My Vegas souvenirs! One’s environmentally friendly and the other eh…not so much!

Souvenirs, souvenirs, souvenirs!  I always have fun picking out special gifts for my family when I go on vacation.  2 of the 4 gifts are not pictured above. Not that they aren’t worthy of a photo op, but they have nothing to do with the substance of this post. The 2 missing are t-shirts.  Ana was happy to get a Spongebob t-shirt, and Max smiled when he got his red Vegas t-shirt! Max loves red and Ana adores Spongebob.  Who doesn’t love Spongebob?! Anyone?

The other two gifts are on opposite ends of the environmental spectrum.  The mini slot machine/bank is Carlos’s gift which has now turned into a  family gift. This was the best $29 spent.  Yes, I said $29!  I was in a Vegas Haze (lol) and didn’t look at the cost when I was shopping. When the clerk rang up my total, my jaw dropped.  $29 for a bank!?!? That’s crazy, but I was toooo tired to return it or even speak or moan or groan!  My jaw just remained open in shock as my credit card was being swiped!  When I got home and gave Carlos the gift, he put in a quarter, pulled the arm and I was transported back to Vegas!  This One Armed Bandit rang and lit up like it’s big brother! Wooohoo way to go Vegas Gift (trap) Store!  I know this toy will lose it’s attraction as all toys do and will end up in the landfill as another abandoned toy!  But who knows?! I hope to keep it for a long time ….. uh huh, yeah right.

The reusable shopping bag from Envirosax is so cool!  During our day at the Canyon Ranch Spa, we were given a $20 voucher to use at their spa and clothing store.  My girlfriends picked this out for me while I was busy basking in the steam room!  I am not a shopper what so ever and let them use my credit.  They came back with the bag and some lotion.  Unfortunately, I have no idea where I put the lotion (sorry biatches).  In my haste to catch my flight with an hour of “sleep”, I think I left it behind along with my over played Usher cds..boohoo!  (Carlos is happy though).

I am very happy to have packed the shopping bag.  I have many, many reusable shopping bags, but this one is the prettiest and the most functional.  As you can see from the picture, it folds up to the size of a fist and can be placed in a purse.  This is a cool feature because it’ll always be handy when shopping…..Unless you are like me and forget to put it back into your purse when you are finished unpacking your goods! Hey, life happens…..

Reusable shopping bags are awesome.  They are more durable than paper and plastic bags.  You can always sew any rips or tears, but that hasn’t happened to me.  My bags are over 2 years old, and they look as if they are brand new.  They are also washable which is another cool feature!

I am in favor of the ban on plastic bags.  There are many other options.  My girlfriend Kristi is sewing her own reusable shopping bag!  Little a has made her own shopping bag!  All it takes is some durable fabric, needle and thread.  A sewing machine would speed up the process, but if your watching a movie you can always whip one up in less than 2 hours!  Give it a try!

So these two gifts are cool, functional and fun!  I think I’ll have the most expensive reusable shopping bag in Bend and the most expensive, plastic bank too!

Is it possible for a Vegas Spa to reduce it’s carbon footprint?

Last week, to the day, I was off to Las Vegas with some really awesome girlfriends from college. Yes, we whooped it up…BIG TIME.  Those times will be stored in my “Absolutely Fun Time” section of my brain.  Everything worked out perfectly!  We had the ultimate Vegas experience, including a show, great dinners, great drinks, great clubs, and a fabulous spa!  We visited old, historic Vegas and the bright, glitzy new Vegas.  We saw the chapels and even a commitment ceremony!  Yes, there were crazies and people soliciting naughty things, but that’s all part of the experience.

We laughed so hard…some of us peed.  We danced so hard…many of us got blisters.  We drank so much…some of us spilled drinks on each other.  We talked so much…some of us had “smoker’s voice”.  We embarrassed ourselves….one of us had toilet paper hanging from their bathing suit on the way to the hot tub!  We gambled so much…one of us bought a Gucci bag!  It was a perfect 3 day vacation.

The highlight was our 6 hour Spa Event.  (Yes 6 HOURS, and you’ll realize why in just a moment)!   After two nights of dancing, we were all looking forward to our day at Canyon Ranch which is shared with The Venetian and The Palazzo.  Our massages were scheduled for 1 so we made sure to get there 30 min early to get settled in. Upon arrival, we knew we were in for a treat!  The colors leading to the check in desk were amazing.  Hughes of the rainbow drenched each wall.  It was wickedly cool.

I can’t go into every detail of this Breathtaking Spa because I would be writing a post with no end.  It was just freakin’ amazing. Here’s a tidbit of what’s offered!

•  one fabulous hot tub with a volcano floor, yes a volcano floor

•  six heated loungers by the hot tub, unbelievable

•  an Herbal Lanconium, basically it’s a really warm room with 4 heated chambers pumping Eucalyptus!  Incredible

•  an Igloo room, yes an igloo room!  Amazingly chilly showers pumped with 4 different aromas

•  a sauna, eh really not into that

•  a  steam room, even the tile was HOT!

•  a Salt Grotto, a relaxing room with tiles benches and salty air

•  a Wave Room, a quiet room with water being reflected on the ceiling, while you are in awesome recliners…we didn’t last too long in there cause you had to be silent.

•  2 experiential showers, totally over they top!  I was whisked away to the Caribbean and then to a tropical rainforest!

So yes, this Spa is excessive in every single way possible, but they are working on many ways to reduce their carbon footprint while keeping up with the Vegas experience.  Here are the ways.  This is taken directly from Canyon Ranch Connection Winter 2011 Edition.

At Canyon Ranch SpaClub day spa in Las Vegas, recycling is the norm, while larger sustainability efforts are driven by The Venetian and the Palazzo (the hotels that house SpaClub).  The company that own the hotels is considering installing solar panels to offset energy demands.”

The Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona has the largest solar installation and sits on top of the Spa.  They have reduced the resort’s carbon footprint over 9,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a month.

After seeing the savings in Tucson, I do hope they follow suit in Vegas….Yes Pun intended!