Thursday, April 24, 2014

Celebrating 25 in Las Vegas!

Las Vegas has been on my list since my junior year of college.  After several ideas and never following through, Mike and I treated ourselves to a Sunday-Thursday trip to celebrate my 25th birthday.

Our flights were super cheap because of the days of the week and flying Allegiant Airlines, read about that HERE.  The weather was great and we had an excellent time.  When we first arrived, Mike's Dad's cousin (Tommy) came to pick us up and we got to go to a family dinner with Mike's two cousins and their spouses and children.  I had never met these cousins, so it was great to meet them and to see Ann and Tommy. 

When we arrived back at our hotel, we headed out on the strip for my first time!  Margaritaville was on my list to visit and of course I got a margarita from the casino bar.  MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT!  Turns out it was margarita slush with mango goo as flavoring.  It tasted terrible and made me sick with all the sugar.  Also, that plus a Sam Adams was $17!  Welcome to Vegas...  Maybe the restuarant itself is better, but I would say Margaritaville is a bust. 

We then walked around the area near The Quad and The Linq.  This is a small street that juts east off of the actual strip.  There are several cool little bars and shops down this small road.  There is a Sprinkles Cupcake store, a juicing cocktail bar, YardHouse bar (which we visited), Purple Zebra Daquiri Bar, and this is also where you get access to the High Roller, the new giant ferris wheel in Vegas. 

On Monday and Tuesday of our trip we did A LOT OF WALKING.  Down one side, up the other, lah-dee-dah.  Make sure you have comfortable shoes and patience to walk on a sidewalk with lots of people and crazies!  Since it was fairly close, we enjoyed walking around the Miracle Mile shops and Planet Hollywood a few times throughout the week.  Near there, we also visited The Coke Store (get the Around the World Tray for $7) and M&M's World, which turned out to be a bit disappointing to me, but if you have children or LOVE M&M's, you will love it. 

Monday evening we started dinner at Nine Fine Irishmen (in New York, New York) around 5 PM.  We had delicious large portions of bangers and mash and shepard's pie.  I also indulged in my first snakebite (beer and cider).  After, we ended up having to jog to our 7:00 show at The Mirage.  NOTE:  Just because you can see a resort, doesn't mean it won't take you 10-15 minutes to walk there.  This was not a fun experience.  Ambling around Vegas takes a long time because of traffic, pedestrian walkways, and people in general.  Also, Caesar's Palace is GIGANTIC, so if you have to walk past that, plan extra time!  We had to do all of the above and it was exhausting.

We arrived to our seats for Beatles Love Cirque de Soleil with about 4 minutes to spare.  I was hot and with a belly full of food so I sort of felt icky at first.  We enjoyed the show, and the music was great.  My expectations were not met as far as the "cirque" part of it.  This show is rated one of the best in Vegas.  If you LOVE the Beatles, definitely see it.  If you are wanting to see a very circus-y cirque show, I would probably recommend a different show. 

On Tuesday, we got the 24 hour bus pass for $8 each and used that to go to the edges of the strip.  First, we went south to see Excalibur and Luxor and walk around a few other resorts.  We played in the arcade at the Excalibur (the lower level) and had an absolute blast.  I highly recommend using $5 to play a couple fun games and have a friendly little frog racing competition or do some whack-a-mole ~ alien style.  This was one of the most fun things we did on our trip {we like to act like kids}.

After that, we travelled to the north end of the strip and spent several hours at the top of the Stratosphere.  This turned out to be a very fun and relaxing time.  It is $18 for a ticket to the top, but it's worth it if you're willing to spend some time up there.  Fair Warning:  The casino looks pretty dumpy, but I promise, at the top it is very nice, clean, and classy!  We watched daring people go on all of the amusement rides at the top, took in the amazing views, enjoyed the sunshine, and then sat down for happy hour on Level 107.  They had 2-for-1 drinks and half off appetizers (fantastic deal for Vegas!).  We endulged in a white peach margarita and a cucumber cosmopolitan {SO GOOD!}.  We also had an appetizer of calamari, shrimp, peppers, and olives which was light and delectible.  For us, the Stratosphere was one of our highlights. 

Wednesday was a more low key day for us.  We walked across the street to the Bellagio and checked out the conservatory and butterfly garden.  I really enjoyed seeing the flowers and butterflies and it was a bit of refuge from the huge buildings and dirty streets.  After that, we used the last hours on our bus passes to go back to The Mirage and visit The Secret Garden to see dolphins, lions, and tigers.  We followed this adventure with a nap by the pool and delecious burgers at Le Burger Brasserie in Paris.

We had to be up at 2:30 the next morning, and after a flight delay and a bus ride back to our vehicle, we spent the rest of the day lounging in our bedroom and relaxing at home. 

Vegas was such a fun getaway for us as a couple.  We have the same travel brain, so we know when each other wants to eat, sit, sleep, is bored, etc.  Vegas was a blast, but now that I've checked it off my list, I'm ready for something new to be on my adventure list!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you had fun! I have been to Margaritaville the restaurant a few times and have also been disappointed every time. I was so amazed to see people stumbling around on those little spike heels with how much we walked. I can't believe they do it!