Oh and fabulous it is! Let me first start by saying that this is in fact a photograph that I took on my iphone when we were waiting in the rather long queue to get some proper snaps in front of the famous landmark sign. See the couple up front posing for a nice photo? That was us a little while later and we got some amazing photos. There was a guy who situated himself beside the sign all day in the blistering heat and for a dollar he pretty much gave you your very own Las Vegas photoshoot. But enough about that, because unfortunately the only bad thing to happen in Las Vegas, the holiday of a lifetime, was that my lovely shiny blue Nikon camera was stolen on our very last day in this adult playground. I am completely over it now but at the time it was not a pretty sight.
A week's worth of amazing once-off photographs, of me and my love in Las Vegas when I was almost 7 months pregnant, photos we queued for ages to get, photos of hilarious spur of the moment things, photos of monuments, gorgeous photos of the two of in front of various little romantic spots (where we awkwardly waited for a friendly person to walk by so that we could ask them to take the snap)... all gone and never to be seen again. Did I mention that I am over it? In all seriousness, I am. As my mother pointed out to me, it could have been a lot worse (like losing my passport) and after a week in Vegas while heavily pregnant and two 11 hours flights I think I got away easily for this to be the only thing that went wrong. And as others pointed out, the memories will always live with us and that is very very true. It shouldn't really be about showing other people your photos and plastering them on Facebook but that is a sign of the times we live in and my God I really wanted to post the photo of me posing with some half naked girls outside the Bellagio fountains!! On a side note, we took a photo with them (they're everywhere in Vegas - people dressed as show girls, characters from movies, celebrities etc and you tip them for a photo) and my boyfriend went to tip them $2 (it was the only small money we had and it was a quick two second photo on a busy street) and the girl (who must have been 19 upon closer inspection) confidently responded by not taking the money off him and saying "um, the average tip is actually $10"... JESUS! I'm not going to lie but my response (after he did fork up the $10 to the cheeky young one) was "for $10 I would have waited to get a picture with the girls further down the street, they are way hotter". Who even says that? Safe to say I fell captive to the Vegas ways of life. (FYI, I said this to my boyfriend, not to the girls lol).Well enough about photographs - just bear in mind that what would have been accompanying this post were beautiful well thought-out photos that I spent most of my days in Vegas taking, but you will have to do with the handful of iphone photos that in the end I was actually really grateful to have.
Where to start? You've heard it before but Las Vegas is literally a different world over there. There is absolutely no difference between what happens at 5am and what happens at 3pm. The city does not sleep. I remember my first real eye-opener was when we first stepped foot on to the strip. Firstly, I saw this strange elusive object in the sky and I was later informed that this is called 'sun'. It fascinated me all week. Apparently it keeps you warm and makes the rain stay away. My Irish skin was so very happy. It was 20-25'C every day which was perfect. Secondly, I couldn't believe that so many people were strolling down the strip with cans of beer in their hands and EVERYONE seemed to have these ginormous plastic cups filled with what looked like slush puppies and what I later discovered were blow-your-head-off alcoholic slush-puppies made by a company called Fat Tuesdays. Everyone was relaxed, chilled out and enjoying the sunshine.
The hotels in Vegas are extreme. You could easily spend 15 minutes walking from the front entrance of one hotel to the back entrance and you nearly always had to walk through a casino. Every hotel had one. This leads me to my next photo... Oh Roulette you sexy thing you!
I later graduated to a table believe it or not. Not the real life tables where they have someone working there wearing a waistcoat and they deal in 'chips'... God no, that's terrifying, but the tables where there might be six different people playing their own game but using the same spinning wheel. It's all very exciting! Before we went to Vegas I asked my boyfriend to help me learn how to play some of the games. I wanted to play something really easy and he told me that it didn't get much easier than 'red or black'. This game was just SO much fun and I completely caught the bug. In the end I probably didn't win anything, but I spent less than what I had 'budgeted' to spend on gambling (yes I made a little budget, I can't be completely letting myself go now can I? I have a reputation to maintain). We had many a fun evening playing this game, winning, losing, hours of fun and I'm sure it was all the more fun for my man when a scantily-clad waitress would deliver him a cold Miller-Lite for just a $1 tip. What is life?
Now on on to the good stuff - the food and drink. The one thing I would say about the food in Vegas is that the portions are HUGE. I remember when I went to New York I was really surprised at the size of the portions because on TV they always looked massive but not so much in real life. Well Las Vegas is the ultimate super-size me place in America. I do think it depends on where you go but our favourite place was The Cheesecake Factory which was located in the Caesars Palace Hotel (which was about a five minute walk from our hotel - we stayed in Harrah's by the way). I have no photos of the food there (but some dude in downtown Las Vegas does, Grrrr) but this place is the best food in Vegas. You can't go to Vegas and not visit this restaurant. Firstly, they literally have something for everyone - salads, pasta, pizza, steak, burgers, mexican, and traditional meat dishes to name but a few. The hightlights for me were the chicken and bacon Carbonara and the burger. I got the 'American' burger and I swear to you it was the nicest burger I have ever had in my entire life, and I couldn't even finish half of it. All three nights that we visited the restaurant they had to give me my main course to take-away because I was just so unbelievably full after a few bites of our starter. This has to do mainly with the fact that my growing belly meant that in Vegas I seemed to get full so quickly, but also the huge portions. I couldn't fault this place! The only thing I will say, and this is funny, is that neither of us actually really liked the 'cheesecake'. Oh the irony! In America the cheesecakes are more 'baked' than the creamy variety that we have here. Go on Ireland!
The two photos above are of different restaurants. The first one was a starter platter we got in Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (I was craving prawns and this was just gorgeous) and the second was our very last day when we decided to have lunch in Fremont Street which is downtown Las Vegas. We spotted a place called 'Hash Hash A Go Go' which has been featured on 'Man Vs Food'. I wasn't that hungry and said I would 'just' order a sandwich. Well look at what arrived. This monster of a sandwich was actually called a 'BBBLT'. Who'd have know the three B's meant tripple bacon. I am such a novice! This was a really cool place to have our last meal in Las Vegas and the portions were just ridiculous. Ours were actually on the smaller side if you would chose to believe it!
A little selection of photos to show you how we spent our days!
How much of a clíche am I in those photos? Drinking Starbucks and flashing my 'dolla dolla bills' (let me clarify that this was a joke, and of course a staged photo), laying by the pool (excuse the not so hot photo of me and my very pregnant belly but I was happy to the core in this photo) and looking at landmarks such as the giant 'Eiffel Tower' that surrounds the Paris hotel
! Oh, and isn't our hotel room lovely? It was huge, clean, and absolutely faultless. Highly recommended to anyone - Harrah's Hotel
. We also got an amazing deal on it! It is in the centre of everything and is within walking distance to all the places you will want to visit. It also had a Starbucks (with free wifi).
I honestly don't know what else to say about this amazing place. Have I sold it to you yet? I can honestly say that even with being 28 weeks pregnant (29 by the time we got home) and two extremely long flights, and not being able to enjoy a tipple while over there, we missed out on absolutely nothing. There is nothing
that we felt we couldn't do (other than me drinking of course) and every day was full of fun, excitement, and jam-packed with adventure. I'll admit that I was very nervous a day or two before we left, especially when my GP started telling me about how much of a risk there was of getting a blood clot while on the long flights (more likely when pregnant) but with lots of advice and support from my lovely friends and family, and with the aid of some super-sexy flight socks and the AMAZING staff at Virgin Atlantic
(I couldn't fault them - the plane, the staff, the food, everything!) I returned back to the Emerald Isle in one piece, without my camera but perfectly healthy and just in case I haven't made you sick enough... I am probably that little bit more in love with the man that in 9 weeks time will be called Daddy!