Sacrifices in moving: Leaving Las Vegas

Abby Tegnelia Leaving

Photo by foggodyssey.com

Yes, it’s true — I am hanging up my stilettos and deserting the desert. It was a long, hard decision, one I had been mulling over for about six months. I did some Hail Mary-type plays in the end to see if maybe I could save my comfortable, happy life here. Alas, I did not get the humongous raise I gunned for (I said it was a Hail Mary), and Prince Charming did not ring my doorbell (ok, maybe becoming a homebody while I tried to figure out where I could move to doesn’t count)… But the universe was stubborn. In fact, the ol’ uni was sick and tired of whispering that my time here was done, irritated as I proved to be just as headstrong. So it threw bricks — the weekend getaways that usually rejuvenate me to return home? This time, on an innocent girls’ trip to Napa and San Francisco, I learned that I wasn’t going home, not really. My life as I knew it had come to an end.

“Why don’t you just move here?” an old friend asked me during happy hour in the Castro.

And I answered, “Why don’t I?” as breezily as if he’d asked me if I wanted another drink.

So here we are. I am at last… Leaving Las Vegas.

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Daydream of the Week: Downtown Las Vegas

Downtown Las VegasGotta love Vegas! As a long-time local journalist, most recently at Vegas magazine for three years, I grew to love the history of my can-do town with a “That’s Entertainment” vibe. And downtown Las Vegas is like no other. I happened to be walking around Fremont Street one afternoon when this little scene made me giggle — two Elvis impersonators VERY upset over something, obviously a permit of some kind or another entertainer stealing their space. I loved that that two Elvis’s were on the same side. They marched right on over to the bike cop together, a united front. They probably should be stiff competition, and maybe they are. But whatever was going on, the almighty bike cop (ha) was as tickled as I was. When I move to San Francisco, I will miss little vignettes like this, ridiculous scenarios I will never see anywhere else. Only in Vegas would you see not one, but two, Elvis singers in full regalia doing something as precious as heatedly petitioning a bicycle cop.

Only in Vegas.

 

My first good-bye: to the magazine I love!

at the Vegas Magazine Summer Cover Party at the Azure Pool at PolazzoBeing the editor of a magazine that represents all things luxury Vegas has meant three years of not only a demanding work environment, but also a life as a 24/7 spokesperson of sorts for not only the publication, but the city as well. All of this has been the most wonderful experience. But the “100 percent all the time,” all-encompsing-job schtick has meant one thing to me in the past few days since I ended this chapter in my life: Whoa, saying good-bye was way more emotional than I thought! Enter, my very last cover party. After throwing soirees with stars such as my favorite Las Vegas Strip icon Celine Dion, country idol Shania Twain, and Dancing with the Stars beauty Brooke Burke, I have come to relish the excitement. My very last one? Chrissy Teigen, the most stunning of swimsuit models

I, of course, turned it into a going-away party of sorts for myself.

Why not?

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Only in Vegas: driving American muscle cars

Abby Tegnelia World Class Driving

I didn’t mean to match my favorite car!

A fearless driver I am not. When I went race car driving with a group of friends, I was the only one who chose a ride-along — but that is my need for speed talking, too. If I’d have driven, I would have putt-putted around the track. (Lame.) Same with off-roading: If I hadn’t jumped in the passenger seat, I would never have gotten airborne! So when World Class Driving convinced me to join their American Muscle Car driving experience one morning, I was so in. I now know that there are ways that even scaredy cats like me can be in on the fun.

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Daydream of the Week: Red Rock

Red RockGreetings from Vegas. Yes, there is more to my town than the Strip! I’ve made it my mission to show off the gorgeous land right outside of the city proper, from the Wild West ranch country to desert off-roading and even out a little farther to the Hoover Dam. Hiking in Red Rock, shown here, is one of the most popular outdoor activities for locals in Vegas. You can see why! The landscape is breathtaking. I got to take a ride out there one morning before work during a super-fun American Muscle Car drive with World Class Driving. (Talk about getting out of your comfort zone!) I ended up having a blast. And with views like these…

 

My favorite Strip steakhouses

Steakhouses Vegas

©JJPoole

On the Strip, home of the bachelor party (as the Hangover franchise has definitely proven!), the steakhouse is king. As a meat-loving editor who tries every restaurant in the name of research (also see my top five sushi picks), I’ve compiled my favorite ten Strip steakhouses. I chose to stay on the Strip, since most of the people who ask me for recommendations are tourists, not locals. But I can’t resist one shameless plug: My favorite steakhouse in all of Las Vegas is Hank’s, near my home in Green Valley. So if you make it out this way, you must try it! Scroll down to the bottom for two other non-Strip gems. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at some of the top restaurants in Las Vegas — when it comes to finding a juicy steak.

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