These are a few places we went to that don’t merit a post of their own.
–McDonalds. Pathetic, I know, but pretty much every hotel has one in their food court, and they charge regular McDonalds prices (including their dollar menu). Most other food court choices are overpriced and don’t seem much better. Some McDonalds have free refills on sodas – which is great when they’re otherwise $3-4 at the hotel.
–New York Pizza, on the mezzanine level (the one connecting you to the Excalibur and MGM) of the New York New York hotel. Pizza slices start at $5 for plain cheese. The slices are pretty large, though thin (like NY pizza). They are reheated in the oven, so they’re not particularly fresh. My daughter thought they tasted like Costco pizza. I thought they were OK.
-Gelato at Trevi, near the “fountain of the Gods” at the Caesars Palace. Mika had a cone of the chocolate mousse ($5.75) and it was absolutely delicious, easily the best gelato I’ve had in the States. It’s expensive, but it’s a generous scoop.
–Cafe Belle Madeleine, at the Paris hotel. The girls and I shared a chocolate mousse pastry ($5.50). It was very good, very chocolaty and very rich. It was more of an adult pastry, though. Other pastries looked just as sinful.
–Frozen strawberry daiquiris by the MGM Grand pool. Ridiculously expensive at $22 for a daiquiri in one of those souvenir yard cups ($11 for refills). It was a lot of fun drinking it while traveling through the Lazy River, however. I shared it with Mike and didn’t get in the least buzzed, which makes me suspect it had little if any alcohol. It tasted quite good, though. A virgin refill for the girls cost just as much, and tasted the same.
–Water & sodas. They were $2 on the hotel machines at the Luxor and $3 at the MGM grand. They’re more in the shops, but you can get them on the strip for just $1-$1.50.
–Cheap breakfast. We brought cereal and had it with milk we kept in the cooler. Neither the Luxor nor the MGM had fridges in their standard rooms, but they both had ice machines.
This is a picture of my 10th birthday cake. The photograph is pretty bad, but the cake was beautiful, and very original. I don’t remember how I ended up requesting a cake in the shape of Swiss cheese (though I loved Gruyere as a kid), but I know I enjoyed it.
Both my kids have said they’d like a cake like this – I imagine it’d be too expensive to have it made and I’m not an artist.
I knew that all the time I wasted in craigslist had to be good for something. Today I found out that the green part of green onions make a good substitute for chives. Apparently many restaurants use them as a matter of course (and still call them chives). I never have chives around, but often I have green onions so this will work great for me.
Mike saw the idea for a spider cake in a Family Fun magazine and immediately wanted us to make one for Halloween. I’ve learned my lesson about actually baking cake, so we figured we’d buy one premade and then assemble it. That turned out to be harder than we previously thought. They had no plain black cakes at Safeway and the cake I thought to buy at Costco was too high to make it look like a spider. Finally Mike found this semi-frosted, plain chocolate bundt cake at Albertson’s and that’s what we used.
He used licorice for the legs, white dot candies for the eyes and a pink one for the nose. He decided to skip the mouth. We were all pleased with the results and served the cake with ice cream.