Travel Diary: Viva Las Vegas! One Year Anniversary Trip

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Last summer, with both of our busy schedules and our one year wedding anniversary (October 24th) just a few months away, Ryan and I were trying to figure out how we could make time for a trip to celebrate. After searching some flights + brainstorming where we could jet off to for a long weekend, we booked our tickets to Sin City! We went for 3 full days and 2 nights, October 23-25, 2016. Ryan had been to Vegas once before, and this would be my first time. I was a bit skeptical, especially since we were going for such a romantic occasion. In my mind, Vegas would be dirty and full of partiers, just like the movies. This amazing city definitely proved me wrong!

I knew I wanted to get a photo in front of the iconic “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign at some point during our trip. I figured why not do it as the very first thing to ensure we got the perfect pic?! We literally had our airport Uber driver take us there en route to our hotel. He was more than happy to do so, and even took the photo for us! Our flight got in at about 8:00am, and even that early, there was a small line of other tourists, all waiting to snap that iconic photo. So I definitely recommend going there in the morning for your best chance at a quick line!

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I did not expect Las Vegas to be SO beautiful and glamorous! (at least on the main Strip). The architecture of each hotel/casino was incredible and I was constantly amazed by the attention to detail and design. There is also no shortage of shopping in Vegas, there are designer stores everywhere, not to mention the biggest H&M store I have ever seen inside the Forum Shops (insert major heart eyes y’all, it was amazing!)

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We stayed at The Mirage and absolutely loved it! First of all, the location is completely perfect. It is right next to The Forum Shops of Caesars Palace and directly across Las Vegas Blvd. from the Venetian. It was SO perfect because we were right in the middle of all the excitement and could easily walk to all the main hotels on the Strip. Fun Fact: The Mirage smells like coconut suntan lotion right when you walk in the doors, immediately reminding you of the fact you’re on vacation. (As a lover of all things coconut, I was obsessed!) We had a view of the Strip and the Eiffel Tower from our window which was incredible! Out of the different casinos we gambled in throughout our trip, The Mirage’s casino was actually one of our favorites, and we got lucky there, winning on roulette!

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So because it was my first time, I had one major goal: walk through every single major hotel on the main Strip! Let’s just say we definitely got our steps in during this trip ha! I loved seeing all the different themes and decorations of the hotels and like I mentioned before, the stunning architecture! So each day, we’d walk to Starbucks and get a coffee and small bite to eat and begin our walk along the Strip! My favorite sights were The Venetian and The Grand Canal Shoppes (this is where the gondolas float through, SO pretty!) and The Forum Shops of Caesars Palace.

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One of the highlights of our trip was dinner at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant in the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino on our first night. We knew we wanted to book a fancy dinner reservation to celebrate our Anniversary and it was SO hard choosing a restaurant because there are endless incredible 5-star restaurants in Vegas. But if you know me at all, you know I am obsessed with Paris and the Eiffel Tower and kept coming back to the Eiffel Tower Restaurant as my top choice. (I have never been to Paris, but we are going this August 2017 and I CANNOT wait to see the real Eiffel Tower! Stay tuned!) The whole experience was incredible, even starting with the elevator ride up! So the actual restaurant is located on the 11th floor of the Eiffel Tower so you check in at the main floor of the casino, and then you are escorted up the elevator to the restaurant. The elevator is glass, so you can see the Bellagio fountains and the rest of the Strip as you ride up. SUCH a fun way to start! Then, the elevator door opens, and you are looking right into the kitchen of the restaurant, which was a such a neat touch. We were seated right at the window, which looks out at the Bellagio, which is directly across the street. I cannot even describe how gorgeous it was seeing all the lights of the strip and watching the Bellagio Fountain show right from our seats! It was so romantic, I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect way to celebrate!

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Our second night, we had dinner at the buffet inside the Mirage, which is called Cravings. It was so delicious, with 11 International cooking stations, and included unlimited beer and wine while you dined! Such a great deal and an amazing selection of yummy food as well. Vegas is known for it’s many massive buffets, and Cravings certainly did not disappoint.

Our second night was our last night, because we flew home the next evening. Now that we’d already had our romantic dinner the day before, we were ready to party it up! We knew we were going to go to the XS Nightclub at the Wynn, so after we got ready we went and walked through the Wynn and Encore and played some roulette before going into the club. We went to the club where a DJ was playing and rocking it out and just dance until 3:00am + had the time of our lives!

After sleeping in the next morning after that crazy fun night, we decided to spend our last day exploring Downtown Vegas and Fremont Street. This is where all the historic casinos are from back in the day before the main Strip existed. We walked from The Mirage to the Stratosphere, which was a 2 mile walk!! We were pretty tired by the time we got there, we took a quick Uber into Downtown Vegas. My one regret is not seeing the Fremont Street experience at night…that is when the ceiling canopy over the street lights up with laser shows. But it was still so neat during the day just to see the famous casinos like Binions and The Golden Nugget.

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With just a few hours left before we had to head to the airport, I decided that now that I’d seen all the hotels on the Strip, I wanted to revisit my favorite spots again before we left. We soaked up the sun outside the Trevi Fountain replica by the Forum Shops, and walked through the Venetian canals one last time, listening to the gondoliers serenade us with Italian love songs. So dreamy!

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Just as it was getting dark and the city was lighting up in all its sparkling, glittering glory, we picked up our bags from our concierge and headed to the airport. We went home with the best memories, and some winnings in our pocket. Year one of marriage down: Cheers!

Who else has been to Vegas or is going soon? Where is your favorite place t stay?! Let me know in the comments!

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