Monday, April 16, 2012

Viva Las Vegas!

We just returned from a vacation to Sin City. I didn't take many pictures because I didn't carry my camera much, and what I did get was with my phone. We were too busy having fun to take many pictures, so bear with me on a recap lacking in photo proof. 

We flew out of Des Moines on Allegiant Saturday night, so we were ready for some cocktails. We also watched The Hangover on Tony's Kindle Fire to get us pumped up. It has been a few years since we have been to Vegas, and or flown on Allegiant. Things have changed a bit with their fees and seating policies. Not a real big fan of paying to carry on {thankfully we booked before they changed this fee}, or not getting an assigned seat when you check in.

We were lucky on the flight out that we snagged a couple of exit row seats that made for a much more comfortable journey. We did get to sit together on both flights, so it could have been worse. It just causes me a bit of anxiety when I don't know for sure where we were sitting, or if we would even get seats together. 

We stayed at Bally's this trip. Tony has stayed there before, but I had not. We got a great deal online with our Total Reward membership {Harrah's/Caesars properties}, and an upgrade deal that we were offered via email. Our room was a recently renovated one that was quiet and clean. 
photo via google images

The location of Bally's cannot be beat. Another plus was that we were free to use any other Total Rewards hotels pools. This was highly important to me on our vacation. I like to lounge poolside. 

After spending Sunday at Planet Hollywood's sports book watching The Masters, Brewers and Twins baseball, we went to the room to take a nap and get ready for dinner. We had both downloaded an app from TripAdvisor that would allow you to see what restaurants/clubs/shopping/casino's nearby were highly rated. It even provided you a compass walking map through your phone. I was playing around with it and made a reservation for Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris. 

photo via google images
We got a seat on the patio and this was our view for dinner. Not bad. The fountains at Bellagio are so classic Vegas to us. We really enjoyed our meal and it was one of our favorite parts of the trip. 

Like I mentioned above, we were free to use the pools at other Total Rewards hotels, so we walked over to Caesars the next day to use that pool. All we took with us was our room key, ID, credit card, and hotel room charge slip. 

photo via google images

We chose to sit by the pool shown below. There was not a free lounge chair available after we walked around a bit, so we talked to the concierge about the rates to rent a premium chair or daybed. We figured since it was a Monday that it would be reasonable. That was also a big reason why we stayed at Bally's. We could save money there and use it for other fun things like this. Well, we found a great deal. The daybeds were going for $150 with a $50 food and beverage min. for $200 total. The individual premium chairs were $25 each, no beverage minimum. We were sold on the individual chairs, and we chose a smaller, quieter pool to relax by. Once we walked around some, and saw people laying towels down on the concrete up against the building walls, we were even more ok with our decision. It was such a fun, relaxing day. 

photo via google images

In all the times I have been to Vegas, I had never been down to Freemont St. Tony had been, and told me that it was something to see at least once. We decided to go ahead and do that on Tuesday and follow it up with Hard Rock, since we were going to have to use cabs for both locations anyways. 

photo via google images

Did you know that you can now zipline down Freemont St? It was something fun to see for sure. We passed on that however. 

photo via google images

We walked around, in and out of the casino's, and witnessed some insane people watching. Vegas never disappoints. 

photo via google images

After that we headed to the Hard Rock casino. This was one of my favorite places in past visits. Notice I said "was". The place was dead, and we realized it was a Tuesday night, but this is Vegas, there is always something going on. The dealers were rude, acting too cool to answer questions or interact with us, and with the redesign, and addition to the casino, it lost it's mojo. 

It was always such a fun, electric place to hang out, gamble, walk around. Now... not so much. We stayed here on a past visit, and we had a lot of fun. I am not so sure we will make a point to come back given it's new attitude and it's location off strip. We left disappointed for sure. 

photo via google images

We spent a lot of time at Caesars Palace on our last day. We walked around, played a few slot machines, and made dinner reservations for that night at their Japanese steakhouse. 

We even had our own private teppanyaki table

  {I had to google to see the difference between teppanyaki and hibachi. I was not sure of the difference}

The dinner was delicious and just filling enough that we didn't want to go back to the hotel to beach ourselves, as we thought we went out! We walked around all over. We went to Bellagio, Bally's, Paris, back to Bellagio, and finally back to Bally's. Where we proceeded to find the Sbarro that was open 24/7 and have a snack. We had so much fun! We saw people betting insane amounts of money at craps, we saw newlyweds in their wedding attire, we saw people get thrown around the street by Las Vegas PD while wearing their bike helmets. We decided then to call it a night. We had seen a lot.

One last note...

We played a lot of the Hangover slot machines. They were too fun not to play, and we could always find one open. We would win some, then lose, then win some back, then was a lot of fun! The bonus games are the best.

photo via google images

It had been 3 years since our last visit to Vegas, and hopefully it won't be another 3 years before we can get back. We always have so much fun. 

Anybody have fun Vegas stories?

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