First, let me tell you WHY we chose Vegas. Well, I always had this idea, for about as long as we’ve been married, that we would renew our vows in Vegas with a Jimi Hendrix impersonator in a little white chapel and hire a cheesy wedding photographer. I know…big dreams. We talked about doing that for our 10 year anniversary and I had done some of the research…but we’re busy and planning a vacation like that is so much work. Last year, in December, we welcomed Ramona Jean into the world. We couldn’t dare leave the side of our family and our adorable 8 week old to go to Las Vegas. So, last year we changed plans and did something else crazy. We went to a wolf sanctuary and literally hung out with wolves and got kissed in the face by them.
Now, look at the plane that took us to Vegas. Crazy, huh? It was called the Virginia Woolf.
After planning for hours and hours and hour and seemingly giving up on making this vacation affordable…my husband stumbled across a great package deal for round-trip airfare + hotel. He surprised me by booking it and making the arrangements for the child care. He’s kinda great like that.
Before I forget, we usually have some kind of argument before we go on vacation. This vacation, we did not. Seems like we’re becoming pros at this since we take a little anniversary adventure every year. However, this year…we probably did the dumbest thing ever before heading to the airport. The kids were already with the grandparents and having a grand old time. So I loaded up the car, we said goodbye to the pets and made sure everything in the house was in order, walked out the door and realized….WE FORGOT ALL THE KEYS!!! Here it is cold in mid-January, we have a flight to catch, we’re running 30 minutes late…and we kept our cool. The car door was still unlocked. I hopped in…saw the garage door opener…pushed the button…Scott went in…and lo and behold was able to get into the house! Hallelujah because that door is NEVER unlocked.
Anyways, so that’s how we started our trip. We opted for some Schlotzsky’s Deli and hit the turnpike to Cleveland (where we found the best airfare rates). The airport was cool and the flight to Las Vegas seemed quick. I listened to a couple audiobooks (switching between Kim Gordon’s Girl In A Band and #GirlBoss) and took a couple naps. We got to McCarren Airport in Las Vegas at like 8pm their time. We called an uber which arrived to pick us up in 10 minutes. While we waited, we watched this rap video get filmed in the airport (I really hope I find it on the internet sometime and see myself in the background shoving a Starbuck’s asiago bagel in my face). The uber driver was our age or younger, had great music on, and offered us edibles from his glovebox. Vegas! What a start to this vacation already.
We were safely dropped off at our hotel. Upon checking in, we upgraded our room and got this amazing suite with a gigantic tub in the middle of the bathroom. #BubblebathGoals
We did leave the room for some late night exploring. First, food. The Shoppes at Mandalay Bay are attached to the hotel/casino and is basically a mall. We found this sweet pizza joint…but they weren’t serving food as late as we got there. Luckily, we found another amazing place to eat right next door. Prices were decent and the food was delicious. I was happily surprised there was a LUSH store in the shoppes. I bought a bubble bar to make my hotel bubble bath dreams a reality!
We discovered the tram and rode it down the strip as far as it would take us. Then, we proceeded to walk around until we found “the strip” as we’d imagined it. Bellagio, New York, etc. We stopped at Bellagio, but the fountains weren’t on. So did a little more sight-seeing (it’s Vegas…I’m not telling) until 6 a.m. and then headed back to the hotel.
After a few hours (okay, 5 hours) of sleep. We felt rested enough to venture out for breakfast. We headed to Bruxie per recommendation of friends and got some chicken and waffles for breakfast. A good hearty full stomach before we venture out to Red Rock Canyon for the day. Let me say, I have never had chicken and waffles…but it was so very good. Mmm…and Bruxie makes their own cola. I can say as adie-hard Coca-Cola fan, I loved their cola. After brunch, my friend Angel and her boyfriend picked us up to show us around Red Rock Canyon. We made a crucial gas station stop first to grab water and snacks (the hiking and thirst is no joke, friends). It was absolutely gorgeous around Red Rocks. I could not stop hiking (even though my feet were killing me…Vans platforms aren’t the best hiking shoes) and I took so many gorgeous photos. Angel is a photographer herself (that’s how we met when she used to live in Toledo) so she got some great photos of Scott + I while we were all out.
After being in that fierce wind all day in Red Rock Canyon, we were cold and starving. Per the recommendation of our limo driver the night before, we headed to Evel Pie for some pizza! The Evel Pie atmosphere was amazing and the pizza had the little cuppy pepperonis that curl up and hold the grease. Mmmm. Angel + Steven got a vegan, GF pizza that also looked heckin’ delicious. We smashed and went on to explore more. We wandered around Freemont Experience watching drum performers, people ziplining over our heads, and checking out all the neon signs before Angel + Steven dropped us off at Bellagio just in time to catch the fountain show set to Elton John’s music. A great ending to the night.
Here’s a video of the fountains that I took…
Just kidding. We went out again after all that. Even got a little dressed up again. Here are the outfits from Night 2 + Night 1.
We kept this night light on walking and just went down to enjoy the shoppes some more and spent some time at the casino. Scott spent a couple of hours playing poker and I made an epic bubble bath (which I enjoyed while editing some trip photos). I don’t just throw around the word “epic” either…so believe me…it was epic. The LUSH bubble bars…a little bit goes a long way.
Last day of our adventure, we checked out and picked up our reserved Chevy Camaro SS convertible. Set our sights on seeing as much as we could: the Las Vegas sign, Hoover Dam, Arizona, Lake Mead, a sunset, and all that good stuff. We got it all squeezed in, returned the car, shuttled back to the airport on time, picked up souvenirs, and headed back home to our family we miss so much.
We did all of this (and so much more) in less than 3 days. I’m so glad that we made this our thing. Every anniversary calls for a new adventure.
Here’s to many more adventures.