Sin City round two! Endless casinos, day drinking and gambling!
Girls trip to Vegas, Los Angeles and Cancun? Sign me up! Throw Spring Break in the mix and that is a recipe for great travelling.
An early morning flight from Melbourne meant we would land in Los Angeles in the early AM on the same day for our connecting flight to Vegas. Then we would reach Sin City by mid morning – what could possibly go wrong United Airlines? Well, everything!
Our flight from Melbourne was delayed an hour and a half because the baggage wasn’t loaded onto the plane correctly, so the weight wasn’t distributed evenly.
That’s okay, we would still have enough time to get to LA, through customs and onto our next flight. We made time up in the air so it should have been fine, it wasn’t.
When we landed at LAX, there was no express line for connecting flights, no help or anything – US customs is always packed. As I had already been to the US in the last two years my line was quick, great! But my two gals – Ashlee and Hayley – didn’t get that kind of line. Going to the baggage carousel I wrestled three suitcases, my handbag and my carry on and tried to roll them to ask for help, which was a challenge.
Finally Ashlee and Hayley came running down the escalators and we headed to the connecting flights section of the airport, yeah we didn’t make it. Then we had to walk from arrivals to terminal seven to chat to United Airlines staff, yeah look after a 15 hour flight it wasn’t ideal.
So luckily the lady we got from United was so helpful and tried her hardest to get us on another flight. Long story short they had already put us on another flight for midnight and failed to tell us whilst we were in the air, but midnight wasn’t ideal for us – we had adventures booked! There were no seats on anything to Vegas.
In the end we decided the bus from downtown LA to Vegas was the best solution, so it was a $60 cab to the bus/train station (Union Station) to discover the next bus was at 6:30pm, which with traffic would take around seven hours instead of four to get to Vegas, it was only 11am at this stage, so we had a long wait.
Next idea, taxi to Vegas? We were quoted $700, Uber quoted $300 – so Uber it was! After the first Uber driver refusing to take us we finally got someone willing to drive us to Vegas.
What an experience and road trip! Four hours later, lots of naps and a few slow sections of traffic and we had made it even though we promised for our safety we wouldn’t all fall asleep at the same time, we all did. At least it is a story I can definitely laugh about now, although forking out over $100 each wasn’t ideal this early in the trip.
Day one – well maybe just afternoon/night one
If you’re looking to stay at a hotel in Vegas that is close to everything, cheap and still clean, definitely try out Treasure Island! A great hotel with all you need, a pool, loads of restaurants, a casino and so much entertainment.
Checked in was a breeze and then it was time for dinner before David Guetta at XS Nightclub. Senor Frog’s is part of Treasure Island and is a great place for dinner and drinks! They have a DJ, awesome Mexican food and of course great drink specials. Try the 2 for 1 yard glass cocktails! As you can see we took advantage.
When in Vegas, check the clubs to see who is in town. On our first night we saw David Guetta live, it was an amazing way to see a live act that would normally cost over $100 in concert and you get so close! David Guetta didn’t go on until 1am – which after a free pour $21 vodka redbull, loads of cocktails and no sleep we were dead, but we soldiered on. XS is also a great club to check out in Vegas, they play RnB music and it is always busy!
Day two – the flu strikes
An early morning for Hayley and Ashlee as they set off to the Grand Canyon! Going the first time was amazing and although I would go again, I sat this one out! The girls went on the Grand Canyon Helicopter tour with Grand Canyon Tour and Travel, they loved it!
Preparing for a holiday can be very tiring and stressful, then you have that long flight – with no sleep – and all that aeroplane air really isn’t hygienic, so poor Hayles found herself coming down hard with the flu. A great thing about the US is their cold and flu tablets – even if you don’t get sick in the US, buy them for when you get home!
Las Vegas is full of endless fun, you could spend days looking at what the different casinos offer! We checked out The Venetian – an Italian themed hotel – which have gondola rides! For $30 per person you can go indoor or outdoor in the gondola, definitely choose the outdoor option, especially on a nice day or night! You even get sung to by your gondolier, make sure you request ‘That’s Amore’! The gondola rides are perfect if you want to be romantic, but if you are with the girls or guys it is still great fun to pretend you are in the canals of Venice.
If you’re walking around the strip don’t forget to stop at one of the many frozen daiquiri bars! You get cheap refills and you can keep your cup. Along our walk around Vegas we watched a street show – guys jumping over people and all that jazz, a huge over the top wedding and a man picking coins out of the massive ponds at The Mirage, that was not a show – only in Vegas will you see all that in a space of 20 minutes!
Another great casino to check out is The Flamingo, they have a beautiful garden with flamingos just hanging out, definitely not something you see every day. Just try and see as many casinos as you can, each has something unique to look at.
Now a must for us was a club crawl, you will find people selling tickets for club crawls on the strip. We got a great deal on the club crawl and pool party the following day! The one we chose was World Crawl, but they are all pretty much the same. Hot Tip: go for the one with the most free drinks on offer.
The Saturday night club crawl was packed! You usually get a few free drinks to start so make sure you get those and early because the bars get so busy. We started at PBR Rockbar, which was packed and pretty low key to get the night started – did I say to make sure you get that free drink? Then we headed to Blondies Sports Bar and Grill, which had an awesome vibe, some beer pong and $40 wrist bars that gave you unlimited drinks. But get your $40 worth because you won’t be there for too long, or share it (but shhh don’t tell them that).
Then it is onto the nightclubs, Omnia (massive, loud and amazing, probably the best club in Vegas), The Bank (RnB, jam packed but still really good, probably my least favourite of the three) and JEWEL (this was my favourite, they played a mix of great music and the smoke machines were crazy). During the night we met so many different people and featured on multiple snapchat stories from around the globe.
We taught American’s our dance moves, had many ‘scull offs’ and heard Bad and Boujee a good 20 times. We lost Hayley along the way – her cold was hitting her hard so we took her back to the hotel. We kicked on and after taking photos for sassy girls on the way and having a bit of a DnM in the middle of the casino (in the middle of everyone’s way) we found the JEWEL, this was the last and best club. The great thing about some clubs in Vegas is if you are leaving and have a drink, they will put it in a plastic cup for you.
By the end of the night we had met a guy with a golden chicken nugget around his neck – yes his gold chain expressed his love for chicken – and finished up at our hotel restaurant eating spaghetti and chicken tenders! The staff at The Coffee Shop were easily the nicest people I have ever met – shout out to Wendy she was amazing at 4am and really looked after us!
Day three – two words… Magic Mike
Illness got the better of Hayley so we skipped the pool party tour, instead we made our own at the hotel pool. During the warmer months hotels have pool parties every day, you can even drink in the pool.
There is so much to see in Vegas so we headed out again to look at Paris and New York. If you are heading to New York, New York you must go on the roller coaster! Maybe be sober for that though, or not.
Heading back to the hotel we stopped at 1,000 shops including M&M World where you can get personalised M&M’s, they are so fun!
Dinner was buffet at Treasure Island, you definitely can’t leave Vegas without having some kind of buffet. This one has seafood and nearly any cuisine you could think of! They made pizza and pasta in front of you and the dessert station was full of options. Seriously so much food.
Next stop, Magic Mike at the Hard Rock Casino! What a show, ladies you need to watch this. So funny, so hot and very entertaining. The waiters were extremely lovely and it is a small venue so wherever you sit, you have great seats. You also don’t have to tip the performers, they give paper money for that! They interact so much with the crowd, Hayles even got herself a lap dance! Luckily for us Channing Tatum was there, he even came on stage at the end, best moment ever!
But apart from seeing topless, naked men, the routines and performances were amazing! Those guys had some serious talent and the host, she was hilarious! Check out this show before it leaves, you don’t want to miss it.
After calming down from just being not even 10 metres away from Channing Tatum we headed to Ghost Bar at The Palms – which although off the strip has the moment amazing view! You can see the whole strip and all of Las Vegas. UPDATE: this has been closed! Such a shame, maybe try VooDoo Rooftop and Zipline instead.
Day four – make sure you shop!
If you’re going to Vegas you must head to the outlets. I’ve never been to the South Premium Outlet, but I’ve been to the North twice and they are great!
All Nike, Adidas and sports shoes are half the price they are in Australia! All designer brands are so cheap. If you are heading to the North, stop at The Cheesecake Factory for food! They have the biggest list of cheesecakes and the menu has so much to choose from! If you are like me, choose from the small bites and appetiser menu and share, then you can try a few different meals.
You can shop for hours at the outlets and for my female Australian readers, Michael Kors is half the price, even with the conversion – so buy your bag here!
After non stop shopping it was time to get our picture at the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign, standard! It is a fair way up the strip so if you can get a taxi driver to wait for you, that will work out easier. Most of the time there will be someone there who will take a photo for you, they work on tips so just give them a few dollars.
If you are at that end of the strip you should check out a few of the casinos including The Luxor – which is the huge pyramid! It is incredible from the inside and the Egyptian theme is really worth looking at. From there you can work through to The Excalibur – a medieval themed casino, themes in Vegas are definitely on point!
A lot of the hotels connect, this makes navigating around Vegas a lot easier. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking your hotel is close, just because it looks close doesn’t make it true! Make sure you know the distance before you attempt to walk.
If you are in Vegas and have time, make sure you head to Downtown, Fremont experience – the old strip. If you are a Pawn Stars fan, the shop is on your way too. We stopped in to check out the shop and the staff were so friendly! With no WiFi to get an Uber, the security guard let me join his hotspot to order one, bless him.
Downtown Vegas is really incredible! Lots of lights, music and so much going on! We headed to the Heart Attack Grill for dinner, it is worth trying but the food isn’t that great. The burgers are huge and fatty. If you don’t eat all your meal, the waitress dressed as a nurse will spank you with a paddle in front of the window! It is pretty entertaining but it hurts, so order small. The whole cafe is designed to look like a hospital so even your shots are served in pill bottles, it is all very creative.
Hayley was the only one to finish her burger, so Ashlee and I were spanked. The win for us was we didn’t feel as sick as Hayley did at the end of the night from that burger and that was the smallest one you can eat. Before heading back to the hotel we watched the Bellagio fountain show, it runs frequently and has music to the show, really calming and worth checking out.
With an early flight in the morning we decided to lose more money on the casino floor – which we had already done everyday for the last four days!
Goodbye Vegas, we met some strange but amusing people, gambled a bit too much money, drank a lot of expensive drinks and ate a lot of fatty but delicious food! You are my happy place.
A dance move I invented with inspiration from the dog in the below video.
NEXT STOP…. LOS ANGELES!!
For more on Las Vegas, read about my first trip to Sin City here.