Viva Las Vegas

Las Vegas, a place where you can travel the world, yet remain on a strip. This past September (which was perfect weather), I accompanied my parents, and their friends, for a four day getaway.

We did NOT rent a car, but we did take advantage of the shuttle services, monorails, lyft or uber (whichever wasn’t surging at the moment…,) and the occasional taxi cabs.

We stayed at the Rio, which wasn’t as I remembered it to be, but it did OK. Every morning, we took advantage of the overpriced coffee at the Starbucks downstairs because there was no free coffee in the room (also, they charge you $0.75 for iced tap water!) The Rio isn’t on the strip…but isn’t too far away either. At that time, Rio provided a free shuttle every 30 minutes that drops you off to the strip. However, we didn’t have the time or the patience to wait each time…so we would either grab a cab or a lyft.

What parts of the world can you reach from the strip? Well, lets start at the U.S. You can go to NYC, and see the Brooklyn Bridge, have a bite of their famous burgers in Shake Shack, ride their roller coaster, and then head over to Europe. You can get a piece of these European cities: Paris, Venice, and Rome. Then head to Africa by going to the Luxor and feeling like you’re in Egypt. By the time you’ve ventured through at least three of these countries, you’ll feel exhausted and would want to retire to the comfort and coolness of your hotel room.

If you desire to venture off the strip, there is the Hoover Dam, that is about 50 minutes away. Hoover Dam has been featured in many movies such as San Andreas, Transformers, and Fools Rush In with Salma Hayek and Matthew Perry. Definitely worth checking if you’re tired of the same scene.

Another advantage to Vegas is, it’s also not too far off from the West Rim portion of the Grand Canyon. The West Rim belongs to the Hualapai (WALL-uh-pie) tribe, and isn’t part of the national park. That being said, the West Rim is still a beautiful and unique experience. We were able to see Eagle Rock and get on the Skywalk. It was truly a Magnificent experience! (I can share more about the details of the West Rim on a separate blog post.)

Overall, Vegas is a great thrill! You don’t have to be into gambling or casinos to enjoy the place…because no matter what you like, you’ll find something for yourself in Vegas!

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Lessons Learned in Overpacking

My husband and I took a trip from Nov 1st to the 26th in Italy. It was my first time to travel in Europe, and I had no plan of attack when it came to my wardrobe. I packed a large 29″ suitcase full of clothes and shoes. Our adventure looked something like this: Rome-Naples-Positano-Venice-Padova-Milan-Florence-Cortona-Rome. We traveled between these cities mainly by train; we took a plane once from Naples to Venice, and a bus from Sorrento to Positano. The experience of lugging a heavy suitcase between these cities is what prompted me to write a journal entry of things I didn’t need. I now share these with you, in hopes you’ll learn a lesson or two. Happy Viewing!

Didn’t need:

  • 4 pairs of shoes. I survived mostly with my chestnut colored tall riding boots and Nike running shoes.
  • Faux leather pants. Only wore it once. We didn’t have anything on our itinerary that called for such attire.
  • Short sleeved shirts. Only wore one once and froze to death. The others were never worn.
  • So much makeup. All I needed were concealer, eyeliner, and one eyeshadow compact.
  • My Raybans. It was so cloudy the entire trip that I never once busted out the raybans.
  • 2 songbooks. My husband and I shared songbooks on all meetings.
  • Liquids. I learned from this trip to invest in clay soaps/shampoo from Lush.
  • 2 Large Luggages. I learned that less is more. Carry on suitcases are the way to go!