Previous year’s family trips to Las Vegas have been relatively mild by Vegas standards, but this year 5 of our friends from the Boston area – Molly, Matt, Sarah, Adam and Ross – joined us for the trip and it felt like some kind of crazy bachelor party. We were out every single night until 3 or 4 in the morning and didn’t really sleep in at all. We had a great time, but I think by the last night we were all just done. Exhausted!
The first night Dallas and I arrived first around 9 p.m. We set our bags in our room, then turned around and went to the casino immediately. Molly, Matt, and Ross arrived a few hours later and joined us.
On the first day Molly, Matt, Dallas and Ross drove out to Mesquite and went golfing. I stayed in town, slept in late, and explored The Strip a bit. I’ve always stayed downtown when I’ve been in Las Vegas, so The Strip and its casinos and resorts was a bit foreign to me.
Ross had a ton of points from all the traveling he does for work that were about to expire so he set us up in some great rooms at the Planet Hollywood Resort. This was the view from our room. You can see the Bellagio fountain show, Caesar’s Palace, and the Paris resort.
View from our room at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas
One of the first things I saw while wandering around our casino: a sign advertising strip karaoke. Not sure how that works.
Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas
Connected to the resort was a huge shopping mall called the Miracle Mile Shops. I spent several hours walking around there.
Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile Shops, Las Vegas
After a while I stopped for lunch at La Salsa, a Mexican chain restaurant that I used to visit when I lived in Southern California. Of course, in Las Vegas, it was all done up garishly, but I still liked the food I ordered.
La Salsa, Las Vegas
A lot of the ceilings in the shopping center are painted like blue skies, which is neat, but after a while I felt like I should see some real blue skies so I went outside. It was so gorgeous. Sunny and I had a tshirt on, no jacket, and was just fine. The resort to the south of ours was the Paris. They’ve got the fake Eiffel Tower out there and the Paris balloon, but what I was drawn to was a gorgeous fountain.
Fountain Outside the Paris, Las Vegas
I decided to walk to Caesar’s Palace. It was only a little bit farther down the street and across the street. Inside were a bunch of really beautiful statues and fountains. I walked through the shopping area there a bit and then headed back to Planet Hollywood for a rest before everyone came back.
Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas
We decided to spend the night at the MGM Grand. At first we thought maybe we’d go to craftsteak, Tom Colicchio‘s steakhouse, for dinner. After looking at the menu though, we decided on something a little less spendy, since we’d be spending money on gambling later on. Ross had been to a great Italian place right down the hall called Fiamma so we went there. I had the best gnocchi of my life.. lobster, truffles, mushrooms. So delicious.
Adam and Sarah flew in that night and met up with us at the MGM casino. We were probably there til 2 or 3 in the morning, when there was a super bizarro Fat Burger run. We walked in and they started blaring Biggie Smalls so loud. Everyone in line started dancing and singing. Even the fry cook was raising the roof. Molly was dancing like crazy. For the whole time we were there they only played Biggie and Tupac. So awesome/strange. Also strange? This high chair full of ketchup.
Fat Burger, Las Vegas
Also at Fat Burger, some guy who said he was from the south side of Chicago gave me his CD. He said his friend was from WI and I said I was too. When he asked where I told him and he shouted out to 920, our area code up there.
The whole end of that night was super bizarro. There is video that exists somewhere and I must find it!