So we set off on Thursday evening, pretty much straight from work. We got in at about 9:30ish, and headed straight for our hotel, the Monte Carlo. Matthew and I have made a pact to go to the real Monte Carlo, Monaco, for our 40th birthdays. But since that's almost a decade away, we thought it would be fun to hit up the Vegas version in advance.
|On the Plaza|
To our surprise, when we checked in (to the 30th floor! thank you, Matthew!) and started exploring around 10:30ish, there were not that many places to eat. It has been about 10 hours since lunch, so we were properly famished. Luckily we found this excellent ramen place which had the most amazing assortment of mushrooms. Very hearty, very filling. We ate and then collapsed in a heap from exhaustion.
|View from our hotel room|
|Twilight view from our hotel room!|
|At Tableau, Wynn|
To digest, and to enjoy the searing hot desert sun, we walked from the Wynn to the Stratosphere, past several vacant lots of tumbleweed and rusted steel. We also passed John's Pawn Shop (not famous, but very poetic) and a shuttered-by-law massage parlour. They were very authentic, which is the most neutral description I can think of.
At the Stratosphere, we had a beautiful view of the surrounding dessert and hills. In previous visits to Vegas we had never got up high, so this trip we made it a priority to seek high look-outs as often as possible. We grabbed a margarita and basked in a sunbeam at the top of the tower for about an hour, and then headed down to earth again. Because we had not planned further than this, we just set out for a bit of a walk North. An hour or two later we found ourselves on the edge of downtown. We passed the big famous pawn shop but there was a line-up and Matthew was a bit pawned out. So we went across the street to a sweet vintage furniture store instead. We nearly bough a neon sign. We nearly bought a brass daisy floor lamp. And a MCM credenza-dresser matching set. And a brass eagle objet. Argh it was so hard to resist. After a while we just wanted everything, indiscriminately.
|View West from Stratosphere|
|Margaritas on the observation deck|
|Jet stream, overlooking the Strip|
We went to this amazing bar that Matthew remembered, in the Crystals mall. It is accurately named the Chandelier bar, as we were inside a giant chandelier. Later we went to the pizza place in the Monte Carlo for dinner. The front of the Monte Carlo is an open cobbled plaza with some restaurants, cafes, ice cream shop, etc, and you can sit outside in the warm desert air (away from the smokey casino air). It was perfect.
|Inside the Chandelier bar|
|View from Monte Carlo Plaza|
|Matthew with our pretty impressive pizza; we could not get enough of the al fresco dining. It is rare in Vancouver.|
We hit the gym and came back down to the plaza for a coffee and pastry in the sunshine. The rest of the day we spent walking up and down the Strip, including the Venetian Grand Canal Mall, and Cesars Palace Mall. I was grateful to spend some time indoors because I sunburnt my arm walking into town the day before, and also because it was not very warm weather, and I was only wearing a dress. We took a break from wander-shopping in the middle of the afternoon to eat nachos and margaritas at the fake Trevi Fountain. Matthew proposed to me at the real Trevi Fountain, so it was necessary for us to stop and take a selfie at this fake one. The real one has dress-up Romans with whom you can take a selfie, but the fake one has a margarita bar... take your pick.
|View from the Venetian|
|Fake Trevi, Real Love|
|This was supposed to be an ice cream seflie, but we couldn't fit the creams in.|
On Monday we slept in until the last possible moment, then checked out, and went for a very slow wander to Mirage for our second buffet adventure. Since I was gross and sick, I got a plate of fruit and some french toast. Matthew got one of everything, and two of all the desserts. It was a sight to behold. I don't know where he fit all those sweets. We rolled out and across the street to the Linq, and went on the High Roller. This did not exist when we were in Vegas last time. Matthew and I love ferris wheels. We try and go on them as we encounter them. Funnily enough we have visited Melbourne three times since we moved to Vancouver, and we have never been on the Southern Star. But we have been on the London Eye, and on a sweet one in Darling Harbour in Sydney, and a couple of other places. We were highly anticipating the High Roller - it is the tallest ferris wheel in the world! (at least until they build another one somewhere).
|High Roller selfie!|
We retreated to the Miracle Mile shops and I downed another half a litre of tea. I had lost my voice by this stage. And it was freezing. Matthew very chivalrously held me up as we walked slowly around the shops until it was a socially acceptable time to have dinner. We ate more pizza, and headed to the airport. Farewell, Las Vegas! Happy Anniversary, Matthew! Our flight was delayed by 45 minutes. We scraped into Vancouver, and home at 2:45am on Tuesday. Matthew very manfully got up and went to work for 4 consecutive days afterwards, while I stayed in bed coughing. Now I am on the mend, Matthew has succumbed. In sickness and in health, it is a privilege to be married to Matthew. We're not sorry we went to Vegas. It was worth it. And if you don't come back from Vegas utterly wrecked, then you're probably not doing it right anyway.
|Where I spent the next four days.|