trip report--the two V's: Vail and Vegas

Old Aug 10th, 2006, 08:20 PM
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trip report--the two V's: Vail and Vegas

Could we have picked two summer vacation locations with two bigger extremes in temps? Our family of four drove 4 hours to Vail, Colorado last Friday for our son's 3v3 regional soccer tournament. Temps in Vail were in the low 60s during the day and the 40s at night. Jeans and a sweatshirt felt blissful. Vegas on the other hand--you all know what that's like in August. Wear as little as possible and carry a water bottle around at all times.

Since it was vacation, we splurged on the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa in Vail. I booked a two room suite and used the 'reserve two nights and get one free' offer on their website. Since our kids are teens (son 17 and daughter 14), two rooms is really a plus. The bedroom had two queen beds while the living room had a sofa bed. The suite was nicely decorated but the bathroom was only accessible via the bedroom, which was awkward and kind of odd. The room had a coffee maker and fridge (we loved the fridge but went to the lobby every morning for free coffee). No wireless Internet in the rooms--only high speed. As with many resorts and condos in the Rockies, the Vail Cascade rooms aren't air conditioned. Not really a problem as it cooled off wonderfully at night. Our room faced the mountains and we could hear the river when the windows were open--what a treat.

The pool area is very nice and there is bar and light food service available. We ate the breakfast buffet each morning at Chaps (the hotel restaurant). Honestly, the made-to-order omelettes just might be the best I've ever had.

We would definitely return to this hotel.

I learned how to ski in Vail many many many moons ago (in the mid-70s)--it has changed so much since then and maybe not in an altogether good way. It's booming, that's for sure, but I found it to be commercial in the extreme and not very relaxing. In contrast, Breckenridge is somewhere that I'd like to return. We spent one afternoon and evening there and loved the quaint, walkable, friendly town. Better shopping and just altogether more accessible and tourist-friendly than Vail--more of a 'real' town.

One fun thing--both Vail and Breck are full of dogs and their owners. The pups are welcomed just about everywhere and it made us miss our little basset.

So anyway, on to Vegas! DH and I had originally told our children that we'd spend a few days in Denver after the soccer tourney so that's what they were expecting. Tricky us. Instead we booked dirt cheap airfare to Las Vegas and the Venetian (are you noting the "V" theme? Coincidence~) and surprised them with the news on the way down the mountain.

Vegas was great. Hotter than Hades, but just great. We had never stayed in the Venetian and it lived up to the fabulous things I've read about it. We stayed in the newer Venetizia Tower and our room was fine. Again, we did two queen beds and a sofa pullout. The room is not a suite--really just one big space but it worked out.

On both Fodors and Tripadvisor, I'd read that the Venetian pool area is very average. I would disagree--after it's recent remodeling, it's stunning. Four or five different pools and seating areas, plus a wonderful central bar and a Wolfgang Puck cafe with outdoor seating. Our favorite pool had loungers set right in the water.

Shows: Saw both Rita Rudner and Cirque du Soleil's Mystere. Mystere blew me away--we enjoyed "O" several years ago but I thought Mystere was much better on every level. The kids enjoyed it, too (although I caught the 17 year old checking baseball scores on his cell phone midway through the show--he's a guy, what can I say?).

Traveling home today through McCarran airport in Vegas on orange alert was interesting. We didn't know about the liquids ban until checking in at the Frontier ticket counter. I was flinging shampoo, etc. from my carry-on to the suitcase like a wild woman but of course missed a bunch of things. But that was fine, since we waited in the security line for almost two hours--I had plenty of time to throw things away as we inched forward. Honestly, I'm not exaggerating when I estimate that 10,000 people were waiting in lines with us (I'm going to do a Google in a minute and see if I can get a hard number). It was truly amazing--the airport and security personnel did an admirable job keeping everyone moving and calm. Everyone that I could see handled the delays and throwing away of forgotten liquids with good humor, although I have to admit that winging my FAVORITE lip gloss was a sad moment. Next time I'll be better prepared.

Our son will be a high school senior this year so I know our family vacation days are almost at an end. I had originally started planning a 'mom spa week getaway' for August but am SO happy that we did this family trip instead. The memories really are priceless.

Old Aug 14th, 2006, 07:47 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 17,226

Tess, I think what happened was that you posted late at night and it just dropped during the night. Topping your report so more of us can enjoy it.

I SO agree with your comments on the other thread.
starrsville is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2006, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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I saw your comments on the other trip report as well. I like your trip report and I actually do have a few thoughts about what I read here. Please know I am smiling while I type this:

<<Wear as little as possible and carry a water bottle around at all times.>>

Right on! It is Vegas baby and you never know when an impromptu wet t-shirt contest may break out.

<< No wireless Internet in the rooms--only high speed >>

Hate when that happens, do they expect people to actually get out and experience the Rockies....up close?

<< (although I caught the 17 year old checking baseball scores on his cell phone midway through the show--he's a guy, what can I say?)>>

How about: "Hey idiot, we are in the middle of a big, live, expensive show...turn your cel phone off! Have some consideration for the people around you.

Just havin a little fun Tess (well, execpt for the cel phone commentary)!

placeu2 is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2006, 08:30 AM
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placeu2, Do you have a teenage son? We were just happy that he came on the trip with us at all. I definitely cut him some slack for the cell phone.

And as for griping about no wireless Internet, believe me, being at a soccer tournament we experienced plenty of the Rockies up close and personal. I still think it's weird that a hotel that bills itself as a meeting/corporate retreat center doesn't have wireless Internet. Cheap, some might say...

Old Aug 14th, 2006, 08:46 AM
Posts: n/a more thing about my son. I feel like I've opened him up to criticism that he doesn't deserve. He turned on the cell phone for 30 seconds to check a score and then shut the phone off. He does know how to act in public places and is actually a great guy--straight A's, National Honor Society, no drink/smoke, two sport letterwinner and respectful to his elders.
Old Aug 14th, 2006, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
Tess, let me add one more V to your report - for Victory, as the trip went shoothly

And as mother of 2 now adult boys, I can relate to being happy he even went on a family vacation! Another V
FainaAgain is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2006, 08:49 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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I meant "smoothly". It's 8.49 am in San Francisco, hadn't my morning cup of coffee yet. Sorry for the typo.
FainaAgain is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2006, 09:27 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Tess, please remember what I said about a smile on my face.

Yes I do actually have 2 teenage sons...well OK, they are now 22 and 20. Actually I had them both in Vegas for one night at 18 and 16.

I meant no disrespect to your family or your parenting skills.

I am merely giving your post some attention that you had mentioned was lacking.

placeu2 is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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oh boy...

thanks, I guess!
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