Just a quick recap today, since I’m still freshly back from my Vegas trip and trying to readjust to East Coast time. I’ll post full reviews of everything later on, but for now, the quick-and-dirty recap. This was a trip of “firsts” for me.
First time staying at the Luxor. I have heard so many bad reviews of this place, I expected it to be a dump, and it certainly was not. In fact, my room (in the Tower) was nicer than my room at the Monte Carlo last year and you know how much I love the Monte Carlo. So I was pleasantly surprised. I’ll post a full review later, but the upshot is there’s no reason to avoid staying here.
First time using myVEGAS comps. I used 3 comps on this trip at the Luxor: One comped Saturday night stay, one breakfast buffet at MORE buffet, and a free margarita at Tacos & Tequila. Only one of these comps was worth the amount of time I spent on this stupid game to earn it. I’ll let you guess which one that was.
First trip to Las Vegas during October. The weather was beautiful for walking around the Strip without getting heat exhaustion, but it wasn’t quite warm enough for me to break out the shorts, let alone sit by the pool in a swimsuit. So my dreams of whiling away my days in a pool lounger were dashed. Though I did do some outdoor reading in my jeans and sweatshirt.
I was also able to enjoy Halloween-themed decorations and entertainment on the Strip, on Fremont Street, and at Springs Preserve, which was decorated to the hilt for the holiday.
And I loved the Bellagio’s fall display so much more than their summer displays. Photo blog post to come!
First visit to Springs Preserve. Thanks to my local friend Brian, I made it out to Springs Preserve on this trip. What a lovely escape from the chaos of the Strip! They have beautiful walking paths, a great view of the Strip, some museums we didn’t have time to visit, and gorgeous desert flora.
First tour at The Neon Boneyard. I have been trying to get on a tour here for 3 years. Thankfully, they now have night tours, so I booked that one. I highly recommend this tour. I learned a lot that I didn’t already know about the history of Las Vegas, all through its neon signs. Most of my pictures kind of suck, because I’m lousy at taking night photos, but I’ve got a few I like.
Restaurant firsts included brunch at Border Grill, a drink at Rx Boiler Room, a stop at The Lady Silvia (a speakeasy on Hoover Ave), Five50 Pizza Bar, Tacos and Tequilas, Pyramid Cafe, breakfast at Ri Ra, Bacchanal Buffet, and the Burger Bar.
The winner of the “strangest thing I ate this trip” award goes to the Fried Green Tomato Stack at the Hash House a Go Go in the Plaza: A skewered stack of fried green tomatoes topped with homemade chicken salad, goat cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. Sounds kind of disgusting, doesn’t it? But it was a delicious combination of flavors! It’s supposed to be an appetizer, but it was so huge I couldn’t finish it.
- My friend Joe got a strange, stalkerish phone call on the house phone while we were at Rx. We suspect it was someone following him on social media because he “checked in” at Rx. (This is why I never check into places on social media. Creepy.)
- I’ve never seen a woman with tattoos running the full length of her arms before. But on this trip, I saw a different woman with this kind of tattooing every single day. Is this some new fad?
- I used a mobile router for the first time on this trip to get in-room wifi (worked like a charm!). I’ll be writing about this on my SoloFriendly blog soon. Watch for it.
- This was the first trip I can remember where I was actually able to get onto West Coast time immediately. I’m not sure why; I didn’t do anything different. But it certainly made things much easier.
- For the first time, I did not like the vibe down on Fremont Street. It was too crowded, too loud, and there were way too many drunks. It just wasn’t enjoyable for me. I hate to say it, because overall, I like what’s happening down there in terms of development (hotels, restaurants, etc.), but too many people in such a confined area loses its appeal for me very quickly. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.
I’m sure it will come as no surprise that there is still much construction going on in Las Vegas right now. The Linq’s High Roller has made the most progress from when I was here in July. It looks almost ready for operation.
Slotzilla is looking more and more like a finished product.
The New York-New York and Monte Carlo construction is deeply in progress (and rather noisy; when I walked through Monte Carlo on Thursday, the jackhammering out front set my teeth on edge).
And there’s something going on around the north side of MGM Grand, though I’m not sur what. (Anyone know?)
Of course, the highlight of the trip was the 3rd Annual Vegas Solo Meetup. It wasn’t a “first,” but important nonetheless. I was really pleased with the turnout. What a great group of people! We had bloggers galore, locals, first-time Vegas visitors and repeat Vegas visitors. Winner of the “longest distance traveled” award was Tracey from New Zealand. Thanks to Brian, Bryan, Delma, Pete, Scott, Tracey, and Troy for coming out for conversation and some laughs. And thanks to Scott for serving as our official photographer (though I suspect that’s because he didn’t want to be in the photo—next time, buddy, we’re using a self-timer to get you in the shot!).