Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas! And let me tell you, it was fabulous indeed. We’ve all heard stories about Las Vegas, but I found this is the type of city that you have to experience for yourself. The whole time I was there I kept thinking to myself that Las Vegas is like Disney World but for adults!
Surrounding Las Vegas are mountains and a vast desert. Vegas is a little oasis in an otherwise empty land. Driving up, you are greeted with one casino after the other, each one more spectacular and beautiful than the last. The “strip” is the most well known part of Vegas which is where all the famous casinos are lined up. Although they look close together, they aren’t. My legs were dead after the weekend from all the walking we did. The casinos are enormous which makes them appear to be a lot closer to one another than they actually are.
One of the first casinos we explored was New York New York. The outside (pictured above) looks like a snippet of the NYC skyline. It was an incredible sight. The coaster you see in front of the casino looked daunting so, naturally, my friends and I decided to go for a ride. Their slogan is “The only thing you’ll lose is your lunch.” Good thing I hadn’t eaten yet. This coaster rivaled the biggest amusement parks. It was so much fun and I highly recommend it for thrillseekers in Vegas.
We then explored the inside of the casino, made money, lost money, played arcade games and ate lunch. The insides of these places make it difficult for you to know what time of day or night it is since there are no windows and they pump in fresh air. It’s easy to get sucked into these mini worlds. Lucky for us we made it out!
That evening we decided to see a Calvin Harris show at a brand new club in Vegas called Omnia. Omnia is located inside Caesars Palace and after a long wait in an even longer line, we got in! It was packed and full of lights and entertainment. We also made it out to the roof to take in the Vegas night and snap a few photos.
The next day was all about exploring. We ate breakfast and headed out to the Bellagio. It was stunning. It looks exactly like how you would picture it in the movies. We did a bit more gambling, explored the pool area and then headed out to walk over to the Venetian. On our way out of the hotel we stumbled across The Bellagio Fountain Show. Tons of fountains were dancing to the song “All that Jazz.” It was beautiful. With a bright blue backdrop and a rainbow dancing across the water I couldn’t ask for more. I was so excited I got to see the famous fountain show.
The walk over to The Venetian was just as much fun as anything else we did. We passed artists, street performers, musicians, breakdancers, everything! Vegas is all about entertainment and no matter where you are or what you’re doing, there’s something interesting to look at.
The Venetian was my favorite hotel/casino we visited. I felt like I was in Italy. I even told my boyfriend we can check Venice off the list since we’ve been there now. (Kidding Ryan, I still want to go to Italy :)) The inside of the casino was filled with canals, gondolas, huge murals, gelato, Italian shops, and of course everything every other casino had as well.
After a day filled with sunshine and exploring we headed back to our hotel room at the Excalibur to get ready for a group dinner at a restaurant in Mandalay Bay, yet another beautiful hotel/casino! We ate a filling dinner, cheered to the birthday boys and set off for the Shark Reef Aquarium. Yes, you heard that right. Inside the Mandalay Bay hotel they have sharks. It was a really exciting exhibit. We saw crocodiles, rainbow jellyfish, huge snakes, and sharks!
Vegas was incredible, I had a blast from start to finish. A few things to note:
- Be comfortable–you’re going to be out from morning to night. Dress comfortably for the day because you’ll be walking. A LOT.
- Vegas surprised me with the amount of families I saw. I always thought of Vegas as this crazy raunchy place. And while it can be, you have to seek it out. It wasn’t as much in your face as I expected.
- Stay hydrated! They aren’t kidding when they say Vegas is in a desert. My skin and throat were very dry from the dry air around me. Keep hydrated to stay feeling good. (Also, they have oxygen bars in a lot of the hotels which are supposed to help with hangovers.)
- It is possible to have fun without gambling a lot. I tried my hand at blackjack and the slot machines, and it was a ton of fun. But I didn’t have a lot to gamble with. So after a few rounds, I sat back and watched others gamble, I helped pick numbers for roulette and I explored the hotels. You don’t have to bring your life savings in gambling money to Vegas in order to have a good time–there are plenty of other things to do as well.
- Finally, take it all in. Vegas is a really unique place like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I honestly don’t know if anything serious happens in Vegas, it is simply a place to just have fun. So let go–explore the casinos, see a show, ride a roller coaster, and enjoy the people you are there with. Because when you leave you are going to realize Las Vegas is one of those lifetime experiences you won’t soon forget.
The drive back to Los Angeles on Sunday was gorgeous. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the Nevada/California desert. It looked like a scene from the movie, The Martian. I loved seeing the desert with cacti and sand juxtaposed against beautiful, rocky snow-capped mountains.