Trip Report – Las Vegas 2016

Let me just say, short work weeks are the best. I love scheduling long weekends since I know I’ll only have to get through 2 or 3 work days before another weekend rolls around! Plus we’re supposed to get snow on Saturday! I’m just hoping it arrives AFTER Jay’s flight lands…. but I know you’re here for the Vegas report, so keep reading for a recap of our trip!

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Decorations for Chinese New Year inside a casino

Day 1 – Saturday

Our flight to Vegas was scheduled for 1:30pm, so we decided to use our United Lounge Passes (free with the United credit card) to relax and eat/drink before our flight. The Newark lounge was nicer than I expected and was almost empty when we arrived around 11am. They have free drinks (including certain wines and beer) and free snacks. By the time we arrived, they also had a light lunch selection which included bread, salad, cheese, hummus, and soup. In addition, the snacks offered were whole fruit, trail mix, and chocolate covered graham crackers. It was a pleasant way to kill time in the airport and skip the expensive food vendors.

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Lots of seats at the bar
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Windows overlooking the airport terminal

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We also took advantage of our United Silver status (another perk of the United credit cards) to upgrade to Economy Plus for free. When we checked in 24 hours prior to departure, there will still plenty of these seats available, so we made the switch to an exit row seat. It was amazing have the extra 8 inches of leg room. Both of us could actually stretch out our legs the whole way!

After arriving in Las Vegas, we checked into the Monte Carlo then went in search of dinner. We ended up at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar where we ordered a wrap and the delicious steak quesadilla that we discovered last year. After dinner, we took an Uber to Freemont St (Old Vegas).

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This was my first venture into Old Vegas and it certainly was something! I loved watching the overhead video screen that covers the entire street.

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We also saw a Beatles cover band performing and enjoyed lots of people watching. I can’t say I’d make the effort to go back there, but it was fun to experience once. Surprisingly, we managed to stay up until 10pm (1am East Coast time!!).

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$1 Million in Cash

Day 2 – Sunday

Without any set plans today besides the Jersey Boys show at 7pm, we spent most of the morning walking around the Strip. We both like meandering around the casinos, seeing their displays, and window shopping. My favorites are the Paris casino and the Venetian. Both are gorgeously themed and have cute shopping avenues.

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We also ventured into Caesar’s to watch the moving statues performance.

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After grabbing a quick lunch we stopped at a bar in our hotel to play some video poker. I am pretty much obsessed with it. I think it’s ridiculously fun and was thrilled to discover you can play for only $.25 or $.50 a game! We probably played at least three hours over the course of the trip and each only spent $10. Plus, I was excited that they’ll give you free drinks while you’re playing. Win Win!

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For dinner, we stopped by Wolfgang Puck’s Cucino. It was a relatively inexpensive restaurant that offered pizza and pasta. I tried a mushroom / cheese / egg pizza and Jay went with a meat lover’s pizza (surprise surprise!) Both of us enjoyed the pizza and thought it was a reasonable price for the size ($15-$19).

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Now it was time for Jersey Boys!!! This was easily my favorite part of the trip. The show is just phenomenal. Funny, charming, touching…it had it all.

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The story of this musical group is fascinating and the singers/actors who told it were unbelievable. We are now hoping to make it to the Broadway show to compare, but I can’t imagine it’d be any better than what we saw. Fun fact, I’m listening to the Four Seasons as I write this post 🙂

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Day 3 – Monday

It was a pleasure to sleep in until 7:30 on Monday…and then take a nap at 10am hehe. We didn’t end up leaving the hotel until noon to get lunch and walk around again. Our main goal for today was the Big Elvis show at Harrah’s and to meet up with a few of Jay’s coworkers. What an event…this guy is certainly massive but has a great voice. We ended up staying for his second show and even danced to one of the slow songs 🙂 Definitely a must-see free show.

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Our dinner plans for the evening were at Texas De Brazil, a Brazilian steakhouse. This was Jay’s first experience at this type of restaurant and it kicked his butt hehe. Although we were both feeling extremely full by the end, he looked a little worse for the wear. His strategy was nothing but meat, while I enjoyed a few of the sides and the amazing cheese bread. Literally everything we had was delicious. It was a pricey dinner ($50 per person), but we signed up for the e-club and got $25 off. Plus, we didn’t get any drinks (in order to save room for meat!)

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Warm Brazilian Cheese Bread
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A small sampling of the meat and sides (lobster bisque, lamb, parmesan chicken, steak, cous cous, potato salad, green beans, and fried provolone)

I’d highly recommend this place as a fun dinner experience and definitely felt it was worth the money due to the quality of the food. We agreed that the different steak options were the highlight, which is what you’d hope to get (and what you pay for) at a steakhouse. I’d also suggest saving room for the cheese bread and mashed potatoes (although I’m sure Jay would still disagree!)

After dinner we crashed in our hotel room (Jay was asleep by 8:30. I made it all the way until 9:30). That arrangement worked out pretty well since I had to be awake at 6am the next morning for my 8:30am flight home.

All in all, we had a great time on the Strip and I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing a lot of the things I missed the last time! Thanks for reading!

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