Las Vegas has been high up in my bucket list for a number of years, and as a particular fan of a party or two (perhaps you’ve seen my Ibiza and Hvar blogs), it felt natural to make it happen. Part of my huge move to Vancouver was to enable me to travel much more easily across the US; a country I’ve been in love with for years.
Just a two hour flight from YVR, what better excuse to get it booked than one of my best friends and travel buddies coming to see me? To top it off, a friend of ours from uni was also swinging by the city.
So, Vegas! Never before have I flown over such a deserted space, looking as thirsty as the thousands of revellers suffering from hangovers in the city each morning. It is also one of the most overwhelming places I’ve visited in the US – if you think America does it bigger, better, and faster; well, Vegas does it biggest, best, and fastest.
Quickly dumping our bags off at the hotel (we opted to stay at the MGM Grand for our four night stay), we set off in search off alcohol ahead of the pool party we had booked prior to our trip.
This place really is a sensory overload! Not only do you turn the corner to be great with a miniature New York City, but people are openly drinking alcohol on the street and smoking indoors. It really is something else!
Having successfully completed our quest for booze, we sipped questionable cans of margarita and headed back to what we were promised is the ultimate pool party situated right in our very hotel: Wet Republic.
We had already booked tickets for the Calvin Harris Pool Party, and arrived to hundreds of partygoers in a pool (albeit an $80 locker fee and a 2 hour queue to store a bag – leave your stuff in your hotel!) It’s not for everyone, but we had an awesome time. Even if it was a little blurry…
In true Vegas fashion, we were in bed having wined and dined by 6pm with room service miraculously appearing by 8pm. After naps, painkillers, and some buffalo wings, we were ready for part 2 of our evening: Tiesto at Hakkasan. Sadly no photos (we were a little worse for wear).
Day 2: exploring Vegas’ famous hotels. How cool does the inside of New York New York look?
We rolled along up the Strip, dipping in and out of the hotels, continuously amazed by what we were seeing. The Bellagio was certainly one we’d both really wanted to see. And it didn’t disappoint. Here are the beautiful Bellagio Gardens, each year considered twelve months in advance to enable the stunning flower displays to grow in time for display.
It has the amazing opulence and elegance of the Italian lake village it was based on. Each hotel miraculously gives you utter wanderlust as you long to be in the origins of the place it’s based on.
Deciding to take a little breather from the hot Nevada desert, we were lucky to have the next instalment of our trip: a rendezvous with our uni friend, Jamie who would be staying with us.
The perfect opportunity to catch up over the MGM Grand Buffet. I could talk about this all day (again, sorry no photos, a mountain of random foods isn’t the most photogenic), but such good value. We accidentally went between brunch and dinner, so got the best of both worlds, with food from crab legs to prime rib, to smoked salmon to Mexican. We were literally in heaven – all for the ultra reasonable price of around $25. Kerching.
Next: sleep it off by the pool, naturally. Our hotel has a choice of pools and even a lazy river. You could honestly holiday at the hotel and not have to leave for days, there is so much to do and something for everyone.
Vegas by night is spectacular, and just how you see it on the front of glossy travel brochures: besides, who doesn’t like a little neon!?
And I’m sure you’ve seen it before, but the Bellagio fountain displays are awesome. Every evening, every 15 minutes, and to a different song each time.
We were all craving a little culture, so decided to slip off to Downtown Vegas for a little more history – right where it all began. Introducing Fremont Street.
Boasting the world’s largest video screen (c’mon, I told you Vegas has to do it best), here you’ll also find the famous Golden Nugget, and the notorious Heart Attack Grill, the only restaurant you’ll find to offer free meals to its heavier customers and spank you for not finishing your greasy quadruple cheeseburger.
After experiencing quite enough of the bright lights of Vegas, we snuck home to bed for another couple of fun-filled days in the desert and beyond. Stay tuned, kids!