March 7-9, 2014 - Las Vegas
Elizabeth won a trip for herself and seven friends to go to Vegas for mostly free. I was one of the lucky recipients to get to go! We each booked our flights but once we got there we did most everything on the contest's dime.
We were staying at the Hard Rock Hotel, a couple of blocks of the strip. Wynsor and I arrived super early thanks to our cheap Spirit Airlines flight. We discovered we couldn't check in yet, so we ventured across the street to the Hofbrauhaus for lunch. The first beer was christened there for the weekend while we waited for the others to arrive. We also explored the hotel noting where the pool, spa, food, etc were located.
The other ladies were slated to arrive later on, so once we were able to get into our hotel we each took a quick nap. We met up with everyone at Culinary Dropout for their happy hour special before cabbing over to the MGM Grand to see Cirque de Soliel: KA. Amelia had connections that got us free tickets for the show. As my first real cirque show, I must say it was pretty awesome. Some of the things those people can do is insane. Afterwards we walked around the MGM Grand and grabbed a quick dinner at one of the cafes. We had to be at The Bellagio by 10:30 in order to get our free table (thanks to Julianna and Natasha). Once inside we discovered we had a table on the patio overlooking the fountain show. Amazing. We also had our own waitress to serve us as much Grey Goose as we could handle. We got to dance, take in the crowd, and not pay a dime. Such a great first day!
Wynsor and I were up early of course (thanks east coast time zone) so we had a light breakfast before exploring the pool area. We were scheduled for mani-pedis at 10am in the salon and then I had an hour massage thanks to Elizabeth! It should have been hers but since her wedding is over and I'm still in the midst of stress she graciously gave it to me. SO NICE. I haven't been pampered it a long time. And the spa had everything, special pools, sauna, steam room, super fluffy robe, even snacks and water. And I had access the entire day.
After the morning spa treatments, I headed out to our pool cabana to get in some sun. We had couches, a TV, and a lovely waitress to come take our cocktail and food orders. Elizabeth, Wynsor and I split a Baja Colada frozen drink that was delightful before munching on hummus and veggies. We enjoyed the sun for most of the afternoon before heading up to shower and change for our fancy dinner.
We had discovered a complimentary wine hour at the steak restaurant in our hotel and wanted to make the most of that! Our dinner at 35 (steak restaurant) was part of the contest and we had a hard time getting to the $800 tab even though there were 8 of us! Most of us had delicious steaks and sides, and then Elizabeth got the honors of ordering the entire dessert menu for us all to try. Amazing. How many times (in Vegas) can you say "I'll have one of everything"?! Even then we didn't reach the tab amount, so our wonderful waiter found us a $105 bottle of wine to take to go. YES. After being completely stuffed, I had to lay down for a bit just to let all the food digest. I wasn't the only one needed a quick break. We had a table at the club Body English that evening that we wanted to take advantage of despite being completely stuffed from dinner. We ended up going for a bit, getting in a little dancing but then the music took a turn for the worst so we decided to call it a night.
Wynsor and I beat everyone up once again. We decided we wanted to get in a little more time at the pool so we headed out for a couple of hours before quickly showering and checking out of the hotel. We were able to store our luggage all day! We ate lunch at Pink Taco (we'd been eyeing it all weekend long) and it did not disappoint. Tasty margaritas, yummy tacos (that were actually pink!) and delicious refried beans.
After lunch, we took the hotel shuttle over to the strip to meet Elizabeth to wander the entire strip. We spent the rest of the day going from hotel to hotel, me taking lots of photos of their interiors, and just the general craziness of Vegas. We stopped at Treasure Island to get a giant Yard cocktail to carry while we walked. This lasted us for awhile, until we were in the Paris casino. We decided to put that $105 bottle of wine to good use and poured that into our Yard container to continue the walk. Awesome. We walked A LOT. Finally we stopped for dinner at a pizza place between Mandalay Bay and the Luxor. It was here we said goodbye to Elizabeth and thanked her profusely for bringing us along! Wynsor and I still had a little more time to burn before the airport so we walked down to the Las Vegas sign, before cabbing to the Bellagio to watch the fountain show once more, and then back to the Hard Rock to grab our luggage. I quickly changed into comfy clothes for the overnight plane ride and then it was back to the airport.