Saturday, April 28, 2012

VIVA LAS VEGAS! (the first in a series of some very long posts)

Sooo on President's Day weekend 2012 four bright-eyed, sick-of-Provo girls ventured on their own to the roaring big-time town of Las Vegas Nevada! I was feeling pretty good with a little tax return cash in my pocket and just needed a change of scene. So before the sun was up, we were off to Sin City!
Looking a bit haggard (I am, Tara looks perfect) None of us got much sleep the night before. Ali was getting her endowments out this weekend, so she couldn't be there. We definitely missed her!
We rolled into town at 11 am their time, and we were STARVING for lunch because we had been on the road since 6 and it was 12 our time. We finally agreed upon Olive Garden, but it wasn't open yet. So we sat outside until they opened and then, decked out in PJs, got the lunch special and some funny looks. Let me tell you, though--in Vegas, when you are the first person in this restaurant, they treat you like royalty!! And it was a nice establishment in general. 

We dropped our stuff off at the house we were staying at (suuuuper nice people that are somehow related to Cami) and went to a park to play around a bit. The weather was PERFECT! Then, after getting nice and sweaty, we went and got professional massages. Oh. My. Gosh. That experience is now in my top 10 best of my life. I had been dealing with tension headaches for about 3 weeks at that point, and they were getting pretty severe. But my awesome masseuse just went to town on my neck and shoulders and I walked out of there pain-free for the first time in a while. We all had fun comparing our different experiences and while I felt like I was drenched in oil the rest of the day, it was a seriously wonderful time. 

From there, we hit the town! And by that I mean we hit Fashion Show Mall and spent a long time walking around looking at different stores. We even caught a fashion show and held a few of our own.
I loved these glasses, but they were supes pricey so I had to say no :(

We were feeling a bit like this until we got some food and caffeine in us

From there we hit up the strip, walking through a few casinos and ultimately hit up some of the biggies: 

Caesar's Palace

Tara in front of the impressive Greek architecture. The sky is really cool in person.

 Tiffany's and the Elton John Store for Bri (sorry about the weird alignment, blogger is being dumb)

The truly terrible animatronics show about the sinking of Atlantis. The fire was really hot and scary though
Cam and Pam were being troopers as I dragged them up and down Caesar's Palace. They were exhausted.
Luck was not a Lady that night. Calm down, I only did it once!
We stopped for a picture in front of the fake Eiffel Tower. I LOVE The Paris!

 The Bellagio has THE BEST chocolate shop!! With the coolest fountain (that Tara is pretending to drink from) and it turns out they also have amazing gelato as well.

The Bellagio always has a tricked out display, and this time it was an Asian themed garden thing but there were tons of displays made entirely out of flowers! 
And no Las Vegas trip would be complete without stopping 4 or 5 times to see the Bellagio Fountains! I could watch these all night. At some point in the trip we even got to see the "Time to Say Goodbye" number which is my all-time favorite!
 At this point in the night it was only about 9 o'clock but Cam and Pam were wiped out and our car was at the other end of the strip. So, they volunteered to walk down and get the car while Tara and I looked around some more and then they would pick us up. 5 minutes after they left, we realized we had made a HUGE mistake. What happens at 9 o'clock on a Saturday night? People come to party. The family groups disappeared and people looking for a good time took their place. We popped into Planet Hollywood to see if we could find a present for Cam's B-day (Sunday) and amidst the peep shows and large numbers of somewhat intoxicated, scantily clad young adults we found ourselves in way over our heads. Vegas is not scary in a group of four girls, but in a group of two we felt tired, vulnerable, and ready to get out. So we called Pam and Cam and told them to get there ASAP, and went down a little side street, huddled on a rock, and waited while an exotic dancer got her groove on on the roof of the building across from us. They finally found us and we made our way to the house for a night of much-needed sleep.

The next day we slept in (Tara and I were staying in the CUTEST little girl room on the comfiest beds I've ever seen) and played with the cute family dog. Cam and Pam got a little rough with her, and she hid under a chair and refused to come out. When she finally did emerge, she went downstairs and laid on a chair like this
I was almost positive they had killed her. But she revived once her family got home from church.
 We hit up Sacrament at a single's ward by the LV temple and then walked the temple grounds to give ourselves a little uplift after the long day we had had on the strip.
The four of us. It was crazy windy that day.

Pam and I taking some "we match" pictures. In this one
I'm carrying her with my throat.
Palm tree!

After that we headed back to the strip to catch the places we had missed the day before. We actually walked through the Paris and then went down the other side of the strip to see the MGM lions (which weren't there...HUGE bummer) and go to the M&M store. This was definitely the ghetto part of the strip.

 One unforeseen problem I had with day 2 of the strip was that I had packed light--one black undershirt, one pair of jeans, etc. What I failed to take into account was that the strip has a certain smell to it, and after you spend a few hours there, YOU have that certain smell as well. The smell of dirt and cigarette smoke and lots of people in one place and chemicals. And there is a fine layer of grime on your clothing as well. And I got to re-wear some of my clothes the second day and smelled like that. Yuck.

By day 2 the shine of Las Vegas was starting to wear off. We did more walking and pausing than going in and exploring, and definitely didn't take as many pictures. I was starting to rely solely on Dr. Pepper for any energy whatsoever, the billboards and flyers were starting to get to me, and the excessive amounts of down escalators were making me sick (vertigo). It was freezing that day, and while we were still enjoying our vacation, our enthusiasm had definitely hit its peak and was waning. Cami's parents were incredibly kind and gave her money to take us all out to dinner for her birthday, so we settled on Serendipity 3, a really cute, fancy, girly little restaurant right by Caesar's Palace. We made our way back to it, catching some Bellagio Fountain shows on our way. Tara and I opted to wait on our reservation for an hour while Cam and Pam went and explored The Venetian. Then we got some yummy dinner!

Super fun giant menus. It was seriously such a cute place. The waiter was a tad neurotic though.

Frozen Hot Chocolate, yum! Happy Birthday Cam!

We made a point of being off the strip by 9:30, although the Sunday evening crowd was definitely much tamer than the Saturday night one. I slept one last beautiful time in that crazy comfy bed. The next morning we headed home so TBird could go to work that afternoon.

Pam was seriously awesome and drove the ENTIRE trip. 
Headed home looking a little rougher than we started! (Me and Tara, Pam and Cam look fine)

So, all in all we had a great time! We were safe, we all got along just great, we saw lots of cool things, and felt like we'd had a mini vacation from school. And while I consider Vegas to be a place that I only like to go to every few years, and I'm always really ready to leave once I've been there for a little while, it was great to soak up some sun and hang out with my friends. I also always come away impressed by the insanely cool architecture and artwork on the strip. The hotels are HUGE but are constructed perfectly to fit their theme and are often quite beautiful. I was so happy we got to do this trip, and I'll always remember the fun we had!

1 comment:

  1. Emily! I'm SO happy you're back! I love reading about your LIFE! And what a fun and crazy trip! I would have been scared of being one of two girls on the strip at night too! haha