Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Throwback Travel: Las Vegas

I've been thinking about doing a new series for awhile now, reminiscing past trips that I've been on that were really enjoyable and impactful. For my first post in this series, I'll talk about my first visit to Vegas!
About a year and a half ago, I accompanied Mark to a conference in Las Vegas. I'd been bugging him for years to take me. He had been a few times, and it was on the top of my travel list. So he finally did, and I was ecstatic!
The conference was at the Venetian, and we stayed at the very luxurious adjacent hotel,  Palazzo.  Every room at the hotel is a suite, even the standard rooms. It had a huge marble bathroom with a soaking tub and a television set. The room had a sunken living room area with a sectional sofa and power controlled blinds with a view of the strip. I have to say, for a first time trip to the city, one can get spoiled with such an awesome room!
Very comfy!
Our view from the room 
I knew going into it that it was going to be a working trip for Mark, so during the day, I would have to entertain myself. This was no problem, as I often travel for my own job, and I was used to being on my own. I hit the casino, and won some (ok-quite a bit of cash,) enough to fund my drinks and entertainment for a few days.
I walked up and down the strip, taking in the sights, and enjoying the party. One of my top destinations was the Sugar Factory bar, where they sell these huge goblet drinks. (They can do non alcoholic versions too.) I got a frozen blue raspberry drink with rock candy and candy necklaces, and it was delicious! And lasted me a good part of the day. Later, I stopped by the Paris Hotel and bought one of their Eiffel Tower drinks, another bucket list item, that was so big and strong, that I couldn't even finish it!
The strip from just outside our hotel.
Bellagio Fountain
Yum x2!
I took in some other attractions, too, like the aquarium at Mandalay Bay, an ice cave bar at the Monte Carlo, the roller coaster at New York New York, and one of the best in my opinion, the Titanic Artifact exhibit at the Luxor. I spent over two hours there, and it was a very moving experience. I'd definitely recommend it, and do it again.
I also made sure to make time to enjoy the many pools at the Palazzo/Venetian, including their beach club, Tao Beach. This is a private club that you have to pay to get in to, and they have reserved seating, bottle service, and a DJ.  It was really fun, and great for people watching, but the pool was small, and by the afternoon, got really crowded.

So many pools!
At Tao Beach
No stay at a Vegas hotel would be complete without a visit to the spa. I love going to spas, and Canyon Ranch at the Venetian was one of the best I've been to so far. I got a 90 minute massage with a brown sugar scrub, and the package came with access to the entire facility. This included private sauna, hot tub, relaxation room, and pool access. A pretty good value for the price!
When Mark and I did have time together, we made the most of it. We took a gondola ride along the grand canal, played some games in the casino, perused the high end shops, and ate a meal at one of the many fine dining restaurants. We also took in a live show, Rock of Ages, which was amazing! I love the movie, and have always wanted to see it on stage! I loved the songs, and the energy of the show, and everyone in the audience was singing along by the end! Afterward, we went to the after party at the Bourbon Room bar for more music and complimentary shots.
The Grand Canal at the Venetian
Together on the Gondola
Getting ready for the private party!
Rewind as seen from the High Roller
Rewind Party
We also got to attend a private party together. One put on by the tech conference he was attending called Rewind. This was a huge outdoor party in the parking lot of the Linq. There were probably more than a thousand people attending, and it included a live concert, games, food, bars, and everything you could expect from a private party thrown in Vegas! Unfortunately, I wore heels, and was spending most of the night trying to stay off my sore feet as much as possible, but I had so much fun!
Our last night there, I drug Mark to my last Vegas bucket list item, experience a Vegas nightclub. We went to the one in our hotel, Tao. It was like no other party I've ever been to before! Great music, tons of people, and everyone dressed to the nines! They had cages suspended from the ceiling behind the bars, and a giant bathtubs that girls could dance in, although I didn't do this. I enjoyed the main floor in front of the DJ, which by the end of the night, was so crowded, you couldn't move. It was a blast, and I felt like I was in college again! I'm also grateful  Mark agreed to come, because he's not a club person, but I think he enjoyed watching the whole spectacle.
Party at Club Tao!
Overall, it was a great trip, and Vegas is so exciting! There's so much to see and do, that it can be overwhelming your very first time. I'm definitely thinking it's time for another trip, this time as a completely leisure get away for both of us! We'll have to see what we can get into!


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