Monday, 18 June 2012

Nevada Dreaming: Viva Las Vegas

Welcome to Vegas

Our West Coast USA road trip on iconic California State Route 1 took us from San Francisco (A) to Monterey (B), through the Big Sur and on to Santa Barbara (C), a stop in Venice Beach (D), a quick hop across the state boundary in to Las Vegas (E), back to Los Angeles (F) and on to San Diego (G), before saying goodbye to California and flying home. Part five, Las Vegas, is below, click here for part one (San Francisco), here for part two (Monterey), part three (Big Sur and Santa Barbara) is here and part four (LA and Venice) is here.

Having been to Vegas for our first anniversary in 2010 (our Anni-Vegas-versary, for you Friends fans) we knew we wanted to stay at The Wynn. It’s just over-sized, techni-coloured, blinged-up brashness at its best! There’s nothing I love more than dressing up to the nines, drinking a well-made cocktail, heading out for a special dinner (or brunch) in a glamorous location… so Vegas is my happy place, and The Wynn is the epicentre of that. I love everything from the utterly bonkers Lake of Dreams (Google it!) to the mesmerizing upside-down parasols at Parasol Down, from the assorted pools to the ginormous sandwiches at the casino snack bar ZoozaCrackers, the Wonderland-style lobby to the blow-your-mind-expensive indoor shopping promenade. In a destination where the whole trip is about what's inside the hotels, not what's outside the hotels, being in love with your hotel is pretty important, so it's lucky that I am absolutely in love with The Wynn!

Checking in... to Wonderland?

The panoramic view from my pillows

The view from my sunlounger

Having been before, and stayed at The Wynn sister hotel The Encore, we didn’t bother with the Disneyland for Grown Ups tour again (if you’ve been, you know what I mean – themed hotels styled to the max, the smell of chlorinated water everywhere, XXL-sized drinks and food!) or any of the shows, but chose to chill out by the funky pools, drink Pomojitos (pomegranate mojitos) and soak up the desert sunshine!

Obsessed with Parasol Down

We returned to a bistro in Paris, Mon Ami Gabi, for a champagne brunch one day having enjoyed our brunch there last time and also had an A.Mazing all you can eat buffet and bellini brunch at Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan (I am catergorically against all you can eat buffets, but this was somthing else entirely. Well worth a visit). We ate dinner in LAVO at The Venetian one night and on our last night we visited the sister restaurant to the place we went to on getting engaged in NYC way back in 2007, Aureole at the Mandalay Bay.
Unlike LA which invokes a pretty unanimous negative opinion in everyone I’ve spoken to, Las Vegas is like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it. I think I’m one of the latter.

Where else in the world can you have champagne breakfast in “Paris” whilst looking at a walking talking Las Vegas sign (complete with flashing lights and an Elvis entourage) chat up passers-by, have a gondola ride in “Venice” followed by some shopping in “Rome” and lunch in “Lake Como”, spend the afternoon wandering amongst a shark reef before dinner in “New York” and watching a volcano erupt and female pirates do battle and ending the day with a nightcap inside a giant chandelier? Nowhere! People may say that it’s brash, has no class, has no history or soul but I think different. It has a history… albeit a very recent one, but still a very sparkly, star-studded, glamorous one. And what could appeal to this little magpie more? Yes there are places with seedy undertones, but what city doesn’t have that? At least Las Vegas isn’t trying to hide it. But the first and foremost reason I love it there? The fact that it is totally unapologetic for what it is and takes a pride in what it offers. A bit like me! It’s all about the colour, the size, the theming (oh we know I love a theme) the fun, the labels, the people, the styling and the bling. Again, like me… that is why I’ll never be tired of Vegas!  

Breakfast in Paris

New York, New York. My fave city in my fave desert.
The Bellagio
The Venetian
The Grand Canal by night
Looking forward to trip number three. New Year 2012/2013 anyone?
Bit of a lack of photos as I went mad on the snapping back in 2010, but there are a few to peruse. More of San Diego though... eyes peeled!
The rules.

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