Vegas Vacation: Overview


Welcome to Vegas! Mandalay Bay in background.

After four full days at Mandalay Bay, one of the best-known Las Vegas luxury hotels, I’m happy to report that nothing occurred on our Las Vegas vacation that needed leaving behind. We didn’t lose a lot of money gambling ($20), didn’t attend any racy shows (no shows at all, actually), or even break any laws (à la The Hangover). But we did have a lot of fun; just not the type of fun that most people associate with typical Las Vegas vacations.

I had never been to Las Vegas, having had two trips cancelled in the past. The first time, it would have been two days after 9/11, and the airports were closed (to my family’s relief). The second time, the trade show I registered for was cancelled. But, now I can finally say I’ve been to Vegas.

We had never flown Southwest before, partially because they don’t fly into Erie, PA, where we live, but this time, to save some bucks we decided to fly out of Buffalo on Southwest. It was a surprisingly enjoyable experience.

My husband, Jim, attended a conference at Mandalay Bay hotel and conference center during two of the four full days we stayed in Vegas, which meant I had two days all to myself. During times like these, I picture myself cloistered in the hotel room, writing like a fiend, but that rarely happens.

A significant portion of Saturday afternoon was spent at the Apple store. And a significant portion of Sunday morning was spent writing the blog post about the unfortunate Apple experience. However, in my computer files, I was happy to find a short story that I started years ago, so I spent some time with that, too. But that’s not all. I actually read the latest Poets & Writers magazine, which ran a feature on no-fee writing contests. FYI, looking through these opportunities is like sifting through college scholarship opportunities, with many being restricted to a certain state or demographic.

As with most vacations, food was a major factor contributing to our enjoyment of the Las Vegas area. From wood-fired pizza to crunchy Brussels sprouts, we found more than enough options to keep these veggie eaters from getting to “hangry.”

Mandalay Bay is huge and one of the 15 properties owned by MGM Resorts International. Others include Bellagio, MGM Grand, Luxor, and The Mirage. If you never wanted to walk out of Mandalay Bay, you wouldn’t have to, because there are so many restaurants and shops to explore. It also features several pools (including a wave pool), a beach club, a spa, and a fitness center. Word to the wise, like many resorts, the check-in line can be as long as one for a Disney ride. They do thank you for being patient, though, when you finally reach the front desk. Not all times are like this. The length of the line ebbs and flows.

The last two days of our Vegas vacation were spent sightseeing at Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon in an Enterprise rental, a Toyota Camry, which was a double upgrade, due to availability. It must be my early childhood, spent in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, that makes me so enthralled with southwestern topography. I’d rather photograph a mountain from infinite perspectives than go shopping or play the slots.

We did play the slots, though, to the tune of that $20 loss. And we really could have used a tutorial on how to gamble, because we certainly didn’t know what we were doing. I had Googled the subject and carried some pointers in my head when we entered the casino, but they obviously didn’t work. That’s okay. Gambling was the least of the reasons we went to Vegas.

Other articles about our Las Vegas experience:

Vegas Vacation: Overview
Vegas Vacation: Vegetarians In Sin City
Vegas Vacation: Hoover Dam
Vegas Vacation: Red Rock Canyon
Flying Southwest
Apple Experience
Ann Silverthorn

Ann Silverthorn

Ann Silverthorn is a writer who won’t be classified or categorized. One day she’s writing about her Cairn Terrier rescues, and the next, she’s posting about a business topic or a research subject. Imagine the two of you are meeting for coffee, and she wants to share something new, interesting, amusing, or perplexing.

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Posted in Consumer Life, Reviews, Travel

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