If you’ve ever, even for a second, debated going to Las Vegas, my advice is to do it. Last October (yeah, it’s taken me a while to write this), I visited Las Vegas with some good friends, and it didn’t disappoint.
Notes from Las Vegas
We left home at around 2am Monday morning and arrived in Las Vegas around 20-or-so hours later. We travelled with United Airlines, and other than a mad rush through Chicago O’Hare airport to catch our connecting flight, the whole journey was fairly pleasant.
Well, as pleasant as 20 hours of traveling can be.
When we arrived and first saw the strip, I was a little star-stuck. Seeing the bright lights, famous hotels and casinos for the first time was kind of like bumping into a celebrity or sports star I’d always wanted to meet.
After a quick power nap at the hotel, we spent our first night wandering up and down the strip and through each casino with a Fat Tuesday’s.
I remember spending most of the night looking around in wonder – it all seemed a bit surreal. I’d seen the strip on plenty of films and TV shows over the years and now I was seeing it for real.
We stayed at The Flamingo, the hotel that started it all back in 1946. The Flamingo was opened by mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel and its neon signs electrified a dusty section of desert highway which has now become the world-famous Strip.
As the original Vegas hotel, the Flamingo felt like a throwback to the Vegas of old. The decoration, rooms and facilities were modern and up-to-date, but there was an aura around the hotel – you could easily picture what it was like back in the 40s, 50s and 60s.
The Flamingo is also perfectly located in the centre of The Strip, opposite Caesar’s Palace.
You don’t need a plan…
In Las Vegas you never need a plan, things just seem to fall into place. We’d spent a few months discussing the things we’d like to do in Vegas and the truth is it’s best to just turn up and take it as it comes.
Some of the best days (and nights) we had were completely spontaneous.
If you can see it, that doesn’t mean it’s close or within a walkable distance – this is definitely something you learn quickly in Las Vegas.
The monorail is a great and affordable way to get around the Strip. Unfortunately, we only started using it towards the end of our stay.
Time is irrelevant…
Don’t worry about time or schedules. For most of the week I had no clue what time of day it was. In Las Vegas all you really know is that it’s day or night, and even that gets confusing at times.
When you’re inside the casino’s it’s near impossible to keep track of time, especially if you’re somewhere like Caesar’s Palace where the lighting changes from day to night every hour-or-so.
Take a break…
We stayed in Las Vegas for 7 days and that amount of time is almost enough to send anyone crazy. The bright lights, ringing of slot machines and general buzz around the place is amazing, but the experience is intense.
On the Friday night, I was so exhausted from the ‘Vegas’ experience that I headed back to the hotel and ended up watching Blackfish on TV in my room. Hardly what you’d expect from a Friday night in Vegas, but much needed.
If you’re staying for longer than 5 days, you’ll probably need at least one night away from partying.
Las Vegas is an amazing place, but the experience wouldn’t be anywhere near as good without awesome people. If you ever get the chance to go, make sure to experience it with some great friends.
You’ll create some memories you’ll never forget.
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