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the renegade bride

the wild, wacky adventures of a bridal industry insider +newlywed + new homeowner and (in practice)renovation-maven. Whee!

One of my favorite places in the world is Las Vegas. It’s up there in my top five, which follows:

1. Kona, Hawaii (clearly)

2. Las Vegas, NV

3. Cancun, Mexico

4. Yosemite National Park

5. Manassas, VA

Those are the top 5.  Las Vegas is also special since it’s where Don + I spent our first vacation, and where I asked him (albeit a bit drunkenly) if he planned to marry me one day (he said yes, and look, he clearly did! Thanks, Las Vegas). We have lots of happy memories there.

The last time we went, we stayed at the Las Vegas Hilton. Home of Elvis. Pluses: cheap, a little off the street, directly in route to our favorite place on the strip (more about that soon) and pretty cheap resort rates.

The Hilton also has the Star Trek: the Experience exhibit/thing at the Hilton. We were too poor (thanks, Grad school!) to go to that then, but we had fun looking at people who were going there:

The biggest splurge of our trip was that Don took me to The Picasso restaurant at the Bellagio for the best meal of my life. We had pate, a crazy expensive bottle of wine, and some amazing food. Imagine dining in a spot surrounded by priceless pieces of art, getting amazing service, drinking delicious wine…ahh, heaven. That’s my idea of heaven, people. Beautiful surroundings + amazing food + man I love = perfect, heavenly day

I still have the rose from our dinner table tucked away in my keepsake memories box. Aww, right? So sweet! I know, I know!

ANYWAY, so this upcoming March, my husband is turning 30!! I am really excited for him, and I want to make it a big deal. Now, let me give you a little backstory here– Don does not like making things a big deal. Especially birthdays. I am the kind of person that thinks a party with fanfare and confetti is appropriate for all of life’s amazing moments, ESPECIALLY birthdays. On my 3oth birthday, it was the first year my studio was open and consequently my first mother’s day, and I was slammed crazy busy. I worked something like a million hours, and I was exhausted. Some friends had us over to dinner, and I brought chocolate covered strawberries and about passed out from drinking a glass of wine. TOTALLY LAME. Worst birthday ever. Well, not the worst, but one of the worst. I didn’t care for it. I have a few rules about my birthday– 1. Don’t work (i’ve broken that rule three times and regret it more every time I do), 2. Do whatever you want, 3. Make a big deal out of it, because it is a big deal, 4. Eat cake the next morning for breakfast. Pretty simple rules. If I can manage it, I find a way to sneak in drinking a margarita and having Mexican food.

But for Don’s birthday, he never wants me to make a big deal. Now that I’m his wife and can do whatever I want (evil laughter), I feel like the only way I can get him to make a big deal out of his thirtieth birthday is to get him outta dodge. And by getting him outta dodge, I mean Las Vegas.

It’s a pretty brilliant plan if you ask me. The last time we went, we made all sad poor people decisions about where to go and what to do. We did very little gambling (even though I love, love, love roulette) and mostly at Circus, Circus, where they have penny slots (woo!) and $1 chips, and you could get a coupon for a $2 subway sandwich. We spent a lot of time there. Like, a lot of time, a shameful amount of time:

I have no doubt that for nostalgic purposes (and cheap Subway sandwiches) we will go back there.

It looks really nice from the street, but believe me, it’s not that nice.

Sooo….Las Vegas. Right. I was looking at places to stay, and I have come up with a few picks that I am debating over. One is the new place on the strip, the Aria. They are running some really great rates  and the place looks really cool– kinda like a crazy futuristic  spaceship hotel:

Hello, fancy hotel!

But at $200 a night with the stupid resort fees + taxes, I think that maybe breaks my bank some. So I went onto my pal, travelocity, to snoop around at some other options:

The Signature at MGM grand is running a great special– stay 4 nights, get 1 free, and it seems pretty swankity: “The Signature at MGM Grand lets you revel in the luxury of Signature Deluxe Suites and One-Bedroom Balcony Suites in three 40-story towers. Located next to MGM Grand, The Signature’s separate entrance brings you into this secluded enclave near the heart of all the action. Many suites boast a private balcony with view. All suites offer pillow-top beds, lavish bathrooms featuring Jacuzzi tubs, upscale linens, kitchens or kitchenettes with refrigerators, sinks, and microwaves, and HDTV flat-screen TVs with DVD/CD players. Additional amenities: 24-hour in-suite dining, an exclusive heated pool complex, personal check-in/checkout, 24-hour concierge, fitness center, business center, and more.”

Look, this picture of this random lady says “I am having fun here, it is really nice!”

The rooms are pretty awesome:

But I’m not totally sure. We could save $100 a night staying at Bill’s Gamblin Hall + Saloon (yes, that is the real name)

Or for the epitome of luxury, we could sell everything we own and use all our credit cards and rob a bank to stay at the Four Seasons Las Vegas– for 72,000:

Luxury!

Crazy fancy bathroom!

That is still the hotel room!

That’s the pool. Kinda meh for 72K for a week.

Well, that’s the extent of my research for now. I welcome your thoughts, Vegas fans– tell me where you’d stay if you could.

EDIT: I found out that was some kind of glitch on the Travelocity website saying the Four Seasons was a bazill. Well, I am sure that was for a suite or a special floor or the rooms with a luxury panic room and a butler. We could actually stay in a Standard Room (still really nice) for $247 a night– a little spendy, but there’s nothing like the Four Seasons….

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