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…was the city’s follow up attempt to their famous “What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” slogan. I’m pretty sure I hate it, but Vegas has a way of clouding ones judgement into thinking it’s okay to try to try to shove your way backstage at a Tiësto concert by insisting you’re his beloved second cousin, for a completely unspecific non-personal example, so I can see where the tourism board might have thought it was the best idea ever.

Anyway, where were we? Two days into our Sin City getaway, and our Vegas was definitely showing. It was Saturday morning, and Liz, Kristin and I set our sights on the pool party. Once again, my fabulous friend had gotten us on a guest list, meaning we sailed past the line and directly into the madness. And about ten minutes later we were sprinting back out. Vegas pool parties are very subjective and while Tao was brimming with bikini-clad twenty somethings having the time of their lives, in our delicate conditions it was simply sensory overload. As we made our way to the exit I remarked that everyone as Tao Beach seemed to be staring in their own personal reality TV show, and Liz laughed like it was the funniest thing she’d ever heard. Have I mentioned how much I like Liz?

We retreated back down The Strip to , The Aria’s pool and lounge, and sighed with bliss. It was exactly what we craved. Size-wise, Liquid is somewhere inbetween Tao Beach, which is teeny tiny, and Wet Republic, which is enormous. Energy-wise, there was a party going on but it was nowhere near the mayhem levels we had fled at Tao, a trait we attributed to the slightly older crowd.

Basically, there’s nowhere my Big Bird bikini would have rather been. The day took a turn for perfect when we bumped into the group we’d hung with at Wet Republic the day before, who had splurged on a cabana and all the goodies that come along with it. Once again we selflessly volunteered to help meet them meet their food and drink minimum, and they reciprocated that kindness with some much-appreciated twerking demonstrations.

No offense to my first two trips to Vegas, but after this third one I don’t think I’ll ever go again outside pool season. There’s just no better way to spend a day in the desert than sipping on mango mojitos with your feet in the pool.

The pool closed at 5:00pm, which was a welcome excuse to head back to our Vdara suite for a siesta. While after the day we’d had I probably could have slept through ’till the next morning, you don’t go to Vegas to sleep. We didn’t want to fuss with a fancy dinner or fighting for a reservation, so we made our way down to to indulge in some stress-free warm-up drinks and bites instead.

While the cocktails were sweet and the flatbreads and sliders delicious, it was the warm churros that won my heart. If you stay at Vdara and miss out on these, you are simply doing Vegas wrong. It was the perfect pre-show stop before heading next door to The Aria for .

Zarkana was every bit as magical as I’d expected my first Cirque show to be. From the oversized sofa seating to the score sung entirely in a fantasy language to the acrobats quite literally flying over my head, Cirque de Soleil transported us to another world in that theater.

The most unexpected detail was seeing the concentration on the performer’s faces as they attempted to psych themselves up before a big move. It kind of jolted me back to reality and reminded me that I was not in a fantasy universe where no one could get hurt — these were real people doing unreal things, and occasionally . I was on the edge of my cherry-red sofa.

After the show, we were looking for somewhere to get sentimental about our final night on The Strip, and with it’s unbeatable views and rooftop swagger, fit the bill pretty perfectly.

Within moments of Abby showing up — or as I like to call her, The Queen of Vegas, we were escorted to a table with complimentary bottle service overlooking all the neon jungle below. Well, you know what they say, right? When in Vegas, do as the ballers do.

Guys, that is definitely how that saying goes.

And check out this bathroom. While I can’t promise you’ll get comped a bottle if you go to Mix, I can promise that you too can pee with this view over Vegas. Which I’m pretty sure we can all agree is the next best thing.

Though we could have easily called it quits at that point and patted ourselves on the back for a day well done, we had one more stop to make — the at Hakkasan.

“Get ratchet ladies!,” the elevator operator called out to us as the doors closed. “What does that even mean?,” we asked each other. Leaving the packed club and booming dance floor an hour later, Kristin turned to us and declared straight faced that she now knew what ratchet was. And with that peal of laughter, we finally ended the night.

Sunday was a much slower speed. With an evening flight back to Albany, we took the day to recover from the hedonism of the weekend without stepping foot outside our hotel. The Vdara pool is deliciously unscene-y, and the prices reflect that. While a daybed at Liquid carries a thousand dollar food and drink minimum, you can snag one for fifty bucks at Vdara — including a pitcher of refreshing cocktails.

Next stop on the relaxation train? Vdara’s own , an welcome retreat for two girls who could not get late checkout.

Our day passes gave us access to the sauna, steam room and whirlpool, as well as the lounge and all the snacks and healthy juices we wanted. But best of all we had use of the showers, blowdryers, and toiletries we needed to get travel-ready without tearing apart our suitcases.

For us the spa saved the day in allowing us to refresh after a day at the pool and before our evening flights. At $28 for a day pass, it’s around the same price as two people splitting late checkout, which I overheard another guest forking over $60 for. I know which option I’d go for.

And with that, we were leaving Las Vegas. One thing that’s not a gamble? I’ll be back soon. I just can’t seem to stay away from this particular desert playground — especially when I’ve got my partners in crime along with me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Many thanks to Vdara for providing us with a complimentary day bed, spa passes, and Bar Vdara experience, and to Cirque de Soleil for inviting us to Zarkana. As always, you receive my honest opinions regardless of who is footing the bill.

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50 Comments...
  • Linda
    June 17 2014

    Wow, what great party scenes from the pools to the lounges to the spa. You always seem to find great spots!

    • Meihoukai
      June 18 2014

      There is a lot of research involved… but it does pay off! Thanks!

  • If this doesn’t make you want to hop on a flight to Vegas with your best girls, I don’t know what will! This post was so fun and I literally am looking up flights as we speak. So fun 🙂
    Emily from Let’s Roam Wild recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 18 2014

      That’s what I like to hear Emily! Hope you have as much fun as I did!

  • Dad
    June 17 2014

    So who is the guy with you three in the picture at Mix?

  • Maddy
    June 17 2014

    This looks so fab! I know where I’m headed next summer… I also love the phrase “big bird bikini.” Ha!
    Maddy recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 18 2014

      It’s really the only way to describe that thing! I haven’t worn it in years but something about it screamed Vegas to me…

  • Katie
    June 17 2014

    Sounds like a perfect Vegas trip! I saw a Cirque de Soleil show in Vegas, and it was well worth it! I’ve also opted for the spa instead of a late checkout – it was one of the best travel decisions I’ve made! 🙂
    Katie recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 18 2014

      So clever, Katie! Is this a thing a lot of people do? I kind of thought I invented it, ha! 🙂

  • Leah
    June 17 2014

    1) Wow, $28 for a spa day pass seems really cheap, especially for Vegas! Great find!

    2) What does ratchet mean?? You can’t leave us hanging!

    3) I think an appropriate slogan for Vegas could be “What happens in Vegas…ends up on YouTube”
    Leah recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 18 2014

      Okay, I thought we were the only ones who didn’t know about this ratcheting thing! Glad to hear I’m not alone.

  • Ashley
    June 17 2014

    I’ve been dying to see another Cirque show since I saw O a few years ago! I was also going to ask the same question that your dad asked- about the random guy at Mix lol
    Ashley recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 18 2014

      Ha, didn’t mean to be mysterious! He’s Abby’s friend 🙂

  • Stef
    June 17 2014

    This looks like so much fun. I’m happy you enjoyed your third time in Vegas 🙂
    Stef recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 18 2014

      I loved it and have since been back a fourth… which you’ll read about soon!

  • Amanda @ Farsickness
    June 17 2014

    Your Vegas posts make me want to plan a trip back. For the first weekend I’m in the US this fall. Looks like so much fun!

    • Meihoukai
      June 18 2014

      Do it Amanda! It’s a really fun way to reconnect with friends 🙂

  • MCVK
    June 17 2014

    Meihoukai, you tell a great tale. I’d never do what you did – I’m too old – but you make me long for the days when I did do those things, like the time I met Jon Bon Jovi in a hotel hot tub and had a great conversation without knowing who he was until a bunch of young girls in street clothes surrounded us. Thank you for the entertaining stories.

    • Meihoukai
      June 18 2014

      It’s all about collecting experiences, and it sounds like you have some fantastic ones 🙂 Love your stories!

  • Justine
    June 17 2014

    Wow, it looks like you had a ridiculously fun-filled few days in Vegas! Now I can’t wait until I can get to the strip again 🙂
    Justine recently posted..

  • Janice Stringer
    June 18 2014

    The pool party looked like hell to me, now at 47 – would have loved it and been in the thick of it in my 20’s!
    The spa looks heavenly though and I’d love to see Cirque de Soleil (secretly I’ve always hoped my son would audition for their show – but he never has)
    Looks like you had fun 🙂
    Janice Stringer recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 18 2014

      Sounds like you have a lot to look forward to for that joint birthday trip with your daughter! Maybe your Cirque experience will finally convince your son to apply 🙂

  • Miquel
    June 18 2014

    I’m officially coming out of hiding! I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now, and it’s become one of my favorites. Looks like you did Vegas right. Glad to see you enjoying my city!
    Miquel recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 18 2014

      Thank you so much Miquel! I actually went back to Vegas not long after this trip so I have even more Nevada posts coming up… stay tuned!

  • Jen Seligmann
    June 18 2014

    How awesome! Going to have to try and replicate this trip when I go to Vegas, probably next year. Great find on the day spa, so cheap!
    Jen Seligmann recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 18 2014

      Replicate away, it was a fab visit! And definitely hit up some spas 🙂

  • Shaun
    June 18 2014

    Killer Vegas trip! Pools, parties, shows and friends. Abby knows her stuff in that town and i really enjoy her blog too.

    I’ll be passing on the late checkout tip too, WAY better deal.
    Shaun recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 18 2014

      Abby really is Queen of Vegas. Love that girl and was so glad she was back in town when I was!

  • The pool party pictures are great. Looks like you had an amazing time 🙂
    2 tickets to Wonderland recently posted..

  • Emily
    June 18 2014

    Your first Cirque show? I hope you see more either back in Vegas or one of the travelling roadshows – they are always spectacular!
    Emily recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 19 2014

      Actually by now I’ve seen two 🙂 Post about the second coming soon!

  • Charlotte
    June 18 2014

    This is a great post! same as the last Vegas one… Never really been on my bucket list but going anyway next year for a 10 year Wedding anniversary of some friends… This post got my quite excited for that trip actually! woop woop!
    Charlotte recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 19 2014

      Oh, you are going to have a great time! There is so much to see and do in Vegas even beyond the Strip.

  • Joella J in Beijing
    June 19 2014

    Mango mojitos, churros, a pool full of pretty people…? I need to go back to vegas! I went once a few years ago and wasn’t that into it but I think I need another visit!
    Joella J in Beijing recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 19 2014

      I’m always surprised to hear people say they don’t like Las Vegas… well, I guess not that surprised as I can see why it’s polarizing but at the same time I do think there is something there for most everyone! Hope you love it the second time around!

  • Hannah
    June 19 2014

    I’d love to go to Vegas, it looks like a place full of indulgence, somewhere I’d love to visit with the girls.
    Hannah recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 20 2014

      Indulgence at its finest 🙂 There’s nowhere better to splash out!

  • Amanda
    June 19 2014

    I’ve never actually “done” Vegas. I was there with my sister for a night during a road trip a few years ago, but she wasn’t 21 at the time, so all we could do was walk the Strip at night. I’m not really a partier, but I must say that a lot of this sounds really fun!
    Amanda recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 20 2014

      Walking the Strip is amazing too! Just the people watching alone is fabulous, but when you mix in all the crazy architecture in the hotels it’s really quite the stroll. But I do have to say I think Vegas is better when you’re of age 🙂

  • Kristen Noelle
    June 20 2014

    Absolutely gotta love Vegas! You always have such a fabulous time! Which camera do you use when you go out partying and such?
    Kristen Noelle recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 23 2014

      Thanks girl! Some are iPhone shots (basically the lower quality ones from Mix) but the rest are from my s100. It’s perfectly pocket sized and I prefer to bring it since the iPhone takes really crappy night shots.

  • Those churros look amazing- yum!
    Katie @ The World on my Necklace recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 23 2014

      Ugh, don’t get me started on those. TOO DELICIOUS!

  • Marni
    October 21 2014

    You’re making me want to plan a return trip to Vegas!! (and why not? it’s been 4 years already!) It looks like you had an absolute blast!

    • Meihoukai
      October 22 2014

      Four years is far too long! I try not to go any longer than 12 months 🙂

  • Kara
    June 16 2015

    I love your vegas posts they’re getting me so excited for my upcoming trip. We are 4 college girls heading to vegas in early September. It seems everyone says meet promotors and get into the clubs for free but how do we do that! Will they be on the street advertising and looking for girls earlier in the day so we can get on the list? What’s the protocol?

    Thank you 😀

    • Meihoukai
      June 18 2015

      Basically just go about your day… they’ll find you 🙂 Basically anytime I’m walking along the strip I’m approached by promoters. Don’t stress, it will all work out! Have fun!