Anything that anyone has ever told you about as Las Vegas is most likely true. Yes, you will lose track of time. Yes, it may look like it’s not fair away but it’s really a 30-45 minute walk. Yes, you can lose a lot of money it not a lot of time. And yes, you can get a $3 steak at a strip club. Okay, while I can’t personally confirm that last one, I (unfortunately) have it on good authority that it’s true. I may have spent four days there but I can tell you that it is just as crazy and high-energy and amazing as you’ve heard. It was an exhilarating trip.
Vegas is definitely one of those places that your experience is all about what you put into it and what you want to get out of it. As we were going for a girls weekend/bachelorette party, we had our trip fairly planned out. Some of that changed as the weekend progressed (hello, hangovers) but not so much that it had an effect. If anything, the changes made it better.
Where We Stayed
There are so many places to stay in Vegas. On or off the Strip. Five Star or Two Star. High end or budget friendly.
We ended up staying just off the Strip at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. And boy oh boy was it a great decision. After walking through some of the larger hotels on the Strip with their massive crowds and even more massive buildings, it was a relief to go back to the Hard Rock and be able to walk around without being shoulder to shoulder with other guests or having to take a snack because it took that long to get around. I got lost in the MGM Grand at 4:30 in the morning, just to give you a clue as to how utterly monstrous some of the hotels are.
And it probably goes without saying that the was some phenomenal memorabilia. Every corner and every hall had something new to look at.
Afterwards I realized that choosing a Vegas hotel is a lot like choosing a Comic Con hotel. Every hotel has their advantages and disadvantages, but the right hotel for you all depends on what you want to get out of it.
Between our group we had two rooms, a queen suite shared between four of us and a king suite shared between two of us. I really liked have suites because as an early riser, it gave me a place to sit and chill in the morning without having to be stuck awkwardly sitting on a chair in the corner like I’d usually have to.
I also loved that there were a variety of places to eat onsite, including a Dunkin Donuts (hallelujah) and a reasonably priced All-American restaurant. There were also several choices if you were looking to have a nice dinner, which worked wonderfully if you were looking for a lowkey evening or were tight on time. While I didn’t get a chance to go to Nobu, we did have dinner at MB Steakhouse. While on the expensive side (average of $25-$2=40 for entrees, sides extra), I had the best filet mignon I’ve ever had in my life. It melted like butter in my mouth.
There was also a CVS across the street, which is always handy. I actually bought some of my souvenirs there!
As well many of the hotels in Vegas, there were several pools at the Hard Rock, including the infamous Rehab pool. While we did not go to that one (I ain’t about that life), we did visit the Nirvana pool twice. It was a great space for relaxing and beating the desert heat. But beware of the artificial sand! While a really cool feature, it heats up like a motherfucker as the day progresses. Several of us had slight burns/irritations from when it got too hot.
Nirvana pool also had a bar that served food and drinks. Both overpriced, of course. Their only saving grace is that the drinks are made strong. I could still taste the faint traces of tequila two days later.
What We Did
Hot guys, great dancing, and abs. So. Many. Abs. Need I say more? But let me do it anyway because I seriously cannot stop talking about the majesty that is Magic Mike Live.
The show follows a story where the lineup of talented, handsome guys teaching newbie “Mike” the ways of their world. Every guy had a set, and the show culminated with showing us what he had learned with an audience member aka a trained female dander. Holy fucking shit. I get flustered just thinking about it. This dance was so amazingly performed. Sensual and passionate, it was the stuff that the best romance novels which they could emote. And did I mean that all the while it’s raining down on them, which only made the performance hotter and better. Words really cannot do it justice. So entranced was I that I didn’t even get pictures of this part of the show. Needless to say, as exhausted as we were with flying in that day and adjusting to the three hour time difference, Magic Mike was the perfect way to start off the weekend.
We spent the majority of the second day relaxing by the pool and wandering the casino, all leading up to my most anticipated activity of the weekend.
VIP at Hakkasan Night Club. The event was called “About Last Night and that is so perfect that it’s almost like it was meant to be. I lost my damn mind at this nightclub and it was INCREDIBLE! I danced my ass off for five hours straight and I don’t regret a single minute of it.
We had been calling 2017 the year of being bougie and carefree, and nothing solidified that more than this night. The expense was a tab exorbitant but oh so worth it. I’ve never done anything like this before, and likely never will again, but for those five hours I felt like a rich bitch. Our table was supposed to be on the mezzanine overlooking the main floor but our club contact gave us the hookup, and we were actually down on the main floor. For the same price! Basically, we could a $4000 table for $1500. We had a wonderful hostess and bouncer who took care of our every need. Our bouncer was also really cute and I may have danced with him a few times. I’m sure all the people that work there are nice, but I felt like ours were the best and it made the experience all the more amazing.
Out of the six of us girls, three of us rolled into to the hotel at 5am. My mind was still on Indiana time and I clearly remember thinking ‘everyone at home is going into work right now.’ Such a late night as it was, it was a late morning before most of the group was up and moving. Except for me of course, so I was up when my dear sister texted begging for a bottle of water. And that is of course when I had my run-in with a nice family of four in the hallway…in all my glory with crazy hair and wonder woman pajamas. Oh well!
I was antsy to get going but did my best to be patient while the others eventually got up and ready. We spent the afternoon out on the Strip, especially for me, come to find out, as it was well known that I wanted to see the sites and get every last bit of the Vegas experience I could while we were there. After a lunch at In N’ Out Burger (now I know what the hype is about!), we hit the Strip for walkthroughs of the Venetian and the Bellagio. The fountains weren’t on then, but be sure that I made it back that night to see them. We split off for dinner, with three of us going to Momofuku, which I was so thrilled about. I finally got to have a bowl of the famous ramen! Two of us stayed to walk around a bit and then eventually we all met back up in downtown at Fremont Street. I wasn’t impressed so we didn’t stay too long.
Sadly the next day was out last, but we were able to make it a full day since we had later flights. Leslie indulged me and tagged along so that I could go the Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. I couldn’t got to Vegas and not visit the one Marvel attraction there. How could I live with the shame otherwise? I probably could have done without the interactive “training” part, although it was interesting to hear some of the narration about the different Avengers, and that’s not say that I didn’t not earn my classified clearance. But I was there for the displays.
They were phenomenal! With a mixture of computerized screens as well as actual equipment and costumes, it was enthralling and I couldn’t get enough of it.
It was over way too quickly (even though in reality it was about 90 minutes) and soon we were off to meet the girls at the High Roller. The views in the daytime were magnificent and I could only imagine what it’s like at night. I guess I’ll just have to go back to see.
Even though it seemed like we were there forever, it all came to an end too quickly. It was an unforgettable experience and I’m so thankful that we were able to make it happen. I can’t imagine having celebrated the end of my sister’s bachelorette-hood in any other way. I already know that I will be going back to Vegas, and hopefully sooner rather than later.
Did I mention that I was obsessed with the mountains? I’ve never been that far west and the Smokies (the only mountains I’ve ever really been too) just can’t compare to the Rockies. I’ve always wanted to road trip to and through the Rockies and flying over them only made me want to do it more. 2020 trip??
I almost forgot about the gambling! My friends thought that they would have to have a intervention before we even got back home. I may have become slightly obsessed with the Wheel of Fortune and Monopoly slot machines. All in all I won about $350; I’m not sure how much I put in total but I do know that I came out ahead. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!