Work Hard. Play Hard.

Westin Lake Las Vegas1
Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort

I just got back from another work trip. This one was a quick 45-minute plane ride so it wasn’t too hard on me to travel. I left at 3pm on Monday, which was nice, and which also meant I was able to take my kids to school – giving Ryan a head start at the office. When you travel as much as we do, you learn to make your trips as efficient as you can so you’re not away from the house too long.

For this trip, we were in and out of Vegas in 3 days. Our Phoenix marketing office met up with our Starwood Seattle marketing team and we had a great few days of meetings, mingling, gambling (on our own dime, don’t worry) and eating. Lots and lots of eating. Like, way too much eating. Here are a few pictures from our quick stint in Vegas.

Westin Lake Las Vegas Meeting1
Westin Lake Las Vegas Lunch1
Westin Lake Las Vegas Deck1

We stayed at the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort. Their saying goes, “experience the other side of Vegas.” Which is so appropriate. The resort is about a 30 minute drive from the Strip and it transports you into another world completely. It reminds me a lot of a Palm Springs or Scottsdale resort (home, sweet home) with its fire pits, lakes, tennis courts and great landscape views.

Westin Lake Las Vegas Dock1

Westin Lake Las Vegas Decor

If I’m behind honest, the interior of the hotel is a bit funky. The décor feels very “Moroccan-inspired” which you don’t typically see at a Westin resort, but the property is truly remarkable on the outside. While we were staying, they had 3 weddings! Clearly, this is a great place for groups and locals to visit and celebrate.

Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort
Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort
Lake Las Vegas Village Restaurants

Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort

On night two, we went to a Mexican Restaurant in the Village of Lake Las Vegas. There weren’t too many people around, which was nice because we practically had the Village to ourselves. We got lost in the Village trying to find the restaurant and when we called the person on the line said, “Just follow the music and you’ll find us.” Okay. With a little hesitation, we did and we found an acoustic guitarist and our restaurant.


My colleague’s are such great sports because they let me take their pictures every time we had downtime. Lately, my camera is glued to my hands. I am having so much fun experimenting with lighting, angles and new locations and the girls (and Brandon!) were such great sports letting me snap their photos. Sadly, I didn’t get a picture of everyone but there is always Chicago (our next meeting) and you can bet, my camera will come along for the ride.

The day we arrived, we had an intimate 20-person dinner at The Venetian and then we were off to a Cirque de Soleil show. The show started at 9:30pm and I seriously thought I was going to pass out before the curtains opened. But, in true Vegas fashion, I powered through and before I knew it, I was getting back to the hotel around midnight (which is like unheard of in parenting land).

Las Vegas Casino

Kristina - Las Vegas
Las Vegas loves Kristina! She won $70 at two hands of Roulette (do you even say hands of Roulette?) I have no clue. Kristina was so sweet to try and explain the game to me. I really thought I knew what I was doing and then suddenly I blinked and I had lost $30. So, I kindly stepped away and lived vicariously through Kristina as she cashed in her winnings.

Okay, here is the part where I’ll probably get in trouble. No joke, the people at Cirque did not want you to take flash photography. Understandable. So, I obliged and just shot some pictures with no flash. That apparently wasn’t good enough. Kristina was taking photos as the performers were taking their bows (meaning the show was literally over) when a lady came around with a flashlight and demanded she, “Delete, delete, delete” all of her photos “immediately.” She meant business.

So I’ll probably get a call from Cirque about my photos, but here goes nothing.


Mystère was a great Cirque du Soleil show with very talented acrobats. I would not recommend going to see this show after you eat an entire bowl of pasta at dinner. You will feel more lazy and uncoordinated than ever. The acrobats are seriously remarkable and almost don’t seem human. Our team visited the Cirque headquarters in Montreal last year – seen here, so it was extra special to see the show after having been behind the scenes.

All in all, this was another successful work trip and another chance to experience a great city with some amazing people. Sometimes I pinch myself that I actually get paid to market our Starwood destinations and hotels because of how rewarding this job is. I am very thankful for the opportunity to work at Starwood and for this amazing group of marketers that I call friends.