Category Archives: Travel

Vegas/Yosemite 2013: The Complete Trip


Jason and I had a great time visiting Las Vegas and Yosemite National Park this past summer. It was one of those trips that I didn’t want to end. But it did come to an end, as all good things do. Here is a complete wrap-up of my trip posts, fun beginning to beautiful end.

Vegas! Visiting Pawn Stars and the Hoover Dam

Vegas! Exploring The Strip

Vegas! Lagasse’s Stadium and Cirque du Soleil

Driving Through Death Valley

The Eastern Sierra and Whoa Nellie Deli

Panorama Trail in Yosemite National Park

A Day of Rest and Relaxation in Yosemite

Anniversary in Yosemite

Yosemite Hike: Gaylor Lakes

The Eastern Sierra and Whoa Nellie Deli

When we left off, Jason and I had just driven through Death Valley National Park on our way from Las Vegas to Yosemite National Park. When Jason suggested flying into Vegas and driving to Yosemite from there, I happily agreed. The reason was just outside the car window…


During our last trip to Yosemite in 2011, we made our way over to the Eastern Sierra to visit Mono Lake. We had no clue how magnificent the mountains looked from there, and I became obsessed. The extra few hours tacked onto our drive from Vegas (versus from San Francisco) was beyond worth it. And in fact, the drive felt shorter thanks to the beautiful scenery.



There was one other important reason for traveling this route to Yosemite: a lunch stop at the Whoa Nellie Deli! We heard about this gourmet deli, tucked into the Tioga Gas Mart, from some locals in 2011. Great food in a gas station? I had to try it.


We timed it out perfectly and hit Lee Vining a little after noon. It was a gorgeous day, so we enjoyed our food outside. I went with the “world famous” fish tacos. It was my first fish taco experience ever, and it was an awesome one! I especially enjoyed the taco topped with ginger coleslaw. Everything tasted super fresh and full of flavor.


Our lunch view!

After the drive and lunch, I proclaimed that I was no longer traveling TO Yosemite via San Francisco. California’s Highway 395 is one of my favorite things ever! It adds a little more time to the drive and it might be a little more expensive to fly into Vegas or Reno, but the experience of arriving in Yosemite from this direction is perfection.

Vegas! Lagasse’s Stadium and Cirque du Soleil

When it came to visiting Vegas, I was most looking forward to the dining and entertainment. I started thinking about restaurant options and shows to see way back in November. It was a big decision.

I’m a sucker for a celebrity chef, so my desire to eat at a celebrity chef’s restaurant helped to narrow down the options. From there, it was finding a place that Jason would like. You see, my husband, whom I love very much, is a…particular eater. Meat and potatoes, that’s what he’s all about. So after looking over a bunch of restaurant menus online, I suggested Lagasse’s Stadium.

Lagasse’s Stadium is obviously one of Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants. It’s a sports bar and sports book located in the Palazzo. Originally, we made reservations for the dining room. But when we arrived early and found out that there was availability in the stadium seating area, we lucked out.


After a day of walking, we enjoyed a comfortable couch and stools to put our feet up on. Seriously, it was the best thing ever.

We started out with a giant pretzel and beer cheese sauce. The sauce had a little kick thanks to jalapenos. For entrees, I enjoyed buffalo wings and Jason had fried chicken. We both agreed that the food was great. We also fell in love with the atmosphere. It would be an awesome place to dine during March Madness, college football season, or any other big sporting event.

Buffalo Wings – Yum!


After dinner, we headed back to the Bellagio for a very special treat – We had tickets Cirque du Soleil’s “O”. Honestly, this was an even bigger decision than where to eat. Jason looked into tickets as a surprise for me way back in November. Then he broke to me how much the tickets cost. It seemed like too much of a splurge. We started to contemplate other options.

A week or so before our trip, we had some friends over. They had just gotten back from Vegas (and have been to Vegas many times), and they really recommended seeing a Cirque du Soleil show. Honestly, we didn’t even make a decision until we got out there. We made it an anniversary gift to ourselves and went for it. It’s all I really wanted to see.

It. Was. Awesome! Worth every single penny.

Our final night in Vegas was perfect. A great meal and an incredible show. That is my Vegas!

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