STAYS IN VEGAS!
I always thought that the infamous saying referenced all the debauchery and excess that occurred in Las Vegas, Hangover style. It probably does, but after spending 4-5 days there, I think it is applicable to everything about Vegas! Vegas is the land of OTT - everything is excessive, exaggerated, bigger (but not necessarily better). Driving into Vegas, after hours of nothing but the Mojave desert keeping us company, we hit it at night and the glitz and glamour of The Strip was just overwhelming. That's probably the best word to describe how I felt about Vegas actually... overwhelming!
K and I aren't probably the right target market for Vegas - we don't drink much (at all really), we don't gamble (much) and are generally pretty conservative for the environment of Sin City. We also discovered during the days that we were there, that we look too young for Vegas - we were asked for ID everything and anywhere! If it hadn't had been for K having a good friend living in Vegas, and also taking a day out to go visit Grand Canyon, we probably would've gotten bored of the place - it really is just gambling, shows and buffet...
Oh my, the buffets. I fast discovered that it is almost an art form in Vegas. Every casino offers a buffet, all to varying prices, range and quality. Our hotel tried to sell to us the most ridiculous thing ever - a 24 hour buffet pass. For $45 per person, you could visit as many buffets as you wanted in a 24 hour period within a pool of several casinos. K turned to me with a gleam in his eye and I immediately vetoed it - how many buffets are possible within 24 hours?!?!! I thought... but I think many have proven me wrong... just ask Ramen Raff!
Las Vegas is limited in terms of food options: buffets, fast food, chain restaurants, food courts and then very high end and expensive restaurants - there's no real quality restaurants for reasonable prices on The Strip, any have to be discovered off the main strip of Vegas - all of which requires a car to drive to. I don't think I ate particularly well in Vegas, although I had the best intentions of dining in some of the finer establishments (e.g. Joel Robuchon) I didn't end up doing so.
For those who love buffets though, I can definitely recommend the Bellagio buffet - especially at dinner. There is amazing variety, quality cuts of meat (pork belly or prime rib roast for example), freshly made sushi (with the guy standing there, making it right in front of you, constantly resupplying the stock) and a dessert range that made me very happy. Let's take a look at the desserts, shall we?
I know that many people who go to Vegas may not necessarily have a car, but if you do go, I highly recommend hiring one. Although the strip itself is enough to entertain anybody for days, we loved exploring the real Las Vegas and venturing off the strip into the suburbs and downtown - it was also very handy for our shopping went we went off to the Premium Outlets to use and abuse our credit cards! If you do have a car, I recommend visiting The Naked Fish - reputably the best Japanese and sushi restaurant in Las Vegas according to the reviews on Yelp! We also observed all the autographed Cirque du Soleil posters around the walls and were told that the Cirque crew frequently dine here after their shows!
Vegas was a lot of fun - I learnt how to play craps and got right into the rolling of the dice, we spent a lot of time just wandering each casino in awe of how big each one was. We watched the magnificent water show outside the Bellagio, loving how the water show changed for each particular song. We went off the strip to explore town - went to a dim sum place called Orchids Garden which was not bad, went to The Naked Fish that was a surprise - it was fabulous! We also left Vegas for a day trip to the Hoover Dam, and then onto Grand Canyon and to walk the Skywalk - about a 4 hour drive from Vegas, it was well worth it.
Vegas - there is definitely nowhere in the world that is like it. We've been to Macau and as much as it tries - it's not there yet. Macau is so focussed on the gambling but Vegas is more than that - it's about the shows, the partying, the food and the lights! Will we back? Definitely - probably for a wedding later this year, but I'm set on coming back on our 10 year wedding anniversary to renew our vows... with Elvis!