Now that I’ve been back for a week, I think it’s a good time to sort through my thoughts and write about my first experience in Las Vegas. For those of you who don’t know, my mom took me there for my birthday this year. She has been to Vegas a few times and always comes home raving about how fun it is so she wanted me to finally see it with my own eyes this year.
Let’s keep in mind that neither of us are drinkers. Both of us hate alcohol. ALL KINDS. You can tell us “oh this drink is so fruity you won’t even be able to taste the alcohol!” and WE WILL TASTE IT. There is no fooling us. I don’t gamble at all but my mom will sit at a slot machine until she loses $20 and then she’s done. Party animals, let me tell ya!
Anyway, I thought I’d talk about the things I loved and didn’t love about Sin City –
Things I LOVED:
Sensory overload! There is SO much going on along the strip. The hotels, the flowers, the lights, the shopping, the street entertainment… Even if you don’t go to Vegas to party/drink/gamble, there is still a lot of stuff to do and see. You can literally spend every day/night walking around and looking at new things.
Cirque du Soleil. We saw The Beatles themed show and it was AMAZING. I couldn’t decide between O and LOVE because I’ve heard really good things about both but we ended up going with the latter and I’m so happy we did! It was such a lively and entertaining show. I have nothing to compare it to as this was my first time seeing a Cirque show but I can say that it definitely did not disappoint. We saved a little bit of money on the tickets by getting them at Tix4Tonight which is located in the Fashion Show mall. They advertise half price tickets but I think we only saved about $20-$30 each for the LOVE show. Still better than nothing! We had great seats too.
Shopping!! If you have lots of money to spend, Vegas is a shopper’s playground. Unfortunately, I don’t. Hah. All I bought was a pair of Nikes, two basic t-shirts from A&F (which were on sale for $8) and a bag from Lululemon for my mom that we haven’t been able to find anywhere here in Toronto. If I didn’t have a mortgage coming my way next month, maybe I would have bought more but I’m slowly learning that I can’t have everything my eyes want!! Boo.
Hanging with my MOM. Some pretty funny things happened throughout the trip so we had a lot of good laughs and it will definitely be a trip to remember. We both have a horrible sense of direction so about 40% of the trip was spent trying to figure out where we were going. Like if someone was filming us, we would have had some pretty great content for a reality TV show.
Things I DID NOT LOVE:
Getting sick on our helicopter ride. My mom wanted to take me to the Grand Canyon for my birthday which I was SO excited about. People have raved about the helicopter tours so we decided to do that. My mom has been to the Grand Canyon before but when she went, it was by car and it was a whole day affair. We figured by doing the helicopter ride, we’d still have some time to do other things in the morning and evening (we got picked up at 12:30pm and dropped off at 4:30pm). Everything started out great. The shuttle ride to the airport was smooth sailing and the beginnings of our helicopter adventure were pretty cool.
Things went downhill pretty quickly though. Now part of this is my fault because I get motion sickness on just about every form of transportation. It’s happened in cars on road trips, on airplanes, on boats, you name it. I don’t know why I assumed a helicopter would be different. Within about ten minutes of being in the air, I started to get sick and threw up three times before we landed. The ride was about 35 minutes and we got dropped down in the bottom of the canyon to take photos and eat/drink. I had so much anxiety about getting back on the helicopter but we managed to get some cool shots and I guzzled some cold water before we jumped back on the chopper!
Before I knew it, the water started making its way up and out. I KNOW. I wanted to die right there. It was awful. The whole time I was just thinking “I can’t believe how much money my poor mother spent for this experience and I’ve got my head in a barf bag the entire time.” It was rough.
I’m honestly glad I got to see what I could and I highly recommend doing it BUT make sure to take some Gravol if you get queasy like me. Everyone else on the helicopter was fine (there were seven of us). We went with Mustang Tours and yes, it’s expensive (a little over $400 U.S.D. per person) but the experience – if you’re not barfing – is worth it.
The food. I know, I know. You are all probably thinking I’m a mental case because the food options in Vegas are insane. I think I am just extremely picky and didn’t try enough places so maybe don’t trust my judgment on this. We bought things at Walgreens for breakfast every morning so that was nice and easy (and cheap)!
We’d end up spending so much time doing things after breakfast that we’d kind of forget to eat until 2-3pm so we only really ended up eating out once a day. Someone recommended Society Cafe in the Encore so we tried that one day. Apparently the owner of the Encore and Wynn recently went vegan so he has added a lot of vegetarian and vegan options to the restaurant menus in both hotels. I ordered the veggie burger, fries and milkshake because I’ve got the palette of a 9-year-old. Anyway, I was slightly disappointed. It was just okay. I don’t know why I was expecting to be blown away by a veggie burger and fries.
We went to California Pizza Kitchen one day. I had never been there before and apparently it’s a really popular place in the U.S.?? It was in the mall and we just popped in to share some appetizers. It was okay but just your regular family restaurant type of place.
I wasn’t going to let the trip go by without eating Cafe Rio so we took a cab one day to the closest one which was right across from ULVN. I’m telling you this was my favourite meal of the entire trip – how sad is that?? Mexican fast food. It cost us more for transportation (about $20 each way) than it did for our salads but…#worthit. Should have gone there every day.
If you eat anything and everything, I’m sure you won’t have the same experience as me. There are heaps of restaurants to choose from but I just didn’t think it was worth it for me to try some of those fancier places because I don’t eat 99% of what’s on the menu. It didn’t really make sense to go to Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant and order a side of fries, you know?
Now I wasn’t sure whether to put this under things I love or things I didn’t love…THE HEAT. I love myself a good hot vacation but guys, Vegas is insane. Like an actual inferno. The best way I could describe it was the way it feels when you walk into the exhaust of a really big truck. You know that feeling? Like you get hit in the face with air so hot that you can’t breathe? THAT IS VEGAS. Apparently they were having a “cooler” week too. I don’t get it. How people live there boggles my mind. It was awesome for the mornings we spent at the pool though!!
I think that wraps up my thoughts on Las Vegas. It’s definitely a cool place to see but if I ever go back, I’ll have to remember Gravol and pack my own food – haha!
Have an awesome weekend!