Ryan’s Vegas Birthday Bash!

This Vegas trip served three purposes: celebrating Ryan’s quarter-century birthday, checking out the gadgets at CES, and meeting partners at the Affiliate Summit. Without further ado, here’s a recap in pictures:

Since we got to Vegas just in time for Ryan’s birthday (and I had to find a place to order a cake last-minute), I could only get him a cookie cake the day of (and then enjoy the mint chocoloate chip + cookies & cream icecream cake the day after). It all worked out because some of his friends arrived a day later anyway, so the more the merrier! Ryan’s birthday dinner was held at TAO, though the dinner was much more enjoyable than the actual club (since it was also the official CES party). Since he spoils me too, I got him two Ben Sherman shirts, a Fossil leather iPad case, and very front-row center seats to Lion King, the musicial, since that was his favorite Disney movie as a kid. Happy birthday, Ryan!

Out of TAO, HAZE, and XS, I had the most fun at HAZE because Maroon 5 (!!) made a guest appearance around 1:30am, arousing the crowd into a frenzy as we all sang along to Misery. (Aria also has the most gorgeous interior decor, though Cosmopolitan’s chandelier is pretty sweet too.)

CES summarized in three key terms: “3D technologies”, “tablets”, and the beginnings of “smart homes”. (I’m surprised no one has mentioned much about the last one yet, though “connectivity” has been a popular term circulating the blogsphere.) By smart homes, I mean the various home energy management systems, enery-saving light bulbs, refrigerators with touchscreens, even GE’s residential WattStation designed and autographed by Yves Behar (for anyone who happens to have a Tesla parked in their garage…). I’m just sad I didn’t get to see the Fujifilm finepix x100 in person, since that’s the #1 gadget I’d like to own this year.

As for my favorite meal… definitely appetizers, sushi/sashimi, and sake at Blue Ribbon in the Cosmopolitan. If it weren’t for our highly cultured, fine dining boss, I would have never tried ankimo (think foie gras but from monkfish), which was surprisingly delicious (not pictured). I also highly recommend the peppery kanpachi usuzukuri (amberjack) for starters. I wasn’t such a big fan of the warm sake, but the PINK SPARKLING SAKE…omg, sweetest thing ever. Wine connoisseurs, please identify the bottle in the second picture, pretty please?!

Honorary mention: Earl of Sandwich because I ate there at least three times in four days.

Addendum
I have identified the sparkling sake bottle. It is called “Star Rabbit Blueberry Sparkling Sake” by Umenoyado (took a while to figure out online) and I must know where I can buy it!