Tuesday, September 23, 2014

day 23: guide to las vegas

Day 23: A guide to your city! Share some of the hot-spots and hidden gems of where you live.

I am not a "desert rat" by nature, as I have heard locals call themselves. First of all, I hate rats. Second of all, I don't find that phrase a cute spin off of "city/country mouse" by any means. While we're on that note though, I am much more of a "country mouse". 

Anyways.

Austen's in the Air Force, and that's why we live here in Las Vegas for the time being. I have had people ask before we moved out here if I was worried about being so close to The Strip. Um, no? I asked this friend from St. Louis how often she goes to the Arch, because it's the same idea. It's a tourist thing, not a locals attraction. Honestly, we're a good 20+ minutes from The Strip, and the only time I've gone without guests accompanying me was to shop at Sephora in a mall at 11:00am. Literally, we never go there. 

We also live on the Air Force base, which is on the north east side of town. Pretty much, all we do is in North Las Vegas, or on the opposite end of the valley (about 40 minutes away) in Henderson.

yup, I graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) - home of the Runnin Rebels. located right behind The Strip! please excuse the squinty eyed picture, and all of the random people in the background.

Here's some of my favorite hot spots:

Austen & I usually get lunch here before grocery shopping at Whole Foods on the weekends. The menu is almost all organic and local foods (whenever they can) and absolutely delicious! He has tried a whole bunch from their menu, while I stick with their unfried chicken tenders with sweet potato fries from the children's menu (it's just the right size!). They also have a pomegranate ginger lemonade that is delicious. It's also at great prices, so we don't feel like we're hurting after having a meal together!

Right across the street from LYFE Kitchen and Whole Foods, this place is one of my favorites. It's one of the first places our cousins' showed us when we moved to Las Vegas, and I still love it. There are our favorite shops, from REI for Austen to Anthropologie for me, and we both love to peek inside of Williams Sonoma, or I drag him through Pottery Barn to show him the bedroom set I'm pinning after. They also have a farmer's market on Thursdays (during its season) and lots of live artists or bands playing. This is also the only REI I like to camp out at for their seasonal "garage sales", because I can go shopping in the evening while he hangs out on the sidewalk (no joke), sleep in the car, then get us Panera Bread bagels in the morning!

Social Paintbrush
One of my favorite places for a girls night. They take you step-by-step to paint a specific picture. My favorite though? Their paint-your-pet nights! It costs a little more than their usual painting nights, but is so, so worth it. My girlfriend, Katie from Sugar Kane, and I painted Lilly and her Kane together. They sketch your dog (or pet) ahead of time for you on canvas, and then walk you through color choices to paint a striking image of them. Lilly's picture is still at the end of our hallway.

I think Austen could eat here every night if I'd let him. Or at least, every week! It's the best Thai restaurant we've found. I've been adventurous here and tried a few dishes, but the chicken chow mien is still my favorite.

One of the cutest coffee shops around! This place has delicious coffee and muffins, but their teas are some of my favorite. This used to be a hot spot for some of us F22 wives to hangout and catch up at. I have several friends who also used this place as a great study spot during college crunch time before finals and big tests. If you were to go, get a blueberry muffin. They're amazing.

Mount Charleston
About an hour from us (maybe 30 minutes outside of the city?) is Mt. Charleston. It's a real mountain that gets snow and everything! I know, who would've guessed? There's lots of camping and hiking spots, even a small ski resort. We spent our first anniversary at a cabin there next to a great lodge that we go eat at once or twice a year. It's a lot of fun to take guests to, because you can escape the heat a little, and get a taste of crisp mountain air! We mostly go up there to camp. One time, we even went snow camping. It was quite the experience... Austen & I were well prepared, so it wasn't so bad. Our friends were not, and were sort of miserable for the night. Oops.

I really wish I could take each and every one of you on a tour of the Air Force base! I love to show people around. From the flight line (which I can drive by), to the two separate areas for housing, the elementary school, Freedom Park with huge stationary airplanes, and the stores that make it possible to never leave the base if you didn't want to (we do though, I like Target too much). It is a small town in a big city. I just love the atmosphere! 

So that's my Las Vegas. Not the flashy, showy kind. The one that's hot and dry, but has a lot of neat places to shop and eat at. Who would have thought, but I've even come to the point that I'll sort of miss this place (mostly the people) when we leave. 

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