Flashback Friday: Unexpectedly Loving Las Vegas
When you move around a lot, whether you are living different places or traveling, you’re bound to meet a lot of different people. This is all fine and dandy until you move on or head home. You’re still friends, but everyone is scattered across the globe in different time zones which makes keeping in touch difficult.
But this negative does mean you can make travel plans that would otherwise seem frivolous. Such was the case with my trip to Las Vegas. About a year after returning to the US from studying abroad in Rome, my friends and I decided to have a reunion weekend in Vegas. I wasn’t sure if I would even like it, I’m not a clubber or a gambler, and the the price of the flight nearly made me vomit, but in the name of a reunion? A disgusting amount of money to spend 36 hours on the ground in a city I’m not sure I’ll even like?
As it turns out, Vegas holidays are perfect for reuniting with old friends: lots of booze, shopping, quality food, good weather, and a definite vacation atmosphere. In fact, the whole time I was there I felt like I was on a cruise. I’d never been in a city that had such an atmosphere of “I’m here to have fun and relax”. And after my 36 hours in Vegas I discovered a lot of things I really liked about the city. Things that made me actually want to return.
1. Drunk shopping
In Las Vegas, it is completely legal, perhaps even expected, to walk around a shopping mall while holding a yard of alcohol For someone like myself who is very against open container laws and very pro shopping, this was perfect. Digging through mass produced clothes at Express and Forever 21 is a lot more fun when you have a Miam Vice (hey, when in Vegas) in your hand. There is a point where this could become problematic, but luckily, I was able to exert some self control and left seconds before I handed my credit card over and purchased a David Yurman ring.
2. Being a girl
Cover to clubs in Vegas is expensive. Drinks at clubs in Vegas are expensive But if you are a girl, you can get out of paying for a lot of these things. My friends and I were stopped by club promoters about every ten feet while walking down the street asking to put us on their guest list. While we had to show up slightly earlier than we might’ve normally hit the club, and maybe it wasn’t the “it” place, it was worth it for free entry and an hour of free drinks at Tao. Plus, from my experience, once you’re in the club, you’ll find plenty of people willing to share their bottles. Oh, your friend is having his bachelor party? How very interesting…
I think I spent about $50 on drinking the entire weekend. And was never thirsty.
3. Food, Food, Food
Vegas has been steadily emerging as a culinary capital of the western United States for the past few years, and it lives up to the reputation. The only negative about my being in Vegas for such a short time was that I didn’t have time to eat at all the places I wanted. We dined at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago one night. The atmosphere at Caesar’s Palace brought us back to our days in Rome, and the food made me yearning for more. If I had to pick one reason to go back to Vegas, it would be to eat.
4. Pool weather in April
I went to Vegas in April. The weather was phenomenal. Much warmer than Philly, but not desert in August hot. It was the perfect weather to lay by the pool with a pina colada in hand. A lot of hotels in Vegas boast large day time pool parties, which can be fun, but if you need a day of relaxation (or recovery) the pool by The Mirage is beautiful, large, and not super crowded. I enjoyed sipping drinks, getting my tan on, and planning dinner and drinks from my lounger by the pool.
5. I’m on vacation
I’ve never been somewhere that screamed “Have fun! You’re on vacation!” more than Vegas. While it’s not a place I’d want to live or really “travel” to, Vegas is a lot of fun. Whether it’s walking around checking out all the hotels, trying your luck on the slots, or walking down the street with a beer in your hand, Vegas is in vacation mode. I loved the Bellagio fountain show. I loved not feeling like I needed to “see” something. I loved how clean it was, and happy everyone who was there seemed.
Las Vegas surprised me. I expected trashy. I expected annoying clubs. Instead I got carefree and fun. The perfect weekend getaway with some girls I hadn’t seen in far too long.
Have you been to Las Vegas? What did you think about Sin City? Leave your (shareable) Vegas stories in the comments!