Glorious Spa Weekend in St. George, Utah

nn at Entrada in St George
Saint George is very peaceful, especially after Las Vegas!

Meeting girlfriends for a spa weekend is a wonderful benefit of easy travel and personal resources. For a number of years we went to the Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona. This year we wanted to try a different place and I had read a few articles in travel magazines about Saint George, Utah. It had the advantage of being close to Zion National Park.

Our room was half of a duplex.
Our room was half of a duplex.

It turned out to be a terrific choice. First, it is inexpensive to fly into Las Vegas, Nevada and then it is a quick 2 hour drive to Saint George. Second, not surprisingly for a community with 75% Mormons, people are really friendly. Third, food and lodging are less expensive than in Sedona or Santa Fe.

golf course at Inn at Entrada
The view from our patio.

We stayed at the Inn at Entrada in St George and close to Ivins. Our room had a fireplace, a small kitchen area with a bar and a roomy bathroom with huge tub. Plus we were able to park our car in the garage so it was always comfortable even in the heat. he Entrada’s spa is in the modern fitness center and the treatments were all terrific. We especially recommend the Heavenly Hair with extra massage. Our room was on the golf course and a pair of mallards visited us each morning to splash in the stream that went by our patio. Each day we received a fresh supply of water and cookies. The registration area offered sweet rolls.

Double rainbow The biggest advantage to Saint George is how beautiful it is in every direction. There are dramatic mountains, red rocks, and volcanic lava flows. Then the sky! The clouds, rainbows and stars are a continuous show. It is hot even in the beginning of May with temperatures in the low 90s.

20 Hours in Las Vegas

I met up with a college chum in Las Vegas, Nevada for a brief stopover on our way to St George, Utah.  We live on opposite coasts so we like to meet up in the middle of the country for spa weekends. It is only a 2 hour drive from Las Vegas to St George, so an overnight is not required, but why not?

Unfortunately we were oblivious to “the fight”. It was only Wednesday and the boxing match was on Saturday. Who knew that people would already be pouring into Las Vegas for this event. It impacted our car rental at Hertz (we could not pick it up early).

In front of the pervy mirror.
In front of the pervy mirror.

We checked into the Cromwell Hotel. It is in a great location right on the Strip. The staff at the Cromwell did a super job. Dana, our bellman was outstanding including pointing out a “special” feature of the room. If the lights are off in the bedroom and on in the bathroom then the giant mirror on the wall becomes a window into the shower. Combined with the bordello decor we decided the decorator was a pervy man.The Mirage Steakhouse

We changed for dinner then dashed through the smoke filled casino to the Strip and walked to the Mirage. We had reservations at Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak House. The restaurant is a calm oasis in the middle of the casino. The steak, asparagus, and potatoes were pricey and good (not great). We were enjoying a nonstop conversation. The service was attentive without interrupting.

The new ferris wheel, the High Roller, in the background.
The new ferris wheel, the High Roller, in the background.

We walked back to our hotel via the Cinq, stopping at Starbucks and Sprinkles for cupcakes. We wandered through the Flamingo. Carole had a go at the Batman penny slot machine in memory of her brother Timmy. Eventually we made it back to the Cromwell.

Our beds were comfortable but the noise in the room was odd. It sounded like a monorail was just outside. At first we thought we might be by the elevators, but we were not. Sleep came eventually.Batman penny slots

The next morning I participated in a conference call while Carole collected the rental car. When she returned we went down for a late breakfast in Giada’s restaurant. It is the Cromwell’s main restaurant that also prepares room service. The menu was created by the chef of same name on the Food Network. Our food was delicious and the view of the Strip was even more amazing. Our wait staff all had charming Italian accents and provided excellent service. We would have lingered over lover coffee except we were anxious to get on the road to St George, Utah.

Extra notes: Carole introduced me to the podcast, Satellite Sisters. We listened to it on the Stitcher app on our drives. One podcast included a sister’s report on her recent trip to Las Vegas. She gives the Cirque du Soleil Beatles Love show 2 thumbs up.

Breakfast at Guy Fieri'sOn the way home Carole stayed an extra night in Vegas before flying to East Coast. She offers: I went to Guy Fieri’s restaurant for breakfast this morning and had the French toast with maple candied bacon. It was delicious. The service was great too. I would go back there. On the way to the M&M store I stopped at the chocolate shop we saw at Paris Hotel and had the most delicious cup of hot chocolate I’ve had outside of Switzerland. Highly recommend going back there too.

3 Funny Signs in Nevada

I am waiting at the McCarren International Airport in Las Vegas for my delayed Southwest flight. I enjoyed 5 peaceful days in beautiful southern Utah, so the jangling of the slots are a bit unnerving. I am looking forward to sharing with you the highlights of my St George adventure.

Today I am posting three signs we saw on the return drive from St George to Vegas. We found the first two funny signs in the parking lot of the Lost City Museum.

Here is the area they have provided for you to let your pony pee and poop!
Here is the area they have provided for you to let your pony pee and poop!
Apparently people are unclear which recreational vehicles are allowed to park in RV parking.
Apparently people are unclear which recreational vehicles are allowed to park in RV parking.

We followed I-15 and then turned off toward Lake Mead to go the Valley of Fire State Park. We stopped in Overton, Nevada to check out the Lost City Museum. It is a nifty museum about the ancient pueblo ruins found in this area. Some have already been inundated by Lake Mead. This museum was created to celebrate the remaining. We spent about 40 minutes reading the exhibits and checking out the artifacts. ($5 admission)

We drove on to the Valley of Fire State Park.  The rocks are red but I would not describe them as beautiful–more other-worldly. I could see them making a great set for a movie set on Mars. As we pulled near the self-pay station ($10 day use fee), we saw the third funny sign:

Is this a problem? We are as close to the  middle of nowhere as you can get...
Is this a problem? We are as close to the middle of nowhere as you can get…

It was only another 50-60 minutes to Caesars Palace on Las Vegas Boulevard. The contrast with St George could not be greater! We dropped my chums luggage and realized that our spa weekend was over! Good times. Definitely look forward to returning again.

#Pieperfest14: Flying through Las Vegas

American Julie and Auntie J on Southwest
American Julie and Auntie J on Southwest Airlines

I love Southwest Airlines. The staff uses humor exceptionally well. Case in point, on this very flight the steward joked that those of us in “coach” can grab our peanuts from the aisle (as he let them slide down during take-off), only people in first class would have them handed to them—those in the first row where he could reach. Everyone laughed and some people grabbed the peanuts. (Of course they brought everyone peanuts once we leveled off)

Flying through Las Vegas always gives me some trepidation. Once I showed up with an “A” pass (Southwest boards in groups and seating is first come, first serve) on a Sunday morning flying to Washington DC through Vegas. They started pre-boarding and practically everyone in the terminal got on! There was a group of very senior seniors on their way for 24 hours of fun and (rightfully) they got preferential treatment. I ended up in a middle seat!

Flying into Las Vegas is generally better than flying out of Vegas. A plane full of “losers” and people who have too much to drink and no sleep is not much fun. Plus you do get a higher percentage of infrequent flyers on a flight that touches Vegas. (My aunt confesses to white knuckling it.)

You cannot beat the convenience of flying through Las Vegas on Southwest if you are traveling to the Midwest. My Auntie J and I are going to Des Moines, Iowa to visit family.

I know some people thrill at just the name “Las Vegas.” Not me. I have come here many times for work and I do not enjoy gambling. I am less than enthralled that so much of the seating space in the terminal waiting area is given over to slot machines. It makes a good joke photo though, don’t chya think?

Will I be able to drag Auntie J away from the slots when they board our Southwest Flight?
Will I be able to drag Auntie J away from the slots when they board our Southwest Flight?