Las Vegas

This was my third visit to Las Vegas. It was the first time that it was not the summer time. We stayed (for the second time) at the Venetian. Jef upgraded our stay to the biggest suite and use of the Prestige Club Lounge. We were able to skip all the lines at the check in area and go directly up to the lounge area. We checked in easily, but our suite was not available (it was around 2pm), so they gave us complimentary Prosecco and we sat in the lounge and enjoyed the view while we waited for our suite to be ready.

View from the Prestige Lounge

The lounge gives you a continental breakfast every morning as well as appetizers and drinks in the evening. If you want something at any other time, you need to pay for it. Breakfast runs from 7:30 until 10am. Free drinks are from 4 until 7pm and appetizers are out at 5pm. The lounge closes at 8pm. We had tickets for shows early each night except for the first, so we went to try the appetizers. We were there when they were put out and they were not even warm. The only thing I enjoyed was the dessert tart. The drinks were very generously poured, no matter what you requested, which was worthwhile. The breakfast was also not impressive. They had pastries and bread and bagels that were all clearly not freshly made. It was nice to be able to go there, eat, and then head back to the room to get ready for the day, but what we experienced did not cover the cost.

Living room
Dining room into living room

The suite was very large. The view was similar to the lounge, just five floors below. We had three tvs and we requested an extra fridge (because the one they provide is filled with drinks and you cannot touch them or you will be charged), but when we arrived it was already there under the bar area. The suite was impressive in size and view, but it is not updated and it is showing its age. The automatic curtains had an issue closing and there was a random hole in our bathroom area that was clumsily resealed. The bed is comfortable, but does make a weird noise when you first get into it.

The worst thing was being woken up at 5am with a really strong smell of acetone. I called maintenance and they could smell it as well, but had no answers. They helped me open the windows (which is a crack for each window) and the smell eventually disappeared after an hour or so. I relayed this information to the Prestige Lounge people. The offered to send us an air purifier. We received a humidifier. We did not correct this matter because we were busy enjoying our day. The next morning the same thing happened with the smell at 5am. The problem I had with the Prestige lounge upgrade was that it was not actually luxurious. They did not really care that the food was cold or that the room smelled like acetone two days in a row. That is not a prestigious stay.

Penn and Teller

We had front row tickets to Penn and Teller, which was amazing. We have watched their show Fool Us for a couple of years. Jef has been a fan for much longer than I. Their show feels very personal. Penn was playing the electric bass before the show began. They did several tricks that they also showcased on their tv show, which was cool because we got to see it up close and I only figured out one of them. My only complaint was that I had to buy a bottle of water and it cost $7.50!!

Red Rock Canyon

The next day we drove out to Red Rock Canyon. It was beautiful. There were quite a few places in which you could go for a hike or rock climb, but we just drove around. Even though it was November, it was still 80 degrees while we were there.

Red Rock Canyon

We stopped briefly at Freemont Street on the way home. We saw a lot more homeless people than we remember from previous visits. There were a lot of people selling braided palm fronds instead of street performers. It felt dirtier than we remember as well. It is just not for me.

Freemont Street

That evening we had tickets to see Shin Lim, who is my favorite card magician. If you watch AGT, you know he won both his season and the all star season. His tricks are mind blowing. (Plus he is really cute.) We had a bonus performance from another AGT star, Colin Cloud, who is a mentalist. He made predictions from random people in the audience and it was unreal. Shin Lim started with a card trick that the entire audience did with him. We had four cards at our seat. Apparently the trick works for 90% of the audience and it worked for everyone around me. It was pretty neat. I was so into the show, Jef said there could have been a bomb that exploded behind me and I would not have turned my head. I liked it that much. The show itself was outlined by the life story of Shin Lim. I had seen a lot of the tricks, but it was so much better in person.

Colin Cloud
Shin Lim
Valley of Fire

Our next day trip was visiting the Valley of Fire. We did not have time to see every section, but we drove a good chunk of it. We did gamble a little bit while we were in Vegas. We did not win, but we also did not lose a ton of money. We love gambling at Ellis Island, which also has excellent BBQ. We went to Circus Circus as well and got to watch some of the show and I played my very favorite game.

Skee Ball!

We also attended the Beatles Cirq show and Matt Franco. I love Cirq shows, but I think you need to be a real Beatles fan to enjoy the show to its fullest. Matt Franco had some amazing tricks, but his show is very high energy and that is simply not my style. We ate at some nice restaurants, but none of them were as good as they are advertised. The steak at Cut is unreal, but I was not impressed with the whole experience there as I was in the past. Yardbird was good, but we had a reservation and still made to wait fifteen minutes before we were seated.

All in all, we had a wonderful trip. Our main purpose for visiting, besides seeing some shows, was to preview what we would do for our wedding. We wanted to get married by Elvis. However the location of the venues that promoted Elvis weddings were in areas that were not desirable. None of them were open and when we called about seeing the inside, they thought we were crazy and were not available. We did not feel that it would suit us. The idea was fun, but the reality was not. Our trip was definitely worth it for both the shows and our day trips.

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