This was our first “vacation” in 3 years and boy, was it nice. I am so glad hubby convinced me to take the time off and go to Las Vegas with him while he was there for work, which is why I call it a “vacation”, but I’ll take it. It was exactly what I needed. The only thing that would have made it better is if he did not have to work while he was there. But I am very thankful I was there with him.
It’s hard for me to travel. Being self-employed makes it hard. I can’t just up and leave. But the timing of this trip worked out perfectly. I am guilty of making a few calls and responding to emails while there because I couldn’t totally let it go, but that’s fine. I still had a great time.
We arrived Friday night, an hour and a half late due to mechanical issues with the plane. Have I mentioned how much I do not like to fly? As in it scares the heck out of me. This time around I took Dramamine to help with the recent car-sickness I’ve been experiencing. I was a nervous wreck waiting to take off, especially after the captain told us they had to figure out why there was hydraulic fluid where there should not be hydraulic fluid. I just don’t fly enough for that sentence to ever be okay, so my nerves got the best of me. Finally, we took off and the flight wasn’t bad at all. We watched The Wolf of Wall Street during out flight so that took up 3 hours of our time. Finally, we landed in Sin City, in all it’s neon glory. We had not been to Las Vegas in 15 years so it was sure to be different and I couldn’t wait to check it out. I managed to capture this great picture as we were about to land.
After checking in at our hotel – we stayed at Harrah’s – we walked around for a bit. In all honesty, I was determined to walk to In-N-Out Burger, just 2 1/2 miles away. We were able to walk within about a 1/2 mile of it and couldn’t go any further because there was no sidewalk. I’m all for adventure, but walking an overpass without a sidewalk is just nuts. We decided to save it for another day and headed back to the hotel since hubby had to be up at 6am for a day of meetings. But we did see the fountains at The Bellagio…
I had visions of sleeping in every day that we were there and catching up on sleep that I never get enough of at home. But, when hubby was up and left Saturday morning, the last thing I wanted to do was sleep. There was a fun city out there, with a view of mountains, and amazing weather in the 60’s with humidity in the teens. I had to get out there and enjoy it. And that I did.
I walked along the strip going into The Mirage, Caesar’s Palace, The Bellagio, The Cosmopolitan, and more. The Conservatory in The Bellagio was so beautiful, with all the fresh flowers and butterflies.
I stopped at one of a millions Starbucks and enjoyed a drink outside and people-watched. I also walked around The LINQ and saw the new High Roller ferris wheel, and also found out we could possibly see Keith Urban in concert that night. The town was full of country music stars for the Academy of County Music Awards that would be live at the MGM Grand that Sunday, and they had concerts Friday and Saturday. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get ahold of hubby in time and we missed out. I also managed to find a boutique at The Venetian that sell Alex + Ani bracelets that I love, and bought a couple.
By the time I got back to the hotel from my day of exploring, hubby soon arrived and I was so excited to have his company that evening. We decided to take the monorail as far south as we could and we could see the concert behind our hotel as we waited at the monorail station. Taking the monorail to where the old Sahara used to be, we then walked to Fremont Street. Along the way, we passed several wedding chapels and also walked past the pawn shop where they film Pawn Stars.
It was just getting dark when we arrived at Fremont Street Experience. The lights are pretty amazing. Being in the sign industry, third generation (my father and grandfather), I love old school neon and signage. There was so much to see. This is also the place to see some pretty strange people. We didn’t know what to expect from one block to the next.
We took a cab back to the monorail station and then back to the hotel where we could hear the live concert playing near out hotel. We decided to have a late dinner at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill at Harrah’s. They had a live country band playing. Great food, great music, and a fun time.
On Sunday, we had a filling breakfast buffet at our hotel before heading to the pool at the Rio. I had found out the day before that since the pool at Harrah’s was closed for renovations, we could take the hotel shuttle to the Rio which was about 1 1/2 mile away off the strip. The shuttle runs all day long and leaves each hotel every half hour. We found out the first shuttle of the day did not leave until 10:30, so we decided to walk there earlier. It wasn’t a bad walk at all and we got there just as the pool opened at 9am. Their pool area is called VooDoo Beach and they have 4 pools, 3 hot tubs, and a sand beach area. It was beautiful. I crave the sun and never have the time or the ability to shut my brain off long enough at home to enjoy a lunge chair and pool, so this was a real treat for me. Hubby is not one to lay by the pool – he likes to always be doing something, so I love him for enjoying the down time with me for about 3 hours. I could have laid there all day long….
We decided to skip the shuttle and walk back towards the hotel and stopped at a cute little place called the Haute Doggery for lunch, located at The LINQ. How could we not eat there? it hit the spot and held us over to our first of three company dinners we would attend while there. This may have been the more fun part for me… I love going out to dinner and being able to dress up was fun and something we just never do at home. I had splurged on several new dresses for the trip, dresses that I would normally never wear.
Dinner that night was at Sergio’s Italian Gardens of Las Vegas. We had quite a large group so there was an open bar and dinner was served family style. Bruschetta, calamari, salad, chicken marsala, penne pasta with a vodka sauce, and so much more… Including a delicious piece of tiramisu, my favorite dessert ever.
Monday morning, hubby headed off to the convention and I met up with hubby’s boss’ wife and we took the shuttle to the Rio so I could enjoy the pool again. She had not yet been, so we had a great day by the pool. We both brought magazines with us but we never once looked at them, we were busy talking the whole time! Must be an Italian thing….
Monday evening meant another fun dress and dinner that The Capital Grille. The view from this restaurant was amazing. It was on the third floor of the Fashion Show Mall, facing the Strip, directly across the street from the Wynn. Just beautiful. And the food…. We had amazing appetizers – raw oysters, lump crab meat, prawns, and bread. We were treated with a delicious red wine. I ordered the filet mignon, my absolute favorite. I ate enough for the whole week, I’m sure but it was worth every single point and calorie.
On Tuesday, our last day there, hubby went back to the convention, while Bobbie and I met up again to go shopping at the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. This was probably my favorite hotel and the shops were amazing. I bought sinful desserts at Carlo’s Bakery (The Cake Boss!) and may have bought another Alex + Ani bracelet or two.
Hubby was done early that day, so we had time to finally – FINALLY – go to In-N-Out Burger. Until you have been, you just don’t get it. Scrumptious burgers (seriously, it’s the spread and the toasted bun), French fries and a chocolate shake. It was worth the wait. I just wish I could have gone twice while I was there!
We walked through Paris on the way back to our hotel from lunch. These pictures do not do it justice – it’s pretty amazing!! We also saw the fountains at The Bellagio during the day.
Tuesday night was our last, amazing dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse called Fogo de Chao. There was so much food and it was all delicious. I enjoyed more filet mignon, but I have to say that the artichokes and fresh mozzarella at the salad bar may have been my favorite. We had chocolate mousse cake for dessert and it was heavenly. I also wore what was probably my favorite dress of all for this trip.
We ended the night with a quick cab ride back to our hotel and then walked back to The LINQ and watched the ferris wheel one last time. I still refused to go on it, but I sure loved looking at it.
We were up very early the next morning to check out and get to the airport for our flight home. I was thankful for an early – and nonstop – flight home. I was sad to leave but I was also ready to get home to my own bed and back to our boys who were probably done with being boarded after 5 days. I was finally able to catch a few last fun shots , including a sunrise. And I managed to get a few good shots from the plane as we took off over the mountains (thank you, Dramamine) and also as we flew over Clearwater Beach on our approach to Tampa. It’s amazing how different two sides of the country are – both beautiful.
I learned several things on this trip….
- We really shouldn’t go 3 years before going on another get-away. It does wonders for the mind and soul.
- I am becoming a dress girl. After years of only wearing dresses if I had to, I think I might do it more often now.
- It’s important to get away with your significant other whenever you can. It’s too easy to get in a routine at home with all the day-to-day stuff.
- I love Las Vegas – the weather, the atmosphere, and the enormity of it all.
- I am not afraid to go out exploring on my own. Sure, it’s more fun with someone else, but I’m glad I didn’t just sit around in the room and miss out on the excitement of a different city. I can hopefully sleep in one day here, but Las Vegas certainly wasn’t the place to do it.
- Quality time with hubby, away from it all, is the best!
Have you been to Las Vegas? What is your favorite thing about it?