Monday, May 12, 2014

Viva Outside Las Vegas


Westin Lake Vegas
This past weekend I attended the annual #BlogPaws conference, a social media conference for pet bloggers.  It was not on the strip of Las Vegas but thirty minutes outside of Vegas at Lake Vegas, in Henderson, Nevada. My nonprofit site will cover the purpose of the conference and all the cute pets. Here I want to focus on the venue and my side trip to the strip since I have not been here since 2007.


Surprisingly it was an enclave of rich upscale homes on a lake near Hoover Dam.  The host hotel was the Westin Lake Vegas Resort  & Spa and it was unexpectedly the nicest Westin yet! With the dry heat, the dearth brown terrain, peppered palm trees and glistening oasis of a lake, and the Moroccan theme tile and decor in the hotel I felt transported to northern Africa or the Middle East, neither of which I have visited.

Lobby with view of lake (Westin, Lake Vegas)

The serenity of the location is a great solution to enjoy the weather, escape the tourist trap of Vegas but still only a 30 minute ride to the strip for action.  The hotel has two pools, one adult pool and a family pool on  lower level.


I was nominated for 2 awards--Best Cause and Best Video


 The Westin hotel offers paddle boarding and boating.  Great form of exercise!




On Friday night I escaped to the strip for dinner, a show, gambling and dancing.  Sure enough I accomplished all four without getting lost, making new acquaintances, sipping plenty of complimentary champagne and dancing the night away.

The Westin offers a shuttle to their property on the strip. From there I walked three U.S. blocks (not European) which is  bit of a hike but I wore my smart heels (not platforms) to the Bellagio hotel to see Cirque du Soleil "O".
Balcony Bellagion Hotel, Las Vegas

So many convention hotels that take up not one but two or three entire blocks! I felt like Alice in Wonderland.


Bellagio was beautiful. It houses brand name stores at one entrance (Tiffany, Gucci, Prada, etc.) and the corridor leads you to the casinos, to the right is the Cirque du Soleil "O" show. Definitely the most spectacular production that has a moving water stage. The acrobats perform their signature aerial stunts but land by diving into the water. Synchronized swimming is another feature. But the entire stage features many moving parts and design sets. Clearly the theater was custom made for this show. INCREDIBLE! I highly recommend it.

The concierge at the hotel got me the best seat in entire audience!

So after the show I'm wandering through the casino and turns out I was a lucky charm for some gentlemen playing Black Jack.  Why didn't that luck bring me fortune at this slot machine? Lost $10. Oh well.
I was having more fun sitting at Black Jack tables and drinking cocktails.



As I was leaving the casino I walked by a handsome nightclub--Hyde. People were forming a line.  Not a kid in my 20's I don't stand in lines to go dancing. Upon exiting the hotel, a couple of handsome guys in black suits asked me if I'd like VIP access to Hyde. Little did I know when I mentioned my name one of the guys emailed or texted my name to the club. Within ten minutes we walked up to the front of the line and my appeared TYPED on a list.  Maurice ushered me in and told the waitress to serve me unlimited champagne.  And the dancing began all night long. Thankfully I'm not a big drinker. Makes me sleepy--so I had energy to dance.




So when asked the purpose of my visit, I always hesitated.  Pet Bloggers and Vegas are an odd match and the quizzical expression on faces confirmed it. So towards the end of the evening I introduced myself as Cat Woman, at least to the men. They were interested in learning more! They got an earful about homeless cats  and black cats. And they seem genuinely interested.  My work was done. Mission accomplished. But I had fun too!


To read more about #BlogPaws on my cat site visit www.riverfrontcats.com
To see photos of dogs and other pets at #BlogPaws, visit www.pawsitivelyhumane.org



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