I’ve never been one to get excited about Vegas. I don’t like clubbing, I don’t gamble, and I don’t really like alcohol all that much. I sound like so much fun, don’t I?
That being said, I will NEVER say no to a casual frozen cocktail poolside in the sun. I also love trying new restaurants, and Las Vegas has tons of those, so I definitely don’t hate the place.
AND my best girl Amanda was out for a business trip at the same time (best schedule overlap ever) so we got to meet up, take touristy pictures, lay at the pool and eat lots of food. So much happiness.
A quick 24 hours in Vegas turned out to be a little rushed…. I surprisingly found myself wishing I stayed a little longer.
A couple general recommendations:
*Pack lip balm, eye drops, lotion and leave-in conditioner (the negative humidity and overwhelming heat is not a fun time for skin/eyes/body/etc).
*Hydrate more than usual, especially if you’re drinking. Bring a reusable water bottle to avoid exorbitant tourist markup prices.
*Sleep mask/ear plugs/ambient noise of your choice: Vegas is noisy, no matter how nice your hotel room is. If you’re actually trying to sleep, you’ll need a little help.
*Expect pricey taxis… Uber is not a thing in Vegas right now (honestly wtf) and the cabs charge you a TON. So if you don’t have a car, or you need a ride because you’ve been drinking, pack a decent amount of cash.
Here are a few highlights from the trip:
I had some amazing hospitality from the folks at the Downtown Grand. Downtown Las Vegas is away from the strip (this was news to me); away from a lot of the fuss, the traffic, and the anxiety. The rooftop pool was exactly what I needed; casual and relaxing, but a touch more chic than going to a regular hotel pool. Cabanas are available but not required (like at the Marquee, where there is literally nowhere to just SIT unless you’re dropping $$$$$ on a cabana) – for the most part you just pick a couch and table, set up, and let them bring you food and drinks.
We got the pizza (had no idea it would be like a Domino’s-size-large pizza), shrimp cocktail, and fresh fruit plate. Everything was 👌. We also got frozen lemonade (made with Absolut Citron)… frozen drinks are they only way to go. Trust me on this one. They will only be frozen for about three minutes. I’ve never been to Mars, but I assume it has a similar climate to Las Vegas.
I loved that it was a more relaxed setting. I’m not a ‘scene’ or ‘see-and-be-seen’ kind of person at ALL so this was such a great fit.
The hotel itself is clean, well-decorated, and all-around very lovely. Highly recommend if you’re looking for a less-hectic Vegas weekend.
Huge thanks to the awesome people at the Downtown Grand for being such kind hosts (seriously you are super chill). I will be back!
I spent the second night at the Cosmopolitan in a suite that I could never afford myself (it’s a long story….), overlooking a Neon Trees concert and soaking in the ‘scene’ from my balcony in my bathrobe. My kinda night. I think everyone knows how glamorous and gorgeous the Cosmo is so I’m not going to say much about it, since you could go to any website on the internet and see how great it is. I like this place because it’s sparkly and pretty.
My absolute favorite part of our stay in Vegas (and at the Cosmo) was dinner at Scarpetta. Oh. My. Gah. I can NOT get over that place. Every second of the meal was a dream. Every bite perfection. Where do I even begin? First of all, if you have some extra dough, and you’re going to Vegas and you’d rather spend your money on a delicious meal rather than feed it to a slot machine and say goodbye to it forever (sorry I’m clearly biased), then GO. TO. SCARPETTA.
We had a ton of appetizers; the burrata/peach/lobster salad was incredible, as was the ahi tuna/avocado tartare, as was the diver scallop appetizer. They also serve phenomenal breads with mascarpone butter and citrus infused olive oil… seriously every detail is so refined and beautiful. And I’m a sucker for details.
My entree was pasta… the Black Farfalle was to DIE for; I’m a big fan of squid ink pasta, the jet black bowties were incredibly cool and the plating of that + king crab and shrimp was gorgeous. Such a unique plate both in terms of taste and visuals. Super happy.
I had the Ferrari rosé which cost more than what I would usually pay for a meal, but I was feeling fancy and in Vegas for a night and it’s fine all of this is fine.
Last but not least was the dessert(s). OMG. When I die, I want to be buried in Scarpetta’s Coconut panna cotta. It’s served in a guava ‘soup’ with caramelized pineapple pieces and topped with coconut sorbetto. I cried when I ate it because I knew I would never feel that happiness again (until I come back to Scarpetta, obvi). We also got the chocolate cake with toasted almond gelato and salted caramel sauce, and obvi that was bomb AF too, but the COCONUT PANNA COTTA COME ON.
I’m still dreaming about it. I tried to get a picture of it but the lighting was so dim and terrible… this one does not do it justice. I had to document it anyway.
The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign
I wish I could play it cool and pretend this photo was super casual, and that we just happened upon the sign… Since I’m writing this as a mini-travel guide, I have to be sort of real. The sign truly is an icon, but be prepared to drive a bit of a ways out of town, wait for a parking spot in the tiny lot, and wait in line in SWELTERING EFFING HEAT for a while until you can take your picture in front of the sign. There is -4000% humidity in Vegas, like stepping out from a spaceship onto another planet without a space suit and the environment there just sucks all the moisture out of your body. Fun times.
All I can say here is ALWAYS stop at in-n-out. There are 90745385943 on the way to/from Southern California, and one in the city of Las Vegas as well. Your body will thank you for such premium nourishment.
I feel like this is an appropriate place to end.
Until next time, Vegas.
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