Nevada

Las Vegas

2013- Sorority Reunion Trip

My first trip to Las Vegas was with 13 of my friends from my sorority the year after we graduated. It was a great love to have a reunion and all get back together to celebrate.

Cosmopolotin Hotel

We all stayed at the Cosmopolotin Hotel, and it was such a beautiful and fun hotel, and we had an amazing view from our room. The hotel is MASSIVE with so many restaurants, shops, and a large casino. We went to the Marquis Club during the day and at night; both were extremely fun. Since there were so many girls, I set up a bunch of free tables for us with a promoter at pool parties and clubs. The clubs definitely give preferential treatment to girls getting in without paying, or for a reduced price. One of the days we did pay to have a day-bed in the pool at Marquee, but it was totally worth it.

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Bellagio Hotel

The Bellagio Hotel has seen the famous gigantic fountains outside that are synchronized with music. They are really fun and interesting to watch. It was also fun to walk throughout the Belligio Hotel. We tried to gamble a little on the floor, but none of us won. We went to see the show “O” by Cirque Du Soleil, and it was absolutely incredible. We sat in the upper section, which was fine to watch the show, but I highly recommend sitting closer to be able to see better and fully experience and observe how amazing the performers are.

 

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Wynn Hotel

We went to a pool party at the Encore Beach Club. It was really fun because of how large the pool party was. They have two large pools with multiple tables and cabanas spread throughout the venue. It was nice that it was not super crowded here and we had room to walk around without being so close to other people. We tried to gamble a little here too and did not win.

1043886_10201607857782827_881023155_nCaesars Palace

Las Vegas is also known for their buffets. We decided to go to the Bacchanal Buffet – Caesars Palace. The buffet was so massive; they definitely made their money on me. They have a selection of pretty much any type of food you can think of. It was great. If you love food, I would for sure try to go to a buffet. It was also very fun to walk throughout the hotel since its in so many movies.

Aria Hotel – Liquid Pool

Aria is a newer hotel, and has a really nice low key pool. We had free drinks all day there. It was great that they played fun music, but it was not as crowded as the other pool parties that we went to.

2014- Electric Daisy Carnival 

The second time I went to  Las Vegas was for the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC). The festival was at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on June 20–22, 2014 with over 345,000 attendees. A group of about 20 friends and I went to the festival. We stayed at the Monte Carlo hotel, which was not as nice as the Cosmopolotin hotel, but it it served its purpose for the festival. Some of us flew in early and went to a pool party at Marquee. We also went to a night time pool party at the XS Club and saw Avicci, which was a really cool outdoor venue.

Most of our time was spent at the festival, which was the most beautiful festival I have been to. The festival is gigantic and spread out with stages and carnival rides throughout the Motor Speedway, with millions of lights everywhere. The fireworks at the festival were the most impressive fireworks I’ve ever seen in my life. They were way larger and longer than any NYE firework display I’ve ever seen. The only bad part about the festival was leaving it and the traffic jams that we had to sit in. Everyone rented cars because the festival was about twenty minutes outside of the Vegas Strip. One of the days we left the festival at four AM, and we did not get back to the hotel until eight AM.

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Zuma

Mike and I went to Zuma in the Cosmopolotin hotel when we stayed in Vegas for our short day trips (see below). The restaurant was amazing, they char grill everything right in the open, and we had a delicious molten lava cake.

 

Short Day Trips from Vegas: 

Valley of Fire State Park

Our plan was to come to the park during the afternoon, but there was a head advisory because it was over 110 degrees Fahrenheit, so we decided to come the next day at 7AM. There is a $10 entrance fee at the park, but it is totally worth it! The park has 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone with different areas of gray and tan limestone. It was such a beautiful park!

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Atlatl Rock

We entered the park from the west side and stopped at the Atlatl rock first. We almost drove past it, but I am so happy we stopped! This is the section of the park where you can see the petroglyphs. They are thousands of years old, and no one knows exactly what the ancient marking mean. They cannot be repaired or replaced, and unfortunately, some tourists have tried to draw their own markings on the rocks as well. Now they have them sort of protected from being reached. It is so cool to see!

Mountain Goats

Once we started heading deeper into the park, we passed multiple families of Mountain Goats. They did not seem to care when we passed by. They just wanted to eat food and be left alone. We did not disturb them, but we did watch them for a while. They are really awesome animals how they can walk on such rugged terrain with no problem!

White Domes Loop

We went to the White Domes trail and hiked the one mile trail. We did this hike really early in the morning thankfully, but it was still extremely hot! We brought a lot of water, and it would have really been a struggle had we not. The trail is not marked very well, but once you get to the end, the red and white stone waves are incredible to view.

Hoover Dam 

We stopped at the Hoover Dam to learn about the history. It is really incredible how powerful the dam is. It was extremely hot here as well. The facility offers two tours: 1) Power Plant Tour $15 (30 minutes) or 2) Dam Tour $30 (1 hour). We opted to just buy a pass to be able to walk around ourselves, and they have informational signs and displays out throughout the facility. Had it not been so hot, I would have wanted to do a full tour, but we decided to just do whatever we wanted so we could leave if it got too hot.

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Seven Magic Mountains

The Seven Magic Mountains is an art instillation that is made of seven towers of brightly colored boulders stacked over 30 feet high. The art instillation is about 10 miles south of Las Vegas, and it was built by a Swiss artist named Ugo Rondinone. The instillation will be in place for two years.

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