36 Hours in Las Vegas

After driving for hours filled with incredible views along the I-70 from Utah, we began to see signs of Vegas. Dozens of power lines emerged out of the desert all leading to a city which is the epitome of all things anti-environment. Even our plastic hotel cups came wrapped in even more plastic, but that’s a story for another post. Taking an ‘ignorance is bliss’ attitude and drinking copious amount of cheap margaritas is really the only way to enjoy your over-air-conditioned self in the middle of the desert. I guess after taking in countless hours of natural beauty, I went into Vegas with a higher sense of preservation for nature than usual. I’m really in no position to criticize really, I am in the process of driving my car over 4,000 miles to it’s new home. At least the Civic is fuel efficient.

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Our first stop in sin city, was the Premium One Outlets. There are two locations in the city, one is off the north end of the main strip, the second at the south end. In my first visit to Vegas a few years ago, I stayed at the MGM Signature Suites located towards the south end of strip. This time around we not only entered the city at the north end, but we were staying at the classic, let’s say ‘well-loved’ Circus Circus at the north end. So between my last two trips I have had the chance to visit both outlet locations, and the experience was pretty much identical. On my shopping list was wedding shoes, a new purse and some deals on jeans. I had absolutely no luck with shoes, but I did manage to splurge on a fancy new Michael Kors purse which in the grand scheme of things was a good deal.

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After checking into our $57/night room at Circus Circus, which included a $10 slots voucher and several coupons for food and booze, we were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the room given our bargain rate. One of small luxuries in our room was a Keurig, so I made a coffee within 10 minutes of putting my half a dozen pieces of luggage down (the result of bringing almost my complete wardrobe with me and not organizing a proper travel bag – lesson learned).

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We purchased some very reasonably priced vodka in Utah and after my coffee, I was ready for something a bit stronger. After a room cocktail or two to put us in the Vegas mindset, we were set to check out the rest of the hotel and find something to eat. We didn’t get very far. We landed at a bar like restaurant within the hotel and split a surprisingly good quesadilla, spinach dip and VERY large mango margarita.This was all for the bargain price of $30 ( an advantage of a lower-end hotel).

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Food was followed by slots (I actually won $50!), hotel wandering, good conversation and my diligent rood trip buddy ensuring we leveraged almost every drink coupon we were given. We crawled into bed in the wee hours of the morning and by some miracle, we rose before 9am. I swear it’s the oxygen they pump into the rooms…

We found an in house bistro which sold bagels and tea for breakfast, and then we headed to the pool.

Oh, the pool. As I mentioned before, this wasn’t my first rodeo. My last visit to Vegas I was accompanied by eight other fine ladies and our days consisted of fancy pool parties, and our nights fancy night clubs. My expectations were obviously much lower this time around, but the Circus Circus pool was in rough shape. One hot tub was closed and surrounded by makeshift fences which were blown over at regular, startling intervals. The second nearby pool was in the same condition. So we had the option of one pool, and could move over to the scalding hot tub near the second pool if we wanted. You get what you pay for! The sun was shining though, and once the wind settled, it was lovely to be outside soaking in vitamin D for once.

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When I felt like my freckles were coming out too hard and fast, we decided to walk the strip and eventually grab dinner at the Bellagio’s dinner buffet. Dinner was just over $30/person. The food was good, and there were unlimited crab legs and shrimp which was all I really cared about. Other highlights included pesto tortellini and shrimp pizza. I clearly am a bit of a seafood junkie. For $11.99 you had the option of bottomless sparkling wine, bloody Mary’s, beer or margaritas. Since we enjoyed a happy hour priced frozen margarita not long before dinner, we thought we’d continue with that poison of choice. Regular cocktails are about $14 each, so this option is the best bang for your buck even if you only have one. Even domestic beers were $6.50 each – outrageous Canadaesque pricing! ;)

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En route to dinner, we were approached by several club promoters who were often disappointed by our non-committal attitude about hitting the town big. Generally though, leveraging these promoters and working Twitter is the best way for us lady folk to get free entry and drinks at Vegas bars.

After our long walk, buffet dinner featuring bottomless margaritas, and lack of a proper sleep, all I wanted to do was pass out. I came to terms with the fact that at 9:30 pm in Vegas, I was in my pajamas and barely able to make it through some solid internetting. Call me an old lady, but I slept super well and when I woke the next morning to drive to LA, I was ready to take on the world. We slammed the breakfast buffet at Circus Circus, which at $13.99 was good value. I don’t think I would dare try the dinner, but it was convenient for breakfast. Denny’s which is comparably priced might have been a better choice though.

I’m starting a detox the second I land in San Francisco. 

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