What Happens in Las Vegas…

A night time view of New York New York Hotel and Casino from across the street.
A view of New York New York Hotel and Casino from across the street.

We made it to Las Vegas! This trip, like so many others, was full of surprises. We did a good job planning and preparing, considering it was a pretty last-minute decision to go. I made our restaurant reservations ahead of time and left plenty of wiggle-room for changes in plans. As we prepared for take-off, I texted my closest friends and family to let them know we were heading out. I curled up with my fuzzy blankie and napped until we landed. Once we were back on the ground, I turned my phone off airplane mode and received a few “have fun” texts – and this from Kim:

I was a little groggy from my nap (and I had been awake since 3:00 a.m.), so I tucked my phone in my pocket and exited the plane.

Day 1: Friday

We landed in Las Vegas at about 12:00, which coincidentally was about 2 hours before my sister in law and her fiancé were leaving Las Vegas. We hadn’t been able to coordinate our trips, but we were able to coordinate cocktails at the airport before they took off. I was so excited to see them, and a little tipsy from a very strong cocktail, that I forgot to get photos to share but it was great to catch up! As I awoke a little more from my slumber, I realized that Kim had said “See you when you get here!”…

New York New York

Once we said our goodbyes to sister Stephanie and soon to be brother Jeff, we headed to our hotel. We chose to stay at New York New York Hotel and Casino this time. We hadn’t stayed there before and on previous visits, found ourselves spending a lot of time there. I was ready for a sobering nap, but as I lay down I realized I was too hungry for that.

Near the elevator entrance I had noticed a sushi restaurant, we decided to give it a try. Guess who we found there having lunch? Yep, Aaron and Kim Boals, mischievous traveling partners. Remember when they said they weren’t able to join us this time? They had arrived the day before to surprise us. Now this was turning out to be an adventure! We compared plans and reservations, and conspired over Friday’s agenda. They had their own reservations for dinner and we had our own, so we decided to meet up after dinner and retired to our room for a much-needed nap.

We had dinner reservations at Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen, which was at the other end of the strip from our hotel. This gave us an opportunity to enjoy the sounds and lights of an evening stroll along the Vegas Strip. The sounds of the street mingling with the desert breeze makes me feel like dancing. Since there was only about a quarter of the usual crowds, there was plenty of room for me to do so. I dance-walked all the way to the Linq, where Guy Fieri’s is located.

Our delicious meal at Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen

Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen

No, I don’t have a social media worthy photo of the towering Trash Can Nachos that I had my heart set on. Turns out that, although all the ingredients are gluten free, the chips are fried in the same fryer as all the tasty, gluten-y things that I am not able to enjoy. So beware if you are celiac and thinking of ordering them. I ordered a Cherry-Limeade Ginger Mule – my new favorite summertime cocktail- and the waiter was able to recommend the Prime Time American Kobe Burger (minus onion straws), which I greatly enjoyed. They brought it with a gluten free bun, but the patty and toppings were so delicious that I took the bun off to savor the burger. Norman had a Bacon Mac-n-Cheese Burger that looked amazing. I’ll take his word that it was incredible tasting as well.

Normally, this would be too much adventure for one day. Flying, a visit with Florida family, a big surprise from our friends, a neon sparkled stroll down Las Vegas Boulevard, and a dinner date! But oh no, this is Las Vegas so we continue on! We hopped in an Uber and headed to our next destination, The Golden Tiki.

The Golden Tiki

Kim had made reservations for the four us at The Golden Tiki. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew I hadn’t packed a tiki bar outfit! I felt only slightly out of place in my heavy black sweater and pants. The Golden Tiki is amazing! The cocktail menu was impressive, and their snacks were a creative, tiki-inspired interpretation of standard bar fare. The décor was perfection, with oddities and curiosities thoughtfully displayed throughout. It was appropriately very dark so I wasn’t able to get a good photo of the pregnant mermaid specimen, but we did get some fun photos!

But wait – there’s more?

You guessed it, a couple hours at The Golden Tiki and we were off to the strip for even more fun! This is Las Vegas after all. We taxied back to our hotel and began our quest for the essential Las Vegas accessory: a yard of margarita! Once margaritas were in hand, some gambling ensued. I was exhausted and ready for bed. I’m feeling like an old lady and I can’t believe we did all that in only one day! Keep an eye out for my next post covering day two in Vegas! In the meantime, Happy Glamping!

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