Our Honeymoon: Day 11 – July 4th in Vegas

Our Independence Day could be described as very long, very tiring, but very fun!  The day was long and tiring because we started it the minute we touched down in Las Vegas, and didn’t stop until the wee hours of July 5th.  Christina & Tony, my sister and brother-in-law arrived in Vegas on Friday and spend the day enjoying the city of lights.  Driving our car, they picked us up at the airport, and took us back to our shared room at the Palazzo.  We wasted no time in getting started and headed straight to New York, New York to visit our usual breakfast spot: America.

After a hearty breakfast, we started walking the south end of the strip and ended up at one of the merchant plazas along the strip.  Christina and Tony had gotten 4-week tattoos the day before and it didn’t take much convincing for us to do the same.  Bethany had a design with an intricate cross, with a heart in the middle.


I went with a more contemporary design on my arm:


We walked back up the strip and stopped at the Coca-Cola store for one of Las Vegas’ best values.  If you go upstairs you can order a Float Sampler, which gives you 8 ice cream floats for $8.  The four of us could barely finish four of the floats, let alone 8 of them. This was a very refreshing treat for a very hot day.

We went back to the Palazzo to spend some time at the pool. Unfortunately pretty much every other guest at the Palazzo had the same thing in mind, as the pool was completely full.  We managed to finally snag some lawn chairs and enjoyed a nice cool swim.  The temperature was over 100 degrees, and we had a schedule to keep, so we headed back up to the room to get ready to head down to Fremont Street and dinner at Hugo’s Cellar.

Hugo’s Cellar is a five-star restaurant located in the basement at the Four Queens Hotel.  This is one our favorite Vegas traditions, one that we’ve been looking forward to for months.  We definitely weren’t disappointed.  One of our favorite things there is that they have a guy that comes around with a salad cart and prepares each salad right in front of you, asking each person what ingredients went on each salad  I asked them to be generous on the anchovies, and they gave Bethany a hard time about whether she knew I liked anchovies this much when she married me.  The staff at Hugo’s caught wind that we were on our honeymoon, and prepared Bethany and I a special surprise:


We enjoyed the White Chocolate Moose cake and all of the other good food. 


We gambled a little bit on Fremont, then headed back to the Palazzo to get in position to watch the fireworks over Caesar’s Palace.  We staked out a spot right in front of Harrah’s where we also got a view of the Mirage’s volcano going off:


The fireworks kicked off a little after 9:00pm, and while they were not the caliber of fireworks we’ve enjoyed at Coors Field for the last 4 years, we definitely saw some great sights:


After raving about the gondola ride at the Venetian, Christina and Tony were interested in taking the ride.  The four of us bought tickets and managed to get on the same gondola rower that Bethany and I had, Santo.  He treated us to more beautiful songs as we went under the “Tunnel of Love”.



We headed back to our room to refuel on beverages, and caught another Mirage Volcano eruption from our 22nd story view of the Strip.  We ended the 4th by playing slot machines down in the Palazzo casino, turning in at 1am.  Before we pulled out of Vegas on Sunday, the four of us shared our last Vegas meal at the Monte Carlo’s brunch buffet.

Thus this brings the official end to our Honeymoon.  We are currently en route back to Colorado and both of us are scheduled to be back at work on Monday.  Our adventure in Las Vegas and Hawaii may be over, but we are excited to go home to continue our adventure in our new marriage.

Vegas Michael Jackson tributes

One of the interesting things about traveling during tragedy is seeing the local reaction, especially in a tourist trap like Vegas.  You see a lot of people trying to use their resources to try to pay homage to Michael Jackson.  Two of which I captured and wanted to share.

Bethany and I went down to one of our favorite Vegas spots – Fremont Street – the night after Jackson died.  Freemont has these light/laser shows that they run across their room.  This evening’s show was simple, showing images of Michael Jackson’s album covers while playing “Gone Too Soon” from his Dangerous album.


The second image that caught my eye was at the Venetian on Friday night.  When you travel up the moving walk ways, you got past a wax museum that has representations of many celebrities.  The museum folks put out their statue of Michael Jackson on the main display, which resulted in many people laying down flowers by the wax Jackson.


I’m not sure what to make of that one, but definitely shows that everyone responds to grief in their own way.

Honeymoon Day 4: We finally made it!

With the first Las Vegas leg of our trip done, we grew more excited about Hawaii.  First was the matter of getting there, a grueling series of flights that had us leaving Vegas at 2:30am, and arriving in Kauai at 7:30am (spending 2 extra hours in the air).  These over-night flights always look good when you book them, but when it comes to arriving at the airport, waiting to board, and trying to sleep in an uncomfortable plane, you wonder if the schedule was worth it.  Bethany begs to differ, as she is glad we have two extra days in Hawaii. With as beautiful as things are out here, I’m losing this disagreement.

This flight wasn’t long""

it’s simply amazing how green everything is out here.  The weather is perfect, a little warm, but accompanied with a nice sea breeze.  We’re reveling in the experience of driving in Hawaii in a convertible, but it’s astonishing that every road here is the size of a Colorado back road. 

Driving through Kauai.

Our car rental shuttle driver recommended a place called “Dani’s” for breakfast.  Equipped with our sun hats and lei’s (from our lovely lei greeting), we were definitely the only tourists in there.  The food was a great value, and we were on our way to explore Kauai.

Driving in the convertible.

We scoped out our hotel location, but were far too early to check in.  We then did some shopping on the South Shore.  We found some really cute stores and had our first bout with Lappert’s Ice Cream (the first of many, we suspect).  We also found a cute store and got our sport bands (cheaper wedding bands that we can use while swimming and other sporting activities. Remember when Olympic Volleyball player Kerri Walsh lost her wedding ring?) that were perfect fits.  We were growing pretty tired from our sleep-deprived flight, so we pulled into the nearest beach under a tree and caught a nap in the convertible.
Lappert’s Ice Cream. 

We had lunch at the BBQ Inn, which ironically did not have very much BBQ – but good food nonetheless.  We then went to hotspot of commerce called K-Mart to pick up needed groceries and supplies for the week. Living in Colorado, it’s always baffling to walk down an aisle filled with hard liquor.

We’re staying at the Point at Poipu Resort, with a beautiful room that overlooks the Hot Tub, backing right up to a breathtaking ocean scenery.  We took much-needed showers and prepared for our dinner at the Beach House.

The experience at the Beach House can be best summarized with these pictures (from our table I might add):



As the crazy honeymooners that we are, we crashed at 9:15pm and slept until nearly 11:00am the next day.  That overnight flight didn’t take its toll on us at all.

Next Up: A day rest & relaxation, topped off with a luau.

Honeymoon Day 3 – Last day in Vegas

Friday turned out to be a bittersweet day for us.  We were definitely sad to be checking out of the Palazzo and leaving Vegas, but we were also very excited about the adventures to come in Hawaii.  We tried to make the most of our last day, but also needed to stay cool as well.  The weather in Vegas has been hovering at about 100 degrees during the day, so we sought refuge indoors where we could.  Friday was also a day for us to fulfill our Vegas traditions that we’ve formed.

We woke up on Friday to breakfast in bed, ordering Eggs Benedict for room service.  This was the first time either of us had room service, and were very excited to be able to eat great food up in our room.


We quickly began to pack for Hawaii and loaded our luggage into the car for the day, and then checked out of our lovely room at the Palazzo.  Looking to escape the heat, we took in Transformers 2 at The Orleans Hotel.  This was our first movie we saw as husband and wife.  We didn’t find the movie that great (which Jeromey will probably post on his other blog), but this was a very relaxing way to spend the afternoon.

After the movie we fulfilled another Vegas tradition by visiting the Bellagio and taking in the gardens.  The gardens were beautiful as always, as we marveled at the giant Farris Wheel and Bethany stopped to smell the geraniums.



A visit to the Bellagio wouldn’t be complete without visiting the chocolate store behind the gardens.  We shared a banana crepe and gelato, then started heading towards our other Vegas tradition: Battista’s Hole in the Wall.


We’re pleased to say that the staple of Battista’s – the old man that plays the accordion – is  alive and well.  In fact, he serenaded us with “Love Me Tender” for our Honeymoon.  We ate far too much and tried to walk it off on our way to the Venetian to see the Phantom of the Opera.  Bethany was especially excited to see Phantom, as she saw the play once before during a traveling production stop in Denver, but she was also excited to share the experience with Jeromey for the first time.  Both of us were blown away by the performances.  Phantom is currently celebrating their third year in Vegas, and it’s incredible some of the things they were able to do with the permanent stage setting.  The chandelier scene was spectacular, so much so that the audience shrieked.  We were pleasantly surprised by our seats, as we only purchased orchestra-level, but found that we were actually in the 4th row off to the side.  At one point, performers were doing scenes only a few feet away from us. The only complaint we had about Phantom was that it was too short and wouldn’t tide us over until we had to leave for the airport.

After taking in Phantom, we thought it would be romantic to experience the gondola (boat) ride through the stream around the Venetian.  We shared a boat with another couple on their honeymoon as well.  Santo, our guide, shared great stories as he navigated us through the waters then topped off our experience by serenading us three different times.


We topped the night off by playing penny slots, then gathered our luggage for the long flight to Hawaii.

Next up: Flying to Kauai, our first day in paradise.

Note: We have an abundance of pictures that we would like to share, but our internet connection is limiting us from posting too many on Flickr.  We hope to upload our first batch of pictures in the next few days. Stay tuned.

Our hotel room

We’re in the process of packing for Hawaii right now and checking out of our room, but before we did that we wanted to share with you the room where we spent our time in Vegas.


The Palazzo is a beautiful new hotel.  Everything looks fresh and clean, with the rooms being especially spacious and luxurious.  We stayed on the 44th floor, with a view overlooking the the golf course at the Wynn.

Our bedroom

Looking out to the sunken living room

The living room

Looking back in the room from the window

Bethany’s makeup table

Bethany enjoying the bathtub