Vegas. A one year wedding anniversary and blast from the past.
You may be wondering "You went to Vegas for your 1 year anniversary?" No. Well, yes. But no. Chauncey and I were looking for an easy trip where we didn't need to spend a lot of money but still get pools, palm trees, and good restaurants. And I found a ridiculous deal for a suite at the Hard Rock for a crazy low price during the week. So we went from Sunday - Thursday.
What makes this a Cinderella story, if you will:
Seven years ago, Chauncey and I took our first vacation together. It was a month after we graduated college. And we went to Vegas.
I had a job lined up, but hadn't started yet. Chauncey had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. I took out my very first credit card to pay for the trip. My credit limit was $500. What I'm trying to say is that we had no money. But we had a great time anyway.
We ate at Subway for 80% of our meals. Our one dinner "splurge" was an all-you-can-eat pasta deal, where we literally only ordered the pasta deal. Waters. Nothing else.
For entertainment, we obviously couldn't afford one of the typical shows on the Strip, so we found $12 tickets to Cashetta - the drag queen magician. Off the Strip. [Although this was clearly a budget play for us, it was actually a really entertaining show. Cashetta also LOVED Chauncey and took him up on stage for a magic trick!]
So, not only was booking a trip to Vegas a good deal to get out of dogde, we were looking forward to avenging our poor little trip from what feels like decades ago.
We had a 5pm flight which made for a very relaxing morning. We even had time for a drink! Chauncey was still nervous once we got on the plane though.
Day 1: The Anniversary
We actually went for about 2 hours without realizing/saying 'Happy Anniversary'. Ha. Oops.
We walked to the strip, which is a half mile from the strip, and at 10am it was already 98 degrees! We visited some old familiar places from our last trip here. On the walk back to our hotel after a few hours, we literally started pouring our water bottles over our heads. We soon jumped into the pool.
During our first round of drinks, Chauncey discovered a new favorite cocktail - a St. Germain Spritz. His description: it takes like spiked lime gatorade. (Or elderflower, but we'll go with gatorade for now).
We started with a short rib appetizer which sat on a bed of vegetable risotto.
For dinner, Chauncey had a Prime Filet of Beef and I went with the Pici, which was pasta with lobster, tarragon, almond & chili pesto . The waiter recommended a Riesling with my pasta as it had a spicy kick to it. This pasta/riesling combinations is one of the best meals I've had in my life. The seasoning and flavors were so unique yet well-balanced. I've never tasted a sauce quite like it. The riesling made the pasta better, the pasta made the riesling better. It was the perfect combination of 1+1 = 3 for a meal/wine pairing.
After dinner, we got some drinks at Ceasar's Palace and I forced Chauncey to do about 1 million selfie stick pictures.
Unfortunately, Chauncey also lost his Fitbit this night, so we Amazon Primed (his 8th now?) one back home. Then I taught him that iPhones count your steps so he didn't even have to miss it the rest of the trip.
Day 1 complete!
Day 2 - 'O' & a great slot machine
All day was pool day. Chauncey also spent like 4 hours going to a local gym and randomly meeting bodybuilding legend Jay Cutler.
For dinner, we opted for the Pre-Theater Prix Fix meal at the Bellagio's Fix. Good not great. Ambiance would have been much better if the wall facing the slots wasn't open. But the food was pretty good.
Then came O. I found an awesome week day promo code and got front row tickets for way less than I would have paid for worse tickets through Ticketmaster. Travel advice: Always google "[insert item of purchase here] promo code" before you buy a reservation, ticket, etc.
Being in the first row, we got splashed with water a few times! And when there was fire in the performance, we felt the heat from it. The actors took a bow at the end of the show and the one right in front of us smiled at us (I'm pretty sure..)!
'O' was an unforgettable experience. Highly recommend.
After the show, we walked to the Venetian where we had bad luck with a few slot machines before we found the one. Did we win millions? No. Did we win at all? A little, actually! But the beauty of this machine was that it gave us like, 3 straight hours of entertainment and about 5 - 6 rum and Coke's from our cocktail waitress. We seriously had so. much. fun. We even came out about $10 ahead at the end of it all!
We went to grab a cab from the Venetian to go home and a guy with a black car told us he would take us home for the price of the taxi. Rolling high class.
Day 3: Rehab pool, awesome waiter, and hoping for big bucks.
Pool day again. There was a DJ at the pool stage and he actually was really good. Chauncey and I basically waded around the pool the whole day watching drunk 21 year olds dance like fools in the pool. Quite entertaining. :-)
We went to dinner at Mon Ami Gabi, which apparently also has a location in Chicago. Mentally noted. Our waiter was originally from Chicago and was SO friendly! I could tell you so many of his stories. The most important thing to remember is that he is an Italian and loves wine. Our kind of people.
After dinner we first went back to Larry the Lobster, where Chauncey won big two days before. And sure enough, he won big again!!!
We then went back to the Venetian and played a new game where we spent the rest of the night! Chauncey and I also refer to this as the night we probably didn't need to start ordering doubles from our cocktail waitress.. All in good Vegas fun :-)
The Never Ending Trip Home
We were supposed to leave at 3pm Thursday on a direct flight, but got delayed to 6:15, then 9:15...9:45...11:00...midnight...next day. We actually walked 10 miles in the airport that day.
So we finally made it back to our hotel at the Hard Rock for the night. We tried to make the best of it and went to get a bite to eat and took a throwback picture from the last time we visited Vegas.
It's good to be home, but we also both miss Vegas. It's like an adult Neverland where your only responsibility is to enjoy yourself and have fun. No historical tours obligated to take, no navigating unfamiliar neighborhoods, just go to the pool, go to the Strip, eat good food, play penny slots, get free drinks, and stay out ridiculously late. It is easy and fun. And during the week, it wasn't crazy busy which was really nice.
But here we are, back in the reality that allowed us to take the trip in the first place :-)
We created so many memories that we will forever talk about and I can't wait for our next adventure together!