morimoto had opened in the MGM, my mom mentioned she was “interested”, seeing as we’d gone in NYC and she was interested in comparing.