Last updated on February 19th, 2024 at 03:50 pm
Estimated reading time: 28 minutes
There are few places on the planet with a reputation like Las Vegas. When people talk about it, you have the starry-eyed “Vegas virgins” who’ve yet to take a trip and see what the hype’s all about, versus the Vegas vets who’ve been there, done that, but very much know that there’s a new adventure every time you go. Last time I went to Las Vegas, this happened:
…so having survived that foolishness, 2013 marks not just one, but two trips I’ll be taking down to the Gambling Capital of the World, both for very different reasons and under very different circumstances. With little under a month left before I make my way there for Bloggers in Sin City, this first series will cover the trip I took with Sarah from February 15-18.
Table of contents
Our Story So Far
When you get married, everyone’s always asking the big question in a multitude of ways:
“What’s taking you so long?!”
Before you cross that last threshold into cementing your adulthood, you’ll probably try to enjoy your DINC/DINK status (Double Income no Children/Double Income no Kids) as much as possible, because as awesome as kids are, it’s no secret that they crush both your freedom and your wallet.
So a trip to Vegas made for an excellent plan.
In October, I’d won a trip to Vegas courtesy of Sauza Tequila from their SauzaSin Halloween party hosted by PartyPeopleTO and organized by Praxis PR. I was already excited then, but I had no idea what would be in store for Sarah and me on this adventure!
I’ll never completely get used to how painful travel’s become (but for good reason—when people are crashing planes into buildings, increased security is never a bad idea), but after check-in machines that refused to scan our passports, unexpected baggage fees and so much waiting, it could only go up from there.
And up it went.
Sauza Tequila definitely knows how to make someone feel like a celebrity—Sarah and I went down to Vegas not knowing what to expect! Despite having to wake up to eat it, we were pleasantly surprised to find that Praxis paid for meals on the way to Vegas and back, and it wasn’t bad at all! We landed in Vegas without complications, and let me tell you—I’ve seen it on TV a thousand times, but actually experiencing having a driver waiting for you at the airport holding a sign with your name on it is something else altogether.
After Ernie drove us into town (but not before swinging by the liquor store and pharmacy on the way in for all our snacking and boozing needs) and a bit of wandering about (as we were early after all), we walked into the greatest surprise of all.
When we got to Vegas, Sarah and I weren’t expecting much for a room—a bed, a bathroom and maybe a closet to put some stuff in (it was a free trip, after all)—but when we got up there, it was a very different story…
The View: Viva the Bellagio Fountains!
Our benefactors had sprung for 3 nights at one of Cosmopolitan’s Wraparound Terrace Suites, a 1200-square foot beast of a room offering a king-size bed; two bathrooms; a breakfast table; TV and entertainment area; full kitchen (including sub-zero wine fridge); washer and dryer; and of course a balcony that wraps around the entire room, from our vantage point offering an amazing view of the Bellagio Fountains!
This room was simply mind-blowing, and if I don’t get to experience luxury like this again, I’ll at least die happy knowing how awesome it was!
Sarah wouldn’t let the opportunity go to waste, though, and made sure to pocket the complimentary C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries toiletries every day for future travels and to give as gifts back home. (As Justin would say, Sarah was going for max value, but ain’t no joke—these bottles were going for $8-10 apiece in the shop on the main floor!)
Exploring the Strip
“All there is to do in Vegas is eat, spend and party.”— unattributed
We weren’t in Vegas to stay in our rooms the entire time, though—there was an entire city to explore!
Same Vegas, Different Me!
On my second visit to Vegas, I focused more on what’d changed in Vegas and Sarah’s first impressions than anything else. There were no more lions at MGM Grand. They opened a new casino hotel or two over the years. And now they had the Crystals at CityCenter (which strangely reminded me of the Royal Ontario Museum back home)! But, much of it was still the Vegas I remembered from 5 years ago. Still the same labyrinthine casinos with no clear way to make it back out to Las Vegas Blvd. Still, the massive portions of food and me never remembering to adjust for Canadian appetites. And of course, who could forget the t-shirt-clad workers lining the streets, promoting all sorts of escort services?
Viva Las Vegas, baby—it’d been too long.
We wandered for much of Day 1 and got our bearings, but we’d save far more of the adventure for Day 2!
Next up: Now that we’ve gotten to Vegas, we needed to see what else the City of Sin had to offer! There were plenty of things to see and do while there—we’ll take a look at all the awesome available!