Anyone can do it: Race car driving in Vegas

Before my "race," relaxing in the VIP lounge.

Before my “race,” relaxing in the VIP lounge.

One unassuming recent Saturday morning, I woke up, fed my dogs, showered, and headed to the last place on earth I ever thought I’d go — the racetrack. And I wasn’t even going to go watch a race. No… in my quest to show the world that the deserts of Las Vegas are jam-packed with ridiculous adventure stunts, I was going to be on the track. I am a notoriously bad driver and uninterested in learning how to drive one of these fast cars, but I was to quickly learn that I was not alone in my fears. But Exotics Racing is so awesome, that I still got to be right in the action. (Even too much in the action, according to some of the others…) As usual, I was the last of my eager adventure-seeking pals to show up for our activity, the last in our series of zip-lining, off-roading and hitting the gun range. I quickly signed my life away on the all-too-familiar waiver, and we were on our way. Vegas race car driving, I was about to learn, is quite the thrill!

 

 

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I’m a Cosmo NYE Groupie

Cosmopolitan Las Vegas Beyonce

Happy New Year, everybody! I’m checking into the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas soon and signing off for a few days for a mini-vacation before diving right back into my pesky workaholism on January 2. Call me a Cosmo groupie — this is the third year in a row I’m celebrating New Year’s Eve with them. Thinking back to the hotel’s very first year, 2010, I realized I never posted my very favorite picture from the party. Its grand opening/New Year’s Eve bash made headlines all over the globe. The headliners: Jay-Z and Coldplay, on one stage. But in the end, everyone from Florence and the Machine, John Mayer, and Rihanna had a moment in the spotlight. It was an intimate affair overall, and one I will never forget. Even between the endless champagne, caviar and parade of celebrity attendees (from J Lo to Cameron Diaz), the most special part of the whole thing was really the excitement in the air. I’ll never forget it! But something I had forgotten — this stunning photo of Beyonce, who came out to count down with her husband. The crowd went into a frenzy! They kept the party small enough that during the concert, anyone could get this close at any time. Beyonce looked happy enough for us all.

Happy New Year, friends!

Soul2Soul: my review of Tim and Faith’s Vegas show

Tim McGraw Soul2Soul Venetian Vegas

Tim McGraw: photo courtesy of Venetian

 

Country music is having somewhat of a moment here in Las Vegas. Concerts, of course, have always come through town — and Garth Brooks had a successful run at Wynn. But this month, Shania Twain opened at the Colosseum, the first country crooner to do so. And the very next week, power couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill started a limited run of Soul2Soul at Venetian. As you can imagine, the Shania vs Tim and Faith debate has been a hot topic all over town! Strangely, both Shania and Faith are hitting the stage after a few years off. So these were huge nights for these two lovely ladies. But aside from that, these shows couldn’t be more different. Which one did I like best? And was I in the majority?

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Personally welcoming Shania Twain to Vegas

Abby Tegnelia Shania Twain Opening NightI don’t hide the fact that one of my favorite parts about living in Las Vegas is that I get to go to so many amazing shows. The Colosseum especially has delivered some amazing nights, from Rod Stewart‘s premiere to meeting the great Celine Dion. But one thing I never saw coming: country! Leave it to Shania Twain to make that happen. After eight years off the stage, let me tell you, she came back with a bang! Her show Shania: Still the One exceeded all of my expectations. And THEN, I was honored to co-host her “welcome to Las Vegas” party with Vegas magazine, of which I am the editor. The cover she did for us was gorgeous! This photo isn’t the best of me at all, but she looks stunning, and that’s all that matters. It was definitely HER night! Shania Twain Las Vegas is going to kill it — in fact, since all of her shows sold out, they’ve already added 12 new ones for next spring.

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My Helicopter Fetish

Abby Tegnelia

©swankydietitian

I can’t believe it was such a short time ago that I had never been on a helicopter. Now? After three trips in such a short amount of time, I can’t believe what a wonderful way it is to see landscapes such as the Las Vegas Strip. It seems like ages ago that I thought I’d been the least bit scared — but it takes off straight up and with such smoothness that it truly feels like a car in the sky, as close to the Jetsons as I’ll ever get. My most recent trip was with Heli USA, which just happened to my first also. This time, I didn’t go camping with real cowboys at the Grand Canyon Ranch, but instead opted for a nighttime tour of the Strip. And just a few weeks ago, I got another taste with Papillon helicopters. This time, how fun to see such a familiar, glitzy place from  the sky at night!

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Down Memory Lane at the Neon Museum

Silver Slipper Neon MuseumThe opening of the Neon Museum downtown is one of the coolest things that has happened in Las Vegas in awhile. Walking among these signs, it is easy to let your mind wander to the thrilling early days of the Wild West’s little gaming town-that-could. It all started when the Young Electric Sign Company, which made many of the signs, started donating abandoned ones about 20 years ago, the collection dubbed the “Neon Boneyard.” For years, it was tough to get an appointment to tour the outdoor space where neon went to retire. But now, anyone can go! My first visit was during an exciting evening cocktail party with executive director Danielle Kelly, where the signs were illuminated from below, casting an eerie mood on this once-bright beacons of Sin City hedonism. This infamous “Silver Slipper,” which haunted no other than Howard Hughes, is one of the only refurbished signs at the museum. Surprised? It took $100,000 for the slipper to light up again — and it doesn’t even have any neon, only bulbs!

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