At the end of this month, Mark and I will have been married for 10 years!
Since it's a major milestone, we wanted to take a special trip to celebrate and decided that Las Vegas would be the perfect place. We considered several different places (NYC, San Francisco, Seattle, Mexico) but chose Las Vegas because we'd both never been. Also, we got a steal of a deal using Southwest Airlines Vacations. The other destinations were expensive in comparison. For example, we were able to get both of our tickets and 3 nights at the Encore for what it would have cost for the airfare for just one of us to NYC. By the way, we booked our trip back in February so that helped us get a good deal.
The trip was perfect! We were gone 4 days and 3 nights. It was just the right amount of time to be away from Will and Ben who were staying with Mark's parents. I missed them but not so much that I couldn't enjoy myself. We flew out of Dallas Lovefield on Monday and returned Thursday evening.
We filled our days and nights taking in all that Vegas had to offer. We walked and walked and walked the Strip (Las Vegas Boulevard) is around 4 miles. There's a lot of walking in Vegas! I was surprised at how close together the casinos looked, but in reality they are far apart. The Encore is on the northern end of the strip and we saw as many casinos as we could in that walking distance--the Encore, Wynn, Palazzo, Bellagio, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Mirage, Caesars Palace, the Cosmopolitan, and Bally's. Each one had a distinct theme, style and decor. We ate at nice restaurants and saw a couple of shows. We drove to Hoover Dam one day (we rented a car for the 3 days we were there). And, one important part of the trip for me is that we took time to relax by the pool each day.
On Wednesday we posed for the touristy photo in front of the famous Las Vegas welcome sign. There's a parking area by the sign. Also there's a lady there who takes your photo and asks tourists to wait one at a time so you have the sign by yourself. I have no idea if the lady was legit but at least she organized the process where you could pose in front of the sign without anyone else in your photo. I appreciated that and it was worth the tip we gave her.
This is on Monday, our first night in Vegas. We changed out of the clothes we traveled in and went to eat and see a show. This photo was taken in front of the waterfall at the Wynn, which is the casino/resort that is connected to the Encore. We ate at Emeril Lagasse's restaurant Table 10 at the Palazzo. The food was very good. Mark had the Kobe beef ribs, and I had gnocchi.
After our meal, we saw Cirque Du Soleil Mystère at Treasure Island. Seriously, the athletic ability, skill and strength of the performers is incredible. I thought it was very entertaining. On Tuesday night, we saw Jubilee at Bally's. It's the standard Vegas showgirl act. It was entertaining, but I preferred Cirque Du Soleil so much more.
Tuesday morning we woke up pretty early because of the 2-hr time difference. We decided to walk the Strip. This is a photo in front of the Venetian. We didn't ride in a gondola, but we saw them later that night with people in them.
I've always wanted to eat at Serendipity 3 the two times I've been to NYC. It never works out for us to go, and Mark made sure that was one place we ate in Vegas. I loved it!!! We had the best breakfast I've ever had. Mark ordered banana cream waffles with fresh berries that was delicious, and I had a tasty cheese omelet with potatoes. We shared a frozen hot chocolate. Can you believe this is for one?
Since we consumed probably an entire day's worth of calories at Serendipity, we knew we'd better walk to compensate for all the tasty food we'd been eating.
Caesars Palace is huge! There are statues and fountains everywhere. We probably stayed the longest in that casino walking around and looking at the decor. Also, they had an H&M and I had to buy something. Ten years ago on our honeymoon to NYC, I bought some clothes at H&M and it was sentimental to buy a few things there on our 10th anniversary.
This is a part of the powerplant tour. Mark is in front of generators N1-N8. N for Nevada.
View of the generators from the balcony
The elevators that we rode down to the tunnels weren't working properly and we couldn't ride them back up. We were taken down some tunnels we wouldn't have normally seen because we had to use the old elevators to go back up. This is a part of the tour route used in the pre-9/11 tour. More great examples of the Art Deco style were found here.
This photo shows some more Art Deco style. It was taken on top of the Dam.
View of Lake Mead and the Colorado River
On Wednesday we drove to Fremont Street to see the older downtown part of Vegas. Driving back to the Strip we saw Las Vegas Gold & Silver Pawn Shop AKA the Pawn Stars pawn shop on the History Channel.
The line wasn't very long when we got there. We were the second couple in line so we waited about 5 minutes to get inside. When we left the line extended down the side of the building. I'm not sure if it would have been worth the wait for 45 minutes. It's much smaller inside than what we thought. None of the guys from the show were working while we were there.
I took this after we went inside. Mark's a huge fan of the show. I enjoy watching it because I really do learn interesting historical facts. We saw some of the things that have been on past shows for sale inside. I'm glad that we stopped by the pawn shop.
Once we were back to the Encore on Wednesday, we walked over to the Wynn Buffet. I ate so much food that I felt sick. The selection of food was unbelievable. I sampled so many different things that I usually don't eat--sushi, Yorkshire pudding.
If we look like we're about to bust it's because we are so full!
The light was really good as we walked back to the Encore from the Wynn and everything looked so beautiful. You can see that red is a prominent color in the decor and there's a butterfly theme.
Our fancy bathroom with a TV in the wall.
Our last night in Vegas celebrating 10 wonderful years of marriage. We couldn't be happier. I'm lucky to be married to my best friend and can't wait for more memories to be made in the future.
The post with more Vegas pics from instagram is here.
If you're into clothes, you can see what I wore in Vegas here.
*A few silly observations about our time in Vegas.
My hair is awesome with no humidity! I forgot my frizz-ease, but it wasn't a problem.
Las Vegas is really in the middle of a desert. There's a distinct contrast from the area around the casinos/resorts and the surrounding desert. Around the Wynn and Encore it was lush and green, but once we left Vegas and headed to the Hoover Dam we saw the true desert terrain.
It's weird that Mark and I are in almost every photo. I'm not used to that. We usually have photos of Will and Ben and not us.
We are masters of the photo swap. We offer to take a couple's photo and in return they snap one of us with our camera. Do you do that so you can get a photo together?
We travel light. We only had a couple of bags for the two of us. We usually look like a traveling circus when we go on vacation with the kids.
My good friend made us a list of all the things we should see and do while we were in Vegas. She's been over 10 times, and her list was extremely helpful. If you ever go to Vegas and need some advice, I'd be happy to share her list. It helped us make the most of our short visit. We felt like we didn't waste a minute.