Las Vegas, Nevada
Our recent trip to Las Vegas was an interesting experience. Not in the “Hangover” or “Fear and Loathing” context, but quite different from previous trips. Bringing an infant will do that.
Fun fact – Las Vegas is actually the first trip we took together as a couple (that required flights), some 12 years ago. As fresh university graduates with mountains of student debt, money was tight back then, so we chose to stay at the cheapest hotel on the strip (remember the old Imperial Palace?!) and looked for every opportunity to save money on food and booze.
We still laugh at the time we played penny slots all night in order to get free beer. Oh man, how times have changed.
Rather than write yet another Things to do in Vegas post, we thought it would be fun to share our Vegas story through photos captured from our trusty iPhone.
The purpose of this trip to Sin City was to attend a friend’s wedding at the Mirage Hotel.
But, we were conflicted. We always bring Braydon with us when we travel, but we didn’t feel that Vegas was the best place to bring a curious little toddler. Connor is still breastfeeding, so he scored a seat on the plane by necessity, but we struggled with the decision to bring our toddler.
In the end, we opted to leave Braydon at home with Nicole’s parents. It was the right call.
The pool at the Mirage was quite nice but, sadly, we didn’t have much pool time. It was insanely busy, with very few chairs available, so you had to get up pretty early to grab a spot. Not an ideal scenario with an infant in tow.
The easiest, and often cheapest, way to experience Las Vegas is to book a vacation package that includes hotel and air (and live shows, if that’s your thing).
We used Expedia.ca and found an ideal package that included direct flights from Vancouver to Las Vegas plus 4 nights at the Mirage.
About an hour after arriving we decided to get something to eat. We put a tweet out to the twitter-verse asking for recommendations and multiple people said we had to visit the Carnegie Deli at the Mirage, home to the “best pastrami and corned beef in town”.
Can you believe the above sandwich was the small size?
After lunch, we hit the Strip. The above photo was taken from in front of the Mirage.
We explored the Venetian and marveled at its extravagant design and architecture.
They’ve done a great job replicating Venice, complete with singing gondoliers and canals.
And the lobby packs some serious WOW!
We found an Italian restaurant (surprise, surprise) that was hosting a happy hour special, so we sat along a replica canal and enjoyed a few drinks and dinner while people watching.
People watching in Las Vegas is a must. You come across some pretty interesting characters.
The next day was wedding day, so we met up with friends and began the tedious task of finding a restaurant that didn’t have an hour long wait. This was not an easy task (a major downside to Vegas is the endless lineups for everything).
I’m constantly amazed at the outdoor escalators and pedestrian bridges on the Strip. There’s a never ending flow of people at all hours of the day.
We found at a cute restaurant inside Paris Las Vegas. The Eiffel Tower replica you see pictured above is a centerpiece on the Strip.
After brunch, we walked further down the Strip to New York, New York, which is another one of our favorite hotels in Vegas. We skipped the roller coaster this time, but managed to squeeze in a little casino time with a few afternoon cocktails.
So, if you’ve been following along, we had dinner in Venice, followed by brunch in Paris, followed by drinks in New York. How cool is that?
It was a beautiful hot sunny day, so we wandered down Las Vegas Blvd and snapped photos of the iconic hotels and casinos. That’s the Bellagio above.
Then, we got all fancy and watched our good friend get married at the Mirage. Baby Connor rocked his mini tuxedo, and, if you look closely, his little outfit actually says “Vegas Baby”.
Seriously, how cute is this little guy?
The next day, after nursing a slight hangover from the wedding festivities, we decided to hit the Strip again. We revisited the Venetian, then continued north to the Wynn.
The lobby of the Wynn has a beautiful floral display.
The above hot air balloon is made of fresh roses.
Inside the posh Wynn casino.
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at Sin City Brewing and enjoyed some craft beer.
Later that afternoon, we visited the Fremont Street Experience, a pedestrian mall and tourist attraction in downtown Las Vegas. It’s basically a party zone with lots of bright lights, music and people doing strange things.
Baby Connor loved all of the bright lights and shiny things, which was great because it kept him entertained for a couple hours. It’s a loud and obnoxious street party, but worth a visit.
On the final night, we toured the strip after dark. That’s Ceasars Palace above.
The Las Vegas Strip is quite the spectacle at night.
The replica Arc de Triomphe at the lavish Paris Las Vegas Hotel.
Every 15 minutes, the Fountains of Bellagio put on an entertaining water show, to the delight of snap-happy tourists and drunken party-goers.
Similarly, the Mirage puts on a fiery evening show every hour from 7pm to 11pm. Speakers pump out jungle sounds and tribal drums while the erupting volcano spits out massive fire balls.
It’s worth stopping by and watching. And it’s free, so that’s always good.
I’m always amazed at how quickly time passes in Las Vegas. With the blink of an eye, our trip was over and we were killing time at the airport before our flight home… but not before we played a few more games.
If you’re looking to book a Las Vegas trip, consider a flight and hotel package with Expedia.ca. They are one of our travel partners, so we are slightly biased, but we’ve used the booking engine long before we started working with them.
Have you been to Las Vegas? What did you think?
Share your experience and tips in the comments section below!