Saturday, December 22, 2007

Las Vegas

Above: Clouds roll in to cover the mountains behind the Strip, photo taken from Gate 6 at McCarran International

Here are just a few tips, tricks, and suggestions that we discovered while in Vegas:
  • Make sure your rental car key isn't bent
  • Be prepared for an allergic reaction to all the smoke in the casinos (best bets: allergy eye drops to counteract redness and over-the-counter nasal spray)
  • Be prepared to be extremely dried-out and pack your heaviest face cream and use the eye drops and nasal spray listed above (the inside of my nose felt like sandpaper)
  • I wish I had stocked up on bottled water at a convenience store so I wouldn't have had to pay $4 per bottle in the hotels on the Strip
  • Good grilled cheese and tomato soup at Raffles in Mandalay Bay (pricey but yummy, just be prepared for crap service and tip accordingly)
  • Don't expect to use the gym at Mandalay Bay without spending $25 for a spa day pass
  • Make sure you check out the fountains at Bellagio. They really are amazing and they're free (along with the hotel's conservatory, just off the lobby).
  • Check out the outlet on Dean Martin Drive
  • Take gaming lessons at the Venetian and have a croissant panini at the food court on the casino level (not in the mall).
  • While you're at the Venetian, pick up some Murano glass beads at a kiosk in the mall.
  • Play $3 minimum blackjack at the Golden Gate downtown. Their diner is super cute, too, and the medium-rare steak was actually medium-rare and was only $14 and came with soup or salad, potato, vegetable, and a roll. The casino also had yummy gin and tonics.
  • Grab a long strand of freshwater pearls for $20 at a kiosk at the Forum Shops, Caesar's Palace
  • The Creperie at Paris Las Vegas was pricey ($9 for savory crêpes) but tasty and like a full meal (it's just off the casino floor)
  • Try out the $5 minimum blackjack at The Orleans (about a mile west of the strip on Tropicana). It's the only place where I actually made money. They also have good ice cream for about half the price of the hotels on the Strip (try the Spumoni). Also check out the gift shop.
I had a really great time. It was really excellent to decompress after this semester and relax and have fun. I am glad to be home, though. The air quality is better.

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