Las Vegas for a weekend

posted by Russ, September 1 in travel, united states with tags , , , , ,

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The pool at Monte Carlo, Las Vegas

The pool at Monte Carlo, Las Vegas

I spent the past weekend in Las Vegas with my girlfriend and some of her friends. Aside from the fact that we both got sick during our stay (which sucks because getting sick is something that rarely happens to either of us), we still had a really great weekend. It’s a bit ironic because typically Vegas wears you down quickly, but after this trip I came back relaxed and mildly rejuvenated, except for my lingering sniffles and head congestion.

The drive out from San Diego was quick and easy, we left Saturday morning and had the smoothest ride I’ve ever had heading out that way. There was pretty much no traffic at all. We got in around 3:00PM and checked into our room at the Monte Carlo. The Monte Carlo wouldn’t be our first recommendation, nor is it the best location on the Strip, but it is affordable and has all the necessary amenities. When we stay there it is typically because we have friends who are staying there as well, and it just makes things easy.

Something new that we’ve been doing when we go away is taking a cooler full of food, and that has been working out great for us. We are able to save money by eating out less when we don’t want to, and we don’t end up stuffing ourselves with crap food. At the very least we get a healthy “homemade” breakfast, our daily fruits and veggies, and then we can choose to eat out for lunch or dinner if we want, without absolutely needing to.

After arriving, our Saturday was pretty mellow. We did a little gambling (no big winning), dinner with friends at d.Vino in the Monte Carlo, then we walked over to check out Aria and City Center (which were both under construction when we were there last year).

After a great morning workout in the fitness room the following day, we drove off the Strip and went for a raw lunch at Go Raw Cafe, which was really yummy. Afterwards the afternoon was spent at the pool, followed by dinner at Sushi Samba at The Venentian and then the Blue Man Group performance. We both were in agreement that Sushi Samba was amazing. It’s a blend of Asian, Peruvian, and Brazilian, and all we could say was that it works. Really, really good stuff. As for Blue Man Group, we both enjoyed it, but beyond that I’m still not sure what to say. Definitely creative, entertaining, interesting and funny, but also a bit weird, in defiance of a single label, and a bit difficult to properly describe.

To get over to the Venetian from Monte Carlo, we tried out the new monorail, but weren’t overly impressed. It’s $5 per person per ride, and not all that convenient. The amount of walking we did to get to and from the station was probably not that much less than the amount we would have walked had we walked down the Strip to our destination. Everything is on such a large scale in Vegas that walking “across the street” to MGM to the monorail station took 30 minutes, and another 20 minutes to get from the destination stop into the shops in the Venetian for dinner. Nonetheless, it was another great night out in Vegas!

Monday was check out day, so the plan was to leave the room and spend the afternoon at the pool. We got sidetracked in the casino on the way to the pool and I won about $200. Then after a few hours at the pool, we got sidetracked again on the way to the car, and I won another $250 (after spending $100), so that was a nice note to leave on. Both times it was on the Wheel Of Fortune machines. They seem to be good luck for me. The winnings weren’t enough to make the trip free, since we still spent on the hotel toom, the show, and dinners, but they were enough to leave a few dollars in my pocket, and ensured that we actually had a net positive on our gambling for the weekend. That is probably the first and last time that will happen for me. Leaving Las Vegas without losing money gambling always makes for a good trip!

Originally posted on Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 at 6:56 PM .

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