They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But I say that a Vegas story that begins with we landed and got tattoos should be told. What started with a Tiki bar and a joke turned into driving directly to the tattoo parlor from the airport. I’m not sure there is another way to start a weekend in Vegas. I got a tattoo on my left upper inner arm in script saying la vie est belle (life is beautiful in French). It had been something I wanted for quite some time. Life should not be wasted and every day is beautiful. I’m happy with this permanent reminder.
I had never been to Las Vegas, Nevada and wasn’t sure if I would ever go. Some of my friends started to talk about a long weekend trip and I figured why not. We had to rent a minivan which was humorous for the six of us ranging from twenty four to forty. After we landed, got tattoos and ate Thai food in the back of the minivan, we settled into our rooms at the Flamingo.
The Flamingo opened in nineteen forty six and was the first luxury hotel on the Strip. We stayed in a renovated room that overlooked the Strip and I could not have been happier with our lodging choice. The Flamingo sign in the front of the hotel is my favorite on the Strip. In the center of the Flamingo is the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat which consisted of eight flamingos, variety of birds, coy fish, ponds, a fountain and small waterfall. While the habitat isn’t huge, it is tranquil and very pleasant. Who knew the Flamingo would have flamingos?! It was a great addition to my stay.
On our first full day we took a mini road trip to the Hoover Dam which you can read all about in my Hoover Dam - Boulder City, Nevada post. It was a fun little road trip. We stopped at the famous Las Vegas sign on the way back into Vegas. Then we had a great early dinner at Hexx before getting ready for our first Cirque du Soleil show. The food at Hexx was great and the location was perfect on the Stip under the Eiffel Tower.
Two of us went to see O that evening. O is based in a permanent theater in the Bellagio and has been there since nineteen ninety eight. I have seen several Cirque shows and had heard some mixed reviews on this one from friends. Due to my love of water and this being a water based show, I was extremely excited. It far exceeded my expectations and is the first Cirque du Soleil show that I would go see again. We had limited view seats which were four rows from the front and it was fantastic. The stage went from deep to shallow water during the show. As with all Cirque shows, there were acrobats and a story line. The water aspect added an element of synchronized swimming and diving that was unlike anything I had ever seen. I cannot express enough how much I enjoyed this show and recommend it to everyone.
After the show we walked through the Bellagio to see the Chihuly installation near the entrance. It was very similar to a ceiling that I was able to see at the Chihuly Garden and Glass while in Seattle (to read more about the Chihuly Garden in Seattle check out my Seattle, Washington post). Then we ventured outside for the fountain show. The Bellagio water show that we watched was done to the Cher song Believe. It was dramatic, entertaining and fun.
After stopping to get ready and gather the group, we went to 1OAK at The Mirage to go dancing. If you like hip hop, this was the place to be. It was so fun! We danced for hours and had some drinks. We ended the evening around four thirty in the morning.
The next day a couple of us went for crepes at the La Creperie in Paris Las Vegas while the others went to Gordon Ramsay’s Fish & Chips. Fortunately for them, Gordon was there. I adore him so I was sad to miss him but I was at the Paris eating crepes so it was okay. Once we all finished our lunch we went to the Neon Museum, which you can check out in my Neon Museum - Las Vegas post. It was fun! I adore all of the old signs and am happy they are being housed there.
After the museum everyone went back to Denver and then there were two. My friend and I had the whole evening ahead of us. We started at the Venetian and ate dinner at Cañonita which sits on the canal. We watched the gondoliers go by singing their songs. It was lovely. While the Venetian is not Venice, it was great. The details, the ceilings and the facades gives you a European feel in the middle of the United States. After dinner and walking around we went to the Golden Tiki. This is the first Tiki bar I have ever been to and I have to say it was pretty fantastic! I had a mock-tail consisting of dole whip and pineapple juice, it was delicious. The ambiance, music and decor was beyond my Tiki expectations.
We had another Cirque du Soleil show to attend on Saturday evening after the Tiki bar. We went to Mystère which is Cirque du Soleil’s longest running show having begun in nineteen ninety three. It is in a permanent theater at Treasure Island and was good. I preferred O and my friend liked Mystère better. I would still recommend seeing both or either one. Cirque du Soleil shows never disappoint.
After the show we went back to our hotel and packed up as we were leaving on an eight am flight. Vegas is exhausting! We averaged twenty five thousand steps a day and four to five hours of sleep. I was tuckered out.
I have to admit, when going to Vegas I thought it would be a one time trip, but I would definitely go again. I’m not a big gambler and I gambled for maybe an hour while I was there coming out thirty dollars ahead. I could take or leave the gambling aspect of Vegas. but there are so many more shows to see and places to eat. There are spas, museums and I hear the pools are a must. While I am not ready to go back just yet, I will leave it on my list for another trip one day.