You may be thinking, “Irene you nitwit! You live in Las Vegas! What’s the big deal?”
Yeah, yeah, whatever. The big deal is that just because I live here doesn’t necessarily mean that I actually go here. Like many locals, I have a certain snobbery when it comes to hanging at The Strip. So for two weeks, I went to Vegas! On The Strip, baby!
It began about two or so weeks ago when all of my children and grandchildren were in town. What a moment! It was the first time we’d all been together in years. We were so happy to be together! It only took a modicum of threatening, manipulation, whining, screeching, pleading, and arm-twisting to get everyone together to have photos taken. Even with the ex!
Well, that meant that I visited them on The Strip because when they come into Vegas, they love to visit just like real tourists. Staying with Mom – that would be me – is boring and crowded.
The week after they departed saw me spending nearly every day on The Strip because I attended a required training conference hosted at the MGM Grand for The Day Job™. Before that, I had the opportunity to taste and review whiskies for Diageo at the Universal Whisky Experience at the Encore (actually the Wynn is ground zero for the event, but this was at the Encore). More on that on a separate post.
At the end of the training conference I finally had some time to spend for myself, so I stayed on The Strip for a special Guild of Sommeliers tasting led by Master Somms Matt Stamp and Jason Smith (who’s at the Bellagio!). It was informative, fun, humbling, and uplifting all at the same time. The class was only for members of the Guild of Sommeliers who are candidates for any level of Sommelier.
Let there be no mistake; the best way to find out how much you know (or don’t) is to spend time with some Master Somms. They are knowledgeable and, in a word, blunt, but without being rude or condescending. The bluntness was to ensure that those of us with Somm aspirations – be it Introductory, Certified, Advanced, or Master – know our stuff.
Since this was my inaugural class with the Guild, I more or less tried to stay as a fly on the wall, quietly observing; however, I was brought into participating with the rest of the class and had to share my evaluations of the wines we were tasting. Fortunately, I was golden and nailed it. (see fist pump) For whatever reason, I didn’t take a single photo while in the class. D’oh!
I have lots of pics to share, and I hope that you enjoy them! The beautiful flowers are from the Conservatory at the Bellagio, by the way. It’s their Spring exhibit. Even if you come to Vegas for only a day or two, that’s a must-see. The “odd” flowers were at Tivoli in northwest Vegas. Those “flowers” are made from fruits and vegetables for the Spring Fair!