Last week we returned from our first ever trip away from the boys. Our last vacation was to Dominican Republic on a babymoon before Beckham was due.
Needless to say, it was due time for a vacay. This was also very last minute. We decided to go to Las Vegas and we had such a great time. Here we are on the plane about to take off. To say I’m terrified of flying is an understatement. I kept looking around and wondering why no one else wasn’t hyperventilating. Ryan gets air (and sea) sick so he takes Dramamine and sleeps the whole time. I annoy him for the first 10-20 minutes, grabbing his leg and telling him we’re going to crash (take off is the worst for me and any time we hit turbulence), but we made it and were excited to soak up a couple of days in Las Vegas.
I thought I’d share all the costs associated with our trip throughout this post in case you are thinking about visiting Las Vegas. Did you know it’s actually #2 on the list of cheapest places to visit (for plane and hotel)…that’s because it’s pretty expensive once you get there. Ryan found a packaged steal of a deal with Spirit Airlines. We only paid $522 for round trip flight, 3 night hotel stay, and a shuttle to and from the airport. And our flight included 2 checked bags (Spirit charges for bags). We’ve flown Spirit before and really love them. We stayed at the Monte Carlo and absolutely loved it! Our package also included 2 free buffets at the hotel. I’ll list what we loved about the Monte Carlo at the end of this post.
Once we got to our hotel, we checked our bags with the Bell Hop since our room wasn’t ready to check in until 3:00. Then we headed to Bacchanal Buffet. It was highly recommended and voted the best buffet in Vegas. Ryan got a Groupon for this place so we only paid $77, including tax. And that also got us VIP access, which saved us 45-50 minutes of waiting in line (and yes, the line was LONG, but we bipassed it). Food is expensive in Vegas as you will see throughout this post.
These were just a few desserts I picked up after eating brunch…a very large brunch.
After brunch, we checked into hotel, napped and watched TV. I napped you guys. This was already starting off on a good note (I had only had a few hours of sleep the night prior). A blurry pic, but a small picture of the strip. We walked everywhere for the most part so we burned a ton of calories, which was nice since we consumed an enormous amount of food. We also used the tram system that traveled between our hotel and 3 others. I highly recommend Monte Carlo. It was central and this tram saved us money on transportation.
Ryan and I went to a late dinner at one of my new favorite places! BurGR (located in Planet Hollywood). It’s Gordon Ramsay’s burger restaurant. We LOVE Ramsay and watch a lot of his shows so this was cool for us. Let me just say this is the BEST BURGER I’VE EVER HAD. I’m a burger girl so I’ve had my fair share of burgers and this one tops them all! It was actually a turkey burger. Here’s what topped my burger – manchego cheese, blueberry compote, candied lemon, spicy mayo, potato crisp (like those potato chip sticks), and butter lettuce. Holy moly! All of it was so stinking good. We shared the sweet potato fries. Ryan got the All American burger. I wanted to try like 5 other burgers as well. I highly recommend this place. I posted a picture after we went there and someone said to try the shakes (they were to die for), but we were already gone 🙁 Oh man my mouth is watering.
The only downfall of BurGR was the wait. We didn’t get reservations so we had to wait about 40 minutes. And that was at 10pm! As you can see below, I was a little bored. But how cool is that fire lit sign?! We got 2 burgers + sweet potato fries + one soda = $52.00 (this included tip).
After dinner we went by the Bellagio fountains. These are super cool and you gotta check them out at least once. They run every 15 minutes to a song. That concluded are Monday arrival day!
The next day, Tuesday, I slept till 10:30 am and then I watched a little TV while Ryan did a quick work out. We ate at The Buffet in our hotel (it was free…included in our stay). It was okay. If I had to re-do it, I would have woken up earlier, eaten there for breakfast, and had lunch somewhere else. But, hey, a free meal.
After eating, I went to the gym and worked out. The gym is my happy place so this was actually something I enjoyed. Ryan went to the pool first and then did another quick workout towards the end of mine. I snapped this picture to see my progress (I don’t take pics of my body often, but wanted to see if I could tell any difference from a couple of months ago when I started weight lifting again, consistently). I have to say, this pic made me proud. I have a long ways to go in order to reach my goals, but it’s progress. My goal is actually to be more proportionate…my dang lower legs are so tiny, so I’m working on balancing out 🙂 Having kids really took a toll on my body in more ways than one so seeing any progression towards being fit again is great! My weight hasn’t changed much AT ALL, so seeing this progression is nice.
This picture makes me laugh…I had to buy a long sleeve jacket because I was freezing in all the hotels. It was 105+ degrees there, but they keep their hotels at 65 degrees it feels like. Everything was around $35-40 for a long sleeve shirt but we found this one for $19!
Tuesday night we had a show, so we decided to eat at Emerils Fish House (located at the MGM hotel). We both got the 4 course dinner. We started off with the clam chowder. Amazing.
Next was the Blue Crab and Remoulade. I could have eaten a bucket of this. The crab was so tender and the sauce was delicious!
For the main course, I ordered the Pan Seared chicken and Ryan ordered the Sweet Barbecued Salmon. The chicken was so good and the potato mash/gravy around it was out of this world, but I should have gotten a seafood dish since we were at a seafood restaurant 🙂 Ryan loved his salmon!
I forgot to take a picture of our dessert, but I got the bread and butter bread pudding and oh my gosh! Yummy. Ryan got the banana cream pie. I also ordered a cocktail as well – Wild Berry Lemonade. Our total bill was $138 including tip. Expensive, but I don’t think that was actually that bad for a fancy dinner at a well known chef’s restaurant. I would also highly recommend this place.
After dinner, we headed to the Cirque du Soleil show, Michael Jackson’s One (located in Mandalay Bay Resort). This show was incredible and I was thoroughly entertained the entire time. If you’re a MJ fan, you have to see this show. I am amazed at how talented these people are. Do not get an aisle seat if you do not want to interact with the performers. That would be me. I’m glad I was not on the aisle, especially for the song Thriller. Ryan said the tickets were cheaper if you bought them beforehand, so I recommend doing that if you want to save some money. This show cost us $293.70. Ryan bought tickets online before we traveled to LV. Bought it through the Cirque du Soleil website (they had a summer promotion going on). This is us before the show…no phones allowed during the show.
These were our seats for the MJ One show and they were perfect. I wouldn’t recommend anything further back/up, but to be honest, there really isn’t a terrible seat in the house. People are on the walls, coming from the ceiling, and everywhere else, but most of the action is on stage.
On the way home, we stopped by a CVS and grabbed some snacks and water. I never drink enough water on vacations because it’s not easily available. Back in bed, eating terrible food and watching TV. Yay for not having to put any kids to sleep that night.
Wednesday, the next morning, I grabbed a Starbucks in the hotel (they have 2) and we took the tram to eat breakfast. This is what the tram looks like. It’s above ground and very convenient from our hotel.
We went to a place called Eggslut. Yes, that was the name. Ryan read good reviews about this place so we wanted to check it out. It was located in The Cosmopolitan hotel. There was actually a line we had to wait in for about 15 minutes. It’s an “order at the counter” type of restaurant. We both got the Bacon, Egg (cooked through instead of Over Medium), and Cheese sandwich. Goodness, this was tasty! They have a chipotle Ketchup they put on it that gives it the perfect tangy-ness with all the breakfast-y goodness. Total bill $17.30 (2 sandwiches).
After breakfast, which ended up being more of a an early lunch, we walked around some hotels and did much of what we did the previous day between meals. We had an early dinner set before our night show. We went to a place called Southwest Steakhouse (located at the Wynn) We actually had to take the bus to get there and back (cost us $16, but I’d just do an Uber next time). It has a water view and was recommended to us by a friend. This place did not disappoint. It was extremely fancy and delicious! This was our view. And the weather was pleasant (shaded). The difference between Vegas heat and Dallas heat is huge. Vegas is very dry so it’s hot, but I never really sweat. In Dallas, the temperature is a little less (95-100 degrees), but it’s humid so you just sweat when you walk out your door. Regardless, the sun was behind these trees and it got cooler as the night went on. That big wall is for a light show they run around 8:30 (we missed it because we had to go to our show).
We started off with this amazing pasta dish, but I can’t find it on the menu when I went back and looked. We split it. It had some kind of mushrooms and seafood in it. They also bring this amazing basket of different assorted breads for you to start off with.
We ended up ordering a 12 oz filet mignon (my favorite cut) and we split that too. Filets from a steak restaurant are my favorite. The salty, buttery, crispy outer layer with a tender middle! Yum! We also ordered the black truffle cream corn and Pablano & Smoked Bacon Mac & Cheese. Both were really good.
We were so stuffed after dinner that we didn’t order dessert, but they brought us this little treat afterwards. I managed to eat a few bites 🙂 Total bill for the steakhouse – $161. That’s probably the most expensive meal we’ve paid as a couple. But, hey, vacation.
Pics from inside the Wynn as we left.
After dinner, we headed to the Bellagio to see another Cirque du Soleil show. This was called “O” and had aquatic acrobatics. This was reviewed as the show to see when in Las Vegas. It was very artsy and creative. These performers could have easily been hurt or killed in any one stunt. The athleticism on them is unreal. Again, no phone use allowed during show, but we snapped a few beforehand. The total cost of 2 tickets for this show was $315.10.
That concluded our last night in Vegas. The next morning we packed up, grabbed a Starbucks, and headed to the airport. Our morning view from the room!
On the dreaded flight back home. I was SO excited to see the kids. This was the longest I had been away from them.
It was a great trip. We actually didn’t gamble, but I probably would if I went back (Ryan used to play minor league ball in Louisiana so we’ve had our fair share of gambling…we’re not big gamblers to begin with). There is so much to do in Las Vegas that you either need to stay a really long time or take multiple trips. You walk everywhere, but they have it set up for easy/safe access on the streets. Walking helps with all the eating 🙂
Everyone told us to visit the hotels and just walk through them. I thought this was weird until I saw that each hotel is basically a mall with rooms on top. They’re gigantic. We stayed at Monte Carlo and personally thought it was one of the better hotels. They, by far, have the best pool! A lazy river, a wave pool, a regular pool, and very open. This is a picture of the pool Ryan took.
We had such a good time with just us two. We definitely need more vacations like this…at least staycations if anything. Hope you enjoyed a little overview of our trip. I love looking back at posts that are about my family!