Thursday, February 20, 2014

Disneyland For Adults

In April it will be our 10 year anniversary.  I've been itching to take a real vacation and our anniversary seemed like a good excuse to get away.   Plus if we are adopting another child soon, we won't be getting away without the kids much for a while.  I've heard Las Vegas called the Disneyland for adults and after a few days there I have to say it was.  I have been there twice before with my family, once around age 12 on a road trip to visit my grandparents and again when I was 18 and we went to a NASCAR race there for my brother's graduation.  We took a lot of family vacations when I was a kid and they are some of my best memories.  I hope that we can do the same for our kids when they get old enough.  DH never did much traveling so everything is new to him too.  That's part of why we chose to go to Las Vegas.  Its not somewhere we would likely go on a family vacation with kids. 

Las Vegas is known as sin city and I was not sure DH and I would have fun there.  We're not party animals and we are to tight with our money to be gamblers.  When I thought of Las Vegas I imagined parties, drinking, gambling, food, show girls and spending lots of money.  While we did experience all of those things, it wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined.  Here's a summary of our 3 days in Vegas.

We flew in on Thursday night, with the time change it was after 2am according to my clock so we went right to bed.  I had a horrible time sleeping that night, DH was snoring, I was feeling terrible guilt over leaving James for several days and I wasn't sure we should have even spent all this money for a weekend away.  So the first night I only got a few hours of sleep, not a good way to start the weekend.  We stayed at the Monte Carlo and I really liked it.  It was quieter than a lot of the other hotels, the beds were super comfy and the rooms were fairly spacious.  That morning we got up and went to Planet Hollywood for breakfast at The Spice Market Buffet.  DH had prime rib for breakfast at 9am.  Not really my thing but he wanted to get his money's worth.  It was a good meal though.  After that we walked around and checked out some of the other hotels at that area of the strip.  We went to the dolphin and white tiger habitat at the Mirage.  It was alright but we live close to the Omaha Zoo and most other exhibits fail in comparison so I wasn't too impressed.  We had some time before one of our tours started so DH thought we should bring the stuff I bought back to our hotel.  That was a mistake, the extra walking killed my feet and we were only half way through our first day.  Then we got picked up for our Pawn Stars tour at TI.  While the Pawn Shop was a disappointed the other stops and the tour itself was great.  We visited Ricks Restorations, Count's Customs, Toy Shack, and my favorite Tanked.  We are big fans of the show even though a lot of other people had never heard of it.  The General was our guide and he's a really cool guy.

After our tour we had about an hour to relax and get ready for our party bus.  DH and I are generally pretty lame, we have never been the wild and crazy party type.  But I love to get dolled up and dance so the one thing I wanted to do on this vacation was check out some of the top A-list Las Vegas clubs.   I wasn't sure if we would get in and didn't want to pay the covers or buy expensive drinks so Party Tours sounded like a great idea and they gave me a two for one promo code.  We saved a ton of cash doing it this way.  We started at the Hard Rock Cafe where we got 2 for 1 specials, champagne on the party bus to the first club which was Light at Mandalay Bay.  By far my favorite, ladies got two free drinks, they have amazing lighting and atmosphere and the best part was the cirque du solei dancers.  They were awesome and added to vibe.  After that we got free drinks on the party bus, took a little cruise down the strip and our next club was Surrender at Encore.  DH and I had enough to drink that we were able to dance the whole time we were here without losing that good feeling.  Back to the party bus for more free drinks on the way to our last club which was Pure at Caesars Palace.  I thought this would be the best but it wasn't, too crowded, it was 4am and my feet were really killing me by this point.  But we had a great night and met some interesting people on the party bus that kept us entertained.  We donated some money to the casino before we went to bed.  DH was winning at one point but of course we didn't quit while we were ahead. 

After a few hours of sleep, I was ready to go again except for my aching feet which now had some sore legs from dancing all night to go with them.  We ate breakfast at our hotel's buffet and walked over to the Excalibur and Luxor to pick up our show tickets for that night.  Then on to Mandalay Bay to check out the Shark Reef Aquarium.  It was alright but again I wasn't too impressed.  We didn't rush much this day, spent a lot of time just sitting, people watching and enjoying being together with no stress.  Donated some more money to the casino.  Tournament of Kings was the show we chose to use our free tickets for since it came with a meal.  It was a good show, more DH's thing that mine but still entertaining.   After that we had some time before our next show so we spent some time in Coyote Ugly at NYNY, we were there early enough to avoid the cover charge and get two for one specials.  I was surprised at the guy to girl ratio here, by far way way more guys.  I don't know why because ladies got free shots!  The girl on the bar doing the entertaining was pretty funny, a bit harsh the way she treated the guys but some guys like their women that way.  Then we went back to the Luxor for Fantasy.  I thought this show might be a little risque for us but it was actually really good.  Jamie Lynch had an amazing voice and the comedian was hilarious too.  It was only about 2am when we went to bed that night but I was getting pretty exhausted.

Sunday morning we didn't do much, ate at our hotel, did some shopping and donated a little bit more money to the casino.  We had to be at the airport by 2pm so it was a short day.  We agreed to only spend the cash we brought with us and not use the credit card.  That cash was saved with the intent that it would spent in Vegas.  So anything we wanted to do, DH just had to open his wallet.  We didn't worry about how much it cost or how much we had left.  We had a great weekend.  We needed it.  Daily stress had really been wearing us down and eating at our marriage to the point where we have asked each other why we are even still married. Turns out when you take away the stress, DH and I are still very much in love and enjoy being together.  Maybe DH has always been my best friend, I've just taken it for granted.  Overall Las Vegas was every bit the Disneyland it was promised to be.  For us it was a magical place where stress, parenting, bills and work did not exist.  I wish that I could make that vacation feeling last but unfortunately we lost it by the time we got our car unthawed in the -6 degree Minnesota weather.

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