Thursday, August 2, 2012


Even though we were only gone for four days, this is a STINKING long post, so be forewarned. It was a busy vacation. We flew into Las Vegas late Friday night/early Saturady morning, and after a horrible taxi ride involving a wet back seat (after which I vowed to NEVER take another taxi again), we had a surprise waiting at the hotel .

Tim had made reservations at the Hilton Elara, which isn't a hotel/casino as much as it is a vacation rental high-rise. It was lovely, strip-accessible-but-also-escapeable, and the room was pretty darn cheap. 

However, Tim started chumming it up with the hotel desk guy (as he always tends to do), and before we knew it, we got a free room upgrade to a two bedroom suite with a panoramic view of the North end of the strip. That's my husband for ya. Pretty cool! 
That, friends, was the view from our master bathroom. Insane.
However, I discovered that a nice room doesn't prevent my "roommate" from pulling pranks on me. My brat of a husband rudely interrupted my wonderfully luxurious steam shower by tossing in a cup of ice water over the door.... Thanks a lot DAD for teaching him that one.
The first day there, we just explored our end of the strip. Partway through the day, we popped into the Coca-Cola museum (because it was hot and we were thirsty) and decided to do a tasting of all kinds of Coke-owned drinks from around the world. Most were really yummy. Some were not.
We also stopped in to M&M world and tried a couple of their new flavors. Yum!
That first night, we went to go see Cirque du Soleil's show Ka at the MGM Grand, which was absolutely incredible. It was one of the only Cirque shows that actually has a discernable plot (albiet a little trippy and confusing, but a plot nonetheless), and the set cost two hundred million dollars to construct. Talk about impressive.
I got us some pretty inexpensive tickets for the show, so the "splurge" didn't set us back too much. We didn't stay in those seats for long, though. Tim made friends with one of the ushers while we were waiting to get in, as he tends to do, and a few minutes into the show, the usher escorted us from our second-to-last-row seats to some cushy center orchestra seats he'd snagged for us. WHAT.
The show would have been fantastic no matter where you sat, but from up there, it was dazzling. Our jaws hit the floor every couple minutes. 

Day 2 involved some pool time (we didn't last very long; it was a thousand degrees with the giant mirror of a hotel shining down on top of us) and more exploring of the city.
We visited some of the more impressive hotels, like Cosmo and the Bellagio.
We also visited the gardens at Bellagio, which were stunning.
Aside from the beautiful gardens, Bellagio also has the world's largest chocolate fountain! It was like Charlie and the Chocolate factory, kind of. But with more people.
That night, we had dinner at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant at Paris, overlooking the Bellagio fountains.
It was delish.

On the third day, we decided to go to Downtown Las Vegas for "ambiance" and cheap blackjack tables. Because of our earlier Taxi boycott, though, we ended up walking there. From the strip, when it was 108 outside. Yeesh. Talk about a sweaty mess.
On our way there, we found the Pawn Stars pawn shop and stopped in. Nerd alert, but I really love that show.

Another thing we re-learned on this trip? Nobody knows how to work our camera. This is usually what we get when someone offers to take our picture:
Also, I'm pretty sure that our blackjack dealer was hammered or something, although she kept dealing us fabulous hands.

In all, it was an incredible trip, one that has taken my walking legs a couple days to recover.
However, I'm glad to be back in the blessed 70 degree Santa Barbara air. I was NOT built for the desert.


  1. Looks like SUCH a great trip!!! Awesome. I can't wait to go there someday :)

  2. Wow... what a trip :) Looks like great fun :)) I would Looove to go to Vegas :) xoxo

  3. Looks like a great trip! I love Cirque Du Soleil, but I think every show I've seen has been a little trippy. They are always good, but sometimes I'm not 100% sure about the entire plotline. Oh well! :)

    I'm super jealous of your husband's talent for making friends that quickly---what a nice skill to have!

  4. Thanks for choosing Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations hotel. Glad to hear you had a wonderful Vegas experience:)

  5. Sounds like an awesome trip!! Ur husband sounds like a good one to roll with considering those upgrades!!! maybe we should meet for dinner since im only 30 minutes south of you!


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