Oh I just adore Vegas!

I scarcely even bother gambling, to me its such a great place to go shop, window shop, eat, drink and be merry. I love going to shows and live concerts, so I frequently zip out there just for some Cirque action, or to take in a rock concert.

I just got back from a Vegas run, and what fabulicious fun it was!

With the exception of a fun little adventure in March staying at the Palms, I always stay at Mandalay Bay or Bellagio. I have loved them equally and loyally until now…
This trip I stayed at the Venetian for the first time, and am not planning on ever staying anywhere else!

The Venetian and the adjoining Palazzo are suite only hotels, and the suites are to die for! They’re no more expensive than the other hotels, which really surprised me. I was in a Bella Suite, which is 650 square feet of gorgeousness and opulence. The Bella’s are so well appointed, with extra storage space, so you really can keep it all behind closed doors.
The sunken living room has beautiful furnishings, dining table and chairs, desk with office equiptment such as photocopier and fax (I really loved that! but couldn’t think up anyone exciting to send a fax to…) All the small and incidental features were divine too, interesting lamps and light shades, remote control roman window dressings etc.

Bella’s come with two queen beds, ideal for travelling with friends, or if you don’t really like your husband that much. Other suites have just one king size bed if you still think he’s quite nice.

I could happily live in the bathroom! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

The dining at the Venetian properties was varied and really good. My favorites were the Canyon Ranch Spa grill for some super healthy organic fare (in Vegas?), and then the pan asian fine dining at Woo. The evening spent at Woo was spectacular on every level. The menu was just completely beyond fab, the wine list was lovely and our waiter Jeffrey was exactly what you want in a waiter. Friendly, helpful, knowledgable and witty, and there when you wanted or needed him.

The jewel in the crown for me was the shopping. Whether you want to just window shop, or if you’re there for the real thing, the Venetian shopping experience is in my mind unparalleled in Vegas. A steady stream of designer stores with the bonus of having both Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin stores under the same roof. I died!!!
And when I was done dying I accidentally got connected to the Jimmy Choo sale.

Even though I had the consolation prize of a beautiful new pair of Choos to take home with me, I was so sad to leave the Venetian. I cant wait to go back, but am taking solace in the new yellow slingbacks….

After I went to last year’s Prelude to the Dream, I really got into dirt track racing. Who saw that coming? – not me!!! I had never enjoyed dirty, dusty, loud racetracks before (well, truth be told, I’d never even considered going to one before…), but here was this fun new thing to go and do.

In Phoenix we had a fantastic dirt track called Manzanita Speedway. It had been around since the early 1900’s, and since the 1950’s had been used for dirt track car races.
It was one of those great old venues with big old wooden stands to sit in, all ambience and atmosphere and tradition. It was the perfect place to take my 8 year old every weekend. Inexpensive, loud, boy fun. It seemed that every weekend the same cast of characters would be there. We’d sit in approximately the same seats near turn four every time, and got to know all the other families, who would sit in their same seats too.

All the little boys would tear down and watch from the wall, hooting and hollering and waving their checkered flags at the cars. We had no clue who the drivers were, so would just randomly pick cars to cheer for while they were running hot laps. That in itself would be hysterically funny. Typically everyone is cheering on the hot favorite or the family member, but we always wound up with the cars that only had 3 other fans (or none at all), and we’d support them with all the crazy enthusiasm that everyone else used.
My car frequently got lapped by all the others, and would limp back to the pit wounded, but I would still be cheering him on valiantly!

a little fence jumping…

a Cruz pedregon t-shirt, a light saber, and the late mods – what else could a boy want?

Manzy was one of those places where you just throw on a baseball cap and your jeans – totally low key. The kids would have hotdogs and cokes, and to a foreigner (me!) it just seemed to be a really fantastic slice of americana, and absolutely the stuff that memories are made of.

And then, out of nowhere, they up and sold it. Just like that. We were devastated!
All the fun ended on Easter Sunday, with our two favorites, late models and sprint cars.

Every weekend we still miss Manzy. I haven’t found another cool place to watch the dirt cars run out here.

So if you ever get the opportunity to go to a dirt track, jump all over it. You’ll meet the nicest people, have no end of fun, and create some really great memories along the way 🙂

When I was an impressionable young teen my mother (who is about the most gorgeous, glamorous creature you ever did see) always told me to make sure I had my lips and mascara on and my hair looking good before I walked out the door, because you never know when you’re going to run into Robert Redford.

Now, not only did I not have much interest in Redford, but living in a small city in New Zealand, the likelihood of bumping into him on the way to the store was somewhat remote. However, she had never steered me wrong, and in the divine world of fabulous, she had it going on. Actually I blame her for this obsession I have with skin care and make up….

Anyway, the pattern was set, and I always made sure I was putting my best foot forward everywhere I went. Just in case, you know?
(She also told me to always have clean underwear on in case I had to be taken away in an ambulance, so I’m placing my lingerie obsession squarely on her shoulders too).

So last night we went to Chase Field to a Diamondbacks game. (I love going to see any live sporting event) and, of course, I had my lips on, and my hair pulled back into a fab pony. It was the Robert Redford factor, still in place all these years later.
And wouldn’t you know it I looked up and there I was in all my glory way up there on the Jumbo-tron.
Now as far as I know, I didn’t know a soul in that 22 000 strong crowd, so it didn’t matter in the least, and even if I knew them all it still wouldn’t matter, but my first thought was “thank God I just put more lipgloss on…”

And as for Redford? Mothers are more prescient than we give them credit for. Shortly after moving to Hollywood a publicist we knew gave amazing opening night tickets to my friend Mia (fabulous casting director who you’ll be meeting soon) and me to see Glenn Close playing Norma Desmond in the stage production of Sunset Boulevard. The show was to die for!
Five minutes before showtime who should walk in and sit directly infront of us? None other than Robert Redford himself!

A little side note here – he had the most amazing thick head of hair, and as soon as the lights went down, without thinking, Mia and I both leaned forward and smelled it…