Five years ago, I made the best decision of my life – I married my soulmate, my best friend, and partner in crime. OK, maybe not in crime but definitely in life. And, we tied the knot in Las Vegas, Nevada!
No, no, it wasn’t an Elvis wedding but we did think about it 😊 Maybe in the future to renew our vows…
It has been an amazing five years. We’ve traveled thousands of miles together around the world; we reached some of our dreams; and we’ve experienced some failures. We felt every emotion, we celebrated, cried, mourned, and laughed. And laughed, and laughed, most of all we laughed – a LOT. Always together and always looking out for each other.
So, obviously, we wanted to celebrate our fifth anniversary in Las Vegas – the place where it all began.
Viva Las Vegas!
You’d already read about our trip through the desert to Lake Havasu (a nice little oasis in otherwise wickedly dry place).
So, let me pick it up from there..
After leaving Lake Havasu, we decided to hit the desert again with a slight detour – Laughlin Nevada. Tim had never been there and he wanted to see the “mini Vegas on a river”. So, why not?
This turned out to be… let’s say… interesting.
First, we followed the Apple Maps directions – that was a mistake. We ended up on some secondary California road (yes, according to Apple, you need to go through California to get to Nevada). And it was a wild ride!
First, the pavement was crappy – about as bad as the Michigan roads…. sheesh. Then, it was like riding a roller coaster, or skiing down moguls. Seriously, I don’t get car sick but even I was starting to get queasy there.
We suffered through this for about 20 miles and even had a coyote run out in front of us that nearly caused us to crash. To make the coyote encounter extra disappointing, at least for Tim, there was no roadrunner or Acme products in sight.
We finally arrived in Laughlin, just in time for lunch. IT WAS HOT there! The car said 120 degrees. We didn’t stick around for long and after walking around a bit and eating at a buffet, we headed to Las Vegas!
The City That Never Sleeps!
This time around, we decided to stay on Fremont Street (that’s the “old Vegas”), mostly because we’ve never done that before. But also, because I wanted to stay at the Golden Nugget and enjoy their kick-ass pool.
Who doesn’t want to swim with the fishes in Vegas, after all?
The entire Fremont experience was awesome. The sheer amount of hedonism in Vegas was mind boggling. At every corner, there were humans doing something outrageous, believing that anything goes in Vegas. They certainly acted it out.
Las Vegas is a great place to people watch.
The lights of old Las Vegas are really amazing too. The laser show is cool but I really loved all the old casino fronts. When they all lit up at night, it was like being in a crazy dream.
We saw anything from concerts on the street, to people stripping and gyrating to the music. Humanity everywhere!
Some things were interesting, even pleasant to look at, others I will never un-see, though I wish I could. But overall, everywhere, everyone was partying and having a good time.
For our anniversary, we treated ourselves to see Bellagio’s “O”. It was incredible! Then again, I’ve not seen any Cirque Du Soleil show in Vegas that I didn’t like. “O” is unique in that it is done over water – awesome!
Here was an unpleasant surprise: Las Vegas parking on the strip is no longer free. What!? Yep, I’ve been going to Vegas for 20 years and never had to pay for parking before. And it’s all valet parking too, so think expensive! Around $25 for up to 4 hours in Bellagio, for example.
On the up side, the food in Vegas is still amazing. And, since we stayed on Fremont Street, we discovered a couple new spots that we’ll add to our “to visit” list, next time we’re in Vegas.
Carson Kitchen was one of these finds, it’s a quaint little gastropub and the food was, hands down, the best we had on this trip. Everything on the menu is for sharing and it’s a great place to come as a couple or as a group.
Le Thai was another gem. It had excellent Thai food and very good prices for lunch. And it’s right on Fremont Street.
A breakfast at Peppermill is a tradition for us. It’s a diner/breakfast joint that looks like a strip club. So very Vegas!
And, of course, Battista’s The Hole In The Wall is always on our list too. By the way, that little old man that comes around with an accordion and plays your state’s football team’s song? Yeah, he’s still there! He looks like he’s over 100 years old but he still comes around to the tables and plays for tips.
If you want to experience Vegas, the way it used to be, you must check out Battista’s! Tons of Vegas memorabilia there. Oh, and free house wine – yep, red or white or both 🙂
Naturally, I would not miss the Golden Nugget’s pool. But I gotta tell you, I wasn’t as impressed as I thought I would be. The pool was hot and crowded every day. There is no shade at all. At night, it was much better – few people and no hot sun.
All in all, I liked staying on Fremont Street. I also liked staying at the Golden Nugget but because of the pain-in-the-ass parking situation, and the ridiculously high resort fees ($31.95/night – although we’re told most big casinos charge them now), I probably would not stay there again.
Also, I’m glad I checked my final bill because they tried to sneak in another $30 of charges until I inquired about it.
So, although, we are not gamblers or big drinkers, we had yet another great trip to Las Vegas. We’re planning on coming back again for our tenth anniversary. And why not?