Last week my wife Ann and I took a bucket list vacation to Las Vegas. Neither of us had ever been there, so we knew it would be an adventure. I decided to journal some of the events when i took breaks from the sight seeing. This blog is that journal, unedited. Enjoy!
MONDAY: The flight out started with me forgetting the claim slip for our valet parked car. A quick call and all was good. In fact, I was told I was the third call already this morning and it was only 4:45am.
After standing in line at Starbucks and them missing our breakfast sandwiches, we were able to relax for 10 minutes before we got the text to board our Southwest direct flight.
Once on the plane, most passengers were ready for a nap before sunrise and our 7:45am landing in the city of sin. Around three quarters in to the flight, the cabin awoke with beautiful sunshine and excited soon to be sinners.
We landed and took a fun shuttle to our hotel. We're staying at Treasure Island. A man asked us for our bags and we gave them to him. Hope that was a good call. He did give us a claim ticket and was dressed like the hotel staff.
We needed some food so a fruit and granola parfait was on the menu. Wonderful fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and black berries. Now, the adventure begins!
After some exploring at Treasure Island, Ann wanted a nap. So we called for our luggage and it appeared at our door. Great service and I had that claim ticket! The nap did Ann wonders. We then set out for more casino & hotel exploring. The Mirage and Caesars were cool. Love the architecture.
We started to blend in with other tourists, until it started to rain. Ann & I laughed about how most people ran for cover with "things" on their heads during a windy 8 minute shower in 65 degree weather. Thank you, Ohio weather!
We walked to an outdoor bar during the shower and there Ann discovered "Adult" slushies! Known as "Rum Runners" in Vegas, these super charged alcohol infused, frozen sugar rushes are expensive but they back it up with booze. Needless to say, but Ann needed a snack after that. A Nathan's Hot Dog at the Flamingo did the trick. She also had, "the best French fries ever!" But I think it was the slushie talking!
Next we walked into the Bellagio and I was in love. This building is breathtaking in design. We wondered into their amazing garden. Everything you can imagine in tulips, daisies and chrysanthemums. Flower covered butterflies that water themselves. Finches and other birds. Just amazing. Pictures don't do it justice.
We headed back to our hotel for a break and dinner. That night it was Mario Batali's Burgers & Beer. The burgers were buffalo and the beer was cold and refreshing. Ann ordered friend mushrooms. Not what I was expecting... there were 12 different varieties and they were outstanding!
Then our 10 miles of walking took us to The Venetian. The gondolas in the city of Venice were fabulous. Loved the shops in the city and thought it was cool.
The Volcano eruption at The Mirage was awesome on the sidewalk and our 22nd floor hotel room window gave us a different perspective, too.
We went to CVS in our hotel for snacks and noticed something interesting. Everyone talks about how there are no clocks in Vegas, there is also no shortage of caffeine options and oxygen bars. But try to find anything without caffeine... good luck!
TUESDAY: Day two began by sleeping later than expected, but I think most people do that here! Ann wanted a hearty breakfast so she picked Dennys. We got there before the big rush, which is about 8:30am. Then we bought our bus passes, reserved the Mob Museum and hit the road! Downtown we went and experienced the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement. It was worth every penny, which BTW Ann smashed a few in their machine.
After the Mob Museum, we walked a few blocks to the "Fremont Street Experience." I quickly learned why they call it that! It is quite different from anything you'd expect. Fun, lots of Casinos and very interesting people!
After a break Tuesday afternoon we went back out on The Strip and met more interesting people and made our way to dinner at Ramen Ya. It was delicious and very filling for under $14. Then we walked around Planet Hollywood to see the Rainforest inside their shopping Mall.
WEDNESDAY began at the Treasure Island Sports and Racing Book. This was my gambling portion of the trip. I love sports and horse racing. We did okay, but most of our bigger wagering was on my favorite teams to win their respective championships in the next year or so. Go CBJ, Cavs, Tribe, Bucks and Browns!
Wednesday afternoon we went to the south end of the Strip and took in the sights of the Luxor and New York New York. The MGM is huge, which is why our company is big on them! Then back on the bus to head back downtown for Fremont Street at night!
We met a couple from York in the UK, on the bus, who were celebrating their 5th Anniversary and they did the ZoomLine under the electric canopy. Pretty Cool! The lights of Downtown Vegas or 'Old Vegas," as many call it, were unreal to me. Lots of music and more interesting people and characters.
Our feet grew pretty sore after 31 miles of walking in three days, so back to the hotel for us. I enjoyed a Jacuzzi bath, watched the Mirage Volcano Eruption from our room again and set the alarm for the flight in the morning.
THURSDAY we both woke up before the alarm, packed and had coffee waiting on the transport to the airport. We met even more people, our driver from Cleveland and enjoyed that a lot. Got through the airport and met a bunch of folks returning to Columbus from the Pizza Owners Convention. They were fun and some hung over. Our light took us over the Rocky Mountains on a clear day and we were able to see Pikes Point from 30k feet or so. That was pretty cool.
The trip was awesome and Ann and I are ready for more travelling in the years to come. if you'd like to see my photos, here's a link to my Facebook page. If you're not a FB friend yet, ask and access will be given