This is the very first post of what I hope will be a fun new addition to the blog. I am by no means a world traveler, but I have added a few Delta sky miles to my account this year. For my first travel post, I’d like to share some of the adventures and sights from a recent trip to Viva Las Vegas! Hurrah! The trip was for a wedding that I was participating in; much of the sight-seeing was squeezed inbetween the wedding festivities. Fortunately, I had made prior restaurant reservations the weeks before using OpenTable and used a GoogleDocs spreadsheet to plan a rough itinerary for the four days we were in the city.
Flying out of the Atlanta airport is both convenient and usually much cheaper than surrounding airports given its size. I always have my parents park at my apartment then we Uber to the airport. Marta also connects to the airport, so I’ve taken a cheap $5 ride to Marta then scoot down. The four of us: Brother, Mother, Grandfather, and I scooted onto our one way flight Wednesday evening, arriving in Vegas approximately 10:30P.M. Vegas time. This is prime Vegas time, so as we took our Taxi to the hotel we were given our first initial tour.
My parents are Hilton Grand members so we were able to negotiate a great deal staying at the Hilton Grand Vacations. The Hilton sits adjacent to the Flamingo hotel. As a Hilton guest you had free access to the Club pools at the Flamingo. So Mom and I both escaped to the Club pool for an hour or so each day which included Pitpull Tunes and girls eager to bring you $18 Margaritas. If you’re coming to the city on a budget, but want to be close to the Strip, I’d highly suggest staying here. Our room was lovely with a kitchen and living area, but it lacked the extravagance of some of the other hotels. If you’re looking for romance and/or in-house Casino, this probably isn’t your place
Travelling with family members who neither gamble or partake in more than one alcoholic beverage a quarter, this was my favorite challenge of the trip. I had made reservations through OpenTable for each meal during our stay.
On our first morning after sleeping in, our crew along with other members of the wedding party met at Bardot Brasserie. This French cuisine is located in the Aria. Approximately three-quarters of a mile from our hotel, we took a $7.50 uber ride. However, my own miscalculation, Bardot only serves Brunch on weekends, so we were forced, very willingly, to their lunch menu. The aesthetic is very romantic, and I always adore a cheese board. which came with candied walnuts, jams, and the most incredible three cheeses.
On our second morning in Vegas, I’d discovered the most delectable breakfast joint at the Hash House A Go Go. If you want over-the top, big, hearty-breakfast this is your place. I ordered the chicken and waffles which stood taller than my face as I sat their looking at this daunting art-work of a breakfast. Prices were approximately $15-18/person which seemed reasonable given the extravagance of each plate. I’d place this on a Go-To list. As we were still on Eastern time zone, we had awoke early and arrived just before the main crowd which would have put us on a serious wait. Hash House was located in the Linq, and a fair walking distance from our hotel.
Our last Breakfast, Mom, my Grandfather, and I took the short stroll to Paris. I wish my last morning I had prepared slightly better to make reservations at Mon Ami Gabi which allows guests to sit on a front patio to watch tourists walk down the strip, but we found a perfect little cafe in the restaurant that made us feel like we were right in Paris at Le Cafe Ille St. Louis. This was a last minute destination, as we both had wanted to walk into the Paris cafe, but it did not disappoint, and was a fine choice after we’d spent all our funds dining elsewhere. I ordered the French Toast which came out in thick brioche slices, slathered in butter and whip cream. Whether you want crepes, fruit, or a custom omelet I’d suggest dining here for a casual breakfast.
On Wednesday evening, considering we had left at approximately 5/6:00PM by the time we arrived in Vegas, checked in our hotel, we were all famished. Within walking distance was an In&Out which we don’t have in Atlanta. So I took a picture to commemorate, but was looking forward to the dinners planned later in the week.
For Thursday evening, wedding guests were beginning to arrive so I wanted a family style restaurant that met the atmosphere of Vegas but wasn’t so extravagant for a large party. Carmines was absolutely perfect. A family style Italian restaurant in Caesars, a group of us walked early which was fun. You could spend a whole day shopping in Caesar’s without ever leaving the hotel. The food was amazing as we ordered huge platters of lasagna, ziti, and wine all around.
The bridal party met again Friday for brunch hosted by the groom’s family so Friday evening Mom and I hosted a girl’s night for the bride. Before heading back into the room for games, I had made reservations at Aquaknox, which had made the Forbes 4-Star Restauarant list the previous four years. Aquaknox, seafood cuisine, was perfect for an upscale atmosphere. Each plate was exquisite. I wouldn’t suggest taking small children. The Aquaknox was in the Venetian which is where the ceremony was held. We alternated Ubers and walking to and from. It was approximately a fifteen minute walk from our stay.
After the wedding some of the family made our way to the Black Tap which is known for it’s creative and over-the-top milkshakes. My own milkshake was demolished before I could take a photo, but here’s another for reference. Yum. Get in my belly.
Things to Know
Skipping out on Vega’s better-known sights and scenes of shows and spending money we didn’t have, I tried to make the most of the free-time available to us.
After dinner, Mom and I walked to the Bellagio which sat directly across from our hotel. Their fountain show was lovely as the music goes along with an amazing water show that can be seen from most of the hotels on the strip. While at the Bellagio, I made two friends who agreed to post for photos, after a substantial tip of course..
For friends travelling to Vegas for the first time, I would do research on where to eat and make reservations beforehand. This made it so easy with large parties. What I under-estimated was the amount of walking. Even taking Ubers to hotels right across the street, each hotel was so large you feel like you’re walking for miles once you’re in the hotel lobby. This took some time to locate each restaurant, but Vegas’s stamp of hospitality was obvious as we always found someone who could point us in the right direction.