It has been about three weeks since I came back from a weekend in Las Vegas and that’s probably enough time to adequately talk about that weekend with 20/20 vision. If you’ve been to Vegas before, I’m sure you can understand why ‘fear and loathing’ is most DEFINITELY a feeling you experience while there and after leaving there.
The first time I went to Las Vegas was for the big new years 2000 celebration. Remember when we all thought we would die because of a computer glitch at midnight? Yeah, good times. Well, let me tell you, going to Vegas as a 32-year-old vs when I was like 13 is different. I didn’t like Vegas that much when I was 13, but I liked the city much more now.
I went away for the weekend with my boyfriend Mark, who was celebrating his 32nd birthday that weekend. We flew there with Swoop Airlines, and you can read the review of how that went here.
We arrived kind of late to Vegas on the Friday, I believe it was about 10pm. The luggage came out fast so we were able to get our stuff, hop in an Uber and be checked into our AirBnB by about 11pm. Not bad at all.
The AirBnB was really nice. I loved the decor of it, the size of it and that we had a pool somewhere in the gated community as well. We dropped our stuff and went walking (about 25 minutes) to the Las Vegas Strip. I had unfortunately suffered a pretty bad ankle injury the week before at basketball, so this walk COULD have gone quicker. Also, why the hell are there so many stairs and bridges? My goodness. Some of the escalators didn’t work so I had to hobble up and down to get across the street. That was NOT awesome.
After some gallivanting we made it into a Wahlburgers to get some food and drinks in our system before heading to an type of establishment I had never been in before.
So, I do not partake in any cannabis-related activities nor have I ever tried it myself. I also have nothing against the use of it by adults. Figured I’d start this part with making sure I made that very clear. It isn’t for me, but it sure as hell can go ahead and be for everyone else because that has nothing to do with me or my body. Clear? OK.
Our Uber took us to a place called The Apothecary Shop. Upon entering you have to show your ID and then you are given a ticket with your number on it for when it is your turn to speak to a sales associate. In the room you proceed to enter there are various pictures of the types of strains available, what the potency is, the different kinds of applications of cannabis and just other interesting things I’d never seen before. I liked that they had a line for recreational use and one for medicinal, obviously, the medicinal would be serviced first.
You know what I really liked about this dispensary though? Their level of professionalism. Everyone that worked there was dressed like a regular Monday-Friday job. No gimmicks, no cutesy nonsense - they knew their products and were there to inform people about them prior to purchasing. The reason I mention this is that SAME WEEKEND a legal dispensary (I won’t name it, if you live in Toronto you’ll know) opened up with some bullshit t-shirts as uniform. Like who the fuck though ‘I run on weed and gangsta rap’ was even remotely appropriate as a slogan? There are thousands of people in Canada still serving time over selling cannabis, and you’re here making this shit a joke? That doesn’t sit well with me.
Enough of me ranting about what was going on in Toronto though, this dispensary place was really impressive and the staff was very informative. Happy to have learned about something new while on my first night of vacation.
On Saturday morning we woke up at a somewhat decent hour and made our way over to Hash House a Go Go inside the Rio. Make sure that the fried chicken and waffles is what you order if you ever go eat there as well. The damn waffles even had bacon baked into them! Delicious. Great decision on our part.
After eating 1,560,000 calories worth of food on one plate, Mark and I made our way over to the Neon Museum. I had made a reservation for the 2pm slot to walk around and explore this cool place. Not going to lie, I only heard about by watching the movie Last Vegas and I was absolutely hooked. This place really is everything you’d hope for it to be from the pictures. If you’ve also never heard of it, this is basically a boneyard for old Las Vegas signs you’d see in movies etc. One of the best parts of visiting it wasn’t even the views, it was the staff there to explain all the history behind the signs. There was so much information to be taken in, and if you really love Las Vegas lore - this is a MUST visit.
I think we left the museum around 3pm and obviously that meant it was time to begin drinking. We took an Uber to a place called Atomic Liquors. How could this go bad, right? This place was so cool. There’s like a grungy inside but the outdoor patio is huuuuge. On a nice day with sunshine it was absolutely perfect to be out there people watching, drinking and slightly tanning. I think the beers Mark got were only $3/each as well. Big win.
From there we began walking around downtown Las Vegas a little bit more. I didn’t know that the Vegas strip was actually NOT downtown. It’s just the strip. I ABSOLUTELY love downtown so much more. That Freemont street area is so unbelievably cool and fun and soooo much cheaper to be in. If I ever return to Vegas, I may actually just opt to stay in a place closer to that area because that’s how awesome it was.
Our next stop was the Downtown Container Park. I had seen something similar in London with the containers being stacked and used as storefronts and restaurants. I love the concept. This one had a huge playground in the middle of all the containers so the children could go be there while the adults sat on the side drinking. And yes, drinking we did do. We sat down at some random spot and had the absolute best charcuterie board ever. The cheese and the meat, along with the walnuts and cranberries were delicious. Naturally, the rum and cokes we had with this were great as well. Food and liquor on a hot day in Vegas is the kind of Saturday we should all have.
We thought we’d go home and take a quick nap and come back to party in downtown later (at the recommendation of two Uber drivers and a bartender) but instead, like real old people, we fell asleep super early and didn’t wake up until a time that clubs were not even open anymore. Fail. Horrible.
Sunday morning seemed like a complete blur to me.
We got up. We packed our stuff. We got to the Bellagio to drop off our stuff so that we could make it to Tao Beach Club for 11am.
About a month before going to Tao I had made a reservation for one of the tables/chairs/comfy sofa thingy’s near the pool. I had seen videos and noted that it gets pretty busy, so I figured having our own spot would be really be beneficial. I believe our ‘seat’ was a GOLD seat and it was $100USD minimum spend. That included our cover, the table and basically meant that we just had so spend a minimum $100USD on liquor/food for the time we were there. Obviously, not a very hard task. I think we actually surpassed that in the first hour we were there. Yes, by noon. Go judge elsewhere OK?
I enjoyed Tao, like I understand why this place is popular. Hot women serving you in bikinis. There’s a pool. There’s music and alcohol. We had a good time here, the atmosphere was fun and very chill for such a loud place. Definitely do look out for certain levels of drunken douchebaggery though - we saw quite a bit of it from the 17+ dudes who booked the largest cabana there. Was very happy at that moment to be a couple seats away from the pool.
We left Tao at about 445pm to go check into our room at the Bellagio, shower, get changed and then be picked up for our next adventure at 630pm.
The next adventure was a helicopter ride over the Las Vegas Strip at night. The company I booked it with is called 5 Star Helicopter Tours.
They pick you up in this big van and drive you a little outside of the central Las Vegas area. You get a good debriefing on security and safety, then you wait and are whisked off into the sky. Let me tell you, that ride is too damn short. I know it is 15 minutes but the views of the strip are so amazing that you don’t want to come down. Even if you’re one of those people whose stomach turns a little for take offs and landings, you literally will feel none of it on this ride. Our pilot (YAAAAS LARS) was awesome and he made the experience that much cooler. If you can spare the time to head out and do this activity at night, make sure to do so. It is equally as exhilarating as it is calming. Seeing the big picture over Vegas helps you put a lot of the bullshit in your life in perspective. If you want to see a video of what some parts of the ride were like, you can find it here on my YouTube channel.
Once the ride was over, the van took us back to our Penthouse Suite at the Bellagio and you can read all about what that experience was like here.
I hope I return to Vegas again one day, especially if I could do it with my girlfriends! I think birthday boy had a decent weekend there as well.
Four days in Vegas was more than enough for me, I’m not sure how people do a whole week but to each their own. One day I’ll come back and MAYBE even gamble since I failed miserably and not doing any of that on this trip.