Tara’s Las Vegas adventure!
My husband and I finally got a chance to get away by ourselves, we have never left our kids and went out of the country so we figured a short trip to Vegas would be a great way to try it out. We arrived in Vegas on Friday at 8:05pm and returned home on Monday at 3:28pm. We really could have used at least one more full day in Vegas to take in a few more of the things that we wanted to see but I guess that just leaves us more to see next time!!
On Friday night we took the Showtime shuttle to our hotel, checked in to our room at Ballys Hotel and got ready to head out for a night on the town! Our room was one of the renovated rooms on the 72nd floor and had a great view of the Eiffel tower and Bellagio fountains. The room was clean, spacious and lucky for us had a coffee maker as well as a fridge.
We had already booked tickets to go on the high-roller so we headed straight over there to redeem our passes. The high-roller is an amazing observation wheel that gives you a beautiful view of Las Vegas, we purchased the “happy hour passes” which put you in the observation pod that has your very own bartender, it takes approximately half an hour to go around the wheel so if you get the happy-hour pass you can have as many drinks as you want in that half an hour. Nice if you are looking to have a few drinks at a low cost. The price of the ticket was only $10.00 more/person than the regular tickets. We were in the Pod with two other people. The pods can fit up to 25 people so it was nice to have the smaller, more intimate crowd.
After getting off the high roller we decided to walk the strip a bit so I could show my husband a little bit of what I had saw when I was there last year for a conference. We were walking down the strip and chatting up some police officers who filled us in on a little bit of the comings and goings in Las Vegas, they confirmed that everything that you see on the show “Vegas Strip” is true. The officers were very friendly and definitely make their presence known.
We headed over to the Mirage and watched the Volcano show, such an amazing experience, even though I have seen it before and my husband saw it via facetime it is amazing to see and makes it even more special when you can see it with someone special to you. I can’t imagine how much work must go into maintaining the Volcano and the grounds around it.
Later that night we decided to head out to one of the many clubs in Las Vegas, we really weren’t sure which one would be the best so when we received a 2 for 1 offer from one of the street vendors we decided to head over to Drais rooftop nightclub across the street from our hotel. We had to go and change as they like everyone to be dressed up (no sandals and shorts for the guys) but it was absolutely worth it! We had such a blast, the place was packed, the music was pumping and the atmosphere was electric. We aren’t club goers and only stayed a couple of hours but it was definitely a cool experience for the two of us. Security screens you before you go in and drinks are pretty expensive as well as cover charge but it isn’t something that you would experience at home.
On our first full day in Las Vegas we decided we were going to take in a few of the highlights in Las Vegas and do some people watching….I love people watching!! We decided our first stop would be Madame Tussauds wax museum, what an amazing place the wax celebrities are so life like I honestly felt like they were watching me the entire time! After the wax museum we decided to go and sit by our pool for a little while and enjoy the sun shine while we can. Bally’s pool is smaller than the one that I was lucky enough to enjoy at Caesars palace on my last visit but it has everything that you could need. Cold drinks, beach chairs, water and sun shine! Was so nice to lay out in the sun, something we haven’t been able to do without kids so we were somewhat out of our element.
That evening we decided that we wanted to go and check out the CSI Experience at the MGM Grand, it wasn’t what I had expected but would be a nice thing to go to with children. I used to be a huge fan of the show and have wanted to go there for quite some time. You go to this area and are given a case and you have to solve the crime, the clues were a little bit too easy for me and I expected to see a little more of “the set” when we were there but it was a different experience.
We went to Dick’s Last Resort for dinner, that place is hilarious. The waiters are purposely rude to the customers and the MC is always getting the crowd involved. It was a really hilarious, obnoxious place and was so out of the norm, if you are looking for a different dining experience, I highly recommend this place. It is located in the Excalibur hotel.
On our last day in Las Vegas we decided to take the double decker bus and learn a little bit about the history of Las Vegas. Our tour guide Brian was hilarious and taught us a lot about the strip and took the time to get to know the people on the bus, it was a really fun experience.
Our first stop was the iconic Las Vegas sign, it was really cool to actually be there and was packed with tourists! We learned a lot about the different hotels and corporate companies involved and about some of the new things that will be coming and going in Las Vegas.
We took the bus to the Mob museum, if you want to learn about the history of the Mob in Las Vegas, this is the place to go, be prepared to do a lot of reading though. You could definitely spend an entire day in that museum, we only spent about 2 hours there, but I think we got to see most of the highlights. They have one of the mobs most iconic artifacts in the museum – the brick wall from the St. Valentine’s massacre. They also have a tommy gun replica that you can try out and a few other fun interactive activities.
Once we were done at the Mob museum we decided to venture over to Freemont street, that is an entirely different experience, there are some pretty interesting characters that hang out there and a lot of history.
We were able to see the zip-liners taking off, looks like one heck of a ride and I wish I would have done it but I was way too sunburned and tired to be flying through the air. There were old neon signs everywhere, we stopped in at the famous Heart Attack Café and we checked out the shark slide at the Golden Nugget. We even had a buffet on the strip, it had a ton of selection and wonderful deserts, I ate a little more than I should have though.
We missed our last bus to get back to our hotel but we called the company and they sent another one out for us! That was amazing and I totally didn’t expect them to do that for us, we ended up getting on another bus at Circus Circus and riding with the staff on a little behind the scenes ride behind the strip to the Excalibur hotel, we learned then that if you are going to take a taxi in Las Vegas to ask them to take Frank Sinatra Drive. It is much shorter than trying to fight through traffic on the strip and will keep the cost down.
I would highly recommend taking the double decker bus tour and to do it on your first day, that way you can learn about Vegas and see if there are a few things that you want to add to your itinerary.
After our bus tour we headed down to the Venetian hotel where we got to go on a romantic gondola ride, our gondolier had an amazing voice and really set the mood for the ride, the details that are put into the architecture in the Venetian are amazing, really makes you feel like you are in Italy.
To end off our last night in Las Vegas we headed to the Bellagio to watch the water show. It is so breathtaking and no matter how many times I watch it, it still leaves me speechless.
We didn’t take in any of the shows while we there, with only having two full days there we didn’t want to be sitting in a theater, the last time I was in Vegas I had taken in Blue Man Group, it really is an amazing performance but I think it would have been more enjoyable with my children. It seemed like more of a children’s show rather than an adult oriented show. Wasn’t really for me.
If you are heading to Las Vegas and have any questions about things to see or do, feel free to contact me and I will do my best to send you in the right direction. Las Vegas really is an amazing place to go and you don’t have to be a gambler to enjoy all the things that the city has to offer!