3 years ago, I took my oldest and her friend to Las Vegas for her 16th birthday trip. Here is the post on that trip. We had a great time and saw so many neat things, along with some, well, um, interesting things...lol. Almost two weeks ago I spent 5 days back in Vegas, this time with my youngest daughter for a soccer tournament. 3 of the 5 days were dedicated to exploring and having fun. The other two were focused on soccer and resting up between games. I'm so glad we gave ourselves extra time...the main reason was if we traveled on Thursday and Tuesday we saved several hundred dollars per ticket which made it worth it, but it was also nice to be able to acclimate and see the sites, and, of course spend time with my girl.
The tournament ran Saturday-Monday, though we only played Saturday and Sunday (4 games). Our girls did great. They placed 2nd in their bracket and 9th in their age division out of 24 teams. Pretty good for their first showcase tournament, and we were not 100% healthy...we had one girl sick, and a few others nursing injuries, but they pulled together and played great.
We stayed in the Circus Circus as a team, though we were so spread out it didn't seem like we were all together...the room was comfortable, but the hotel is older and thus had some issues. Not sure I would stay there again. We spent the first day getting our rental car (we were upgraded to a 2015 Mustang....orange...can we say whoop whoop), getting some groceries for the hotel (no continental breakfast), picking up our tickets to The Blue Man Group (great show), eating lunch at In-N-Out then checking in to our hotel. It was a long day. We spent all of our free days going through the hotels on the strip, checking out the stores, eating yummy food, our favorite being Buddy's Bake Shop in the Venetian. My girl is a huge fan of Cake Boss so we stood in line for quite awhile to enjoy some pastries from the bakery.
I love spending time with each of my girls individually. As much as I wish our whole family could have went, it was great connecting with my youngest. Laughing, having great conversations and just being together. And while we had a great time and enjoyed the sun and warm weather, we really were glad to be home to our beautiful green Pacific NW.
I love that my girls are budget conscious, and while in Vegas we discovered that we could easily share our meals (except one) and have plenty of food. Our last night there we ate at a really good Pizza Place called Metro Pizza. She wanted the BBQ chicken Calzone and I wanted the Spinach and Cheese, so we got our own that night...we did so well with our budget we came home with extra money.
Places we saw this trip:
* NY NY....she did roller coaster and we walked through the Hershey shop, which emanates the smell of chocolate.
* M&M and Coke stores....fun to see all the memorabilia.
* The Venetian....one of my faves..love the atmosphere, the gondolas floating down the middle with singing. Of course Buddy's Bake Shop.
*Caesars Palace...lots of shops (HUGE H & M store), neat architecture.
* Planet Hollywood...lots of shops (most hotels have tons of shops, some repeats, some unique to the hotel), but we seemed to get turned around in there a lot.
* The Aria...very neat art features...ice towers and acrylic tubes with water spouts in them.
* Cosmopolitan...gorgeous chandeliers and Crystal swags from the ceilings.
* The Bellagio...fountains are awesome and the blown glass display in beautiful.
* The Paris...shops and restaurants are quaint and the ride up the Eiffel Tower is worth it. Go at night because it's beautiful and the Bellagio Fountain show is so neat from up there.
Where we ate:
* Caesars Palace food court...the seafood place was pretty good.
* Buddy's Bake Shop....uh, I think our dinner was pastries that night...lol.
* Metro Pizza...amazing pizza's and Calzones and good prices, located on Flamingo Ave.
* Chipotle....split a huge burrito.
* Chili's on the Strip....good food, good prices, and we enjoyed people watching on the patio.
We purchased breakfast and snack items at Walmart and Costco since the hotel didn't provide breakfast and we had a few early games.
We also went to Fremont St. which is an "eye-opener"....lol, but the girls had fun..there was a great band playing on one of the stages and the girls all decided it was a good idea to stay in school..haha! Some friends went to the top of the Stratosphere and did the rides up there and loved it. We had pretty much spent all our money so we didn't do this.
Many people bought a pass that allowed them to see a variety of attractions. We didn't do this because we bought tickets to see The Blue Man group and I didn't know what our free time would be like, but it seems like it was worth it. We really enjoyed The Blue Man Group, but I would wait and purchase tickets there because they were handing out coupons for buy one/get one...grrr...!
One afternoon our hotel lost power so we had to go down 7 flights of stairs but friends of our had to go down 30...thankfully none of us had to walk back up. That was funny searching for the stairwell and trying to decide where the door led to that we were going out of. Not very well marked. It is amazing to me how many people go there with little, little kids, and go out on the town with those little little kids at 11:00 at night. I wanted to ask them where they were going.
One last story...Our plane left at 6:00 Tuesday morning to come home. We were traveling with 4 other teammates and their families. I had about 5 muffins left so I packed them in a ziploc bag and brought them with us. We left Vegas and landed in San Diego only to learn we were delayed due to a maintenance issue. Kristianna and I and the girl who was traveling with us ate 3 of the muffins. That left two, somewhat smooshed muffins left. I decided to throw them away in a nearby garbage can. 20 minutes later another teammate said "hey, can I have one of those muffins?". I jokingly said "well, I can pull them out of the garbage." She replied "that's tempting." My girl promptly heads to the garbage can, and digs around till she found the bag, hands it to her friend, who promptly eats the muffins. The airport was packed but thankfully the garbage had been recently emptied so there were only some bags from food and coffee cups...oh boy! My girl the dumpster diver. We all got a good laugh at that one.
It was a great adventure and maybe someday our whole family could go.
With Joy UNquenchable,