by Dannielle Cresp on January 23, 2013
By Monday I was ready to move on from Las Vegas. It isn’t that it was bad, just that I had seen everything I wanted to see and I found the way people can yell at you (when they’re trying to sell something) on the street really overwhelming.
I spent a lot of the day in my hotel room trying to pack, but mostly just feeling restless about the fact that I was leaving for Salt Lake City in the morning and I still hadn’t been successful in finding any winter boots. All I took from Australia were canvas shoes and ballet flats. So not appropriate for the -6°C that was expected for SLC. I had looked in Nordstrom a couple of days before, but I couldn’t see any on display and wasn’t sure if it was ok to ask. (Different cultures, different rules)
I decided to try it again, but this time I didn’t cross the MGM bridge (oh the yelling!) and crossed at the Monte Carlo, and took the bus to Fashion Show Mall, had some lunch and looked in so many shops for winter boots. It’s hard to shop for winter boots when it’s really warm out, there’s just no stock as they’re getting ready for spring already. I was about to give up and freeze my toes off, when I decided to try Nordstrom again. This time someone asked if I was looking for anything and I sheepishly asked if they had any winter boots. She said she could check out the back to see if there were any online returns in my size because it was too late in season for those kinds of boots.
As it turns out, there were new ones out the back in my size and they were on sale!! They fit me perfectly and were just so me! I love the checks and the bright shoelaces and that they were the shorter version. I also loved that I didn’t have to fret over colours and options because these were it. Meant to be! It felt great and there was a big weight off my mind about freezing my toes off!
I think that the bus along the strip is one of the best parts of Vegas. It sounds silly, but the Strip is long and it’s great to be able to hop on and off at the hotel/attraction of your choice. They are clean and are frequent and helped me to feel more confident about getting around.
Overall, my time in Las Vegas was great. I loved the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam and the Strip was fun to see once I got my bearings. The first stop is always hard as it’s such a difference to home. But I wouldn’t want to give up that week for anything.
by Dannielle Cresp on November 8, 2011
I flew out for Vegas on a rainy Friday morning. The rain was expected as I can’t remember ever flying out of Melbourne in the sunshine. That first hour was fine though our plane was delayed and we almost missed the connection.
The long haul flight was less fun. The auxiliary power wasn’t working so the plane was about 40 degrees (Celsius) when we took off and I had a bad reaction to something in the food in the first hour of the flight. Let’s just say that the next 14 hours involved a lot of me counting the minutes until I could be on solid ground again.
Thankfully the plane landed in time and immigration was very short (by LAX standards) and I made my connecting flight to Las Vegas. That flight was really quick and I was feeling much better by then.
I met one of my cousins (this was a family trip of sorts) at the first hotel we stayed in – Luxor, and then went down to the pool at the Mandalay Bay, where we caught up with some of my other cousins and some other people that had also come to Vegas for the bachelor/bachelorette parties and a weekend away. The weather was lovely and it was really nice to just sit and relax after 24+ hours of travel.
Saturday began with a late start, as all holidays should. Once we were ready to leave the hotel, we took a bus to the shopping outlets called Premium Outlets North. This place was awesome. I know that I’m not usually a big shopper, but I had my list of things that I wanted to pick up for myself, and a longer list of things to get for other people. It was an open air outlet, so all of the walkways between the shops were outside and each store had it’s own front door. The weather was gorgeous, not too hot or cold.
One thing that I really loved was how far my dollars went. For those of you who might not know, things in Australia are expensive. Sometimes even double that of the US retail price. So being in a place where things were less than US retail price meant that I could afford things that I wouldn’t have even looked at back home, and that I was well under my budget at the end of the day.
We had a lot of fun shopping for presents for people back home and picking up some bargains for ourselves. After the outlets, we took a cab out to the TJ MAXX (like a thrift store but with last season’s designer stuff at 70% off) to get a suitcase and some more fun gifts and then had the amazing In n’ Out for dinner.
Later we had the Bachelorette, but as you know, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. hahaha.
Sunday we switched hotels to the amazing Aria hotel, had brunch in Planet Hollywood and visited the M&Ms World. Then I had the chance to visit my first Kate Spade store in Fashion Show Mall and got a pair of satin flats. These shoes and my (Dooney & Bourke) handbag were the two things I really wanted to get while I was away, and not only did I achieve getting them but the shoes were 30% off!
After picking up the flats, I went back to the hotel where we spent the rest of the day relaxing and packing before our early morning flight out.
I think what I really loved most about Las Vegas, is that there is something for everyone. I’m not a drinker, partier, or gambler and I still had a fantastic time. One of the things that I really noticed was how huge the hotels were. It would take us 15 minutes to get from our room to the front door. I also fount it interesting that you could walk through each hotel and get to another.
It’s definitely a place that I would like to visit again. I’d probably allow more time for relaxing by the pool and also for seeing things like the hoover dam, which I missed out on this time.
Photos (all taken by me): View of Sydney Harbour from the plane; The mountain view flying into Las Vegas; Excalibur Hotel at night; View from our Hotel Room at Aria; Planet Hollywood and Paris Hotels from the Strip.
More on the next part of my trip tomorrow…