This week has been brutal. I wish I’d had more vacation time left so I could have taken Tuesday off, but alas, my remaining vacation is reserved for the holidays. So out of the house we went. We all had a hard time getting moving and then out the door on Tuesday. I didn’t get to work until 8:30, and I normally start at 8. Wednesday was still late but a bit better, I got to work at 8:15. I’ve been so stinkin’ tired… forces were conspiring against me because the nights that I managed to get to bed early, one or both of the kids has woke up.
I’m very much looking forward to getting to bed early tonight and sleeping a couple extra hours tomorrow!
But enough about my exhaustion… time to start blogging about our trip! I still haven’t done my photos yet.
We got to Vegas around 10 a.m. pacific time last Thursday. It took about two hours to get to our hotel, The Mirage. Luckily we were able to get into our room right away.
I just wrote a boring and detailed description of our first day. I deleted it. Instead, some observations from our trip:
Las Vegas is overstimulation for grown ups. We didn’t even get close to doing everything we wanted to do… didn’t really expect that we would. Even in what we did to, there was so much to look at, it was crazy. Just walking through the casinos was an experience.
The place is loud. I’d say its that was 24/7, duh. It didn’t seem so bad when we got there Thursday, but by Saturday night the roar was anything but dull even in the middle of the afternoon! I was so grateful that, aside from loud people getting off the elevator, our 10th floor room was quiet.
Along those lines… its evident that the stroke of midnight doesn’t mark the end of one day and beginning of the next. I had a massage at the Bellagio on Saturday morning, so Doug and I went to their buffet for breakfast. We went from the Mirage to the Bellagio at about 8 a.m., and saw a few groups who were wrapping up their festivities from the night before. One group was walking through the shops at Bellagio without shoes… I think they were carrying their shoes, but maybe they weren’t. That was quite amusing to us.
Its expensive. And hot. Yes, we expected that. What we didn’t really expect was how much money we’d be spending just on water. And we didn’t want anything to drink other than water! I didn’t see a single water fountain in Vegas, aside from at the airport. I don’t know if they have water fountains at the gyms, because I didn’t visit one. But no water fountains, and the minimum price for bottled water was $4. We took home some fancy Fiji water that cost $6 for a small bottle. And the water from the tap in our room wasn’t that good.
We were told that temps had reached 120 over the summer. I was glad it was only 95 when we were there! And it is true… its not the heat, its the humidity. Because the dry heat really wasn’t so bad, at least not all the time.
Every hotel room these days has a coffee maker (at least the ones I go to)… except at the Mirage, and I’d suspect other hotels in Vegas. Nothing for free in Vegas! I was slightly annoyed at the lack of a coffee maker on Friday morning when I was tired and had a headache from the previous night’s wine consumption. But there were about 15 Starbucks relatively close, luckily one being in our hotel.
I don’t know how people live there. I especially don’t know how people work anywhere, much less the Strip. I’m sure all who work in the area must be in pretty decent shape, considering how far you have to walk just in the confines of the resort/casinos, to get where you want to go. Doug and I took the monorail a few times. The Wynn parking garage is about 2 miles down the road from the Wynn. I wonder how long it takes people to get to work?
And what they said in the guidebooks is true… even the places that seemed really close were at least a 20-minute walk to get to. Everything took at least an hour longer than we expected, even after we were there two days and were prepared for the walk.
They say to hit up the fancy restaurants for lunch when it would be easier to get in. Well, we were never hungry for lunch! We had some big breakfasts and then between being full and walking everywhere, were never hungry for lunch. I don’t remember really being too hungry for dinner some nights either. We did, however, eat in two of the nicer buffets at the Wynn and the Bellagio. That was quite an experience, as well as the pastry shop in the Bellagio. I have enough pictures for a full blog post by itself from that pastry shop.
I had entertained the notion of having a run or two in Vegas. Well, after the first afternoon, those thoughts were quickly abandoned, when we realized how much we’d be walking. I wish I had a pedometer to measure our distance. I wouldn’t be surprised to find we’d walked 10 to 15 miles or more the four days we were there. I would have loved the Shark Reef Aquarium a lot more if we’d done it earlier on the trip when we weren’t quite so exhausted from walking. I think the walk within Mandalay Bay to the Shark Reef was the longest. And it was all indoors, so at least we had that. My hips were so sore, up until Sunday morning when I realized they must have gotten used to the walking, but we left that day!
I go to a nice spa here in Madison, but that one is NOTHING compared to the spa I utilized at the Bellagio. Oh my gosh, I could have spent all day there.
Cirque du Soleil ranks up there as perhaps the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. We picked The Beatles’ Love, in part because of the reviews and in part because it was right in our hotel. The place was empty, we think in part because of the fight at the MGM Saturday night, or maybe it just always is. Either way, we got a complementary upgrade from our free tickets in the balcony that we’d gotten when we booked our trip, and the hour and a half show passed by WAY too quickly!
The Bellagio fountains were just as cool as I thought they’d be.
When we got home I had images in my mind of coming home from trips with the kids and being able to see the weight come off their shoulders as they realized they were home. Thats how I felt when we got home Monday morning.
As much as I loved Vegas and will love to go there again… I was relieved to go home on Sunday night. The crowds and constant noise and all the walking wore us down. And while picking the flight that got into O’Hare at 1 a.m. seemed like a good idea at the time, as did driving all the way back to Madison at 2 a.m. instead of paying for another night at a hotel… it didn’t end up being so great. Going to bed at 5:30 Monday morning when I’d usually get up for work was a bit surreal, as was the fact that between Sunday and Monday we were up 23 hours. And then we were awokened by the bright sun at 10:30 after only five hours of sleep. Hence, the reason why I haven’t been able to catch up on sleep or blogging and why mere existence was quite an accomplishment this week.