I’m not sure if there is a more cliched title to use for this post, but “Waking Up in Vegas” is just so fitting and has kind of been the anthem for this past weekend in Sin City.
After months, and possibly even years, of saying that we wanted to plan a trip to Las Vegas, my friends and I finally pulled through and made it! My car, made up of me and my friends Rona, Harold, and Astrid, left the San Fernando Valley at around 2:45 PM and reached Vegas at a little after 9 due to a lot of traffic on the way. It was still a fun car ride that consisted of both a lot of laughs and a lot of singing and we caught a good amount of these moments on video so that I could put together a documentary of sorts to reminisce about our antics.
Our first stop was the iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign and since we reached it at night, it was all lit up in its neon glory. After getting lucky and finding parking in one of its few parking spots, we got our first taste of Paradise. The town of Paradise, Nevada, that is. Strangely enough, the sign (and the Las Vegas Strip, for that matter) isn’t even in the actual city limits of Las Vegas. We checked in to our hotel room in Excalibur afterwards and then went out to explore. We got our drinks at Evening Call in Luxor and then stopped by New York, New York and MGM before attempting our failed expedition to Paris. It looked like just a short walk away but ended up being so far and we decided to make our way back to hotel once the second car in our group had arrived.
The next day, we ate at the Excalibur buffet for lunch, which I don’t think I would really recommend. I felt full after the first plate and the food wasn’t spectacular. After some walking, Rona, Astrid, and I had an interesting experience at the Lush store in Mandalay Bay when one of the staff members there took interest in us, somehow resulting in me getting covered in glitter. After getting a refill on our drinks and then realizing that we couldn’t bring them into the Excalibur pool area, we tried the slot machines for a while and met up with everyone else back in the room. Since my friends Chris, Nathan, and Shelena had the all-day wristband for the buffet, they went to eat while the rest of us walked the Strip. M&M World was our first destination, which has four floors of M&M goodness, though if you do create your own bag, it is pretty expensive. Next door was Coca-Cola World, which featured a creepy polar bear character that had a habit of biting people’s heads. There was just a sort of uncanny valley feel to it and even though we understood that there was just a person inside, the movements made it nevertheless unsettling.
Because we didn’t want to do more walking than we had to, we bought passes for the shuttle and used that to get to Planet Hollywood. We ended up eating at the famed Earl of Sandwich before splitting up once more, with Harold, Rona, and I exploring the rest of the Strip while Astrid and Saba returned to go clubbing. I’ve actually been clubbing on the Strip once before, but I really wanted to devote my time to seeing some of the sights that I haven’t seen in years. After a brief rendezvous in Paris, we made our way to the Bellagio fountains, my favorite attraction in Vegas. I just love them a lot and it’s always a, well, magical feeling watching them go off to whatever music is playing at the time. They play every fifteen minutes and we stayed for two shows, the first set to “God Bless the USA” and the second to “Billie Jean”.
The Fall of Atlantis show at Caesars Palace, or what I accidentally referred to as Little Caesar’s, was next, though it was really hard to hear what the characters were saying and I was incredibly confused by the ending. There was an aquarium nearby that we decided to rest at and admire the sting rays while we figured out where our next destination would be. We walked around for a bit, before meeting the group once again in MGM and then separating to go back to the hotel room for one very memorable shower.
Before heading back to the Valley, we made a pit stop back to the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign to close out our experience full circle. We started Vegas there and we ended Vegas there. Even though it was unbelievably hot, we stuck it out for a good amount of daytime pictures at the sign and made our way back home.
Overall, it was just a great weekend and I hope that I can explore some more cities with my friends in the future. I’m still having some small withdrawals and I’m craving a Coco Loco from Evening Call right now actually. We hope to stay at different hotels during our visits in the future and I can’t wait to see what else this city has in store for us.
What do you get for waking up in Vegas? An experience to remember.