A couple of years ago, my baby brother decided he’d found his true love and popped the question… They chose to get married in Las Vegas and asked close family if they’d like to attend. Of course, I wasn’t going to turn down a good excuse for a mini-break to Las Vegas!! Although, at the time of booking, I didn’t expect to be 21 weeks pregnant at the time of flying with a time difference of -8 hours either!
A couple of weeks before the flight, we booked a helicopter ride over the Hoover Dam and west rim of the Grand Canyon and a couple of shows. If I’m honest, I was expecting Las Vegas to be all about gambling and not much else, but I couldn’t be more wrong! There is so much to do there, it’s pretty crazy. It was impossible to see it all in the 4 nights we were there, and I daresay even if you spent a fortnight with a crammed schedule – you still couldn’t manage it all. The time we were in Las Vegas just so happened to fall on the same dates my friend was in New York for a trip, staying at the Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan. We were doing our best to make each other jealous by sending pictures of what we were doing to each other (I think I won)!
We arrived in Las Vegas on Wednesday afternoon, which felt like late evening to us, and went off for an explore around the Strip after checking-in to the hotel. We managed to keep ourselves going until dinner at 6pm, after which we took ourselves off to bed as we were so tired! The next morning, we were up and ready for our trip to the west rim of the Grand Canyon in a helicopter… We were all so excited! None of us are particularly good flyers, being scared of heights, etc. but mum and A were ok – I was still rather nervous!!
We flew the 40 minute journey over the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, and headed over to the west rim of the Grand Canyon where we landed for a 30 minute break with refreshments. The Colorado river that runs through the Canyon reminded me of Willy Wonka’s chocolate river – it is an amazing sight. I’m so pleased that we got to see one of the seven wonders of the world during our mini-break to Las Vegas.
When we landed back at the Strip, we went for a wander around into the nearby hotels and shops, picked up our tickets for the two shows we were due to see and found a place to eat before heading to the theatre. That night we were to see David Copperfield in his show at the MGM Grand hotel. His show was fantastic – making cars, spaceships and a huge dinosaur appear on stage, among a number of other amazing illusions. The Strip looks completely different at night too when everything is illuminated with the miles of neon tubing that contributes in part to what Las Vegas is famous for!
The following day we went for a shopping trip to the south outlet, so jumped on a service bus to take us down there. I couldn’t believe the bargains to be had – Disney Store with dolls at $10 a piece! As I mentioned in my Pregnancy Update, I found a maternity store called Motherhood in the shopping mall too. I bought a few things in there as it’s so difficult to try things on in the UK as so few stores stock maternity clothing in store.
We made it back to our hotel, offloaded and got changed ready to see the Cirque de Soleil Michael Jackson One show in the Madalay Bay hotel. The show was full of fabulous acrobatics, with one dancer only with one leg doing tricks with his crutches! The female live guitarist helped to bring the show alive, but I did miss a live singer. I don’t mean this in bad taste, but the show was performed to tracks recorded by Michael Jackson. It was hinted at that this wasn’t the case when we were sold the tickets, but I enjoyed it all the same.
The hotels in Las Vegas are huge, as you can see the New York, New York hotel has its only rollercoaster! You can wander in and out of the hotels and look around, which is a bit bizarre as you wouldn’t think to do that in the UK! But in Vegas, all the hotels have casinos and so want you to go in and spend your money. We went for breakfast in the New York, New York and the Aria hotels and weren’t disappointed. Two completely different hotels within a stones throw of each other. It’s crazily impressive.
Our last day in Las Vegas was spent getting ready for and attending my little brother’s wedding at the Chapel of Flowers. It was a beautiful ceremony with lots of photographs taken in the grounds. I was extremely chuffed to find that we would be ferried about the landmarks of Las Vegas for photographs though! Woohoo! So we go to see the famous fountains dancing outside of the Bellagio hotel to the tune to Lord of the Dance. Can you spot the rainbow I captured? We also got taken to the Las Vegas sign, inside the Cosmopolitain hotel and the Crystals designer mall for photographs in front of some amazing displays of crystal and lights.
Of course, during a stay in Las Vegas it would be almost sacrilege if we didn’t take a flutter in the Casino. We played a little Black Jack and on the slot machines, won some and lost it again. But it was all good fun!
All in all, we had a fabulous time in Las Vegas and wouldn’t think twice about going back once the kiddies are grown. It isn’t a particularly family friendly place to travel to – but aren’t we deserving of a little break? I certainly would like to go back to see the Hoover Dam close up and learn more about that, being an Engineer by trade. I would also love to take in more of the hotels, take a trip to Downtown Las Vegas, and wander along Fremont Street.
Have you been to Las Vegas before? Is there anything you would recommend to see or do? Or did you have pre-conceived ideas like I had that Las Vegas is just for gamblers?!