Who doesn’t love a quick getaway?! I know I definitely do. I don’t often get the opportunity to take a weekend away. Between work, school, dog motherhood, and overall just trying to keep my life together, I don’t really have much extra time. My friend and I had the opportunity to fly out to Vegas just for the weekend and of course we jumped at it. Our trip lasted about a day and a half, flying in Saturday morning and turning right back around Sunday evening. Of course, we were exhausted, but it was totally worth it and I would definitely do it again. We lucked out because we had a friend who lives there (our boss, actually) so we didn’t have to pay for a hotel. Which is a great thing because I already overspent as it is! Let me tell you, nothing in Vegas is cheap except for the souvenir shot glasses.
Getting Ready For Takeoff
We got to MCO around 7:00 am EST to ensure we had plenty of time to make our flight. Neither of us had bags to check, so security was a breeze! I am super nervous on flights so, although it was extra early, we grabbed a beer at the Cuban joint to take the edge off. I have done the flight to Vegas one other time, so I am familiar with the 5-hour length. Lori and I had purchased matching Adidas hoodies, as well as an extra one to surprise Danielle with, because what kind of girls weekend is it without twinning? She loved it when she picked us up! Now we only had limited time, and we knew we had to make the most of it. With a local at our side, we got to do the full Vegas experience in the small window we had.
As soon as Danielle picked us up, she asked what the first thing we wanted to do. Obviously, we wanted to eat. She took us to a local taco place called Pinches Tacos, and it was beyond delicious.
I looked at the menu for a few minutes (while enjoying my margarita), and when I still couldn’t decide, I asked the server to give me the most popular item on the menu. I ended up with the Gringo Taco which is shredded beef, mozzarella, chipotle salsa, lettuce, and tomato. Since one taco is clearly not enough, I also ordered the highly recommended Asada Fries. This was beans, queso fresco, guac, Mexican cream, onions, cilantro, and mozzarella. It did NOT disappoint! If you find yourself in Vegas, I recommend 10/10!
When people think of the West Coast, they think the infamous In-N-Out Burger. I have seen so many people hyping it up on social media, but since its only available out west, I had never been lucky enough to try it. It was what I was most excited to eat (and share on my Instagram). Since who knows how long it will be before I get to eat it again, I got the popular #1, double double. Double patties, double cheese. And got my fries “animal style” because when on the West Coast, do as the West Coastians. I was surprised to find that they basically only serve fries and burgers. They stick to what they are good at and don’t deviate.
When it was finally time to hit The Strip for the 2nd round, we went to Eataly in the MGM for dinner and let the night take us from there. The pasta I got was too delicious to try and waste time taking a photo, so you will not see any evidence here. There was so much to choose from that anyone could find something they loved. Not only was it a restaurant, but there were also shops, bars, wine tastings/pairings, and even events where you can learn to cook!
It’s not Las Vegas if you don’t walk The Strip and play some slot machines, am I right? So, of course, we did both. Once we finished our first meal, we went straight to the strip. We gained an extra 3 hours from the time zone change, and the day was still young and full of possibilities. We also walked through the major hotels like the MGM, Bellagio, and Caesar’s Palace. I hear it might even actually be the real Caesar’s Palace.. like Caesar actually lived there. It’s insane because every hotel is like a shopping mall. Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, and so many more stores that are sadly so far out of my budget.
We walked through the Bellagio first and I was surprised to find a huge exhibit celebrating the Chinese New Year. 2019 is the year of the pig and it was so awesome to see. I always love to experience any type of culture outside of my own as often as I get the chance to. Because it was so busy, I wasn’t able to get any good pictures of the actual decorations/exhibit. Thankfully, a group of strangers was nice enough to take a photo of us and not run off with my new camera.
After we made it through the exhibit, we were on a MISSION. To Fat Tuesday we go! So far, I have been to Fat Tuesdays in Orlando, Key West, and Mexico and now I can add Vegas to my list. My friends played it safe with the small mugs, but I figured what the heck? I went for the yard size and got the Magnum44. Considering my diet lately has had little to no sugar and alcohol, this got the job done! Full disclosure, after this it was nap time before we headed out for the night.
The Night Life
As I said, food and a nap were required in order for us to get our second wind. We did some slot machines while also bar hopping within the hotels/casinos. The drinks were HIGHLY overpriced, but that’s to be expected. I didn’t really have any interest in going to any clubs. One, they’re not my scene, to begin with. Two, the lines were ridiculous. Three, there were expensive covers. I refuse to pay money to get into a club where I will be overcharged for my drinks. But hey, that’s just me.
We went to several bars before the boss lady decided to call it a night. With being on a limited schedule so we decided to stay out with the plans to Uber back at the end of the night. We found ourselves somewhere familiar to close out the evening. Blue Martini. I’ll just leave it as we had a little too much fun.
Red Rock Canyon
As a Florida girl, I am used to the extremely flat elevation. I have always had a love for mountains and nature so it was so incredible to see such beautiful scenery in a place I least expected it. Our lovely tour guide, Danielle, took us on the scenic route to go and see the Red Rock Canyons. What a sight!
This was my absolute favorite part of the trip. Right after we left, it even started snowing. Unfortunately, we didn’t really get to hike. We just stayed and enjoyed the view for a while. I am telling you, the picture does not do these beautiful mountains justice. Do not exclude this if you find yourself in Vegas!
Needless to say, I spent a lot of money, drank a lot of alcohol, ate a lot of food, and most importantly, had a lot of fun. I will continue to seize every single opportunity to travel and make the most of every trip. If I ever make it back to Las Vegas, hopefully, I have more than 24 hours!