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Viva Las Vegas!

Las Vegas.  Sin City.  It's where you can do as much or as little as you want.

 

I like to do it all.  So, this post is a few trips combined into one.  Let's just say this blog highlights my recommendations in Las Vegas. 

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My absolute favorite restaurant has to be Javier's.  I would have never guessed that my favorite would be a Mexican restaurant.  But, hear me out.  I'm not a fan of authentic Mexican food.  I've been jaded by the Mexican restaurants I've eaten at in the states.  However, Javier's blends the watered down version and the authentic version of Mexican food perfectly.  I had the Shrimp Fajitas (special order because it wasn't on the menu), Camarones con Rajas (Garlic Prawns) and chips and salsa.  And for drinks, I had a Tamarindo and a Pina.  The portions are small and the price is at least double what I would usually spend.  But, it was oh so worth it.  

 

Some other honorable mentions are Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, Mastro's, Old Homestead and Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab (although the Stone Crab are not something I would order again).   I don't particularly find the food in Las Vegas to be mouth watering.  So, I'm always searching for a place to go that will wow me.  Two places I will tell you to skip are Bacchanal Buffet and Trevi Italian Restaurant.  When all else fails, Cheesecake Factory is consistent with the menu and quality.

 

Speaking of  "wow", Dining in the Dark is an experience.  The meal is about $90 and the alcoholic drinks are about $15 extra. It's two hours.  And you literally eat in pitch black darkness.  Your waiter leads your group to the table, while you are holding on to the shoulder in front of you.  The menu is changed every season.  The meal is seven solid courses.  By the fourth course, I was full.  So, I just took a bite of everything.  After leaving the dark space, you are shown the menu of all the dishes that you ate.  It's funny because I kept saying I haven't tasted one bit of meat.  I guessed about three of the dishes.  It ended up being seven courses of totally vegan fare.  The food was mediocre.  And I don't think the lack of vision enhanced my sense of smell and taste.  However, two hours of not being distracted and only being able to engage with each other brought me back to the times when we weren't distracted by our phones.  Would I do it again?  Probably not.  But, I can say that I have now "Dined in the Dark".

Seven Magic Mountain is another experience.  For this one, I would recommend a rental car.  This tourist attraction is in the middle of nowhere.  Maybe an Uber would come to get you.  Maybe not.  I wouldn't chance it since it's about 25 mins from the Las Vegas Strip.  It's huge stacked neon painted boulders in the middle of the desert.  It's pretty cool to see and take pictures.

 

UTV off road riding at Adrenaline Mountain.  UTVs are a cross between an ATV and a Dune Buggy.  If you like driving, exploring, speed and nature, this is a blast.  Going airborn over the small mountains.  Driving down hills at almost 90 degrees.  Being totally blinded by sandstorms.  OK.  I'm exaggerating.  But, you gotta try it,

 

The Mob Museum is pretty cool.  It's basically about the mob and how they built Las Vegas.  Allot about two hours to get through the museum.  And if you plan in advance, there is a speakeasy and a distillery in the basement.  The distillery hosts moonshine tastings for an extra cost.  Can't say I was mad about that at all.  The Mob Museum is down the street from Fremont St, which is Old Vegas.  Exploring Fremont St is fun.  There are a bunch of Old Vegas style casinos, where I believe the odds of winning are better.  They have zip lining, random concerts, street shows and restaurants.  The ceiling changes colors and scenery.  It's also home to Heart Attack Grill.  I haven't been yet.  Something about the name "Octuple Bypass Burger" just sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen. 

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If you are on the fence about going to see Usher, GO!!!  He has a few more shows left for December.  The show is an hour and 40 mins of singing your heart out, even if you don't know the words.  I actually saw the show twice this summer.  I wouldn't be opposed to seeing it a third time. That's how great the show is.  And I walked away with some Usher Bucks too.  The best seats are the back rows of Sections 102-104 and the front rows of Sections 202 and 203.  Second best are any seats in the center of  The Colosseum.  After the show, head over to Vanderpump Cocktail Garden.  It's to the right of The Colosseum and only steps away.  I didn't try the food.  But, the drinks are on point. And the opulence of the place is gorgeous.  

Here are some other things to do in Las Vegas.  An Escape Room is pretty fun and challenging.  Drag Brunch at Treasure Island is a turn up.  Here is a tip.  Order the drink package and eat before you go.  Any of the Cirque du Soleil shows are worth the splurge.  My favorite is Zumanity followed by "O".  David Copperfield and Cris Angel have magical magic shows.  David Copperfield seems to be more popular. But, I actually enjoyed Criss Angel way better.  The New York New York hotel has a roller coaster and the inside of the hotel looks like Times Square.  The Mirage hotel has Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin habitat, which has a dolphin show and tigers on display.  The Mandalay Bay hotel has a Shark Reef Aquarium and Mandalay Bay Beach.  The inside of the Venetian looks like Italy has a Gondola Ride.  The Bellagio has a beautiful botanical garden inside and a water fountain show where the dancing fountain is timed to the music outside.  There is a mock Eiffel Tower in the Paris Hotel that includes a restaurant and inside looks like the streets of Paris.  There are clubs, bars, lounges and casinos everywhere you look. 

Las Vegas is one of those places that you can go broke or you can ball on a major budget.  However, Vegas is done, it's am exciting time.