what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas… and also gets posted to my blog

hello hello hello!

It has been a hot minute and I mean a hot minute since my last post. I don’t want to be a one post wonder either, so I’m here to chat about the “city that never sleeps” aka Las Vegas! One major difference I found though, is I did indeed sleep. Okay so here goes nothing.

Day 1: Travel day and RISE Festival

I honestly don’t even know where to start with this one. I guess the airport is a good place to start, yeah? So we flew out of Tampa International and booked ourselves the only nonstop flights available, one coming and one going. This was for the best as were already lost enough in our airport and couldn’t afford to get lost in a second airport. So, we booked our flights through Frontier Airlines and never looked back. Well we did, but Frontier seemed to be the cheapest so we stuck with it.

What you need to know about Frontier:

www.flyfrontier.com

They are definitely a cheaper alternative if you’re not bringing home serious funds everyday. Most airlines out there can be rather pricy and booking with Frontier about gets the job done, BUT you get charged for just about everything. You want to bring a carry on? A suitcase? Want to choose your seat? Maybe you’re feeling parched and want to order a soda? Nothing is included and it is no frills, the trays are smaller than normal and the seats aren’t the most comfy. Other than that I’d recommend it for your cheap travel needs.

DISCLAIMER: This may not be the case for all, but in my personal experience I do not recommend booking your car rental through Frontier. We spent way too much time attempting to figure out once we got to the car rental center (that requires a separate shuttle to get to), which car company they work with. The email we received with information was unfortunately very vague and caused us a lot of time and frustration.

Overall, Frontier gets a 7/10 as it is overall more cost effective. Just book your flight through them, not your car rental and you will be all set.

Fast forward

So we hopped off the plane at (I so badly want to put LAX,you know “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus… always a bop) but in reality the McCarran Airport. Once we finally figured out the rental car situation and were rolling out in our whip, it was off to our hotel, the MGM Grand.

I had a few recommendations of hotels to stay at after asking on social media. Upon further investigation due to the cheaper cost and location, still on the strip just a bit further down, it was decided and again we didn’t look back. Kidding because we totally did… well I did. Of course I lowkey wanted to stay at Caesars Palace. Anyway, so we got to our room and we had a VIEW which was quite exciting because we could see everything even MOUNTAINS! In Florida being able to see mountains isn’t a common occurrence by any means, so it was definitely a cool thing to see out our window.

After taking in the view, we had to get ready to head over to the RiSE Festival for a breathtaking lantern festival. If you have ever seen the movie Tangled, it would feel like that magical scene came to life as seen here. https://giphy.com/gifs/tangled-rapunzel-30-day-disney-challenge-x0Jpi7jvBnBPqhttps://giphy.com/gifs/tangled-rapunzel-30-day-disney-challenge-x0Jpi7jvBnBPq

The RiSE Festival is held every year in the Mojave Desert in the Jean Dry Lake Beds. Included in our two tickets to get in were: two lanterns for each of us, mats to sit on (thank you RiSE), as well as a marker to write any message you want to be released into the night sky. We arrived around 6:30pm and once we got off the shuttle, the view was magnificent.

The beauty was too real, especially being there in person.

We had a fantastic time and would definitely recommend you go if you can! It’s quite the experience and if you happen to live on the West coast, then it’s even more of a no brainer!

Day 2: Food, a little exploring, and more food

So most of you have atleast heard of the one and only In- N- Out Burger… right? If the answer is no, well that’s about to change. So naturally this is where we went on our first full day in Vegas. We did not have many regrets, except how we were going to make enough room for dinner. Famous for their burgers, fries, and shakes, of course we had to try em’ all. The staff were all friendly, the restaurant was well kept, and our food was served hot and tasty. *the crowd goes wild*

If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing an In-N-Out Burger, here’s a little “set the scene” moment for you.

A truly moving set of photos. The burgers were great, the shakes were next level, and the fries were quite delish.

http://www.in-n-out.com/

Before our next meal… cause a girls gotta eat, we made a stop at the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. This is a tourist attraction you must stop at just once to get your picture taken. Pro tip: You will not find the sign just walking the strip, it is actually not in Las Vegas itself but in Paradise, Nevada about 4 or so miles south.

So if burgers, fries, and shakes weren’t enough, we decided to hit up Hell’s Kitchen for dinner maybe five or so hours later. Ever hear of Chef Gordon Ramsay? Or maybe the term “idiot sandwich” rings a bell? The Simon Cowell of chefs. HK is one of his restaurants, and we just could not pass up the opportunity to dine here. https://www.buzzfeed.com/richardhjames/gordon-ramsay-called-someone-an-idiot-sandwich-and-it-turned

To start, drinks were served. After almost ordering the Agua Fresca, upon the waiters recommendation I ordered the Hibiscus Sour instead and I am sure glad I did. Just like he said, it was a mix of sweet and sour and was so very refreshing. Highly recommend!!!

The Agua Fresca (left) and the Hibiscus Sour (right)

And for the main course, I ordered the salmon (pictured below) and the bf ordered Ramsay’s famous Beef Wellington (not pictured). I guess it was too good not to eat before I got a picture. And as you can imagine, eating out in Vegas is not cheap, so no dessert menu for us. Truly tragic, although I’m sure we could have found something worthy of taste testing.

To finish off our first full day in Vegas, what better way to view the city we will be living in for the duration of our trip than to do so by way of the sky via the High Roller. The view you get from up here is like no other, and is said to outdo even the London Eye! One full trip around the strip (lol) takes 30 minutes. Each cabin can hold at most 40 people which is kind of insane if you really think about it. We had an amazing view and even better time. I would also recommend this, makes for the best birds eye view and offers some really cool phots of the city.

This is what a cabin looks like… it can hold up to 40 people!

I mean you cannot go wrong with this view and this is not even all the way up. The highest it goes is 550 ft.

Here is a video I took to give you a better view and feel. Really and truly a cool experience.

Day 3: Hoover Dam and Giada’s

Anyone ever see the movie Vegas Vacation… remember the scene where they’re touring the Hoover Dam and Clark causes a leak and gets left behind. Well that did not happen to us (thank gosh), but that was a funny scene. https://youtu.be/SnmX4f6VBRw

As far as tours go, there is the tour of the Hoover Dam itself. This lasts for one hour where you tour not only the Hoover Dam, but also the Powerplant. If you are like us, you get there after the Hoover Dam tour has been sold out for the day and get to go on the Powerplant tour. I guess we saved some money in the end. We still got to go up to the observation deck and surrounding walkway areas of the Hoover Dam, which were amazing sights. I would recommend, if you want the full experience, be sure to arrive BEFORE 3:30pm because that is when the last Hoover Dam tour of the day starts! Which in turn, we learned the hard way.

The majestic view looking down from the observation deck.

Dam model shots.

Next stopThe Seven Magic Mountains, and yes they were magical. The Seven Magic Mountains you definitely will not find walking the Vegas Strip, as they are about a 40 minute drive away and apparently if you tried to walk would take you seven hours (Be sure to wear comfy shoes LOL). They are basically colorful boulder ‘totems‘ that will really wow you. This is a video of the mountains, just before the sun set for the night. It was a race against the clock for sure, but we made it and the peace and tranquility that surrounded us made it even more special. Hopefully this video allows you to see that for yourself.

“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it”- Roald Dahl

Just like clock work, it was yet again time for dinner. Feeling spaghetti tonight, we headed over to GIADA located on the second floor of The Cromwell Hotel & Casino. If you do not already know who she is, Giada de Laurentiis is a chef well known for her Italian cooking. She is also the host of her show “Giada at Home” on Food Network. https://www.caesars.com/cromwell/restaurants/giada#.XbcnviUpCaM

Here’s some phots of the ambiance and overall atmosphere. I would recommend coming here as a date night!

Coming from the girl who orders a water at most restaurants, maybe sometimes even with a lemon wedge, or if I’m being adventurous… a soda. I guess I decided to be real crazy and order a Frosé. Here she is, and I wish you guys could see the view we had from the restaurant window!

Of course, no restaurant experience would be complete without complimentary bread. If you beg to differ… you can’t sit with us. Actually you can, cause we won’t have to worry about you eating all our bread. Anyway so this bread was amazing. And just the overall presentation of all the plates really, as you will see in the coming food photos.

Crab and scallops risotto.Spaghetti with shrimp, mascarpone cheese, lemon, and basil.These cookies were amazing and free for my birthday. They are the signature lemon ricotta cookies. They were so light yet full of lemon flavor. So good!

Day 4: Sadelle’s and exploring the Vegas strip

Brunch anyone? We headed to the Bellagio hotel, where we ate at Sadelle’s Cafe. This place gives you a bang for your buck and doesn’t leave you the slightest bit hungry. Welcome to Sadelle’s. Restaurant views. Just wishing I was in that pool right now.Mimosas. Bacon. French toast. Blueberry pancakes. Hash browns. Honestly just looking at this picture is making me full all over again, but in the best way possible.

After brunch, we headed to Paris. When you get to not only go to Vegas in a day, but also Paris?! Maybe you assume I have a private jet… if so, you are funny. Not the case. There is actually a lot more to the strip than just a strip of Vegas land with shops on it. There are hotels along the strip that are themed. I’d recommend stopping at as many as you can from Paris Las Vegas, The Bellagio, The Venetian, New York New York Hotel and Casino, The Flamingo, and of course Caesars Palace. We unfortunately did not get to see them all, but we did see a handful. Paris was a dream. I’ve never been to the real Paris although I would say this one felt pretty darn close.

BONJOUR!

*still mesmerized*
Don’t you feel like you are in Paris too just looking at this picture? Crazy to think it is actually a restaurant. I think it would have been cool to eat there, but maybe next time. At this point in the trip we were starting to eat Subway at our hotel LOL and I know the Eiffel Tower Restaurant ain’t cheap.

Next stop, the Bellagio Hotel for the majestic fountain show! When I say majestic, I am not playing. I’ll insert video of The Fountains of Bellagio here and you will be just as mesmerized. I’m not sure if it was the way the fountain was in sync with the music, the peaceful cooling of the air due to the mass amounts of water, or just how relaxing it was to watch but it was a sight to see. The shows start running Monday to Friday at every half hour from 3pm and runs til 8pm and then runs every 15 minutes from 8pm-12am. On weekends it’s a little different, the fountain show runs every 30 minutes from 11am to 7pm. I definitely recommend and it’s free!

We also stopped at The Flamingo Hotel & Casino and yes there were flamingos everywhere. In the gift shops. On the wall mural. Outside they had REAL flamingos. It’s very pink aka right up my alley.

Welcome to Flamingo city, population: a whole flock.The gorgeous view of the Flamingo hotel pool that overlooks the LINQ Hotel’s High Roller.

Ever seen the movie The Hangover? Remember this scene? https://youtu.be/TsFZFHzf2d8 Naturally Caesars Palace was a must. We walked around for a little and it was pretty neat!

For a nice quiet dinner, and cheaper too, we headed to New York and did some exploring afterward. For dinner we went to this cute little pizza place called Sirrico’s Pizza that definitely gave off New York night life vibes. We also stopped at Hershey’s Chocolate World which is literally every candy lovers dream.

And if that wasn’t enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, next stop because I just had to, the Hello Kitty Cafe. You guys, it was so cute. From the menu options, the truck itself, and of course my cute donut (which I’ll show below… no worries) it was just the most fun little ‘bring you back to your childhood’ vibe. And now for the cutest donut ever topped with a bow. I ordered the ‘Hello Kitty donut’ a classic that did not disappoint. Please come try this place out if you get the chance! Hello Donut (see what I did there.)

To conclude the NY fun, here’s a taste of the city life in video form.

Day 5: Red Rock Canyon and bye bye Vegas

Alright guys so we both know that all good things must come to an end. Sad but true. I guess that’s why they also say to try to stop and really enjoy the moment you are in right now because it is fleeting. I admit sometimes I do have trouble with that as well. I love to adventure, go to places old or new, and be sure to capture them to have forever. In doing so, am I really in the moment or am I making sure I can remember the moment through my camera? Some thoughts to ponder on for sure. I guess how else could I make this blog without any picture or photo evidence right? Got to have some footage, anyway. So our last full day was spent in Red Rock Canyon, about a 35 minute drive from the strip. This was a wonderful way to end our trip. The entire drive through is 13 miles long, with stops roughly every few miles or so for the experience of getting to go out and explore that surrounding area. It was truly beautiful and such a change from where we live in Florida. As I had previously mentioned, mountains are not the norm there and to be engulfed in them even looking out of our hotel room window was quite amazing.

Here are just a few photos of the rockin’ times we had at Red Rock Canyon (anyone else love a good pun?)

Captivating scenery that you can’t put a price on, except the cost of the entry fee.

A couple photos of me and my whole heart.

Lol you think we got these on the first try? HA no we did not. When we finally got them, they turned out amazing. Another lesson: don’t give up. You will get the perfect shot (can be applied to any aspect of life.)

The color radiating so vibrantly in these photos still gets me. The beauty was just as magnificent in real life.

This was nearing the end of our day, and the end of the 13 mile joy ride. It was starting to get noticeably cooler out due to a cold front coming in that naturally we were going to just miss. But getting to experience such a peaceful day nothing short of ‘wondrous radiance’ was really incredible.

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I hope you all got to enjoy this as much as we did! Vegas is so much more than casinos, slot machines, being out late, and partying until the sun comes up. Something I like to do before a trip is my fair share of research to find activities to do where we are headed, and boy did we find em’. Go out and explore when you can, whether it be a new location or your own backyard. There is always something out there waiting to be discovered.

These did not come out on the first try either, definitely not. But a special shout out to my babe for being so patient with me as I was determined to get a shot of both of us in the air. It took a lot of attempts, but this is the closest we got so we’ll take it!

I had to have some fun too, I guess… these were fun to take I got to say. I love a good mountainous photoshoot.

Thank you all so much for reading this! I hate that I have neglected my blog since our Jacksonville, FL trip back in May. It has been busy and we haven’t really gone on a trip worthy of writing about since. I do want to write on here more though. Maybe if you could leave suggestions of what you would like to see from me, that would be much appreciated. Thank you again for reading. I hope you enjoyed!

And as they flew over the night sky, they drifted off into a sleep that when they woke up, brought them a bit closer to home.