Vegas, Baby

In the middle of July, if I could name one place I wanted to visit, how many places would I have to name before I got to Las Vegas? A lot!

But, my friend Sara relocated there for work opportunities, my friend Claire was going to fly in a meet up with us, and we were going to have a girls weekend - minus our friend Annie.  And I had never been to Vegas... soooo, Vegas Baby! 

I left my house at 2am to get to PDX to fly to Seattle for a connection to Vegas. At least the sunrise was amazing.

Sara is actually in the Henderson area so you have a pretty good view of the Vegas skyline. This is not from her house, but from a Mexican restaurant where we had lunch on day one. We also went to a local casino for the amazing free pool. With 112 degree temperatures, a pool was definitely in order. 

We took in a show at Caesars called "Absinthe" which was the perfect combination of acrobatics and dirty jokes in an amazingly intimate tent venue. This was definitely one of the highlights for me.

We walked around a lot of casinos. I enjoyed the Venetian and its canals and palazzos, but the conservatory at the Bellagio allowed me to go full plant geek! Check out this snail and frog.

We took in the fountain display at the Bellagio a la "Oceans Eleven" and had a nice lunch under the Eiffle tower replica. Everything in Vegas is fake - at least it felt that way.

We took Monday for a drive out to Boulder City to take in a man-made marvel. 

The Hoover Dam as seen from the Pat Tillman Bridge. Did I mention I don't like heights? As we are snapping this picture from a bridge, trucks are whizzing by and the bridge is swaying with the breeze and the weight of traffic.

And the view of the Pat Tillman Bridge over the Colorado River (or what is left of the river as it comes out of the dam spillway). 

Because you have to, we took in Freemont Street. This is where Vegas got it start - and it smells like Old Vegas. I found this part very sad. The casinos were dark, smoky and, at 11am, were filled with people who did not look happy or healthy. It was a strong contrast from "The Strip".

If you weigh over 350 lbs., you eat for free at the Heart Attack Grill. There is a scale to the left of the door. There are milkshakes with a stick of butter in them and the "world's highest calorie burger". Eww. We did not eat here. I am a little sad this place even exists.

I mentioned it several times but if I lived in Vegas, I would never come down here. It was touristy, dirty, and sad. Not really my idea of a good time. We went during the day. I am sure it is more "happening" at night. We didn't find out.

Vegas would not be my choice for a  family vacation, but I was overwhelmed by the number of families with small children I saw, even late night on the Strip. It was amazing to see Claire and Sara. Maybe next year they can all come to me and I can show them Cor-Vegas.. or what the college kids call Bore-vallis.

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