Todd Family Blog

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Thanksgiving / Update

I'm so behind! I hope you will forgive me. I spent last weekend in Washington D.C. for an audition and this weekend I go to New York for more auditions. Then, of course, there is our trip to Vermont for Christmas in a few weeks, too. That makes three cross country trips this month, my normal teaching load AND I start rehearsals tomorrow with San Diego Opera! (Plus the little things like Gracie throwing out her back last week! We are supposed to keep her from any activity. Try that with a 3 year old German Shepherd sometime. Not so easy.) Needless to say, I'm just trying to keep up.

With that said, here are some of our Thanksgiving pics. We had another lovely vacation at the Ritz. (I'm telling ya' - keep an eye out for these packages they have there in Lake Las Vegas. It is so worth it if you can get a cheep flight or are close enough to drive!) We seem to be developing a bit of a tradition as we travel to the Ritz. We again left a day early to stay at Buffalo Bill's in the border town of Primm, NV (aka "Fakey Vegas") and stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch on the way (the only one in SoCal). It seems to be a fail safe plan, save the fact that we always have way too much hot sauce at BW's. Oh well. It's so worth it. We also managed to get to Buffalo Bill's in time to watch the Butler/Michigan game. That night we sat on our hotel bed, eating McDonalds (the only thing open on Thanksgiving eve that late) and rooted on Butler to a great win. Excellent start to the vacation.

While in the Vegas area we enjoyed our Thanksgiving Dinner Buffet at the Ritz, played some slots, blackjack and placed a bet on the Butler/Virginia Tech game. All in all I believe we came out about $20 up! Not too bad. We also had an AMAZING dinner at Medici, the restaurant in the Ritz. They had a six-course mushroom-themed tasting menu with wine pairings. Wow. Brad also wanted to try Bobby Flay's restaurant, Mesa, on the strip to see what all the fuss was about. He now claims that sandwich is the best sandwich he's had in years. Definitely lived up to the hype. And guess where we ate on our final night? A place called Todd's! It is a little, gourmet spot in nearby Henderson. It was so very good.

Obviously, food played a large part in our Thanksgiving weekend. We did do something other than eating, such as walking some trails in the National Park of Lake Mead, working out at the Ritz (to balance out the massive amounts of food) and shopping some in The Forum at Caesar's Palace (poor Brad). All in all, a great vacation.

We will say, however, that next year must include family, friends and a home-cooked meal. The Ritz and Vegas are fun and all, but nothing beats a traditional Thanksgiving.

Well, wish me luck in New York! I get to stay with one of my very best friends, Elizabeth, and her husband, Keith, which I look forward to every year. I'm sure I'll have some pictures to share! Till then...

Our favorite part of the vacation was the room we got. Somehow they gave us one of the few rooms with a balcony overlooking the gorgeous garden, which was all lit with Christmas lights. I don't know how we got so lucky. We sat out on the balcony drinking coffee or wine, and on Sat. night there was a wedding happening down below. It was so pretty, especially with the string quartet playing.

The view from the lobby showing Brad's favorite part - the huge tree! It was very cold while we were there and we stopped one night to sit by the big fire pit in the center.

Part of the Thanksgiving buffet at the Ritz, complete with all the standard favorites, as well as some unusual stations like bufalo mozzarella being made right in front of you. Mmmmmm.

The dessert table. Oh my. The chef standing behind it was making brandied cherry crepes with a Grand Marnier sauce right there. No wonder I didn't eat again that day.

View around Lake Mead as we walked a trail.

The trail we were walking used to be a railroad track. There were huge tunnels through the mountain.

About to dig into our cobbler dessert at Todd's we had to stop for a picture. How appropriate that the name of the restaurant is on the plate. The waiter laughed when he saw the name on our credit card!

Driving through the Lake Las Vegas resort/golf course you can see Vegas in the distance. (It's those buidlings right in the middle against the mountain in the distance. You may need to click on the picture to see it clearly.) What is amazing is that it is 20 miles away from where we were standing! The dessert air is so crystal clear that everything seems so close.

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