Vegas Baby!

I survived my 40th birthday party, and despite what the commercials tell you – what happens in Vegas does not always stay in Vegas, especially since I have a blog! And, I’m going to fit all of the adventures into one post – so it will be long – try to hang in there!

First off – my practice packing came in handy! I managed to pack for the entire trip and still had plenty of room left over!

vegas packing 3

 Thanks to all of you who provided packing tips and tricks – I’m really happy to now be the kind of person that can pack a bag and go!

vegas packing 6


We had a total of 10 people, most of which had never been to Vegas, so the goal was to make sure they had a trip full of memories while we celebrated my birthday!  I had a list of “If we do this, then these items are all around it”.  So, if we go to Caesar’s to see the Fall of Atlantis, we should walk over to the Bellagio to see the fountains.  Several items all grouped together to consolidate travel time! I knew that Karen really wanted to ride the coaster at New York New York, and there was a new Hershey World open for those that didn’t want to ride or spend the time gambling.  The goal was to eliminate any “What should we do?” questions and have plenty of options to throw out when the question did arise! I was prepared! Which, if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you’re probably not surprised by that fact!

The flight was uneventful – which is always a good thing! We landed and checked our bags with the bell man since it was too early to check into the hotel and then we headed across the street for a lunch buffet.  You have to be able to say that you had the buffet at Circus Circus – that’s just a must for any Vegas or Reno trip!

Best birthday present - free shuttle to and from the airport!

Best birthday present – free shuttle to and from the airport!

After checking into the hotel, we went to the Strip to catch the free show at Caesar’s, then we grabbed a bite to eat and walked over to The Bellagio.  We checked out The Conservatory, which was a beautiful display consisting of over 83,000 fresh flowers! It was amazing! I tried to get another group picture while there – and boy, did I get a couple of sour looks!  So, fine – don’t join in the group picture! That was the last time I asked for one!


Party Bus the bellman found to haul all 10 of us to The Strip!


Mom and Dad in front of the aquarium at Caesar’s.


Free show at Caesar’s – The Fall of Atlantis


That fire was hot!

 This is how you cross the street in Vegas… overhead walk-ways!


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Once it was dark, we headed out to catch the famous fountain show!  Two of the group decided to head over to Paris and go up to the observation deck to watch from above, since no one else was invited, I figured it had to be a little romantic get-away! 🙂 Nothing says romance like Paris!

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The next morning I was up and invited everyone to meet for breakfast, and half the group took me up on it.  It was so yummy! We took advantage of some of the coupons the hotel gave and ate at the pub – nothing is better than eating at local places!

Hello Wicked Vicky stack!

Hello Wicked Vicky stack!

The half that didn’t join us went to Denny’s.  And I quote “It was a bit more expense, but tasted just as good as the one at home.”

Really? A restaurant that you can eat at all of the time, and has locations in every city and they all create food from the same menu tasted just like at home? Do tell!  I giggled over that the rest of the trip!

Even though half the group decided to eat breakfast separate from us, I did a group text and invited them to the next thing we were thinking about doing – and they said “No thanks, we are headed to a casino”.

That was the casino that I had mentioned that we should hit first, as there were several activities that we all could participate in, but um, okay – you guys just go ahead.

The rest of us were still talking and I sent another text asking if the others wanted to get together later, catch a show or something.

To which the response was “No, we are good – we will just catch up with you later.”

Okaaaaaay.  I’ll stop asking if you want to do things together – and per your request, I’ll just wait until you are ready to catch up with me.  It’s not like it’s my birthday party or anything!

Yes, my feelings were hurt a bit, but it was also embarrassing! Hard to explain to mom and dad that half the group went off and didn’t invite anyone else!  Then, I felt horrible when my parents thought it was their fault! They thought the others didn’t want to hang because of them! I reminded my parents that the parents of the others are with us frequently, so that can’t be the reason, and if that was the reason, then I didn’t want to play with them, either! A day and a half later I was told it was a misunderstanding and they didn’t mean to not invite the rest of us, they just thought I would want to keep to my schedule.

I could see that reason if they had invited others and not just me, but I wasn’t the only one they didn’t invite.  And, they stuck to my schedule, I didn’t!  My whole trip was very much go-with-the-flow and do-what-feels-good!  On the other hand, everything I thought would be perfect do to on Day 2 – they did! And pretty much in the order I suggested it!

Fortunately, it didn’t mar the mood – our group had so much fun the rest of the day!  Mom, dad, Kevin, Sandi and I went downtown and had so much fun exploring! And, Sandi and I crossed Zip Line off my bucket list!

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Slotzilla even wished me a Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Me! :)

Happy Birthday to Me! 🙂

Then we played around in the Fremont district, and thanks to Nancy at My Year(s) of Sweat, we had the best lunch ever!  Half the fun of going out-of-town is to eat local and she suggested a restaurant that was one of the best we all had ever eaten at! Afterwards we walked through Container Park, which was a park made out of old shipping containers! It was amazing!!  And yes, I played in the big tree house!

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I don’t know if I ever had a better day!  We went back to our hotel in the afternoon to rest and then play in the pool – and guys – I walked right past RJ Mitte!! I really wanted to stop and see if he’d take a picture of me, but I also wanted to give him his privacy.  In the end, giving him his privacy won out – but if I had seen him again, all privacy was going out the window!

RJ Mitte

Walt Jr. in Breaking Bad – RJ Mitte


My Tweet proving it was him! 🙂

Mom and dad took me to a nice dinner to celebrate my birthday, and then Dad, Kevin, Sandi and I went back down to Fremont to catch the light show… which was disappointing and exciting at the same time! I was expecting more of a lights and laser show – but it was actually a broadcast of a Bon Jovi concert!

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The next morning after a late breakfast, we were playing in the hotel and ran into some of the others that had declined to join us the day before, and well, they were just too tired and sore and worn out to do anything.  So, the same half of us loaded up and headed out! We hit the M&M store, Coke store, Hershey World, and probably half a dozen casinos to just wander around and check out.  It was pretty fun! And, yes, we played even more in the casinos! And, the beautiful fireplace shown… that was in a bathroom.  A bathroom!  I love the opulence of Vegas!

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Sigh, then it was time to head back. While we were waiting for my free shuttle birthday gift to show up, tons of people were headed to EDC, a techno rave that the Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosts every year.  Apparently it had a unique dress code… And while I was trying to discretely take some pictures, the four almost naked girls caught me – and agreed to pose!

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Then we loaded up and headed back to the airport.  I fell asleep briefly on the plane, just long enough to snore for everyone! It felt good to get home and sleep in my own bed, but, it felt even better to make some great memories! I am so very fortunate to have wonderful friends and parents that make my life so rich and full! And, a great sister that house and pet sit for me and my parents! That took a lot of  stress off knowing that she was there watching over things!

I heard from Travis before we got on the plane.  He had spent the week at Mascot camp, and he did make it home safely.  A dozen different schools were at the college for camp, and he was the only boy! 🙂  He did win the “Most Spirited” award – one of the few individual awards presented at camp! That was greatness, and he said that he had a really good time, so that makes me one happy mom!

If you made it this far – thank you for sticking by me!  And I hope you enjoyed my recap of Vegas Baby!

37 thoughts on “Vegas Baby!

  1. Happy birthday! How can I not stick on to the end with such an interesting Vegas trip? Wow! Not easy to arrange a big group trip. I actually think the same way as the other half of the group who thought it’s better for your half to stay with schedule and not disturb yours while they preferred casino. It’s hard to please everyone but I think you handled really well.

    Oh Bon Jovi rocks! I would probably prefer his concert to the lights.

    I have heard so much about Circus Circus in story books on Vegas (My favorite author Belinda Jones), hope I get there one day. And what’s that restaurant Nancy introduced? I’ll jot that down and head there if I ever have a chance to go Vegas 🙂

    • Thanks Christy! You’re right, it’s not easy with a big group, but it was worth it, I had so much fun! Totally one for the memory books!
      Nancy suggested La Thai, and oh my goodness, it was wonderful! I have never had real Thai food, and it was great, but it was also wonderful service and felt good to be treated like a local! And pay local prices!

  2. Saving My Belly Button Ring says:

    So awesome!!! What a way to ring in your 40th!! And zip lining off the bucket list to boot — too cool! You are ahead of me on that one!! Glad you had fun and Happy Birthday!!

  3. First….a HUGE “WOOT WOOT” to Mr. T! That is truly awesome!

    Now…on to the party! I’m so glad you had a good time in Vegas! You really did do it up right! Oh, and you got to cross off the zipline! YEEEEHHHHH! Definitely a birthday to remember!

  4. Welcome back Kate!! I’m so glad you had a great time celebrating your birthday in. Vegas. Too bad that half the group decided to do their one thing, I guess that is life huh? Glad you didn’t let it spoil your trip. The photos are awesome. Well done to Mr T also xxx

  5. *StrongNewMe* says:

    Sounds like such a fun trip! Sorry part of the group went off on their own, but you were right to not let it ruin your mood or your trip. Glad you had so much fun! Happy late birthday!

    • Oh my goodness! Denny’s! Of all of the places you could eat at, why on earth would you do that?!? And then, for lunch they ate at Johnny Rockets! I mean, really? Did you miss mall food that much? LOL. I guess since I grew up on the West coast, where there are a lot more, I am used to them – here in the area of Texas where we live, we only have 2, so maybe for them it was a treat!

      I’m not a foodie, but when we go out of town and are hitting a sit down restaurant, I want someplace new! Something I can’t eat at home! That’s half of my fun… stressing over a new menu!

  6. First off, happy birthday!
    It looks like you had a great time. You are smiling in every pic. Bummer that some did not want to join in the activities. I think it’s cool that you invited and your parents wanted to come. You are very close with them.
    So, did you win or not? Money that is.
    P.S. Add me to your check out those that like me.

    • First off, I didn’t know that I could change my “Check out those that like me” – so I’m all over that!!

      And no, I didn’t win any money, but my parents totally rocked it and bought several of my meals, so I came back with money in my pocket, and I count that as a Win! 🙂

  7. And this is exactly the reason I’ve never been a fan of big group getaways. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but I always assume they’ll end this way, and that feelings will inevitably be hurt. 😦 I think when your friends signed up to go away WITH YOU, FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY, that they owed it to you to actually hang out WITH YOU. I don’t think that’s asking to much. GAH! Reading this just made me angry.

    I’m glad you got to still have a great time in my city! Wishing I could have been there to connect with you, even for just one quick drink. Next time!

    Happy belated Birthday, Kate!

    p.s. Next time definitely hit that crazy German beer house place I shared on FB. It is a total hoot! (And great for groups!)

    • p.p.s. I can’t believe you didn’t see Meatloaf! He’s there on a limited run. At Planet Hollywood, I think. I see the billboard around all the time. 🙂

      • I knew Meatloaf was there – but no one – not a single person in the group wanted to go – and I didn’t want to go alone! I have crowd issues and didn’t want to get overwhelmed! I almost bought myself a ticket… I was this close, but then decided I would rather make memories with my friends!

        And yes, had the entire group been together, I would have pushed for the german place, as you aren’t the only one that recommended it! I’ll have to try it next time, no matter the group size! 🙂

        I hated to have missed you, too, but we all were very grateful for your suggestions! La Thai was AMAZING!!

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