June 2014 Trip Recap

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View of Las Vegas from High Roller

View of Las Vegas from High Roller

I’ve decided to do something a little different this week. I was going to write up a recap of my week in Vegas, but I realized as I was going through my Tweets from the week that most of what I wanted to say was already there. So. . .here is a summary of how my trip went, via my Twitter feed, with additional photos and comments. This should give you an idea of the kinds of blog posts you can expect to see here in the coming weeks and months.

I kicked off my trip with a 2-day, 2-night stay Downtown, using the Downtown Grand as my home base. With only a couple of minor criticisms, I loved this place. More on that in a future blog post.

Downtown Grand

Downtown Grand

For the record, I did not ride the Slotzilla zipline:

Slotzilla

Slotzilla!

Monte Carlo

For my Strip stay, I made the Monte Carlo my home base. Wow, has it changed!

 

Tip: If you plan to ride the High Roller, try to time it around sunset. The color of the sky, the slanting late-day light glistening off buildings, and the neon lights coming on all over the valley are all quite lovely.

This was the night when I started to get sick.

Wicked Strong did not win. Nor did I. 🙁

Tip: Give yourself at least 2 hours to go through the Atomic Testing Museum.

The construction in front of Ballys is pretty big. Pedestrians exiting the hotel are diverted along a walkway opposite the Cromwell’s valet entrance to cross the street. The walk light there is maddeningly slow. I saw people give up and walk away, and one woman took her life in her hands to cross against the light.

Ballys construction

Ballys construction

I toured the new Cromwell, but I have very little to say about it. As renovations go, it’s quite nice. But even with their recent rate reduction, it’s still too expensive for me to consider staying there.

The Cromwell

The Cromwell

 

That didn’t work for very long….

Sea turtle

Sea turtle having lunch

Translation: You’re not going to see very many restaurant reviews from this trip.

This is cool: At the (relatively) new Carlo’s Bake Shop at the Venetian (across from Buddy V’s Ristorante), you can watch them make the pastries in the kitchen.

Carlo's Bake Shop

Watch them make cannolis at Carlo’s Bake Shop

By this time, you must be thinking: Wow, she drinks a lot. But no! I really don’t. I went three days without drinking any alcohol, and I think I was trying to make up for lost time. LOL.

Thanks for coming to the Meetup, Tristan and Chris! It was great meeting you both.

9 thoughts on “June 2014 Trip Recap

  1. brt374

    Sorry I missed the meet-up, and sorry you were sick. Looks like you had a great trip otherwise! Looking forward to the future blogs from your trip.

  2. Jay

    Sounds like you made the best out of the trip that you could. Sad that you got a cold — bummer. Can’t wait to read the rest of your posts!

    I’m going to Vegas on June 30 until July 5. Staying at Aria for the 4th time. Looking forward to checking out the renovations at Monte Carlo and NY NY and Cromwell (we were last there in February of this year — and it was PERFECT — we actually swam in the pool at Aria in February — it was that nice).

    We might have to look into the turtle feed — that looks like a lot of fun!

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      Hi, Jay! Be prepared for it to be HOT. The renovations at Monte Carlo and NYNY are actually pretty nice. Color me surprised. Cromwell is beautiful, though there’s very little to draw me in there. I’m envious that you’re staying at Aria. I thought about it for this trip, but couldn’t justify paying that much more when I knew I’d be perfectly happy at the Monte Carlo. The turtle feed ROCKS. DO IT.

  3. Brian

    Unfortunately downtown is something of a freak show at night. I took my parents there last year, and while they loved the various casinos and the lights, they were pretty put off by all of the “festivities.” We never felt unsafe, just uncomfortable.

    On the plus side, you definitely get your fill of a party atmosphere, inside and outside. Also, I think various casinos (golden gate, the d, 4 queens, main street), are much better “casinos” than most strip destinations. YMMV.

    DT during the day is certainly more quiet, but also pretty depressing IMHO.

    Looking forward to your review of the DT Grand.

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      You are right on the nose, Brian. I used to think Downtown during the day was depressing, too, but I managed to find some fun things to do during the day there on this trip. I think, in that regard, it’s improving.

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