Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas – Special Feature!

Viewers, I’ve got another special post for you today, something new and different to spice up this travel blog!

I’m very proud and excited to say that I’ve teamed up with the legendary Travel Enthusiast, Former Orbitz Director of Communications and proud Mom : Kendra Thornton to share our knowledge, tips and experience about one amazing, energetic and vibrant city; a city that has something for just about everyone out there: Las Vegas!

First, Kendra will share her take on the city with us, then shortly after, I will share my tips, advice and secrets about the city.

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Kendra:

Hot Spots for Family Fun in Las Vegas

I love to travel, and these days, I usually bring my family along. When planning a family vacation, I always look for locations with something that my kids will enjoy along with my husband and me. One of our favorite spots to enjoy time together as a family is Las Vegas. It seems that this desert oasis always has something new and fun for us to do.

1. Miniature Golf

My husband is a golfer. The kids and I prefer the miniature version, and Las Vegas has plenty of options for us. We especially enjoy playing 18-holes at KISS by Monster Mini Golf. The glow-in-the-dark course features animated replicas of rock-and-roll memorabilia. The kids love putting into the giant Gene Simmons head. As an added attraction, the course also features a huge saltwater aquarium made by ATM of Animal Planet’s show Tanked.

2. Sharks

In Las Vegas, you can swim with sharks in the middle of the desert. My oldest loves sharks, so when I found out about Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, we had to visit. The water park features North America’s only predator-based aquarium. Here, you can view moray eels, rare golden crocodiles, piranhas and 15 species of sharks. The kids and I also participated in the 45-minute shark dive.

3. Adult Beverages

Of course, Las Vegas has plenty of adult beverages. When traveling with my girlfriends, I once took the Sommelier wine class at the Michael Mina Restaurant. Guests get to explore the nuances of eight different wines. You’ll learn about the effects of soil and climate on grapes. This is a great way to spend date night as well as an awesome activity to enjoy during a Las Vegas bachelorette weekend.

4. Museums

Those who love to learn can have a great time in Las Vegas. My family enjoys taking trips to quirky museums. My personal favorite is the outdoor Neon Museum just off the strip. It displays the history of the city in lights with a park-like atmosphere and design. My kids love spending time at the Discovery Children’s Museum. Also of interest is the National Atomic Testing Museum.

Las Vegas is always good for a good time. I’ve enjoyed traveling there on business and with friends. Now I enjoy taking my family and exposing my kids to some of the wonderful treasures there. With so many places to stay and things to do it can get a bit overwhelming. Sites like Gogobot make it easy to read user reviews so you can better plan your trip. I hope you can enjoy this great vacation spot as well.

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Jordan:

Spontaneous Fun & Hidden Gems of Las Vegas

Las Vegas is always a blast, no matter who you go with, it has something for everyone. Myself? I am pretty open-minded and like to try just about anything, especially if it’s a new experience! I’m going to share with you some advice, tips and hidden gems of Las Vegas that I hope will be at some use for you. Here we go:

1. Restaurants

At one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, how could Las Vegas not have some of the world’s greatest restaurants?
One of my most memorable restaurant experiences was eating at “Gordon Ramsey’s Pub & Grill” at “Caesar’s Palace”.
If you’re feeling a little more on the Breakfast or Dessert side, then you HAVE to try the Crepes at “Le Creperie” in “Paris”. I’m going to let you in on a little secret as well… If you’re looking for a delicious meal that is a little more budget friendly, then look no farther than “Tony Roma’s” on Fremont Street. Seriously, Tony Roma’s! You can get a Steak and Lobster for $11.99 or a Prime Rib for $8.99. You can find details on this special here: Tony Roma’s on Fremont.

2. Entertainment / Shows

I’ve been to Las Vegas twice and without a doubt, my favorite thing to do is see the shows. There are shows that will suit anybody’s interest here: Comedy, Cirque du Soleil, Concerts, Burlesque, Magic and so on. Lots of famous people host their performances here: Shania Twain, Madonna, Carrot Top, David Blaine, Kris Angel, Penn and Teller.
Buying tickets for shows can really add up, so here’s a little tip to nab yourself free tickets and even a free dinner to go along with; walking down Las Vegas Blvd, you’ll notice that there are several individuals trying to grab your attention to sell “Timeshares”. Most of the time, you probably ignored them and walked right by them, but here’s the secret… If you decide to take the free tour that they are promoting, you will land yourself free or highly discounted Dinner and Show tickets; this is no scam, it is actually true! The catch is, you have to spend a few hours listening to their sales pitch and viewing the units, building and property that they are attempting to sell to you. At the end of the tour, a highly skilled sales associate will personally try and sell you a Timeshare – all you have to do is politely decline and then, VOILA! You will have your free Dinner and show!

3. Fremont Street

Most people are attracted to the Las Vegas Blvd strip and frankly, I don’t blame them! With the bright flashing lights, energy, music, street performances, erupting fountains and state-of-the-art architecture, who would not want want to be around all of that? What people need to know though is, Fremont Street is the “original” Las Vegas and it boasts a magic of it’s own. Let me tell you what’s special about Fremont Street! First off, you’re going to find MUCH better deals in this area, probably because they want to take the crowd away from the overpriced Las Vegas Blvd.  When you’re not playing at the Casino, you’ll find that it’s quite easy to find 1-2$ beers, 3$ Margaritas, 10-15$ meals at sit-down restaurants and best of all, the slots are known to be more “loose” on Fremont Street.  If you walk a few blocks up, you’ll find yourself in front of some original and unique bars and restaurants, for example: “Insert Coins” a video-game based bar – you basically pay to play arcade games with friends while sipping away at your favorite drink. How about “Heart Attack Grill”? A restaurant where all the staff are dressed in Nurse outfits and serving you the most unhealthy food that is known to man.  There is actually a large scale just outside of the restaurant that lets you weigh yourself, if you weigh over 300lbs, then you get to eat free!
Looking for cheap daiquiris? I’ll tell you where to get the cheapest in all of Vegas! Two words… “La Bayou”. It’s a small Dive Bar & Casino located on Fremont Street. You can fill up your meter long drink-holding device for pennies compared to the other places out there. The cool thing is, “La Bayou” uses the traditional-style “quarters” to play in their slots and when you win, spits quarters back out at you. Ever heard of those? They are small circular pieces of metal before the “cash receipts” were used in slot machines. A new piece of History for you!

4. Shopping

Las Vegas is probably right up there with London, Paris, New York and so on for it’s shopping scene, it can also get expensive very fast if you don’t have the budget for it. I found that I had the best shopping experiences at both the North and South “Premium Shopping Outlets”. There are literally hundreds of stores to choose from, it really does take a full day out of you. One of my favorite stores would have to be “Under Armour” which is located at the “South Premium Outlets”. If you’re shopping for luxurious brands, then you have nothing to worry about, Las Vegas Blvd is boasting with a nearly-unlimited amount of stores and malls to visit and it’s impossible to see it all in one day. For souvenirs, it’s always fun to check out the “M&M Factory” or the “Coca-Cola Factory”.

We hope this post was informative and fun to read as it was for us to write it!

If you wish to follow Kendra, you can do so by clicking the following link: @KendraThornton – she has a wealth of travel information to provide for you, so definitely check her out!

Please follow me for more adventures, travel tips and advice!

[This collaborative post was written by: Jordan Ilareguy & Kendra Thornton]

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Vegas Conclusion

It was an awesome full seven days in Vegas, but now I’m back to my home, sweet home and back to the training cell to get back up to the standards.

On Saturday, we were flying home with Air Canada, which apparently is the airline that represents Canada, but personally, I think they shouldn’t be, I wasn’t impressed with their regulations and service one bit.
When I was booking the flight online, the website gave me the choice to select the seats for both Amy and I, so naturally, I chose two seats directly beside each other so we could sit with each other. Upon arrival at the airport, we printed out our tickets only to find out that we were positioned on two different ends of the aircraft. I decided to speak with an Air Canada representative that was working at the gate we were going to enter for our flight, I told her about the dilemma and she responded with: “Oh really? Yeah, it happens sometimes” with a really piss poor attitude. She looked away and we continued to stand there and didn’t do anything about it. Fortunately, another Air Canada representative standing next to her overheard the conversation she had with us and intervened to give us a helping hand. He was very polite and managed to resolve the problem that we had.
When we were leaving Las Vegas, we were dealing with Air Canada again. Arriving at the airport, I walked over to the self check-in kiosk to receive our boarding tickets and baggage tags, only to find out that we were being charged 52$ total between the both of us to check-in just one piece of baggage each. Apparently, when flying outside of Canada, there is no longer any baggage allowance when flying with Air Canada, you have to pay for each individual piece. Seriously, there is not many people who choose not to check-in any baggage on an international flight. It’s absolutely ridiculous. They don’t even allow any baggage allowance for serving Military members. As far as I know, Westjet allows two pieces of checked baggage and then if you’re Military, you’re allowed four pieces.
I urge you, from my own experience, to take Westjet or another airline when flying within Canada, unless you prefer to pay extra and unnecessary expenses.

If you want to save money on your Vegas vacation, stay in “Old Vegas”, which is Fremont Street. You will eat cheaper, drink cheaper, slots are more loose, accommodations are cheaper and there is plenty of entertainment and energy all around you. The “New Vegas” strip is overpriced in every way that you can imagine, but if you insist on staying on the “New Vegas” strip and don’t want to pay 8$ per beer, then you have the option to buy your own beer at any convenience store and drink it wherever you wish, as well, a hidden casino / hotel gem on the “New Vegas” strip, believe it or not is the “Best Western Plus”, where they are selling 1$ bottled Michelbob beers and 2.50$ Heineken beers; it is pretty much smack-dab center of the strip too. For cheap eats, go to the “Earl of Sandwich” inside “Planet Hollywood Casino and Resort”, there is also a delicious smoothie and panini cafe called “Tropical Smoothie Cafe” just before “Planet Hollywood Casino and Resort” that is very fair priced for a filling meal.

We spent entire Sunday just unpacking and relaxing, nothing special… We’re back to the grind with working out and eating healthy; man, oh man did my body feel like a bowl of spaghetti after today’s workout, I’ll slowly get back into routine though.

Back to the wonderful life of flying the world, stay tuned!

Here are some snaps from our last day in Vegas:

Exotic Habitat behind Flamingo Hotel.

Exotic Habitat behind Flamingo Hotel.

Tribute to Bugsy Siegel, founder of the Flamingo Hotel.

Tribute to Bugsy Siegel, founder of the Flamingo Hotel.

Amy, Jordan, Andre and Jen at the top of the Stratosphere, about 107 floors high.

Amy, Jordan, Andre and Jen at the top of the Stratosphere, about 107 floors high.

Amy and I at the top of the Stratosphere, about 107 floors high.

Amy and I at the top of the Stratosphere, about 107 floors high.

Jen and Optimus Prime

Jen and Optimus Prime

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Las Vegas: Day 7

It’s our last day in Vegas and it’s more of a traveling day than anything else for us.

Yesterday was quite the adventure though! We ate our Lunch at restaurant with much prestige: Gordon Ramsey’s Pub and Grill”, which is located in the “Caesar’s Palace Casino & Resort”. Damn, was it ever good! Not only the food, but the outlay of the entire restaurant, the service, everything was just so proper, precise and articulate, but not in an uncomfortable “snobby” high-class restaurant way; the restaurant itself was really “hip” if you want to call it that. Everyone working in that restaurant knew their job and did it to near perfection, they hired the perfect staff; at least that’s how it seemed from my perspective.

Check it out:

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After one of the best restaurants experiences that I’ve ever had in my life, Amy and I trekked on back to our hotel to tour what’s called the “Habitat”. It’s basically an enormous garden that’s been created in the back of the hotel to house exotic birds and other animals from all over the world. They had Flamingos, ducks from Asia, birds from South America and there were an abundance of Koi fish in the water that were also monstrous in size.
I took a bunch of photos, but that will have to wait for a further post as I’m currently waiting at the Las Vegas airport with a limited Internet connection and no computer.

I discovered that my awesome friend Jen was vacationing in Vegas with her boyfriend Andre during the same time that we were there, so we all decided to meet up at “Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Restaurant” for Supper to catch up and have a fun and awesome last night out in town. For those of you who don’t know, “Bubba Gump’s Shrimp” is a chain of restaurants that specialize mainly in shrimp and fish dishes. They base the theme of their restaurant around the “Forrest Gump” movie and have the movie playing 24/7 on repeat. The restaurant is tons of fun; it’s great food and great drinks! I’ve been two the one in San Diego and Honolulu.

One of my Kung-Fu instructors insisted that I must check out the Stratosphere before leaving Vegas. He said that it’s a sight that must be seen! So, that’s what we did! All four of us bussed down to the Stratosphere and rode up an elevator to what I remembered was about 107 floors or so. Man, oh man, what a breathtaking sight of Sin City from the top floor. We were able to walk a full 360 degrees to get a full-on view on the city. To make it even a little more enjoyable, they actually had a bar all the way up there! Looking down through those slanted windows wasn’t adrenaline pumping enough, so Jen and I decided to try out one of the rides at the top of the tower called “The Big Shot”. It’s basically similar to “The Drop Zone” in Canada’s Wonderland and many other theme parks, except this one is on TOP of the Stratosphere. I must have been screaming like a school girl! Man, was that ever exciting as hell! Your body is actually floating in your seat for a few seconds!

That ride finished up our time at the Stratosphere and off to Fremont Street we went to get some drinks, check out the entertainment and play some slots. Jen and Andre never have been there during the night, but I think they had a great time for the time we were there. Andre even won 350$ at the casino, incredible! Last time I won a large sum of money was at the Winnipeg “Regent” casino and I walked out with nearly 1500$. On several occasions my grandparents walked out with at least one thousand dollars or more.

Well, my thumbs are cramping up from writing all of this on my iPhone and I’m going to be boarding my flight soon. I promise I’ll upload photos from my adventure yesterday in a later post. Time to zip forward three time zones!

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Las Vegas: Day 6

It’s pretty much our last day here, we leave tomorrow morning for a direct flight back to Toronto and then a two hour drive home from there.

I think the week has been getting to us… Amy and I slept in until at 1pm! Our bodies were just fried from packing in so much sightseeing in one day, so much walking, starting early and finishing late; but hey, it’s all good, it’s not like I have to work throughout my time here, it’s all vacation!

Yesterday I was feeling a little under weather, but Amy and I still had a great time. We went to the “Tropicana Hotel and Casino” to meet up with our tour guide at the “Mob Attraction” for our “Mob Tour and Attraction”. It was only a small group of us, about 11 people or so. Basically, we hopped onto a small bus and we drove around the city where he explained to us how Vegas all started and then how the mob took it over to run just about every casino in Las Vegas. He drove us around the city and showed us exact locations where mobsters were assassinated and where some crime took place. He also drove us over to a house that was used in the movie “Casino”. Apparently almost everything that happened in that movie was actually true and did take place in real life.
The entire tour started around 5pm and ended around 9pm, since I wasn’t feeling so well, I figured that a nap should be enough to get me going for the rest of the night, but I just ended up passing out for the rest of the night and here I am now feeling better than ever!

Today, we’re going to check our the massive garden in the back of our hotel, where apparently exotic birds such as Flamingos and Black Swans rest; we’ve been in our hotel for nearly a week and haven’t even checked it out yet, but checked out almost every other hotel!

We’re also going to go eat at the “Bubba Gump” restaurant for Supper. It’s a shrimp/seafood restaurant based on the movie Forrest Gump; they play the movie on repeat the entire time that the restaurant is open. I’ve been to Bubba Gump in both San Diego and Hawaii and man is it ever delicious!

Today for sure, we’re going to go to the Stratosphere on sunset because my Sifu from Kung-Fu is insisting that it’s a sight that must be seen before we leave, so that’s what we’re going to do!

Here are a few snaps from yesterday:

New Vegas Strip

New Vegas Strip

New Vegas Strip

New Vegas Strip

New Vegas Strip

New Vegas Strip

 

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Las Vegas: Day 5

Man, oh man… I’m exhausted. Amy and I spent a full day and night all over the city, didn’t come back until 3am.

We started the day off by visiting the massive M&M store, which extends a full four floors upwards. Each floor is just loaded with an abundant of M&M merchandise, it’s actually a bit overwhelming! They have a “candy station” where you can compile a bag of your favorite M&Ms with your favorite colors and the price of the bag is determined by the weight. It’s a bit pricey, about 11.99$ per pound.
If you’re a Coca-Cola fan, well, you’ll be happy to hear that is a monstrous Coca-Cola merchandise store directly beside the M&M one, selling the Coke label in just about every single product you can imagine!

We were bummed to find out that the “Sega Gameworks” arcade located beside the M&M factory was undergoing complete renovation. I’m not sure if they actually closed down and they’re opening up something else or if it is just renovation.

We picked up some M&Ms then walked over to “New York-New York” where we rode the roller coaster located on the top of the hotel; damn was it ever an adrenaline-pumping thrill! It’s about 14$ a person or 25$ for an unlimited all day pass, but if you’re Military, you only have to pay half price for each ticket. So take advantage of that!

We hit up Fremont Street again to play up the slots, get some more frozen drinks at “Le Bayou” and watch some live entertainment. It never gets old because there is always new performers doing something different than what you have already seen. We went over to the video game bar-arcade called “Insert Coins”; the music was pumping and I was so excited to get in, but then that idea went down the drain because they won’t allow you to enter the bar with a backpack on and they didn’t have any place for me to store it, so looks like Amy and I will have to try at it again tonight without the backpack.

Time to get some grub!

 

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Las Vegas: Day 4

Already Day 4 in Sin City… Time flies when you’re having fun, that’s for sure.

Yesterday, Amy and I started off our morning by going to the hotel called “Paris”. A replica of the Eiffel Tower stands in front of the hotel and you can pay to take an elevator to the top. Walking through the casino / hotel itself, we noticed that they designed the interior to look like you’re walking in the streets of Paris; cobblestone streets, little bakeries here and there. The ceiling itself was impressive; they designed it seem like you’re looking at a real sky, but obviously, you’re not, it does play tricks with your mind though.
Walking through the streets of “Paris” we ran into a small establishment called “Le Creperie”. Basically, this little restaurant makes crepes, both Breakfast and Supper ones. Amy had a crepe loaded with cheese and shrimp while I wolfed down a crepe that was loaded with Parisian ham, cheese and some light cream sauce draped over top. The price was fair, being in the center of the New Vegas strip and all; about 11-13$ per loaded crepe.

After our delicious Breakfast, we caught the “SDX” bus to Old Vegas (Fremont St.) where we spent the day casino-hopping and walking back and forth on the strip admiring all the talented buskers. We gambled at a bunch of the casinos, you know, the classics like the: Golden Nugget, Sam Boyd’s, Four Queens. We didn’t win anything huge, but we did win enough to pay for our Lunch and a Supper of Steak and Lobster and Tony Roma’s and then break even at the end of the night, which I think is a pretty sweet deal; a free day of food and fun!
I just wanted to point out that it is true, the slots on Fremont Street are definitely more loose and the odds of winning are much higher than what I experienced on the New Vegas Strip. So if you plan to gamble on the slots, definitely save your money for Fremont St. Also, it is true that all the drinks are dirt cheap on Fremont St as well. Every casino is competing for the lowest prices so they can drag you into their establishment. Some casinos will have 1$ Margaritas and 2$ Coronas, while another casino offers a 5$ pitcher of beer! Another tip: Go to the casino called “Le Bayou”, it’s a very small casino located on the strip, featuring a frozen cocktail bar at the back of the casino. You can purchase a monstrous frozen drink for 14$, which lets you keep the tube that you bought and then afterwards, as long as you have kept that tube, refills are only 8$! Because the casino is so small, waitresses will always come by and serve drinks to you frequently when you’re playing the slots. I think this place is a hidden gem in the streets of Vegas.
If you really want to save on some good food, go to “Sam Boy’s on Fremont Casino”, they have a Tony Roma’s restaurant there featuring an everyday special on Steak & Lobster starting at 11.99$ I believe it was. Keep in mind, the special doesn’t start until 9pm, but show up at 840pm so you get in quick and get a good seat; trust me, that’s what Amy and I did and we got a cozy and comfortable booth in the corner of the restaurant.

Walking along Fremont Street, we ran into a restaurant called “Heart Attack Grill”, you can also eat free there, as long as you’re over 350lbs and there’s a scale outside to prove it too. All the waitresses are dressed in your typical hot nurse uniform and serving you food such as: Triple-Bypass Burger, Quadruple-Bypass Burger, Coronary Dog while you have to sit in a hospital gown. They also a feature a “Butterfat” milkshake, which they claim in the fattest milkshake in the United States!

Walking on from that heart-stopping restaurant, we ran into a bar called “Insert Coins”. Now this has to be one of the coolest places I’ve ever heard of, it’s a video game arcade-bar! You basically order up drinks while you play in an arcade full of classic arcade games, everything you can imagine! The only thing that was a bummer was the fact that it’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Amy and I plan to head back maybe tonight or some other time this week.

Tomorrow, we have what’s called the “Vegas Mob Tour & Experience”, gonna have a look back on Vegas’ deep and dark history.

Here’s a few quick snaps I took yesterday:

Four Queens & Sam Boyd's Casino on Fremont Street

Four Queens & Sam Boyd’s Casino on Fremont Street

Fremont Street

Fremont Street

Heart Attack Grill: Over 350lbs eat for free!

Heart Attack Grill: Over 350lbs eat for free!

 

 

 

 

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Las Vegas: Day 3

I thought I was all shopped out, but Amy and I really wanted to visit a few particular stores they had at the “South Premium Outlets” that they didn’t have in the North. The store I really wanted to visit, which I didn’t even know existed as a store was “Under Armour”. No other brand beats Under Armour when it comes to breathable, dry and comfortable workout clothing, but you sure do pay the price for it. Everything that we purchased at the Under Armour outlet was half the price of what I would have paid in Canada, plus I got a Military discount on it all.
The difference between the North and South outlets are, obviously, the stores, but also, it was a nice surprise to see that 90% of the stores in the South outlets were inside a shopping mall-like structure with lots of natural sunlight pouring in and A/C. All the stores in the North outlet are accessed from outside, there is no mall. The North outlets can be overbearing, temperature-wise, due to the intense heat that you get here.

At 7PM last night, Amy and I attended a show at the “Wynn” hotel, it was called “Le Reve” (The Dream) by the famous “Cirque du Soleil”. These tickets were expensive, over 100$ for each ticket, but I have to say that this show was an absolute masterpiece. I’ve never seen such wild acrobatics in my life, and theater display. It actually felt like I was sucked into another world, it didn’t feel like I was watching a theatrical production, I was sucked into a “dream”. I highly recommend this show to anyone visiting Vegas.

After the show, Amy and I toured several hotels and casinos, as each one is a architectural masterpiece to be admired. We toured the: Wynn, Encore, Palazzo, Venetian, Treasure Island, Mirage, Best Western Plus. I think out of all of then, I enjoyed the “Wynn” and “Treasure Island” the best, but there are still several other hotels we haven’t even toured yet, so my opinion will probably change soon.

Keep in mind, drinks are expensive on the strip, almost every hotel charging about 6-8$ for a single bottle of beer and even more for an imported one. Amy and I wandered in the the “Best Western Plus” on the strip last night, a Casino probably less visited than the other big names on the strip. They were selling beers for a 1$ bottle domestic and then 2.50 for an imported (Heineken). The Best Western Plus is pretty much located in the center of the strip too.

Today, Amy and I are going to check out the “Paris” hotel and have some Crepes for a late Breakfast. After that, we’re catching the SDX to Old Vegas (Fremont St.) to explore the older and original casinos and hotels. Our money will go much farther there, not only for drinks, but for food. I saw ads displaying 10$ steak dinner in that area of town, compared to Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant on the strip called “Steak”, which is 50-100$ per entree, at bare minimum.

Here are a few snaps from last night:

Wynn Hotel

Wynn Hotel

La Reve

La Reve

La Reve

La Reve

Near Treasure Island

Near Treasure Island

Palazzo / Venetian

Palazzo / Venetian

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Las Vegas: Day 2

Second day in Vegas and this time we started it off with a late Breakfast / early Lunch at the “Earl of Sandwich” in the “Planet Hollywood Casino and Resort”. You may not be the biggest fan of sandwiches because to some people, a sandwich is just boring, it lacks character, especially if you’re in a place like Vegas where it offers you a huge variety of restaurants to select from. The creator of this particular restaurant actually has family roots connecting to the man who created the sandwich and the family recipes have been passed down through generations until it has reached these chain of restaurants.
I took a “Caribbean Jerk Chicken” sandwich to eat and Amy took a “Turkey with Cranberries and Stuffing”, so damn delicious I tell you, I highly recommend you try it at least once. Also, most food in Vegas is quite expensive and overpriced, it’s difficult to find anything reasonably price on the new Vegas strip, but this restaurant actually has quite a good deal; 5-6$ for a sandwich, that’s borderline cheaper than Subway!

After Breakfast, instead of catching a cab to the “North Premium Outlets”, we took a bus line called the “SDX” which is abbreviated for “Strip & Downtown Express”. It’s a bus that stops at all the major locations on the strip, Fremont St and both the North and South outlet stores. It’s only 8$/person for 24hrs unlimited use, 20$ for 3-day use, that’s a pretty damn good deal considering a 1-way cab from the strip to Fremont St could cost you 15-20$ alone. Do yourself and your wallet a favor and catch the “SDX” if you plan to do a lot of traveling around the strip and city, especially if you enjoy sightseeing.

The “North Premium Outlets” has a whopping 150 stores, so it took Amy and I a full day to traverse across the lot of them. You have almost all your favorite brands and the best part is, all the prices are significantly reduced compared to what you’ll find in your shopping mall back home. There are ALWAYS sales going on at every store: “Buy 1 get 1 free”, “50% off or more”… Most stores usually have some serious deals going on, none of those crappy clearance sales with ugly clothes you’ll see back home or a lame 5$ off the regular price.

Amy and I spent several hundreds upgrading our wardrobe, I think my wallet is screaming a bit, but I just checked out him, he’s doing alright.

Also, a tip that was passed on to me from a friend; for those that are Military and plan to do some shopping around Vegas, keep in mind that there are Military discounts for just about everything! Almost every store will give you an additional 10% off your total price, even if the item was already marked 50% off, they can stack discounts! I must have saved close to 150$ yesterday!

The last store that we stopped at was called: “Famous Footware”. Amy was buying a new pair of shoes and I asked the Gentleman if there was a Military discount. He told me “Ahh… Sorry sir, we don’t have a Military discount, but I really do wish I could give you one, I’m ex-military myself”. He started scanning the item and then paused for a moment, he turned to his manager and told her that he wants to give us the “Employee” discount. The manager wasn’t too impressed, but he didn’t care one bit. They punched some buttons into the system and then “BAM!” 81$ shoes all of the sudden became 56$ shoes. I truly was impressed and touched by what he did, even though we don’t work for the same Military, we have a strong bond and he felt that he could help a brother out, he would and he did.

Whoever thought shopping could be so exhausting? Amy and I passed out as soon as we got back, we’re now up early and there’s lots of things we plan on doing today, but not sure if we’ll get them all done. Might have to spread it all out through all the days that we’re here.

Here’s a list of a few things we would like to do and that we are going to do today:

  • Check out the “South Premium Outlets”
  • Check out the M&M Factory and Sega Gameworks Arcade
  • Check out the Stratosphere Hotel
  • Check out the “Old Vegas” Fremont St
  • Go to the Cirque du Soleil show: Le Reve @ 7pm
Categories: Las Vegas, Nevada, Travel, United States | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Las Vegas: Day 1

Unfortunate to hear about the plane crash in San Francisco yesterday; thankfully Amy and I were not on that plane, we are safe and sound in the vibrant city of Las Vegas!

We’re currently staying at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino right smack-dab center of the new Vegas strip. We haven’t had enough time here yet to explore the entire premises of the hotel, but I’ll tell you what our initial impressions/experiences were:

45 minute wait in the hotel check-in line (Although, I think that is common with most hotels here)

The room itself appeared to be in good order, until we noticed two missing lightbulbs. Also, the white on the bed appeared to have some darker stains on it and the pink bed cover seemed a bit faded. There is no fridge in the room but we do have a beautiful view! We do have to keep in mind though that that is one of the older hotels on the strip and a tad less expensive than the other newer luxury hotels.

Last night, we went to see a show called “The Mentalist”. It’s a magic/illusionist show starring “Gerry McCambridge” who also wrote script and starred in the the television series “The Mentalist” a few years back.

His illusions were impressive! A few volunteers from the audience were chosen to take part in his act and I happened to be one of the lucky ones that he randomly selected. Blindfolded and never had met before, he was able to tell the audience about things in my life that only people that were as close as friends or family would know. He even mentioned things about Amy too. How he did it? I have no idea… Apparently it’s all in “illusion”, but I mean, what he was doing was pretty much reading my mind. Man, we have so much more to learn about in this world.

Today, Amy and I are heading off to some Outlet Stores in the North-end of Vegas, where we’ll do some shopping for a new wardrobe. For those of you that don’t know, “Outlet Stores” in the United States are the best places to find your favorite brands of clothing at bargain prices. You will never find deals like it anywhere else and that’s guaranteed!

Here are some quick snaps I took from my phone last night:

Bellagio Fountains, moving to the music of Celine Dion.

Bellagio Fountains, moving to the music of Celine Dion.

Las Vegas Strip

Las Vegas Strip

Categories: Las Vegas, Nevada, Travel, United States | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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