I know, I know! I’ve been back from Las Vegas for over a week and I’m just now getting the recaps in. First I was dealing with photo problems, then class and work kicked back into full gear and I’ve just been going nuts. Sorry!
Without further ado, let’s start with Day 1.
We left for Vegas on January 11, knowing full well we wouldn’t get into town until late in the evening. Arriving at the Las Vegas airport at 9:30 while still on Boston time (12:30) was pretty brutal.
We took a cab to the hotel (Excalibur), checked in, and pretty quickly thereafter went to bed.
At 5:45 we were jarred awake by a fire alarm, but luckily we didn’t have to evacuate. I guess casinos really don’t want you to leave what you’re doing, huh? It took me a little while to fall back asleep, but once I did I stayed that way much longer than I normally would have (well after 8am). When we finally crawled out of bed, we hit up McDonald’s for breakfast. I know that you’re thinking, “McDonald’s?!” but hear me out. I went to Las Vegas without my debit card or credit card. I allotted myself a specific amount of cash and had to live within those means from the 11th-15th. That, along with being pressed for time, meant McDonald’s in the hotel food court the first morning. So sue me. At least I got something fairly healthy (egg mcmuffin with no meat).
After breakfast we were off for some exploring! The first thing I did in Vegas (other than sleep and eat McDonald’s for the first time in ages) was ride a roller coaster! That’s right, first thing Friday morning we walked over to New York, NY and I hopped right on the coaster. Joe isn’t a roller coaster kind of guy, so he held my stuff while I rode through the loops and drops in 30 degree weather. Yeah, did I mention it was FREEZING while we were in Las Vegas?
The next thing we did was wait patiently for the frozen drink stand in the hotel to open. I’m not even going to try to pretend that I’m the least bit apologetic for drinking while in Las Vegas. Joe and I started nearly every morning while we were there with frozen drinks. I almost always got a margarita while he stuck with frozen Jack Daniels and coke. Ah, vacation!
For the rest of the day we wandered around the strip, in and out of the hotels and casinos, checking out the scene. I was super happy to see that some of the holiday decorations were still up.
We stopped for lunch inside of Harrah’s at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill. Harrah’s holds a special place in my heart because it’s the only casino back in North Carolina and therefore the first casino I ever went to.
I’ve been to Toby Keith’s in MA, but the drinks in Vegas were definitely much bigger. Along with a veggie wrap I got a margarita with a float of Guinness. Who would have thought?
After lunch we continued our exploring, through nearly all of the casinos, past statues, skillfully ignoring/avoiding the people handing out advertisements for strippers and escorts, and taking lots of photos along the way.
Who needs to travel to Europe when you have the casinos and hotels in Las Vegas to serve as pretty decent substitutes? Well, that’s what Joe is probably hoping anyway. It really was kind of fantastic to see a replica of the Eiffel Tower and walk by the canals in the Venetian and Palazzo.
Then there were the ridiculous things actually inside the casinos as well. I would have loved to have hit the jackpot on this particular machine. Spoiler alert: we didn’t hit a jackpot on ANY machine.
It may have been cold, but it didn’t stop me from stopping for pictures with even the most random things. Sure, I like statues as much as the next person, but why I thought I needed a photo with this is beyond me.
Just after I posed for this picture with Siegfried and Roy, I overheard a group asking who the guys were with the cat. It made me incredibly sad. Also, I’m not that old, right?
We struggled to get some of the indoor photos, like this one next to a very sparkly horse at Bellagio, but it was worth pestering other tourists for the look of sheer excitement on Joe’s face, haha.
The Wynn and Encore were especially beautiful as the sun was beginning to set. Isn’t the sky a glorious shade of blue? The hotels almost look fake (they did in person too).
Along with seeing all of the hotels and casinos, I loved seeing all of the people out on the street in costume. I got a quick picture of Chewbacca while he wasn’t looking and I was actually pretty jealous of how warm the person must have been inside that costume.
I think the most fun part of exploring the first day was getting killed by two of my favorite horror icons. First we ran into Chucky. For whatever reason Child’s Play is one of my favorite horror franchises. Then again, I love just about every horror franchise so that isn’t saying much. Still, I couldn’t resist a photo of Chucky killing me on the Las Vegas Strip.
Then things got even better when we ran into Jason from Friday the 13th! If Chucky is one of my favorite horror icons, Jason is THE horror icon for me. I was terrified of him as a kid, which makes getting killed by him (three different ways, no less) a truly memorable experience. It probably says something about me that I love horror movies so much, but leave the analyzing up to me, ok?
In addition to my favorite horror icons, I also got to meet The Rock! Not really, but I look great next to his wax statue, right? A girl can dream!
After I posed with The Rock, we had every intention of going back to Madame Tussaud’s before the trip was over, but we just never made it. I guess once you meet The Rock, nothing else is even worth seeing.
As it started to get dark we headed back to the hotel to shower and get ready for dinner. We met up with my cousin and her husband, who have been living in Las Vegas for just over a year, to go to Firefly, a tapas restaurant off the strip. The wait inside was over half an hour, but they were able to seat us outside immediately. Perhaps the frigid temperatures had something to do with that. It wasn’t too bad with the heat lamps they had set up everywhere and the food was delicious.
We ended up eating way too much, but that tends to happen when you’re on vacation so I didn’t really mind. It was great to see my cousin, who I hadn’t seen in several years, but I completely neglected to get a photo. I think we were so interested in catching up that a photo never even crossed our minds.
When we got back to the hotel, Joe went upstairs to the room to relax while I decided to play some slots for a bit. I won a little bit of money (which was subsequently lost over the next few days), so went upstairs to quit while I was ahead. We weren’t exactly night owls on our first full night in Vegas, but it got us ready to go for everything that was to come on Sunday and Monday!
Stay tuned for the next recap, which I promise it won’t take me a week to write.