I am back from Vegas. It was an interesting weekend. I hadn’t been to the big city for about eight years. It’s not so much that anything changed, but there was a lot I forgot, and definitely some things I learned about how I vacation. Here are a few of those things, including some great tips I got via email/Facebook from readers.
- Vegas is big. Ginormous. Each casino/hotel is like a mini city. People told me this and I still forgot its enormity. If you want to see it all, don’t try to do it all at once. And definitely don’t try to walk it all in strappy high heels. Ouch.
- If you are afraid of missing something, then do research before you go. There is nothing worse than settling on the nearest restaurant because you are starving and don’t know where the great restaurants are. We ate at Mon Ami Gabi since it was in Paris and we thought we’d conjure some memories of our engagement (in the real Paris France, not Vegas). The food was ok. The staff was slow. Ambiance was nice. Not worth the splurge in my opinion though.
- Leading me to the fact that- I’m cheap. I love a good meal and I like to stay in clean, classy places- but I am way more comfortable at a laid back bar like Hogs and Heifers in downtown than in a VIP booth at a club. The shopping around Vegas is endless but I don’t do $500 purses or $300 shoes so walking through these areas seemed like wasted energy. After all, I WAS in strappy high heels.
- I wouldn’t want to bring my children to Vegas. I am amazed at how many kids I saw. But I went there so I could wear a sexy dress or a bikini with my husband without having to worry about the impression I was leaving on my children. There is so much exploitation of the naked female body there and as adults, that’s fine, we can all make our own opinions about that. But my kids get enough exposure to trash just seeing magazine covers in line at the grocery store. I don’t want my son expecting women to look like the billboards of thin, tan, half naked girls and I especially don’t want my daughter thinking that she needs to look like that to be beautiful.
- The architecture in the hotels and casinos is beautiful. I’m totally showing my age by appreciating this. The Venetian, Paris, and Caesar’s are my favorite. But the others are all amazing in their own way. This would be the only reason I would want to bring my children- to share this beauty and massive wonder.
- Go to the grocery store to buy your own alcohol. We paid $6 for a Coors light at our pool (which I’m told is reasonable) and all the bartender did was open the can and hand it to us. We could have brought our own and they never would have known the difference. You can walk through the streets of the Strip and Downtown with open containers, so if you are just out sight-seeing, bring your own.
- Have a plan B. Contrary to my beliefs of perpetual sunshine in Vegas, it gets cold, it rains, and it gets windy. Like, hurricane’s a comin’ windy. I learned this fun fact the hard way and it ruined our plans of a poolside day. The wind made it miserable to wander the strip. I wish we had made a plan B….
- Old Vegas is fun! It is far from the glamour of the strip, but it definitely is full of glitz. There were more street performers, but no guys trying to pass out cards with nude women on them, so that was a bonus in my book. The drinks are cheap, there is great live music on Fremont Street, and there are some really fun bars.
- Circus Circus however, is horrible. My “plan B” because of the rain was trying the midway games to be silly and pass the time. The crowd there was like no other I had seen anywhere in Vegas and it just had a really bad vibe. I’m sorry if you love this place, but it was not for us. I should have taken the advice that I was given to stay away.
- VIP hosts are great! A few responded to my Vegas Bound blog post last week via Twitter so I contacted one to see how he could help me. Had we wanted to go the “club” route he was ready to get me and my friends (men too) in for free with free drinks for the ladies. If it not rained Saturday, we would have gotten into one of the pricier pool parties for free. His name is Troy and his number to text for your entertainment needs is (702) 569-9117- he asked me to share!
- If you don’t go the “host” route, there were plenty of club reps walking the street early in the evening to pass out bracelets for free entry, sometimes free drinks. Look for these before you pay for club entry.
- I really don’t like the constant cigarette smell. By the end of the first night my throat hurt. I just wanted to eat a fresh salad without smelling smoke by day two. Bring your own fresh water and fruit for your room. After an evening of booze, I appreciated feeling “healthy” again.
Other great tips I got:
- Charge your phone during the day. With using it for texting and taking/posting pictures and using the GPS, my battery died quickly.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Pay attention where you enter. These places seem to be designed so that you can never find an exit.
- Gondala boat ride is totally worth it (I agree!)
- Joe’s Seafood Prime Steak and Stone Crab inside Caesars. “The best of the best” was recommended more than once. Our poor planning had us too hungry to make it back that way at dinner time though.
I hope this helps you avoid my pitfalls and have a great time on your next Vegas vacation! If you have more tips, let me know and I will update the post.