Yes, we finally got there! (and back).
Our Vegas trip was a tonne of fun, from touring the casinos and doing a bit of gambling to eating out Downtown and relaxing by the pool at The Mirage.
Here are some pics of The Strip. It is dazzling in a very trashy American sort of way. There are people everywhere. By day it looks like a total dive that’s probably worst than the Gold Coast. By night it’s all glittery … but still trashy 🙂
The famous Bellagio Fountains … thought the show was a little overrated. It was pretty swish inside though! Still, the Wynn was nicer.
Daytime at The Venetian and canals … you know, just in case you have a desire to go to Venice, but don’t actually want to leave the country.
Inside The Venetian … somewhat nicer, in casino terms. Tables were generally cheaper than at The Mirage – but let’s just say I also paid $17 for glass of low grade red wine.
We also learned that every movie, celebrity and TV show under the sun is not afraid to pimp itself out to a pokie machine. As you can see above, there are Gremlins pokies. We also saw pokies with Ghostbusters, Ellen, the Big Bang Theory, Bones and a whole bunch of others.
Here’s a tower built by some raving lunatic … fortunately, we had a view of this from our hotel room.
Needless to say, Esh and I actually LOVED Downtown – aka the old / original Vegas. This rests about a 10 min drive from The Strip and is much less “glamorous” and more authentic and fun.
The food here is also amazing – best dinner we had took place at Carson Kitchen on 6th – Bacon Jam & Brie (see pic below), Crispy Chicken Skins (also in pic), Oxtail and Black Rice Risotto … need we say more! And of course, cocktails.
Another two awesome places we ate at – Rollin’ Smoke BBQ, for really great BBQ, and Tacos El Gordo, for some amazingly authentic Mexican tacos. The queue was out the door and it took almost an hour to get food, but it was worth it. If you’re in Vegas, you HAVE to eat at these places.
At the other end of the scale, we also sauntered by the infamous Heart Attack Grill downtown … where you can order a burger with something ridiculous like 20 patties and 40 slices of bacon, and where you eat free if you weigh over 350lbs. No wonder America has an obesity problem…
But overall, we had a blast – thrilled to have finally done the ‘Vegas thing’ and looking forward to going back one day in the far future … probably to explore more of Downtown, work on my tan, and do a little more gambling and cocktail-by-the-pool drinking.
Key Lessons Learned:
- Vegas is stupidly expensive, especially on The Strip. We paid $30 USD for 2 drinks at The Mirage (WTF). Yes, you get free drinks if you sit at the tables and gamble, but you kind of have to be prepared to put in at least $50-$100, because those waitresses aren’t bringing your drinks back quickly.
- Downtown is awesome for food. All the locals (uber drivers) we spoke to basically told us to get downtown for something decent. We ate at the California Pizza Kitchen in The Mirage on the last day; the service was great, but the food was shit and overpriced.
- DON’T fly Spirit Airlines! Booked 10pm departure flight. Left at 1.15am – got home at 4.30am the next morning.
- It’s shallow classy! I think I was expecting a little more from places like the Bellagio, Venetian and Wynn … but overall it just doesn’t compare to something like Monte Carlo. But oh well!