Motored out to Las Vegas on Tuesday with Bob K., Miss Conduct and Martin. We got in and split up for the evening, M and M opting for marathon sleeping, while Mr. K and I hit the town. Since neither of us gambles, we wandered around aimlessly for a few hours to work up an appetite then settled on Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill for dinner. Now, I loathe Flay. I base my opinion on his television personality since I don't know him personally, but he seems like such a cock. I'd heard his food was good, though, so I wanted to check it out. I have to say that we were impressed.

The Menu:

CRISPY FRIED SQUASH BLOSSOMS - stuffed with Ricotta, Sweet Corn + Basil with Hot and Sweet Yellow Pepper Sauce

NEW MEXICAN SPICE RUBBED PORK TENDELOIN - with Bourbon-Ancho Chile Sauce + Sweet Potato Tamale with Crushed Pecan Butter

I really enjoyed the appetizer, though Bob found it a bit bland. The entrees were great, the pork a perfect, tender medium. My tamale was overcooked around the edges, but not terrible.

That meal was one of the best parts of the trip as the rest was filled with the usual Vegas dining requirements of cheap food and buffets. (NOTE TO SELF - Avoid the lunch buffet at the Imperial Palace at all costs!)

The main purpose of my trip was a photo shoot with yummy Mandy Murders. I hadn't seen her since our last GG shoot, and though we got a late start, we had a blast! I think she's just terrific and such a doll. We shot five sets in my hotel room before heading over to Dive Bar for some socialization. We met the rest of the crew there and played pinball and darts. It was really a treat to be able to spend time outside of work with Mandy.

We checked out of our hotel the following morning and enjoyed a little culture. The four of us trekked over to the Liberace Museumand ogled all the fanciness. The cars were pretty impressive as was his costume collection. The rhinestone-covered Rolls Royce (with matching toolbox) was a standout, but, by far our favorite thing was this bizarre red/white/and blue getup consisting of a jacket, short shorts, and argyle socks.

On our walk along the strip the first night, we spotted a giant billboard outside the Venetian advertising a Mapplethorpe exhibit. We left the Liberace museum and fought traffic back to the strip, suffered the parking lot and walked all over the hotel only to find that the show wasn't due to open til next month. With great disappointment, we left for our final destination, the Atomic Testing Museum. If you find yourself in Las Vegas, I highly recommend it. We spent quite a while there enjoying their extremely informative exhibits. I was most amazed by these unbelievable images shot with a "Rapidtronic Camera". It was designed specifically for the nuclear testing in Nevada and shot images at, I believe, 1/1,000,000th of a second. The museum displays photographs from the first few microseconds of some test explosions and those pictures are like nothing you've ever seen. Beautiful, abstract, and frightening.

Copyright Christine Kessler 2006, all rights reserved. If you are not reading this material on, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement.


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