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Fabulous Las Vegas (year 2)

April 17, 2012

For the second year in a row, Shannon and I jetted off to fabulous Las Vegas for a long weekend of drinks by the pool, a Cirque show, and nights on the Strip.

This year, we stayed at The Mirage, and our friend Sara joined us for the festivities. Last year, Shannon and I stayed at Luxor and found it was difficult to get everywhere we wanted to go without long walks or pricey cab rides, so we opted to say more mid-Strip this year.

Last year, we also learned a few lessons about how to save some money, specifically on drinks and sunscreen; we spent entirely too much on drinks that were mostly Sprite with a splash of vodka and spray sunscreen from the Luxor’s gift shop. This year, we paid the $20 on AirTran to check on bag with bottles of flavored vodka and several tubes of sunscreen. Definitely worthwhile.

In last year’s recap, I separated what we did into food, drinks, and misc., but this year, I’ve opted to recap chronologically because it all kind of runs together.

The view from our second-floor room in The Mirage.

Thursday

Our flights arrived in Vegas near midnight local time (3 a.m. EST), and thanks to some serious napping on the plane, I was excited to go ahead and adjust to the time change. After checking in to The Mirage, Shannon, Sara, and I prettied ourselves up and went downstairs.

  • Abbey Road Bar (just outside Revolution Lounge in The Mirage) — As soon as we arrived, we wanted to just get out for a bit, so we popped down to the Abbey Road Bar for a drink. The well drinks were $11, small, and weak. Do not recommend.
  • Kokomo’s (The Mirage) — Though this restaurant is primarily a steakhouse, the lounge area becomes a relaxed bar at night with a nice martini selection. Dirty martini for Shannon, and Sara and I tried The Lost Oasis and Strawberry Fields (the latter of which was our favorite).

Friday

We may have been proud of ourselves for adjusting to the time change; however, staying up until 4 a.m. PST had us sleeping until noon on Friday. (Oops.)

  • Walgreens — We headed to Walgreens at The Venetian for supplies: bottled water (tap water in Vegas is awful), breakfast bars, snacks, and mixers for our flavored vodka.
  • Pool — After gathering supplies, we finally made it to the pool where the only available chairs were mostly in the shade. We knew Friday wasn’t going to be the warmest day, so grabbed some chairs and ordered poolside drinks. The drinks were tasty, but we mostly wanted them for the reusable cups.

    The Mirage pool

  • Nine Fine Irishmen (New York-New York) — Before our Cirque show, we grabbed drinks and appetizers at this pub. Shannon and I stopped in last year as a break on our walk up the strip. The pub has a nice atmosphere, and we even returned after the show for a real dinner and drinks while an Irish band was performing. (Notice this is the first time we ate all day, aside from a few snacks from Walgreens, meaning pretzels and popcorn.)

    Shannon and me at Nine Fine Irishmen for dinner and drinks after Zumanity.

  • Zumanity (New York-New York) — This was a fun show for Vegas. It’s an 18+ Cirque show that is “part burlesque and part cabaret,” according to the website. It was definitely funny, and thankfully we were sitting in the balcony, so we weren’t involved in any of the audience participation.
  • Brand (Monte Carlo) — After dinner at Nine Fine Irishmen, we decided to start walking back up the Strip toward The Mirage. On the way, a promoter outside Monte Carlo approached us to go to Brand, which is also a steakhouse, but more of a lounge/nightclub at night. (Note: When you’re traveling in a small group of only women, promotors will invite you places.) You have to watch out for promoters sometimes, though, because they’ll often promise you “no cover,” etc. But then when you get to the door, they’ll try to charge you anyway. That happened here. At the door, they wanted to charge us $20 each, which it turns out also included unlimited drink tickets. But because we took a minute to think about it, the guy at the door went ahead and dropped $5 off each of our cover. So for $15 each, we had unlimited drinks for the night. Not a bad deal. The vibe here wasn’t my favorite, but I still had a good time.

Sara and me on the walk back up the Strip from Monte Carlo.

Me in front of the waterfall at Tryst, wearing Shannon's red lace top and black sequin skirt.

Saturday

  • Pool (The Mirage) — On Friday, we asked the girl from whom we ordered drinks when we should get to the pool on Saturday to find good seats in the sun. She suggested about 9 a.m. So we roused ourselves early, and I think we ended up arriving at about 9:45. And she was right, it was already pretty packed. But luckily we managed to find three chairs together, so we camped out there all day.
  • BLT Burger (The Mirage) — In order to avoid the lack of eating from the day before, we picked up falafel burgers at the burger bar inside The Mirage to eat at the pool. The burgers were delicious and very affordable. When we picked up food, we also went up to the room to mix our own drinks with Sprite Zero, lemonade, and various flavored vodkas.
  • B.B. King’s Blues Club (The Mirage) — After all day at the pool, it was time for another meal, so we headed to B.B. King’s, which is just at the bottom of the elevators. At first, the hostess tried to charge us a cover because there was a band, but then they informed us we could eat at the bar without paying the cover. So we did that. The food was good, but nothing to write home about.
  • Tryst (Wynn) — While at the pool earlier in the day, a promoter approached us about going to Tryst, which is actually where we were planning to go Saturday night anyway. She put us on her guest list, so when we got there, we bypassed the line, got in free, and even each got a free drink ticket. Tryst is gorgeous; we had a blast dancing next to the waterfall!

Sunday

  • California Pizza Kitchen (The Mirage) — After sleeping until noon again, the need for food drove us to a close, reliable chain for lunch on Sunday. Nothing special, but tasty nonetheless.
  • Fountains of Bellagio — Sunday afternoons/evenings in Vegas are wonderfully relaxing. A lot of people who were in town for the weekend have already left, and everyone is recovering from Saturday. We decided to take part in one of our favorite traditions, drinking while walking the Strip. We filled up our Mirage souvenir cups, knowing we’d be tossing them later, and headed toward the Bellagio to watch the fountains.

    (left to right) Sara, me, and Shannon at the fountains.

  • Hyde Bellagio — We had been planning to go to Hyde all along, but while we were watching the fountains, a promoter for Hyde approached us with free entry and free drinks at Hyde. Even better! Because it was so early (and a Sunday) there was no cover anyway, but the free drinks came in handy—they were actually good toward $20 martinis! We tried a bunch of the martinis there, which were interesting concoctions using ingredients such as bell peppers, star fruit, and more. Honestly, the best part was the view of the Stip overlooking the fountains. Incredible.

    Best seats in Vegas, and we were actually sitting here.

  • Tao (Venetian) — Last year, Shannon and I enjoyed Tao-tinis on Sunday night, so we decided to return to Tao again. The Tao-tinis never fail to disappoint, but it’s hard to rival the views we had at Hyde.
  • Ghost Bar (Palms) — Since we were on the lookout for great views, Sara recommended Ghost Bar, which is on the 59th floor of the Palms. The Palms is off the main Strip, so we had to take a cab from Venetian. When we arrived at the entrance to the elevator, they asked us if 1) we were on a promoter’s list (no), or 2) we were staying at the Palms (no). Then they tried to charge us $20 each … on a Sunday! So we convened for a second and then said no. We were about to walk away, when they decided to just let us in for free. ALWAYS take a moment to think about it when people are attempting to charge you a cover; it definitely worked out for us. The view of the Strip was incredible, but unfortunately I was so tired I never took any photos.
  • Failed attempts: Chateau (Paris), In-N-Out Burger — Because the Sunday we were in Vegas was Easter Sunday, several places were closed that otherwise (we think) would have been open. We tried to go to Chateau at Paris, where we heard there are good views, and In-N-Out Burger because I’ve never had it before. We even had a cab driver take us to In-N-Out only to discover it was closed. So instead, we returned to BLT Burger at The Mirage for dinner.

Somehow we managed not to go to a buffet the entire time we were there. We had planned to hit Wicked Spoon at Cosmopolitan again and/or the Wynn Buffet, which we heard is amazing. Our last effort was to be Monday morning before heading to the airport. But after burgers from BLT Burger on Sunday night, we couldn’t even think of eating on Monday morning, especially not a buffet.

So what did we wear?

On Thursday night, though there are no photos, I wore a black skirt with small white polka dots, a white tank top with rhinestones, my black leather jacket, and my black Coach heels (which I found at Goodwill).

Don’t tell anyone, but I wore the same dress (in pictures above, from Plato’s Closet) on both Friday night and Sunday night. You can’t see it all that well, but it has a black tank top, belted with elastic, and gray with black polka dots on the feathered layers to make the skirt (I’m sure there’s a name for this, but it’s escaping me).

And I LOVED the outfit I wore on Saturday night with Shannon’s red lace top and black sequin skirt—so perfect for Vegas.

Each of these outfits went with my Coach heels, and they were perfectly comfortable. I took them last year, but never wore them due to blisters I got wearing sandals on the first day. Cute shoes are a must in Vegas, but I HIGHLY recommend taking a purse large enough to carry flats with you. We did this, and almost always ended up changing into the flats for the final trek home at the end of the night.

We learned a lot from our first year, and I think I spent about $200 less thanks to our preparedness. I’ll call the second annual trip to Vegas quite a success!

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Katy permalink*
    April 17, 2012 12:13 pm

    I feel like I lived vicariously through you on this post. Damn, I really need to go back to Vegas.

    • Melanie permalink*
      April 17, 2012 7:41 pm

      Haha, glad you could re-live Vegas. 🙂

    • April 18, 2012 10:26 am

      We need to go to Vegas together at some point. I feel like that would be super fun.

      • Melanie permalink*
        April 21, 2012 12:13 pm

        That would be amazing!

  2. April 18, 2012 10:26 am

    Once again, thanks for cropping me out of that photo. Fail.

    LOVE this recap. I had so much fun!!

  3. April 30, 2012 10:36 pm

    I saw Zumanity a few years ago…it was good but definitely weird! Glad y’all had fun. I love the Vegas! I stayed at the Venetian in November and it was a great location!

    • Melanie permalink*
      May 1, 2012 8:25 pm

      Yes, certainly weird. The Venetian is a great location too; I’d love to stay there sometime!

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