Thursday, June 18, 2015

Viva Las Vegas!

Hello my friends! I just got back on Tuesday from an extended weekend in Las Vegas and it was amazing! I know a lot of people have been to Vegas, but I had never had a chance to go and somehow a plan developed to go this year and I jumped on it! I went with my friend Veronica, her friend Kate, and Kate's friend Andrea. Except now they are all my friends, so that makes explaining it so much easier.

Veronica, Kate, and I flew out Friday morning and it was a little turbulent, but mostly an uneventful flight. It is about 4- 4.5 hours from Toronto to Vegas and our plane was el cheapo airline so I was sad by there being no mini-TVs and no food. However, they did have an app you could download and stream movies and TV shows in-flight from your own device! Hurrah for packing my ipad!

Muppet's Treasure Island, Baby!
We landed around 10:30am and took a cab to our hotel, the Tropicana (PS- our cabbie totally ripped us off and took the tunnel which is a longer route. They are trying to crack down on this, but tell your cabbie to NOT take the tunnel. GRR. Also, our cabbie recommended Hooters for dinner. I kid you not).

The Tropicana gets kind of a bad rap for being an older hotel, but I really liked it for the following reasons:
1. The rooms were clean and didn't smell
2. You could always get a chair by the pool, even the day we went at noon
3. The pool itself was really nice, which was a bonus since it was 40 billion degrees out
4. It was at a pretty happening end of the strip
5. They gave you free cookies coupons when you checked in, and bonus cookies when you room isn't ready. And sometimes the cookie lady gave you two for one cookies.

Let's be honest, reason 5 is the best reason to stay here!

View from our room!
Since we had most of Friday still ahead of us we quickly changed and went exploring. We got lunch at a restaurant in the MGM and I got a peanut butter potato chip burger. I don't usually eat burgers, but it intrigued me. It was actually pretty good but WAY too big. I think I ate half?

After than we walked all over the strip. At one point we popped into the Coca Cola store and bought a "flight" of Coca Cola products from around the world! It was pretty fun trying them all and some were good (others were NASTY....then you had to remember what the good ones were so you could wash the taste away with those). They give you a sheet with the names of the products and where they are sold. I totally recommend trying this out!

After a LOT of walking and sun and digesting of a peanut butter potato chip burger, I was not feeling so good so we headed back to the hotel for a rest before dinner. Andrea showed up around dinner time and the girls headed out for dinner and dancing. I unfortunately did not join them because I was soooo sick. I always get sick to my stomach right at the beginning of a trip (I think I all that heat I was probably dehydrated). They got tapas somewhere and then went to Hakkasan at the MGM casino next door. They said it was crazy busy and had a lot of stairs, but was fun!

Saturday we went to the Grand Canyon, but that deserves a post in and of itself so I will do it later!

Sunday we woke up early (darn jet lag), and got breakfast at the "beach cafe" downstairs. They had misters and umbrellas on the patio so it was quite comfortable outside. I also accidentally ordered the world's largest cinnamon bun. This was listed under the same section as a muffin or a danish...the waitress did not warn me! I barely made a dent in it.

Then we lounged about the pool all day. I even went swimming with my new wig on, which was super exciting!! I've never been able to wear my hair to the pool or beach before.

That afternoon Andrea left us to fly back home and we wandered back down the strip to Cabo Wabo to buy dinner. It was delicious but waaaay to much food. American portions are crazy. Or maybe my stomach is small? I don't know, but it was all delicious regardless. And they had a gluten free menu and brought out special GF chips for Veronica. Again, we sat on the patio! Oh, and our waitress' name was Casey and said her boyfriend's name is apparently also Casey and it was just a Casey party in Las Vegas.

After stuffing ourselves silly, we wandered back down the strip and caught a comedy show at the Laugh Factory at our hotel. It wasn't 100% my type of humour, but it was a pretty inexpensive show and we got upgraded to the VIP section, which was nice! We got our tickets on sale at one of those ticket booths on the strip, which had lots of good deals. We also paid $2 each to get 20% off our bill at Cabo Wabo!

Sunday night we planned to go dancing since I still hadn't been, but we were too tired after being in the sun all day so we went to bed early.

Monday was our last full day in Vegas (sadface). We got up and went back to the Beach Cafe, where I was careful to avoid any gigantic cinnamon rolls. Then we went to the pool to soak up some rays and drink some pitchers of booze.

Mid-afternoon some rain hit so we packed up and went in search of milkshakes and wandered the strip some more. We had planned to do old Vegas that evening, but my boss emailed that morning and offered to pay for us to have a nice dinner so we booked a reservation at Todd English's Olives in the Bellagio! We went back to our hotel and got all gussied up for dinner and dancing. We got an amazing table at the restaurant, next to a big window overlooking their famous fountains.

Dinner was super yummy as it was "Restaurant Week" in Vegas so we were able to do a fixed price menu, offering an appetizer, main, and dessert. It was all so good! I had an apple salad, trout on crab risotto, and sorbet.

After dinner we headed to XS at the Wynn hotel for dancing. We had given our number to a couple of club promoters on the strip so we were able to get on a bunch of guestlists and pick where we wanted to go. XS was offering free drink tickets so it won that evening! It was really fun, though the music was a little extreme techno for me...I didn't know any of it.

Late that night we rolled back into bed and Kate and I got up early and headed on a plane back to Toronto (Veronica was staying in Vegas longer). Unfortunately with the time change, Tuesday ended up being 100% travel and then I was back at work on Wednesday!

I had such a great time in Las Vegas, but I felt like I barely scratched the surface of things to do and see (I had no idea the strip was SO HUGE). I definitely will be back again one day!


  1. I LOVE Vegas. SO glad you had fun and exciting to read your blog about it! I can't wait to go again. Been when I was 40, been when I was 50....3 1/2 more years and I can go again (YIKES!) :(. Can't wait! xo Sheila

  2. Looks like you had an amazing time! Really sounds like that city of luck, tries to rip you off a lot. We are planning a trip out here for next winter, or the following winter so I will have to remember all of your tips!

    P.S. Love the black dresses!

    1. we really only got ripped off by the taxi driver. Otherwise we managed to find some reasonably priced eats and entertainment!

  3. Aw, looks like you had a great time! Minus your temporary sickness. I was stalking your updates while you were gone and was so jealous of your Grand Canyon adventure! Really makes me wish I did that while I was there. But I think we are going again next year for a family vacation so I will have my chance :)

    I am so sad you missed old Vegas/Fremont Street. It was my FAVOURITE. I would love to stay there sometime, instead of the strip. But you sure squeezed in a lot and that is really nice of your boss.

  4. Great post! Sounds like you had fun minus the getting sick part :( I love Vegas, I have been three times and there is always so much to see and do every visit!

  5. I'm glad you had a great time! :)

    As far as American portion sizes go, I think it definitely depends on the city/restaurant. Most of the places I go are reasonable, but there are definitely some places with huge, crazy portions! (In which case I usually end up asking for a box and taking some of it home, although I hear a lot of places outside of the South look at you like you're crazy for that? No idea why, since it's obviously been paid for!)

    1. Ya I never took leftovers since our room didn't have a fridge. I am not really complaining- I would rather have too much food than too little!


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