Planning this trip had to be one of the most exciting things I have did in awhile, especially post grad school! The Virgo in me planned every single detail of the trip and even provided my co-travelers with a copy of the itinerary (extra, I know). My boyfriend, Jordan and best friend, Icelynn were the lovely attendees to my 25th birthday trip. And for all of the people wondering, yes, Jordan third wheeled Icelynn and I to Las Vegas!
So let’s fast forward past our two hour flight from Charlotte to Chicago, then another four hours to Vegas. Only thing to note there is the fact that my lovely, boyfriend left my airpods at home after, I asked him to look for them. But no big deal (which was in actuality was a big deal because my lack of sleep on the plane really affected my attitude later that day).
So once we arrived to Vegas, we had no idea what we wanted to do first (well what was the point of the itinerary, Kennyatta? Crazy, I know). The first order of business was picking up the rental car. Jordan is so high maintenance (never let him tell you I’m the high maintenance one in the relationship) and is gold star member with Hertz rental service *rolls eyes. I shouldn’t be rolling them too hard though, because once we arrived to the rental service of the airport, the lady literally told us to go pick a car of our choice from the garage with keys in it. There were no registration or fee hassles and in less than five minutes our adventure began! So us cool cats decided to rent a slick, grey Toyota Corolla, because you know all of the lamborghinis were taken or whatever.
We ended up venturing a little bit from the schedule to go to the closest attractions leaving the airport and on the way to our Airbnb. Immediately, I was stunned at the the city of Las Vegas being surround by sand colored mountains and desert. My favorite part of our first day in Vegas was BRUNCH. Anyone who knows me personally, knows I love a good brunch (level of importance 40% the food, 60% the mimosas). Thanks to Twitter, Icelynn and I discovered a cute brunch spot called Mimosa Gourmet. The place serves huge mimosas, enough for three people or more (depending on how much you drink). I would say the mimosa was equivalent to 10 champagne glass servings.
We chose pineapple flavor, which was delicious and not too strong or sweet. It was the perfect mixture! On top of a great mimosa was the delicious food! My favorite bite was the hashbrowns! Omg, no lie the best hashbrowns I’ve ever had in my life. They were 10x better than Waffle House! The icing on the cake was that they sung me happy birthday and gave me a free shot of tequila! That’s always a win!
I had planned for us to do several things the first day but honestly, we could not fit everything I had planned. After brunch, we went to the Airbnb to rest for a bit, which resulted in an extended nap on my behalf. Our Airbnb was so nice and the perfect amount of space for us! The plus was that it was only ten minutes from the strip, so Uber rides were brief and cheap. I ended up of being so exhausted that night that Icelynn and Jordan had to practically drag me out of bed to go out and explore. I was incredibly, exhausted from our 5am flight that morning, on top of my lack of sleep on the plane.
Later that night we did some sightseeing and shopping on the strip. I gifted myself with two new pair of Quay sunglasses at the Quay Australia store inside Planet Hollywood. Planet Hollywood is a resort and hotel that has a mall inside with some of top name brand stores. Great place to do some shopping and eating! The cloud painted ceiling also gives a nice vibe and trip (ask Jordan about that one).
We experienced our first chance of gambling on Fremont Street which is considered “Old Vegas.” Some locals suggested for us to visit Fremont for great bars and cheap drinks. They were correct! One thing I would have loved to do was zipline through Fremont Street, but I’ll definitely add that to the bucket lists for next time!
Day two of Vegas was an adventure I will never forget for more reasons than I can share. To sum it up, we drove four and a half hours each way to the Grand Canyon! The trip on the way to the Grand Canyon was so worth the beautiful views of the tall, orange and sandy mountains painted in front of the clouds. We entertained ourselves with a Grand Canyon playlist, Sun Chips and the incredible view. The Grand Canyon was such a breathtaking and humbling experience that I’ll never forget. My moments there made me realize how real and creative our God is. I’ll never regret taking the time to visit it while in Vegas. See our great pictures below!
While I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the Grand Canyon, I do have one regret: the drive. While the trip there was great, the drive back was horrendous. There is one way in and one way out of the Grand Canyon (or at least that is how it appeared). There was a terrible accident on the way out that caused us to be stuck in standstill traffic for two hours, on top of the 4.5 hour trip back. Once we arrived to the Canyon, we learned that there are helicopter companies that will actually take you from Vegas to the Grand Canyon for ~$200 and it’s only a 30 minute trip. If only we had known sooner than later that would have definitely been the move for us.
Our final full day in Vegas, we grabbed brunch from a popular spot called “Hash House a Go Go” at the Rio. There are about four of the establishments in Vegas. Take my word, the blueberry flapjack was bomb and so was the chicken sausage! Icelynn had a red bull mimosa, which was also sooo yummy!
Afterwards, I experienced ATV riding for first time. ATV riding was fun but extremely hot! It was my first time and honestly might have been my last (I may go once more but that’s about it). Before that moment, I had never ridden a four wheeler. My complaints were: the heat producing from the ride was burning my leg the entire time, my fingers were aching from gripping the gear or gas or break … I don’t what it was. Plus, the nice addition of 95 degrees heat and dirt was just not my cup of tea. It was a cool experience but “I’m good, luv, enjoy.” Oh, and next time (if there happens to be a next time) I will definitely be wearing ankle length leggings.
We bought tickets to see Travis Scott for our final night (but don’t get too hype for us until you hear the whole story). We were so excited to see him because for one: it’s Travis Scott and we all are a fan of his music. Two: because for awhile I was searching for an artist doing a residency in Vegas, and was having no luck finding anyone besides Bruno Mars. So I was super excited when I discovered Travis would be in town doing his final performance of three at the Marquee Club. One thing I highly recommend while in Vegas is seeing which artists are doing residencies. We later found out about Drake performing in Vegas the same night, AFTER we bought our tickets … I was so upset!
So prior to going to the club, we hung out the in Cosmopolitan Hotel to do some gambling. Gambling turned out to be way more fun than I thought it would be. While I did add time in the itinerary for gambling, I did not think I would enjoy it, nor did I think I would want to waste my hard earned coins doing it. I was wrong. It quickly became addicting when I won $80 (until this day I have no clue how I won it). My family had also informed me that when you are gambling, you get free drinks! All you have to do is tip the server, which was also a plus and kind of shocking.
Fast forward to 11:00 we are climbing six flights of stairs to get to the rooftop of the hotel. Twelve o’clock rolls around and there are no signs of Travis coming on anytime soon. The DJ of the hour even tells us that we might as well start drinking and partying because we have awhile before Travis performs. One o’ clocks comes and the three of us start to get nervous because we have flight leaving at 6 am and we still needed to pack our bags before heading to the airport! At that moment, my feet are also killing me from standing in one spot and I’m really regretting not buying a section. We eventually had to give up our spot in the pit of the club, which was literally ten feet from the stage, and head back to the Airbnb. The disappointment was unreal.
The drive back to the airport and wait consisted of thoughts, comments and reviews of our very eventful weekend. Overall, Vegas was amazing and such an unforgettable birthday weekend with the two of the best people in my life. I would definitely recommend Las Vegas to anyone looking for a fun-filled and adventurous trip. There’s so much to do and so many hidden gems in the city, outside of the typical tourist things. Trust me when I say, you will come back from that city with great stories to tell and memories that will last a lifetime.
It’s definitely a place I will be going back, that’s for sure!