The weekend before my birthday, T. and I spent in fabulous Las Vegas. And holy mother, he did a good job on the hotel. I had no clue where we would stay, but let me tell you, this might as well have been the best hotel I have ever stayed at.
After a 6 hour drive through the desert, we eventually arrived in lively Vegas. (On a site note: I had my first IN ‘N OUT milkshake and holy mother, even though I don’t understand the hype about the burgers, the milkshakes are super thick, exactly they way they should be!!!)
Back to the point.
Such different vibes in LV (I felt a bit as if I was part of the Hangover movie, haha)! Since we basically left a day earlier as originally planned, we spontaneously spent the first night at the Hampton Inn, which was a cozy place, a little farther away from the famous Strip, and I certainly wouldn’t have complained if we had stayed here. But, boy, I didn’t know about the Vdara at that point.
We bought the Las Vegas Explorer Pass online, which gives you a choice of 3 or 5 attractions. We chose the latter and paid less than 100 bucks each. This was definitely worth it - more about that at a later point, though.
The next morning, after an all American breakfast with waffles, plastic forks, cups, and plates (I know it’s easier to handle but far from being sustainable), it was time to check out our new place, which should be home for the following two nights.
The Vdara is fairly new and let me tell you, I felt slightly special checking into this hotel. You park the car in front of the entrance; they take care of it as you check in, without any extra charge. The hotel is less than a 2-minute walk to The Strip with all its entertainment options, and exudes a real Vegas spirit. Music in the lobby, people coming and going, a pool on one of the upper floors with a bar and music, as well as - of course - a Starbucks on the ground floor, as well as another café. Breakfast is not included, so this comes at an extra charge every morning, depending on what you want (but holy, this is so expensive).
One reason Mr. T. chose this hotel was because they do not have a casino on the ground floor, which makes it one of the quiet(er) places. Usually, all places on The Strip have a huge party downstairs with big casinos, which can make it rather noisy.
Now, we got our keys and eventually headed upstairs to check out the room (bumping into people with drinks in their hands, which made me wonder, because generally, it’s not allowed to carry alcohol around in public - but, you know, Vegas has apparently different laws, haha)
And there we were. ‘Room’ is probably not the right term. ‘Apartment’ would be more appropriate. We entered and found ourselves in the little stylish kitchen area, leading to the living-room space.
The interior is very modern, spacious, light, and fresh. Someone felt comfortable immediately as I was jumping around the ‘room’ like a little stupid excited kid.
The view is ace!
I couldn’t believe what an amazing view over LV we had.
I mean, look at it!
We could even see the famous fountains being all lit up at night, in front of the Bellagio (obviously not on when I snapped the picture, but just to give you an idea).
We dropped our little bags and with a rush of excitement and happy hormones flowing through my body, we went outside to hit the famous Strip, just right across the street.
It was loud, it was lively, it was simply different. As if we’ve stepped into another world. Seriously, some of you might laugh at me now (specifically Americans or some of you that have been there before), but this was just so different from what I’ve seen before. Should we call it ‘artificial’? Nonetheless, we knew this was going to be fun.
Hi there, Paris.
Oh, and there we have Planet Hollywood.
Of course, we needed to make a pit stop at the famous Cosmopolitan Hotel…
…that comes with a casino, as basically the rest of the hotels.
The rule is simple: If you play, you get free drinks. But if you think about it, drinks are not really free regarding the fact that you ‘play’ - and money is will most-likely be gone in an instant.
What a world. Let’s not start talking about the people. One bachelorette party after another. You can take your people watching to a whole different level here!
Spotting New York? Also just a stone’s throw away.
Of course, there’s music basically everywhere, pumping up the crowd, half of them running around with drinks in their hands (like I said, drinking openly on the streets is not allowed in other parts of the U.S. but Vegas has its own rules).
Later in the afternoon, a little tired from all the new impressions, we stretched out on the humongous bed and went for a quick round of relaxation by the pool - before we got ready for our first night out!!
We were all dressed up and ready to roll (I am really not a heels person, let me tell you this much, but I couldn’t help but bring them to Vegas and fight through the pain. Just kidding, it wasn’t that dramatic).
By the way, the sky you see in the picture above is - surprise! - not real. Artificial, as well. Who would have known?
We used our Vegas Pass for the first time that night and went to see The Ultimate Variety Show. Americans sure know how to entertain! We had a blast while sipping on our $15 Pina Colada. Oh well.
As the rest of the night unfold, we got down to business - bad business. You can only blow so much money (we were good, I’m still in possession of my bank account).
The next morning - we slept in, which is quite unusual, blame it on our nightly activities - we had breakfast in bed. T. went downstairs and got coffee from Starbucks, as well as a couple sandwiches. Holy, Las Vegas is so darn expensive, only The Strip though, I should say, because generally, the costs of living are comparatively affordable. The Starbucks in the hotel lobby was crazy expensive; but of course, everyone went there to cure their hangover (we weren’t really hungover, just to make this clear, haha).
We decided it would be a good idea to take it easy and use our Las Vegas Pass for another activity: the obligatory bus tour up and down The Strip and then to Fremont Street, so downtown LV.
We had a very entertaining guide and enjoyed the ride.
This city is crazy. Really. So different to any other place I have been before, also different to other places in the U.S.
We went by the famous hotels…
…had a pit stop in New York…
…and gazed at the shiny, fancy hotels.
We also passed the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign.
Nope, not the London Eye.
There you have it, traffic in Vegas - on The Strip - gets as bad as in any other major city.
This was my favorite part of the tour: going by all these wedding chapels.
It was so funny to see all of these. Up to that point, I had only heard about them, so eventually seeing all those wedding places was sure something that made me chuckle.
We hopped off the bus right on Fremont Street, where basically downtown LV begins.
We spent the afternoon walking around, exploring more casinos and eateries and were living in our own, colorful world for a little while.
We got back to the hotel room just in time to watch the sun set. I cannot get over this view.
We dressed up one last time to head out and soak in this vibrant atmosphere.
We wanted to go up high.
Stay tuned. More about some crazy rides and a stunning view soon.
Have you ever been to Vegas? How was your experience?