Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas
Early one Tuesday morning in late March, Zach and I loaded up our suitcases and said goodbye to our pets. I grabbed my camera gear and Zach locked the door. We were headed west.
This wasn't just a "just because" kind of trip though. We were heading to Nevada to photograph Kyle and Jennifer's wedding! They met us at our house and we all caravanned to the airport - we were all ready to get them married! You can read all about that here! This blog post, however, is about everything ELSE we saw and did while we were in Las Vegas.
As soon as we got off the plane you could sense the feeling of excitement in the air. The airport itself seems like one big casino. Slot machines around every corner (even in the luggage return areas) and the elevators looked exactly like the casino level of Sonic the Hedgehog, which by the way is the only video game I am good at. After a three part shuttle system to our rental car location a few miles from the airport, we finally had our rental car and were on our way!
I was surprised to see how quickly the Las Vegas Strip popped up once were were on the highway. The highway runs behind the strip, so at first I didn't even realize it was the strip at all! From the outside, it seemed so small. ( I would no longer think this after walking up and down the strip for the next few days, trust me.) Our first official stop once we were settled in our rooms was In-N-Out Burger. It had been over a decade since I last ate here, the last time being in California when I was 18. Then we decided to check out a really cool place called The Candy Factory and I am so glad we did! They have all kinds of fun drinks - each one more colorful than the last. And holy moley - they were so good!
After sleeping in the next day and waking up to beautiful views, we headed back out to the strip. We checked out almost all of the casinos on the far end of strip. My personal favorite was the Venetian. They had moving statues, gelato and of course, the famous gondolas. We were even sure to track down some frozen rum punch drinks that helped us cool down. The entire vibe of the strip is just fun and full of energy! Everyone is having a blast and you can truly feel it. We had a great time walking around with Jen and Kyle and soaking everything in!
Zach and I aren't really into gambling, so we decided to save the money we would spend doing that and treat ourselves to one of my personal bucket list items - dining at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant. So we got fancied up and headed to the Paris Casino to dine at Gordon Ramsay Steak on Thursday evening. Zach and I love G-Ram and the entire dining experience was out of this world! I highly recommend checking it out if you're ever in Vegas.
On Friday morning, Zach and I decided to go our own way as we wanted to see the famous Vegas sign. Our uber driver dropped us off at the sign and after a few quick photos we walked down the entire strip, stopping to take in the sights as we cam upon them. This is one of Zach and I's favorite things to when we travel and I am so glad that I have found someone who loves just walking around as much as I do! One of our favorite hidden gems was the flamingo garden at the Flamingo. It was a tranquil, peaceful place - perfect for this introvert who was feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the chaos that is Las Vegas.
The only downside to the trip that there were terrible wind storms going on while we were there! They even shut down the airport for a short while because the visibility was so bad and we were stuck in the hotel a few times. Because of this, Las Vegas was pretty cold for part of our trip. I had to breakdown and buy a sweatshirt just to stay warm.. at noon in the desert!
For lunch on Friday we stumbled upon another Gordon Ramsay restaurant and thought "why not?" - Gordon Ramsay Fish and Chips was just as good, which didn't surprise me in the slightest. We even happened upon the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM, and obviously HAD to get a red velvet cupcake. In fact, I ate it while watching the fountain show at the Bellagio!
Finally the big day had arrived! We all loaded into our rental car and headed to Red Rock National Conservation area for the Kyle and Jen's wedding! Be sure to check out the blog post about their wedding here for more photos of this breathtaking place!
One of Zach and I's favorite parts of the trip was visiting a dry lake bed about 45 minutes outside of Las Vegas. We decided it was time to have our photos done while out west and we are so glad that we did! (Check the photos out here!) The dry lake bed was really neat and after our session was over we stayed out in the lake bed to watch the sunset over the mountains. It was magical!
Vegas, with all of it it's bright lights, fun energy and excitement was one for the record books. I am so thankful that we were able to experience it at least once. For our next trip, we will be headed to Gatlinburg! Stay tuned!