Sunday, July 28, 2013

Viva Las Vegas!

I got back the day before 4th of July from VEGAS for a work conference that our entire campus got to attend. I actually found out my second day of work that they were sending us to VEGAS. Not a bad second day of work if you ask me! I had never been to Vegas, so I was SUPER excited to experience it for the first time especially with my awesome co-workers. We were only there for 4 days and 3 nights, but we sure did fit a lot of touristy things into our free time. Although we had conferences and meetings everyday from 8-5, after we were finished for the day, we could spend our time how we wanted. The one thing that I REALLY wanted to do in Vegas was see the Bellagio water show since by now I'm sure you all realize... I LOVE WATER! This is a MUST see while in Vegas! Between the tears and the chills, the show was truly amazing. The show runs every 15 minutes switching between a few songs, and best of all it's FREE! It was truly breathtaking and an experience I will never forget. 


We stayed at the Stratosphere hotel which is one of the older hotels in VEGAS. Even though it was an older hotel and farther from the main part of the strip, they took really good care of us! My favorite part of the hotel was the amusement rides and bungee jump at the top of the 1,000ft+ tall building. Of course, I would never do any of these crazy thrill rides, but my conference room was on the 103 floor (800ft+ high), and we could see the bungee jumpers outside our window. It was very hard to concentrate when people were flying by the window. I could even hear the screams from my bedroom all night long! If you are looking for thrill rides while in VEGAS, this is your place! 
Pulling up to the Stratosphere 
Sunset over the Grand Canyon from my hotel room
Bungee jumper #1
Bungee jumper #2
One night after we were all finished with conferences for the day, we all took a taxi ride out to Señor Frogs for dinner, drinks, and fun. Before going into Señor Frogs we made a stop for another free pirate show, Sirens of Treasure Island. There were a ton of kids outside waiting for the show, so I assumed it was kid friendly. I should have known nothing is kid friendly in VEGAS. Basically the show was half naked girls singing and dancing with shirtless pirates. Although the props in the show were really cool, the show was basically a joke. We then made our way over to Señor Frogs and had some real fun! We all danced, had balloon hats made, and even sang karaoke (I will survive by Gloria Gaynor of course)! Señor Frogs is definitely a good time, so if you ever get the chance to experience it... DO! 
Pirate ship 
Some singing... 
...and dancing 
Señor Frogs 

My company was nice enough to get everyone free tickets to the Stratosphere in-house show called Pin Up (tickets are usually $50). Pin Up stars Claire Sinclar, Palyboy's 2011 Playmate of the year. The show was entertaining and had lots of singing, dancing, and sexy girls, but I don't think I would pay $50 to see it normally. There are 12 acts, one for each month of the year, and it lasted almost 2 hours. (No pictures were allowed during the show)



We also explored some other hotels on the strip including my favorite Caesars Palace. Caesars is much newer, cleaner (it didn't even smell like smoke in the casino), and BIGGER! It has a full high end mall, a ton of restaurants, casinos, and a free water show! Of course the aquarium and water show were my favorite parts and both free! Who doesn't like free? 
Gordon Ramsay's restaurant 
Caesars
The mall ceiling
Dining area
Aquarium
Caesar's water/fire show
Lots of fire
Anything with water makes me happy
Even just walking around the strip at night is an awesome sight to see! You can explore Paris, New York, or even Egypt without ever having to leave VEGAS!!! I can't wait to go back again and have more time to explore. There was so much I still didn't get to see. Hopefully next time I go back it won't be 114 degrees everyday.  I had never experienced heat like VEGAS heat. Again, if you or anyone you know are interested in furthering your education, you can email me at VJSmith@national.edu or respond to this blog with a comment and your contact information. I am leaving for St. Maarten in less than 2 weeks, and I can't wait to share all about it!
XoXo
Paris
Flamingo Hotel
Eiffel Tower
The strip 
Gordon Ramsay 
Paris
New York