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Spring Break Trip-- Vdara-- 3/20 to 3/24

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by TJ1980, Mar 27, 2016.

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  1. TJ1980

    TJ1980 Tourist

    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    7

    My Trip Report

    Hey Everyone!

    It's been a long time since I posted a Vegas Trip report. Looking back the last time I posted was my trip in July 2013! I missed posting about my last trip which was in June 2014 and was a reunion trip for some old friends and I.

    This time around my hubby and I decided Vegas would be the perfect spring break trip to get out of the rain (we live in Vancouver, WA) and we booked a last minute trip (for us at least) one month ago. I was super excited to book a hotel I'd never stayed at before! Previous trips have included the old Imperial Palace, the Luxor, two Tropicana trips, Palazzo, and MGM. I decided that I wanted to try out Vdara for the fact that I did want a "quieter" Las Vegas stay than usual.

    We flew out of PDX very early because we wanted to maximize our time in Vegas. The flight got into McCarran at 9 am and we while we were waiting for our bags I spotted this vending machine!

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    I love Original New York Seltzer and buy it all the time at Winco! I was pleased that they had this in a vending machine at McCarran.


    We gathered our bags and took the shuttle over the rent a car. We stood in line for awhile at Thrifty and were helped by a nice lady who asked us if we were there for March Madness. Hubby is a huge sports fan especially the Oregon Ducks who were in the tourney so we said yes and that we were hoping to get a couple bets in before the games that afternoon/evening. We picked a Wild Card for our car hoping for an upgrade but sadly all that was left was economy which we rolled with since we knew there was a possibility we would get that anyway. We went down the escalator to collect our car and the attendant said they didn't have any economy or compact to give to us so he sent us over to a VW Jetta and said take this one. Nice car with satellite radio.

    So we couldn't check in until 3 pm so we drove out to Nordstrom Rack off of Stephanie Street to do some shopping. I have had the best luck at Nordstrom Racks in Vegas. I can always find tons of stuff to take back with me. After perusing the store for almost an hour I found my hubby and we were both empty handed. Nothing spoke to us and we decided to head out the other Rack in Summerlin to see what it had to offer. On our way we stopped at our favorite Grimaldi's for some pizza, salad, and a cannoli!

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    It was so nice to sit on the patio and enjoy the 75 degree day. After lunch we headed over to the Nordstrom Rack in Summerlin. We both looked around and still couldn't find any treasures. Oh well! If you haven't been yet this is a very nice new open air mall you need to go! . We planned to come back later in the week to see what else was around. After Nordstrom Rack we drove across the parking lot to Trader Joe's to get some water for the room. While we were admiring the store we found Sanjay the Seahorse (the Summerlin store mascot). We love Trader Joe's and as an employee I always seek out the stores to check out what they are doing. We grabbed some water, said hello to an employee we had run into at another location back in 2012 off Decatur who now worked at this store and got our discount. We planned on coming back the next day to grab a few more items after we got settled into our room.

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    It was now around 2 pm and we decided to head over the Strip to see if we could check into Vdara. We self parked at Aria (Vdara doesn't have self park only valet) and took the tram over to the Bellagio/Vdara stop. The tram would be the story of our lives this trip as we self parked the entire time and because we like to leave the Strip often we were definitely felt like the trams' best customers during our stay. Hubby doesn't like to valet cars (especially rentals) after our incident in San Francisco where the valet wrecked my car while parking it causing over $1800 in damage.

    Here we are on the tram! We probably took rode it over 20 times in our 4 day stay. We prayed it wouldn't break down like I've seen a few other times I've visited!

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    We were able to get checked into Vdara very quickly. We got our keys and headed up to the 30th floor. I was able to get us a view of the Bellagio fountains. I liked our room it had a small kitchenette, a soft bed, a couch, and a very nice bathroom. I also liked the smell of the hotel lobby. It smelled like flowers! Pretty!

    Here is a view from our window.

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    We decided since it was a nice day that we would head down to the pool for a couple hours before heading out on the town. When we got down to the pool it had become super windy outside and it was rather "cold" by Vegas standards. Hubby went into the water which he said was warm but was terribly cold when he got out because of the wind. Towels, empty glasses, and magazines were blowing everywhere. We decided to head back up after only 20 minutes. Little did we know wind would be the story of our lives this trip as well.

    For dinner we made our way over the Venetian to eat at the Grand Lux Cafe. Along the way we stopped by the Linq so my hubby could check out the changes and the new High Roller. Here is a cute photo of the Sprinkles sign. I meant to get a cupcake but forgot about that after I started having a few drinks.

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    At the Grand Lux I had a club sandwich and hubby had chicken pasta telefono. Both were great as always. I had a sparkling rose strawberry sangria which was pretty tasty but I unfortunately didn't get a picture of it!

    After dinner we walked over to Walgreens to get a couple drinks to enjoy while we walked around. Hubby got Ballast Point IPA and I got a Bud Light Lime. We walked around and took it all in. Here are a couple pictures of our adventures that night. A pretty picture of the Venetian Gondolas and a "character" we saw who appeared to be levitating in front of Ceasars. While we were checking out the "character" a woman asked us if she would get in trouble if she climbed up on rocks/fountain so we could take a picture of her. Hubby said he wouldn't recommend doing it if she didn't want to deal with security. She ended up not doing it but we seriously thought she was going to because even with our warning she was still contemplating it with her friend.

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    After that we were tired from getting up at 4 am that morning so we headed back to our room. I forgot to mention that earlier we did stop by Sportsbook in Bellagio and put 20 bucks down on the Ducks unfortunately since they didn't cover the spread we lost!
     

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    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
  2. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,138
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Sounds like a good trip so far. I have to get a cupcake from the Sprinkles machine. There is one across the street from my workplace and I LOVE the cupcakes!
     
  3. TJ1980

    TJ1980 Tourist

    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    7
    Day 2

    We got up around 8:30 am and hubby wanted to try the pool again. I said go ahead because I could tell that it wasn't going to be warm outside. He went down and was back within a few minutes. The pool was closed due to inclement weather. Oh well! We got ready quickly and headed through what we dubbed the "wind tunnel" which was the outdoor walkway to Vdara after getting off the tram. The wind was blowing hard and although it was sunny it was cold. I definitely brought the wrong clothes this time around. The weather report said that it would be sunny but the wind crept up unexpectedly.

    We drove over to get a coffee and donuts from Dunkin' Donuts. We don't have this in Vancouver and will always find a chance to hit one up if we are in a town with one. 2 large coffees and 2 donuts later we are on the road to go back to the Nordstrom Rack so I can find a sweater and a pair of jeans since it was so cold. I found a cute pair of True Religion skinny jeans so I bought those and then we headed over to Shake Shack to get burgers and cheese fries. Shake Shack is spendy for what it is but it is oh so good. It was a good $25 dollars well spent. After lunch we headed back over to Trader Joe's to grab some snacks and more water.

    My favorite Trader Joe's snacks:

    17 cent waters
    Olive Oil Potato Chips
    Tempting Trail Mix
    Kind Bars
    Honeycrisp Apples
    Venetian Moon Pinot Grigio


    After that we headed back to Vdara and the tram and relaxed in the room a bit before we headed over the Linq to eat at the Yard House.

    Yard House had a bit of a wait but we took our buzzer and hung out outside and people watched. The buzzer went off after a 10 minutes and we got to sit outside in the covered outdoor patio. It was nice as it was protected from the wind.

    Here is my "Hawaiian Mule" I ordered. It has pineapple vodka in it yum! I ended up having two of these and hubby had a beer. The food was good although I don' t know if I would order mine again because it was super spicy. I didn't get a picture of the Hot Nashville Chicken but it definitely was spicy ( and I can tolerate a lot) but it came with sweet potato pancakes which were yummy. Hubby had street tacos.

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    Here is a picture I took while waiting for our table. Admiring the sunset!

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    After dinner we walked around different casinos most notably Casino Royale and the Cromwell. We didn't do any gambling along the way but decided to go back to the room to grab the booze we bought at TJ's earlier to enjoy while we walked around.

    I filled up one of my tumblers I brought with Pinot Grigio and Ice and hubby grabbed a craft beer he bought. We walked over to Monte Carlo and hubby played a couple blackjack machines. Hubby also played some roulette and Let it Ride but with no wins. Before this trip I'd never played a table game but a friend at work suggested I try Let it Ride because it is fun even though the odds are terrible. I wanted to watch hubby before I gathered the courage to play at our next stop New York New York.

    Stay Tuned!
     
  4. ovojake

    ovojake Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 10, 2015
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    Great trip report so far fellow NW/OR-SW/WA friend! Go ducks!!
     
  5. TJ1980

    TJ1980 Tourist

    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    7
    Day Two Continued......

    We headed over to New York New York and scouted out a Let It Ride table. I was a little nervous to sit down but the table was empty and the dealer was more than welcoming to take my money! He made me feel super comfortable and showed me the ropes aka table etiquette. I bought in for $100 dollars and only had a few winning hands. My biggest win was with a straight 8 thru queen which got me $80 with the 3 card bonus bet I put down. I promptly lost it all and put down another $50 then lost it all. I had a lot of fun but next time I'm leaving while I'm ahead! Hubby played a couple hours of blackjack at the table and I hung out and watched. The highlight was a Justin Bieber look a like that sat down at the table. I love the Biebs and wish I had stayed an extra day to see him play at the MGM. Oh well. Anyway, it was entertaining watching the table but we were all losing because the dealer kept hitting 21. After that we decided to walk back to Vdara and call it a night!

    Day 3

    The night before we decided to get up early to go get breakfast. Hash House sounded good and we had never tried it for breakfast. We have only had it for dinner and I didn't think it was that great. We decided to give it another try so we went and got the car and drove out to a Hash House off Strip. The walk to the tram was windy as hell and it was freezing. The wind was blowing so hard that we could barely get the doors open to get outside!

    We made it to Hash House and hubby ordered Chorizo Hash and I ordered a Bacon Avocado Scramble. The food was really good and Hash House definitely does breakfast better in my opinion. We killed some time driving around until my appointment at the IBlowDry hair bar. I wanted to get my hair washed and curled while I was here because I've had great experiences with blow outs but had never had one in Vegas.

    I tried to make an appointment with their online booking system but it kept shooting back to me that my email was invalid. Anyway, I gave up on that and called the place and set up an appointment for 1 pm. This place had great Yelp ratings and since I'd never been there I just let them book me with anyone. I wasn't impressed with this place as when I walked in there was only one other person in there and it took my stylist about 15 minutes to start on my appointment. She wasn't super talkative and seemed like she didn't want to be there. I wasn't impressed with the final product. Here it is before and after- The curls were way too tight and my hair felt crunchy. Anyway, it was $35 bucks and definitely wasn't my biggest loss of the trip. I think that with some more research I could definitely find a better place to go next time I'm in town.

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    After this we headed back to Vdara to hang out for awhile. Hubby tried for the pool again but it was closed due to inclement weather again. We hung out watched television and decided to head back out to the Cosmopolitan to eat the Holstein's for dinner. I've heard lots of good things about this place and they are also putting a location in Portland soon so I wanted to try it out. I ordered a couple drinks most notably the "Berry Fresh". Hubby got a beer and I also checked into Yelp and was able to redeem another free beer for him although it was just a basic house lager and not craft beer that he likes. He drank it anyway though! It was free! We each got a burger. He had the Rising Sun and I had the Gold Standard. I subbed Onion Rings though and they sooooo delicious. The burger was great too. Overall, it was a nice relaxing time and the waiter was on point and we didn't have to wait for a table. Definitely will be hitting up the Portland location when it opens. Here is my burger and Berry Fresh!

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    After Holstein's we wandered around Planet Hollywood. I was looking for the Britney Spears store but couldn't find it so I had to settle for a Britney slot machine which didn't show me any love either and took my $20 right away!

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    We also walked over to Caesar's and walked the Forum Shops. We found the Nike store and I found a pair of shoes I had to have and hubby found a shirt that he also had to have. Here are my adorable Nikes. They are super comfy too!

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    We decided to call it an evening and headed back to our home Vdara! Stay tuned for Day 4
     
  6. justdeb

    justdeb Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
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    Location:
    Here where i am
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    i love the Nike's they are super cute! Loving the trip report.
     
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