My amazing coworker Lena and I have been trading off weeks of handling the tasting room during the slow season, meaning during June, I had a week off, then she did, then I had a week off, then she did. This went on until the first week of June, when I had a week off after she took the week to go to a wedding. This beloved coworker of mine recently resigned due to her long commute, so decided on a last minute, spur-of-the-moment trip to Las Vegas! A friend of mine whom I met studying abroad in China is living in Vegas with his sister until he leaves to teach abroad in China, August 1st, so this truly was my last chance to hang out with him for a while (in the United States, at least).
Let me just say: I love airports. No one is out of place in an airport, it’s where I spent a third of my life. Airports are home to TDKs, they are comfort and familiarity. They are essentially the same in vastly different parts of the world. Airports are where adventures begin, and they are the first place you are when you are home.
I like airports and airplanes, but I don’t necessarily always like airlines, or the people I fly with. I had a flight from Portland, OR to Long Beach, CA, then a connecting flight from Long Beach to Las Vegas, NV. My connecting flight from CA to NV was cancelled, so I was stuck in Long Beach, where I had been only a month ago for my post-grad trip to California. Anyways, the airport was familiar enough so I was comfortable when everyone else was panicked and angry. Our flight was cancelled due to weather conditions in the East, not the employees in California. There was no cause or call for many of my fellow passengers to forget their manners. (Well, I was irked too, but yelling at the poor people wasn’t going to do anything. I was more annoyed at the airline than the people, and everyone was mad enough for me and them both).
So, my adventure to Las Vegas began with adventure time in California, once again. My friend in Vegas drove down to Long Beach and picked me up and we got some In N Out. Que five-hour drive to Vegas.
The itinerary of my first day in Vegas: we went to the Mandalay Bay aquarium (beside the hotel and Four Seasons). Then we saw Aria, the newest addition to the MGM Resorts, and Crystals. We went to Cosmopolitan and saw their chandelier bar, then the Bellagio to see some Chihuly glass art. Then we went to Caesars then Paris, where I got a strawberry daiquiri (a margarita was also available for those who prefer tequila to rum) from a “Little Place” bar in a window. And it came with a souvenir cup (AKA a douchebag drink). Paris connected to Bally’s, but we didn’t know that, we just ended up on a non-Parisian street. Then we went to MGM Grand and had dinner at Rainforest Cafe. After that we went to New York New York (with a roller coaster going throughout the hotel), Excalibur and played at their arcade (try Speed of Light if you go! also be sure to see Thunder Down Under), and then saw Luxor, which has a Titanic exhibition right now.
On my second day in Vegas, I woke up and went for a swim (the water is so warm in the pools here! It was like 120 degrees, so I mean…) then we got dimsum for lunch, then went to Red Rock casino and watched Despicable Me 2 (so cute the minions aaah). Then for dinner, we went to an all-you-can-eat sushi place, then went back to the strip. On my first day here, I only lasted until 10 p.m. because we spent all day at the strip. They key is to spend all night at the strip instead, so you aren’t baking. Vegas is a different world at night. We went to Mirage, where you can see tigers in the Secret Garden and a dolphin habitat by the pool (entrance is $20). Then we saw the light show in the fountain in front of Bellagio. Finally, we went to The Venetian, where you can ride in a gondola through the Grand Canal Shoppes. It really did look like Italy; Caesars, Paris and the Venetian were some of my favorite places to shop because of their authenticity.
On my last full day in Vegas, instead of finishing off the strip with Treasure Island and watching the Sirens of TI show, we spent the day swimming, grocery shopping and cooking for 4th of July. We saw fireworks from our window, made burgers and drinks. So, so, SO many drinks. I have to admit, I had written this trip off as sightseeing instead of drinking and partying, but man, it seems like everyone wants to get drunk on Independence Day. So that’s what happened on my last day in Vegas. We watched a movie, watched some fireworks, had burgers and chips, made Scooby Snacks and played Dicecapades. I hope to come back soon with a larger group of friends and stay on the strip instead of hanging out at someone’s house. My top choices on where to stay on the strip would probably be the Bellagio, the Venetian, Mirage and, since I didn’t get to see it, Treasure Island. At that time I’d like to see lions at the Lion Habitat Ranch, see Treasure Island and maybe eat at Lawry’s Las Vegas. Oh, and I want to eat at a buffet with Alaskan king crab legs!