Our second day in Las Vegas also happened to be Mr. Burgher’s birthday. We woke up early (technically late Pittsburgh time), and took a cab into town (because it was too early for our hotel shuttle). When we read the Vegas books, we had a mindset to “see the world” of Vegas in a day; however, on our first night we took a long walk through town and basically saw the outside of many of the hotels on the south strip. We changed our plans and allowed for some extra time at some of the hotels for Mr. Burgher to take (1000s of) photos.
Our Vegas Rule #10: Do the Free! Our morning and early afternoon consisted of roaming the hotels and casinos in the middle of the strip doing mostly free activities. This helped us figure out places we might like to dine, stay, or play on a future trip. It also provided for some interesting photo opportunities to fill up our hard drives.
Our Vegas Rule #11: The best is at the back! We found that the best experiences were always at the back of the hotels (like the monorail stops). Obviously, the casino builders are smart–the more you walk through them, the more you are going to see and do. One of my favorite experiences was Siegfried and Roy’s Dolphin Habitat and Secret Garden where we got to watch dolphins, lions, tigers, and jaguars. It was a very serene location and you forgot that you were in the middle of a desert city.
Our Vegas Rule #12: Kiddos, stay home. While we were at the Dolphin Habitat, we felt like it was something that would be really cool for our kids to see; however, we made the immediate decision that we’d never bring the kids there. They can save up and come out when they are 21. Seriously, there were kids of all ages walking around town. Yeah, I understand families vacation together and there is plenty for the under 21/non-drinkers/non-gamblers; however, there is too much “trouble” that we don’t want our kids to see. It just is a decision that makes sense for our family.
Our Vegas Rule #13: Easy Walking One thing you have to really think about while in Vegas is how you are going to get around. The best way to get from one place to the other (for free) is to walk. Unless you need to be on the (west?) side of the strip (Caesar’s, TI, Bellagio, New York New York are some of the properties on that side), the easiest side to walk on is the (east?). There are a lot of steps and escalators to get you across streets on the (west) side. You can pretty much cross every street without going up and down on the other side.
Our Vegas Rule #14: Snack! There are plenty of great places to stop and smell the roses (so many great floral arrangements inside and outside the properties), but there are even more great places to grab a snack! I was lucky to find my favorite candy, Cinnamon Gummy Bears, at “It’s Sugar” in NYNY. We also found Godiva in the Venetian…hence the amazing chocolate strawberry banana kabob. Yum.
Our Vegas Rule #15: Take it in! Our absolute favorite part of the trip was our gondola ride in the Venetian. We got to sit back and just look at everything along the route. Our gondalier sang three songs plus Happy Birthday in Italian. Truly a special moment, one we are glad that we stopped to take time to do.