Mike had been to Vegas before and was excited to return, but me on the other hand… I was popping my Vegas cherry and wasn’t so excited about it. However, after a delicious cocktail over looking the strip, reading my book by the pool, seeing the amazing Cirque du Soleil and some delicious food I was converted. We had just 2.5 days of this, but it was nice to have some downtime and creature comforts.
The excesses of Vegas were quite overwhelming and so as I was swept away with the glitz and gaudiness of the place, my pleasure was tinged with guilt, as I thought about the people in Cuba.
The glitz I refer to includes the beautiful water fountain display set to music at the Bellagio, indoor scenes made of flowers, the replica of Venetian canals and St Mark’s square and of course the Moet vending machine. The gaudy I refer to include the themed poker machines (Michael Jackson, Ellen, Friends, you name it!), the Hummer limos and waitresses who are all wearing short shorts, tight tops and too much makeup for their age.
One of the highlights of our stay was Cirque du Soleil. We actually saw two shows Ka and Mystere, with Ka being by far the more impressive. The theatre alone was a sight to behold as the set wrapped its way around the audience, the stage was covered in sand at one point before being tipped vertically, turning into a climbing wall and then a screen for hand puppets (sounds insignificant, but was incredible). But what set this Cirque performance ahead of others was that there was a true storyline with relationships that developed. Very clever how they then managed to incorporate the acrobatic, death defying tricks that Cirque is known for. Wow!
Picked up our rental car and drove to Walmart to pick up a few camping supplies for the next few weeks, hit up the Hoover Dam and then headed to the Grand Canyon!
Our Vegas travel tips
- See Ka at the MGM!
- Book your shows through the hotel that has the show on (rather than the concierge at your hotel who claim they can do it cheaper) – trust Mike, he’s done the research!
- We didn’t eat at the buffets (which are good value if you eat a lot!), instead we ate at our hotel restaurants which were top quality. Biscayne Steak restaurant at the Tropicana is outstanding and very affordable, completely underrated, don’t waste your money on the big names like Ramsay’s or the Bellagio Prime. Also the french toast at the Beach Cafe at the Tropicana is heavenly, enough to share between two and still be full
- If you’re gambling at a table you’ll be offered free drinks, just be sure to tip (either with money or chips) in order to be offered another drink. You should also tip your croupier if you win
- Be sure to see the water display at the Bellagio
- Use Uber rather than taxis; they’re much cheaper