Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Las Vegas: Night 1

Oh Las Vegas. I've found many sayings for this town during our three day visit: the city that never sleeps (I know this is said about NYC, but it applies here too), the Neon Sign capitol of the world, There's No Such Thing as a Weak Drink in Vegas, Vegas: the only city that recommends public transportation even though EVERYONE knows it sucks, No Bad Food in Vegas (even the food court pizza we ate on our last day was uh-maze-ing). There's many more but honestly I'm too tired to think of any more.
Just like June is the month of birthday's in this house (all 3 minis were born in June), September is a month of anniversaries for Hubs and I. September is the month we met, the month we started dating (years after knowing each other), and also the month we got engaged. September 2015 marked ten years of being together and sixteen years of knowing each other. We knew we had to celebrate in a big way and decided to head to Las Vegas. I've always wanted to go, but jobs, getting married, and babies put a hold on my traveling wishes. To say I've been waiting a long time to go is an understatement.
We tried to fit in as much as we could during our 3 day visit and I'm pretty pleased with everything we squeezed in!
We left Des Moines Friday evening and caught a direct flight to Las Vegas. This is the first time I've flown through Allegiant Air and was happy with their services overall. I particularly loved the gate workers in DM who were very prepared and even allowed us to leave early for Vegas. I had myDramamine that knocked me out for most of the flight, but we arrived quickly in the 104 degree dry dessert heat (which doesn't really feel like 104).
We caught the MGM shuttle to our hotel The Luxor. If you're heading to Vegas and plan on staying in one of MGM's resorts (fyi-half of the strip is owned by MGM), skip their shuttle service. In fact, avoid public transportation as much as possible. For the first night and day of our trip, we relied on our feet, buses, and shuttles to get us around. Big mistake, but more on that later. Anyways, 45 minutes after our flight landed we arrived at our hotel.
The hotel room was wonderful and had the comfiest king sized bed I've ever slept in. Seriously so comfortable that I called The Luxor when we got home and asked what mattress brand we slept on so I could order one! Besides the mattress and the rest of our impeccably clean suite, my second favorite part of our hotel room was the pyramid shape soaps. 
By the time we checked in, grabbed coffee, and threw our bags in the room it was already after 11:30. The perfect time to walk the strip! We made our way down to the Flamingo Hotel and grabbed margaritas at, where else, Margaritaville. We had the margarita sampler platter, which is not for the weak! This began my theory on No Weak Drinks in Vegas. Margaritaville had a band playing and dancing area as well, but we chose to drink and people watch instead of partaking in the dancing.
Towards the end of our Strip walking, we discovered a tram that ran between the Excalibur, Luxor, andMandalay Bay. This tram was a lifesaver since it was 3 a.m. (5 a.m. to us) and we were exhausted having been up for 24 hours! We wound up using this free tram service quite a bit. There's also a tram that runs between the Aria HotelVdara, and Bellagio
A Friday night and we were the only people on the tram! Of course we had to create some fun....
We apparently failed to get any decent pictures from our first few hours in Vegas, but just walking the strip taking in all of the sights, sounds, and people watching was one of my favorite things about Vegas. A couple of things that really surprised this Iowa girl: open containers of alcohol. As in, it's allowed and no big deal in Vegas. The first thing I noticed when walking into the hotel was that people were just walking around with cans of beers, pina coladas, and such. I didn't think much of it since the check in is in the middle of the dozen bars the hotel offers. It wasn't until we were walking on the street that I noticed people were NOT getting arrested for drinking in public or public intoxication. That was a new one for me. The second thing this fan of clean air smelled was the cigarette smoke. Everywhere. When we returned home the first thing I did was take a deep breath of fresh clean air and appreciate where we live a little more.
Stay tuned for Day 1 Night 2. Spoiler Alert: it involves zip lining and great restaurants.