Shawn and I just returned from a kid-free trip to Vegas (our very first kid-free trip together!) which is why it's been a bit quiet around these parts. I didn't really want to advertise that we were heading out of town, you know? Thieves and bandits, be aware: we're home now. Don't rob us, please.
So! Vegas! The last time we were in Vegas was a month before Grady was conceived. It had been too long is what I'm saying. I'm an unapologetic Vegas-lover. Yes, it's over the top and indulgent and too noisy and a bit sketchy, but I don't care. I love how Vegas is all "this is what I am. Take it or leave it. I DGAF."
I won't bore you with the details of the entire trip but I've got some great highlights to share (and a few things I want to jot down to remember for our next visit).
We stayed at the Monte Carlo, which was great. It's not as new and flashy as some of the other strip hotels but it was clean as a whistle and right in the middle of the strip which made walking nice and easy. We ate at the Monte Carlo buffet the first night because we always do a buffet at least once when we're in Vegas. Buffet dinners are my jam. I eat all the pasta, cheese, pickles, and dessert. It's a little slice of heaven. The Monte Carlo buffet was a bit boring, though. We weren't expecting magic because it's one of the cheaper strip hotel buffets but it was pretty blah. Do not recommend. I do, however, recommend that you check out Monte Carlo's coffee shop, Sambalatte. The Nutella latte is the stuff dreams are made of.
We only saw one show this trip but it was a great show. Absinthe was amazing. My jaw literally dropped at some of the feats that were performed and I actually had to close my eyes at one point because I was convinced someone was going to fall and there was going to be blood (spoiler alert: I am a wimp. There was no blood.). The show is held in a small circus-style round tent which felt both old-timey and intimate. It didn't feel like we were watching a polished, finely-tuned production. It felt like we were watching a band of misfits doing their thing. It was highly entertaining and I'm so glad we went. I will say this though: it is not a delicate show. There is some salty language. The MC is raunchy and there were some cringe-worthy moments of vulgarity. Absinthe is not politically correct and if you're easily offended, it's not the right show for you. Also? If you don't want to be incorporated in the jokes? Don't sit near the front. We were in row J and we could see everything perfectly fine and were far enough away from the stage that we didn't get pulled into the show (thank eff for that).
Since our last Vegas visit, the High Roller opened. It's like the London Eye but bigger. Shawn is a total sucker for things like this so we rode it when we were feeling touristy. It wasn't busy at all so we ended up with our own pod. I'm not a huge fan of heights but it moves so slowly that it didn't bother me. I had a few moments of queasiness at the top (550 feet) but only because I made the mistake of looking down at the ground. If you do want to ride the High Roller, buy your tickets online. We literally stood at the box office and purchased our tickets using my iPhone because it was $7 cheaper (per person!) than buying directly from the box office.
Also, when you get off the High Roller you're at the Linq, which is all brand new since our last visit. Not only is there a Yard House at the Linq (140+ beers on tap and the best nachos I have ever tasted ever) there is also a Sprinkles Cupcakes ATM. Yes. An ATM where you swipe your credit card and get a CUPCAKE. Magical.
The only negative part of our trip, and something I really want to remember for next time, was the airport shuttle. When I booked our flights, I was given the option of adding an airport shuttle for $28 total for both of us, both ways. Sounds great, right? Save a little cash on the boring transportation part so I can spend more at the cupcake ATM, right? However. When we landed, the shuttle service was so busy that we had to wait half an hour before we could leave the airport. Not a huge deal but a bit of a bummer. On the way back to the airport, I will admit to being a bit stroppy (so tired! No time for breakfast!) so I wasn't very gracious at the various pickup points where we had to stop and wait for people who clearly did not read the shuttle instructions to be in the lobby 10 minutes before their departure time. And I may have rolled my eyes a few times at the women sitting behind us who had a spirited (and long! so long!) debate about whether it's the taste or the texture that's different in a nonfat latte vs a whole milk latte (LADIES. MAYBE THE TASTE IS DIFFERENT FOR YOU. AND MAYBE THE TEXTURE-OMG-DID-YOU-JUST-SAY-MOUTHFEEL?-GET-OFF-THE-BUS IS DIFFERENT FOR YOU. YOU CAN BOTH BE RIGHT. NOW SHUSH.) But my breaking point came when one of the shuttle riders had to disembark to vomit in the Hooters parking lot. Never again. Dear Future Hillary: you are in your damn thirties. Pay the extra cash to take a cab.
All in all, it was a fabulous trip and I feel so fortunate to have an amazing family who kept Grady entertained and happy while we were gone. I don't like spending a lot of time away from Grady (because he's a super cool kid and I love hanging out with him) but it was nice to have a nice chunk of one-on-one time with Shawn.