Viva Las Vegas!
We landed at Mccarran International Airport and hailed a yellow taxi to take us to the Bellagio Hotel. No matter how much researching we did before we arrived, nothing had quite prepared us for the grandeur of Vegas. Driving up the strip in the afternoon sun you got to appreciate the scale of things. Each hotel had something unique to offer, all just as wild and wonderful as the next.
After checking in to our rooms we headed up the strip in search of dinner. Wherever you looked there was plenty to see. Outside our hotel in Lake Bellagio are the famous Bellagio Fountains. The fountain shows are every night and each one is worth a watch. Standing among the crowd as the sun sets waiting for the show to start you can feel everyone’s anticipation. Then all of a sudden the music plays (on this occasion Frank Sinatra, “L.O.V.E”) and the fountains come to life. And best of all, it’s free!
For dinner we headed to Margaritaville and enjoyed rooftop views of Caesar’s Palace which is next door to Bellagio.
On the agenda today we decided to make the most of relaxing by the pool and working on our tans.
Without a doubt, the Bellagio is all about luxury. The hotel is elegant, with friendly, accommodating staff, a good selection of restaurants, gardens amd shops all without leaving the hotel. Of course there’s also the casino floor, bars, and their very own nightclub. Even the pool area is makes you feel like you could stay there and relax all day.
All I can say is if there’s a chance you’re not going to want to move from your sunbed, make sure you have your sun screen handy. You won’t believe how easy it is to burn and not even realise!
After grabbing some lunch we took a bus uptown from outside the Paris Hotel (across the road from the Bellagio) for some shopping. Vegas has some great fashion outlets – designer brands, discounted price.
The bus heads north and after about 10-15 mins you’re at your destination. We decided to walk back to the hotel after shopping and make the most of the sights. Good thing too! As with many places, there are always touts/reps offering free entry to nightclubs, queue jump, free drinks etc. This one guy offered us all of the above for a few clubs, but the best part? It didn’t cost us anything. What have we got to lose?
Later that night we headed to the Bellagio’s very own night club Bank. Thanks to our friend earlier, we got queue jump, wristbands for free drinks* (single measures) all night and free entry! You walk into the club via the top floor. The middle floor below is reserved for VIP booth guests, and the bottom floor is the dance floor. After a few drinks and dances we got chatty with a group of people who invited us to their booth. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!
So today we’d planned on heading south down the strip to see what it had to offer.
The MGM Grand hotel famous for pool parties and the lion enclosure, New York New York Hotel with it’s NY Skyline and outdoor roller coaster, and the Luxor with it’s giant pyramid, it’s safe to say we weren’t disappointed! Of course there were plenty more to see but these are to name just a few. Among the hotels are plenty of souvenir shops, specialist stores, excursion tour offices, restaurants, cafés and bars waiting to fulfil your desires.
NYNY Hotel (and roller coaster)
After some souvenir shopping and sight seeing we booked ourselves onto a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon for the following day.
We headed back to our hotel to relax before dinner, followed by drinks in Caesar’s Palace and dancing in their resident nightclub “Pure”. Again, thanks to our friend and our wristbands, free entry, drinks and queue jump!
Helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon.
The bus picked us up from the hotel at the time arranged and took us to Mccarran Airport. We were weighed and talked through health and safety after which we got to meet or pilot. The tour included transfers to and from our hotel and lunch at the Grand Canyon Ranch resort.
The pilot explained a few health and safety procedures (which is standard) and told us the rough route we would take to the Grand Canyon Ranch. (Probably would have been easier to digest this information had we not been drinking the night before), however the next thing we knew, we were in the air!
Once we’d left the strip behind, all that you could see was the desert stretch in every direction. Our pilot gave us a commentary for the whole flight giving us informative bite size facts of the deserts history.
Once we landed, a horse and carriage met us at the landing site to take us to the ranch. The guides told us some interesting stories of the old wild west, and Spirit Mountain where tribal stories say people came into the world.
For more info see: http://www.grandcanyonranch.com
After a hearty cowboy lunch, we were free to wander around and explore the area. Some people had paid extra to stay at the ranch overnight and camp in a Tipi or stay in one of the cabins, which included a sunset horseride! When our time was up our pilot rounded us up and we boarded the helicopter to go back to the Strip.
The pilot continued to give us more info about the different areas of the Canyon and the surrounding desert. He also took us to the point in the desert where all 4 states could be seen (California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah).
The ride itself on the way back was pleasant and although it didn’t take long, we were glad to be out of the helicopter and back on the ground.
Early start, last minute packing, check out and we head out for our last breakfast before we fly back home to UK.
Looking back over our time in Vegas, I think it’s safe to say there was plenty to do and never enough time to do it.
My favorite parts of the trip?
– Definitely seeing the lights of the Vegas strip all lit up from Pure’s rooftop terrace.
– Flying over the Grand Canyon – worth every penny!
There’s still a few things on my list I would like to have done but we ran out of time.
1. Gamble – who goes to Vegas and doesn’t gamble??
2. Get picture taken at the Las Vegas sign
3. See a show – any show!
Did you ever go somewhere and miss things? Are you planning on going back? I know I am! I’m not through with Vegas yet.
Well thanks for taking the time to read! Hope you enjoyed.