Monday, August 15, 2011

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Hey bloglovers and followers! This week has been absolutely crazy: I went on vacation to the great Sin City, Las Vegas, Nevada for my 21st birthday celebration! To make it up to you all for not posting for a while, I’ll tell you all the nitty gritty details of my trip.

Las Vegas, meaning “The Meadows” in Spanish, is worldly famous for its tourism, shopping, gambling, and fine dining. It was a stopover for pioneers and travelers out west, then thanks to the continental railroad, expanded exponentially in the early 20th century. But enough about the history, let’s get right into my trip!

My family and I arrived on Wednesday, my birthday after a long 6 hour flight from Manchester, New Hampshire. We had a layover at Chicago Airport, where I ran into some awesome statues of The Blues Brothers. The Las Vegas airport was extremely easy to get around, although it was easy to get distracted by all the slot machines and advertisements for shows! We took a tram to get to the baggage claim, and took a shuttle right to the Rent-A-Car Center. After getting our rent, we headed over to the Mirage Casino right on Las Vegas Boulevard (aka The Strip). The Mirage was amazing; everywhere I looked I found something unique and mesmerizing.

For my birthday dinner, we went to Bouchon restaurant at the Venetian. The restaurant had a fancy atmosphere and there I ordered my first legal drink called “Nirvana,” which was a fruity cocktail with pineapple and lime juices. Afterwards, we headed over to Treasure Island for the Mystére, a Cirque du Soleil show. The show was absolutely insane! The tricks put on by the performers were jawdropping and the experience as a whole was extremely unique.

The next day, my sister and I hit the mall and slot machines at Caesar’s Palace. Of course, everyone thinks of Caesar’s Palace when they think of The Strip because it is certainly beautiful, not to mention HUGE. I was awed (and exhausted) by how many shops were inside this building!

That night, my sister and I headed over to the TAO club at the Venetian, which was incredible. Frequently visited by many celebrities, the club was three stories high and had a roof deck called “TAO Beach,” which featured an outdoor pool, bars, tables, booths and benches. The club also offered an open bar towards the beginning of the night, which was a definite plus.

The next night, my family and I went to Bellagio, which had amazing sights to see, including an exhibit by Dale Chihuly. After spending a little time inside the Casino, we stepped outside to experience the water show, which was captivating and also refreshing (the desert was starting to get to me).

Afterwards, my sister and I headed over to meet a friend of mine across the boulevard to Sugar Factory, a huge candy store/bar/restaurant inside Paris Casino. This famous place is home to the Couture Pops, which are decorated and bedazzled lollipops. After making a couple sweet purchases, we headed over to the bar where I ordered the Lollipop Passion cocktail. This giant cocktail was a little piece of heaven: it was poured over dry ice cubes at the bottom so that when the drink was poured in, the cocktail started bubbling and smoke poured out over the sides. It was garnished with two unicorn candy pops and a candy necklace… talk about a drink! For the remainder of the night, we hung out at Paris and enjoyed some gambling.

On our last full day in Vegas, my family and I went all over The Strip to explore other casinos and cool attractions. We first checked out Luxor, which is in the shape of a giant black, glass pyramid. This Egyptian-themed casino was pretty impressive, yet at the same time, it probably was one of my least favorites. The place was much smaller inside than I had expected and was badly ventilated that there was a huge cloud of smoke that filled the whole place. However, they did offer plenty of shows and had a huge party going on at their famous pool called Oasis.

After, we headed over next door to New York New York, which was much more impressive. The place took their theme very seriously, not to mention there was a huge roller coaster going in and out of the building! We had dinner at the New York Pizzeria, which had a huge variety of specialties and toppings as well as cheap for those of you who are looking for a trip on a budget.

To end our trip with a bang, we took our chances and headed over to MGM Grand after dinner to see if we could score any last minute tickets to another Cirque du Soleil show. Luckily, thanks to an amazing concierge, we got tickets on the center section of the theatre for a reasonable price! We headed over to see KÀ, which turned out to be a much more entertaining show than the first one we went to see at Treasure Island.

Four nights and five days seemed like a long time to spend in Las Vegas; however, I felt like there were so many things I didn’t get to see. Even as my second time there I didn’t even get to see half of the casinos and attractions, which proves that the 4.2 mile Strip is a giant place to explore. That’s about as detailed as I can get about my amazing trip, I hope you got all the way through to down here! My advice if you’d like to plan a trip to Vegas is to have a set itinerary to see as much as you can so that you’re not distracted for hours at the addicting slot machines. Thanks for reading!

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