After our amazing tour of three National Parks, we spent two nights in Las Vegas. I knew Las Vegas was famous for gambling and wasn’t sure what my brother and I were going to do to pass these two days. My mom said Vegas had a “few” things that may keep us occupied. Little did I know, that was a total understatement.
Prior to our National Parks tour, we were going to spend the night at the Stratosphere because that’s where we were to be picked up by our guide early the next morning. Upon entering this hotel well after 11pm, I was overtaken by the smell, sight and complete envelopment of smoke; I could barely breathe. Being allergic to smoke, my mom made an impulsive decision to get the heck out of there, so we hopped back in a cab and hoped for the best. My mom asked the driver to take us to New York, New York. On the cab ride, my mom went on booking.com and there literally was one room left! It was fate. Having super high ceilings, there was no smell of smoke upon entering and we loved the look of the hotel, so this is where we decided to stay after we returned from our tour.
So what were the highlights of Vegas and what did I learn from this trip?
- The Roller Coaster at New York New York-It’s incredible! It goes upside down and is super thrilling. It only costs $15 for two people if you stay at the hotel. The roller coaster is built over the pool and gives you aerial views of Vegas. We rode it during the day and late at night to see all the lights, although it goes incredibly fast and my eyes were closed most of the time!
- Cirque du Soleil-Ka–There are no words to describe this show. It is jaw dropping. Trust me. If you do nothing else in Las Vegas, please-please-please, see this show. It’s a life changer! I promise. You will have a totally new perspective on human capabilities!
3. Chocolate- The Hershey Store is awesome! If you love chocolate, you will never want to leave this place!
4. Beautiful Hotels- We toured many of the hotels on the strip by foot. It was extremely hot outside, over 101 degrees, but we entered the air conditioned hotels so frequently, we were able to endure the heat while walking. My favorite hotels were Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace, The Cosmopolitan, Excalibur, MGM and of course New York New York.
5. The Food-The food in Las Vegas was delicious. We tried a different restaurant each day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We also enjoyed room service which delivers 24/7. Yes we had brownie ice cream sundaes at 1am (What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!)
6. The Shopping- There are so many stores. My favorite was a store called Nectar. It is the only one in existence and I told them I’d be glad to open a Chicago branch if they’re interested. Nectar sells natural bath treats and is the prettiest store I’ve ever seen.
7. The Pool- After a full day of walking up and down the Las Vegas strip, shopping, and riding the coaster, a cool swim in the hotel pool is ideal. Don’t try to go up to the bar to order a drink or any food. Children are NOT allowed anywhere near the bar. Have your parents do the ordering for you.
Life Lessons Learned in Las Vegas:
- Adults can be quite creepy–There are people on the street handing out cards to pretty disgusting places. Don’t take the cards and just walk on by.
- Try to be open minded–you will see all different kinds of people in Las Vegas that you’ve probably never seen anywhere else in your life. Although your eyes may pop out a bit, try to remain open minded and not be judgmental. Remember: Everyone has a story.
- People in Vegas are very confident about their bodies. I noticed lots of women at the pool who wear bikinis, no matter their body type. I actually liked seeing that they were not self-conscious.
I thought Las Vegas was a blast. There is certainly plenty to do as a teen. Two days seems to be the ideal time in my opinion. Perhaps, I’ll return as an adult someday.
Viva Las Vegas!