It’s hard to believe that I’ve been to Vegas three times this year. How is that possible? I went there once in March for work, and a second time in June for Jamie and Angela’s wedding, and I went back again this weekend. There are many years where I don’t make it to the sparkly desert at all… and this year, I’ve certainly overachieved.
Three has for a long time been my lucky number. Thirty-three kicks it up even more… as that’s an even luckier number in my opinion! Even if it chose not to pay off for me at the Roulette tables during my third trip to Vegas in 2012, I was absolutely certain that the THREE factor was going to bring me fantastic luck.
Rather than spending three days in Vegas, we made this a mini-adventure and decided to spend about thirty hours there instead. The inspiration for this quick trip was to see Garth Brooks in concert at the Encore. Garth has been there for several years, and we finally took the plunge. Vegas is only an hour and a half flight from Denver, so it’s a super-easy hop!
We flew out on Saturday morning bright and early, and arrived in sunny beautiful Las Vegas around 10:30am. Now, I have to pause and tell you that Vegas has a brand-new airport, which makes travel into Sin City much easier than ever before. We were welcomed into a brand-new terminal, had our bags, and were in a cab in less than 30 minutes. UNHEARD OF!
Our first stop: The Cosmopolitan! I had once again arranged for us to stay on my Marriott points at the Cosmopolitan (a pay off for my YEARS of business travel.) I truly love this hotel, and think it just offers the BEST experience. Their service is exquisite, the chandelier bar twinkles… what’s not to love!?!
We decided to kick off the day with Cosmopolitans at the Cosmopolitan’s gorgeous Chandelier Bar. It’s actually the world’s largest chandelier (in case you didn’t know.) The Cosmo’s cosmos are made with blood orange vodka and are TO DIE FOR.
After the first drink of the day, we hit the tables… and quickly got into the Vegas spirit. While it was my third trip to Vegas and it seemed like all the stars were aligned, that certainly wasn’t the case as the Cosmopolitan collected quickly from my gambling fund. Bummer!
We spent the afternoon having lunch and exploring the casino, and before we knew it… it was time for a shopping trip! My friend LaDawn is like BFF with Kate Spade (kind of like I’m BFF with Kelly Clarkson), and likes to visit with Kate every time she’s in Vegas. Who was I to let her go see Kate alone??
With that, I made my first trip to Kate Spade… and, well… I LOVED IT! They had lots of sparkly accessories and fun pieces to try on. I was in heaven!
And, I felt it necessary to take home a few souvenirs… including some of the following:
I’m really thinking that LaDawn started something here… sharing her 20% off coupons may have started a new obsession for fabulous handbags. I loved this shop!
After Kate Spade, it was time to head back to the hotel to get dressed for the show. We found out that this was actually Garth’s LAST weekend in Vegas! The last possible chance for us to see this show! I was so glad that we made the decision to go when we did!
We left for the Encore a little bit early so that we could explore the new hotel, and have a drink before the show. Yes, I know that’s a theme… but it’s Vegas. It’s what I do when I’m there…
What a gorgeous hotel the Encore is… that Steve Wynn really knows how to build a casino.
Let me tell you about the show… it was AMAZING! Now, I lived the bulk of my life in the South… so, I have an appreciation for country music as a result. And, I actually had the opportunity to see Garth Brooks back in 1992 at the Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee. TWENTY YEARS AGO! I went to see that show with my brother and we had the worst seats in that silly pyramid. Just the same, Garth was SUCH an amazing entertainer, it didn’t matter where we sat.
As for the Encore show, we also didn’t have the best seats. Not because we were far from the stage, instead because the couple behind us thought they were Garth and Trish Yearwood… which they were most certainly not. They sang to every song. Loudly, as though in a mike… ugh! I leaned away the entire show and just tried to focus on the stage, but who sings that loudly??
As for the real show, Garth sang not only many of his famous songs, but told stories of growing up in a large family in Oklahoma and shared tales of music that shaped his career and inspired his music. He sang everything from George Jones to George Strait to Elton John to Bob Seger. It was all of those songs that you know and love… performed by an amazing entertainer to an adoring crowd.
This show rocked, and I was so happy to have seen it before the stage went dark for the final time.
We tried to get in at my favorite bar at the Wynn – Parasol Up, Parasol Down – to sit outside by the water wall… but they were all booked up. The hotel was running a special show on the wall though… that I couldn’t resist capturing on film from one of the terraces. Too fun!
It was about 11pm by the time we left the Wynn and headed back to the Cosmopolitan to have some dinner. Having followed the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas on Twitter for some time, I learned that they had a “secret pizza place.” Secret pizza?? Oh, we were so there…
If you’re in Vegas, this pizza shop is on the third floor, just down a hallway. They have simple offerings: Pizza by the slice and sodas served in red solo cups, but it hit the spot… and there’s something fun about going to a secret pizza place, an unmarked restaurant and a place where you can get a $5.00 dinner in Vegas!
We spent the following morning enjoying brunch at the amazing Wicked Spoon (home to the world’s best french toast) and a fantastic buffet with something for everyone. We actually received two free breakfasts upon check-in (courtesy of Marriott) and then the third was free due to earning points at the gambling tables – – Yay for free breakfast!
One of the men serving Gelato said… “The Calories that Happen in Vegas, Stay in Vegas…” Oh, how I wish that were true.
After enjoying that AMAZING French Toast and a few other treats, we spent time buying art from the Art-o-Mat machines. Have you seen these before? Jaede and I spotted them during our visit in June, and I just love them!
They’re repurposed cigarette machines that dispense little works of art. I purchased an Italy-inspired piece, while my friends opted for rock art that turned out to be super cool!
We wound down the morning with a little window shopping and picture taking before it was time to head back to the airport to head home.
It was a quick and fun trip to Vegas, one that we’re considering repeating next year with a different show. For me, thirty hours in Vegas was just about right. Enough for me to gamble a little, shop a little, enjoy my favorite cocktails with friends, and then return home before I was overly exhausted. I consider that a GREAT Vegas trip!
Have you ever made an overnight trip to Vegas? Have you ever seen Garth Brooks in concert?