Las Vegas Getaway

Posted 5 February, 2015 by Trish in Travel / 34 Comments

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Over Hoover Dam

See that? It’s a picture of Hoover Dam (or at least the bridge over the gorge). Last weekend Scott and I took a little getaway trip to Las Vegas. We had some free tickets on Southwest (which recently started flying direct to Las Vegas from Dallas) and were able to score a great deal at a new hotel on the Strip. My mom agreed to watch the girls and we were off!

Three nights of no bedtime! Three mornings of sleeping in! Many meals where I didn’t have to cut up anyone else’s food! And hot coffee! These are the things that a parent of wee ones looks forward to on a weekend off–our first getaway since before Evie was born.


The Stay

We stayed at the new SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. This hotel is at the very northern part of the strip (close to the Stratosphere) and quite far from the other casinos. Thankfully it is directly connected to the Monorail so we actually spent very little time at the hotel. The price was certainly right–the hotel just opened a few months ago so is running great deals and upgrades–but neither of us enjoyed the feel of the hotel or casino. The SLS was renovated from The Sahara, but if I understand correctly the shell of the hotel remained intact. While the beds were comfortable and the shower was amazing (according to Scott), the rest of the room felt meh. Looks cool enough from the picture–the wall decorations are actually just giant hung sheets of material.

SLS Vegas Hotel Room


The hallway leading up to the room was…I don’t even have words for this. The whole hotel just felt weird. I hate to write such a negative response to a place we stayed (it was clean at least), but it really dampened our time there. The casino floor was incredibly small, the hotel was oddly decorated (maybe we just aren’t hip enough to understand), and we didn’t feel transported or wowed. When one goes to Vegas, you expect to be amazed. Which we were. Everytime we left the hotel (Paris is my favorite, though we didn’t make it to the newer or more luxury type hotels in the middle of the strip).


SLS Vegas Hotel Hall


However. I found a Travelzoo deal for a massage and facial at the SLS Ciel Spa and both services were ahhhhhmazing. This is me, totally blissed out post treatment. Totally totally blissed out.



The Activities

Ok, besides the rain one day, I’ll move on to happier news. We had a blast in Vegas! Even though we aren’t terribly big drinkers nor gamblers. We did spend quite a bit of time at the penny slots, having fun seeing how long our $5 could last us (sometimes quite a long time!).

Rainy Vegas


I bet if I ask Scott his highlight of the trip (I won’t because then he’ll critique everything I’ve written), he would say The Blue Man Group. We saw this zany trio on our first full night in town. It was an unexpected and entertaining show–if a bit loud at times. And kind of awkward. But fun. And it made Scott laugh. So.

The below Blue Men are not real. But they had me fooled for a while. I might have had to poke one in the eye just to make sure. I was convinced he would jump at me!


Blue Man Group

Blue Man Group


On our second day in Vegas we headed to the Classic Car Collection at the LINQ hotel. The collection was really neat–lots and lots of old cars and even some famously owned ones (I was partial to Jayne Mansfield’s pink car). Definitely worth checking out if you are a car enthusiast. Plus it gives you a break from the gaming floors if you aren’t a big gambler. Obviously from our $5 jaunts, we are not big gamblers and can feel a bit lost during the day while in Vegas.

The night we went to see Zumanity by Cirque du Soleil at the New York, New York Casino. Poor Scott hated this show, even though he was a good sport by not letting me know that until after we’d left the theater. I knew that the show was going to be a bit sexy, a bit risque (perhaps both of those terms are slight understatements), but apparently I had not warned Scott well enough–to be fair, I did give him a choice between Cirque du Soleil shows and that’s what he picked (I even showed him some video clips). Ahem. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and would recommend it if you aren’t sexually timid. Wink wink.

Vegas Strip

Vegas Strip

Because of the cold and the rain we didn’t spend too much time waltzing up and down the strip. We haunted Paris Casino for the food and Bally’s for the penny slots. We really should brush up on our “real” gambling since slots have the absolute worst odds in Vegas, but my personal highlight was when I spent over an hour and a half playing $20 to only end up losing 70 cents–and only because I wasn’t paying attention to my betting amount when I walked away.

Who am I kidding? The real highlight was being able to sleep in as late as we wanted. Or not having to share any of my food with littles. It’s a toss up.


The Food

So if we don’t gamble, what do we do in Vegas? EAT!!!  We ate noodles and dumplings at Paris, Tex-Mex at New York New York, Italian at the MGM, pizza at Paris.

And breakfast. The below is the best part of our stay at the SLS Las Vegas. Except apparently the day we left is also the last day this restaurant was open. The Griddle Cafe is fairly well known in Los Angeles and it was certainly a yummy treat in Vegas.

Don’t worry–not all of the below food is from one trip. We ate there all three mornings in Vegas.

But listen. Pancakes filled with strawberries, champagne, and chocolate? French pressed coffee at each table (it was a first for me and it was a bit strong for my taste but pleasingly unbitter). Scott usually opted for the ham and eggs (you can barely see it in the middle picture…obviously I was more enamored with my pancakes). Whole grain toast with cream cheese (my favorite thing I ate all trip). Thick slices of delicious French Toast. Eggs Benedict with ham steak and stuffed potato skins. I mean holy cow you guys.

So if you’re ever in…Hollywood…check out The Griddle Cafe. Good stuff.

Breakfast at The Griddle Cafe


Breakfast at The Griddle Cafe


Breakfast at The Griddle Cafe



And the rest? Well, that stays in Vegas.  Just kidding. It was a great trip. Very relaxing. Loads of fun. But those kiddie hugs when we returned home? That’s where my heart is.

Have you been to Vegas? What’s your favorite thing to do there?





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34 Responses to “Las Vegas Getaway”

  1. As I mentioned on Instagram, I haven’t been to Vegas since 1984! I went with my then boyfriend who really knew his way around a craps table. It was loads of fun, but not really something I care to do again. My husband has been to Vegas many, many times for Comdex & CES (Consumer Electronic Show). He hates Vegas. Finds it very depressing, loud and ugly. So we have never been together. I’d love to go someday and see all the new hotels. I’d love to stay at the Valencia or Bellagio. I’d love to soak up the sun in the middle of winter and have a lovely massage and eat all kinds of yummy food. Might just have to plan a girls trip there someday. Glad you guys had a good time, but bummer about the Cirque de Soleil for Scott. Rod would love that car show!

  2. All that food looks yummmmmmyy! I have been to Las Vegas once but I would love to go again with the husband because we haven’t gone to Vegas together. Too far from the East Coast though. Glad you had so much fun! It’s always nice to visit Vegas vicariously!

  3. Kay

    So glad you two got to take a getaway together. I think it’s important that parents do that every once in a while. I’m not a big Vegas fan. My husband, too, has been to conventions, etc., there and, like Les’ husband Rod, doesn’t like it much. He said the people watching in the casinos is the best thing. Anyway, we’ve flown through there, but that’s it. New Orleans was our special weekend getaway place when our girl was young.

    We’ve seen the Blue Man Group here in Austin. Such a weird show and awesome. I saw a Cirque de Soleil show at Disneyworld with my daughter. It definitely was not sexy. Just scarily intriguing. Obviously, they have lots of different shows to present. ;-)

    OK, the hotel. Are you sure that hallway isn’t a set from CSI? It looks familiar. LOL

  4. Meg

    Yay! So happy to hear y’all had a great time, even with the spooky hotel. Vegas is lots of fun, though I’ve never been when I was actually of age to gamble! Crazy, right? My most recent trip was over my 20th birthday, so I was close . . . but no cigar. The food, especially, sounds awesome! You know I’m all about meal time right now . . .

  5. Yum. Can we just talk about that breakfast some more? I mean, I don’t turn away any meal, but I love breakfast. And champagne pancakes? Yes, please.

    I’ve never had any big desire to go to Vegas because, as you mention, I’m not a big gambler or drinker. But it does look like you guys had a good time. I actually think your hotel room looks amazing, but that hallway…looks like something off Law & Order: SVU.

  6. I love Vegas. All the food! Paris is my favorite. We like the MGM. We also had a blast at the Coke store. Coke products from around the world. I’m hoping we’ll go back to Vegas this year.

  7. Oh my gosh you have no idea how jealous I am right now. Ugh. I love Vegas. Random tidbit, we got married there! Took our entire families and had a nice ceremony and small dinner reception at the MGM.

    We used to go out 1-2 times a year. One time for the concrete convention (which is this week and my entire family is out there and I’m at home…) and usually once in the summer. Having kids slowed our Vegas trips down (when we get kid-free getaways we choose better now). My parents have offered to watch both our kids this year so I can celebrate my 30th birthday out there … but little miss will be VERY young and I’m having a hard time deciding how young is too young to leave your kid overnight for the first time.

    I like to stay at the Flamingo personally. It’s usually reasonably priced. The rooms aren’t necessarily the greatest, but it’s aways been clean. But I like that it is midstrip and has a monorail stop.

  8. Omg that breakfast!!! Yummm. I’ve only been in Vegas a couple of times like not as a trip more a pass thru. I’d love to stay and eye ball all the people and resorts. I’m not a gambler either. I could just enjoy the shows and food!!

  9. Vegas is one of my favorite places on Earth. Prior to having kids Brian and I went once a year. Cirque du Soleil is definitely my cup of tea; Zumanity is the only one I haven’t seen I think…

    On a side note, that hallway is totally creeping me out.

  10. What a gorgeous room, Trish! It sounds like you had a wonderful time. It’s been years since I was last in Last Vegas. The only time I was away from my daughter overnight was when I had surgery. Someday perhaps hubby and I will get a chance to get away. It’s hard with family living so far away though.

  11. Sounds like you both had a wonderful time! I think the hotel room looks ok (except the wall) and that hallway does look creepy!

  12. I have seen the blue man group here in Orlando, and I thought the show was great but those blue men sort of creeped me out the way they stare at you LOL!

  13. Loved reading this! It brought back memories, although it’s been a long time since I last went to Vegas. Before I went, I learned how to play blackjack (and some strategies) and it was so much fun. I didn’t win big, but I came back with the same amount of gambling money that I went with, so I considered that a win. The food sounds so good! I saw Cirque du Soleil when I went, too. They do such great shows.

  14. So here I was, reading, enjoying your post, thinking about all these things I wanted to comment on. Then I got to the words “Pancakes filled with strawberries, champagne, and chocolate” and I got stuck. Because OMG I want. Want. Want.

  15. Missy

    We were in Vegas in October…I tagged along for Jason’s work conference. We stayed at Mandalay Bay. The most exciting things I did were to have room service breakfast everyday and spend a couple hours at the spa. We aren’t big gamblers either but had quite a bit of fun at the Willy Wonka penny slots at our hotel. We also got to see No Doubt in concert as part of the conference. And, yes, my greeting from T when I got home was awesome :-)

  16. Your trip looks amazing! I’ve never felt too drawn to Vegas because I’m not a big gambler, but I think it would still be a really fun trip! I’m pinning your post so I can remember some of the places you mentioned if we go in the future!

  17. Wow sounds like an amazing trip. I love your descriptions of…well everything honestly. And now I want some pancakes. Thanks. Oh shoot, I forgot I bought cinnamon maple syrup yesterday. Yeah that’s dinner tonight. Pancakes with bacon.

  18. Kate, aka mom/grandma

    I absolutely adore you and your amazing posts. You are so entertaining! I’m so glad that you and Scott had a great time (but completely agree with you about that creepy looking hallway). BUT I had the best time with those sweet baby girls. The cuddles with Evie and the giggles with Elle were precious moments forever tucked into my heart. So hurry up and plan your next trip, or do I need to talk to Scott about that?? :-)

  19. Oh my the food! Don’t love the hotel but the food! For the longest time Vegas hasn’t been high up on my list because I don’t like to gamble but lately it’s been climbing the list of places I’d like to go. The food! And the shows though that might take some convincing to get J to go to one of those!

  20. I love Vegas, and tend to spend the daytime hours lounging in the desert sun (which isn’t an option this time of year). There is fabulous food to be had and one of my favorite things to do is leave the strip and head over (on the bus called the Deuce) to the Fremont Street Experience where there are some of the older casinos, most of them spiffed up and nice looking, lower minimums on the tables, and a couple of good local breweries.

  21. Tell Scott it could have been worse…he could have been one of the audience members selected to go on stage during Zumanity. Like my mom. I was DYING, it was that hilarious.

  22. Couples weekend! Awesome! The food is great in Vegas and bummer that your hotel did not transport you as you had hoped. The Sahara was one of the originals out there, which is probably why it was small. Think they would have expanded.
    Glad you went to the spa, I love doing that whenever i can. Sorry to hear about the show. i could never get hubby to a Cirque show and I’m ok with that :)

  23. Oh yeah, time away when the kiddos are little is the best, best thing! Looks like a great trip and I’m all about trips that center around food!