When you think about Las Vegas, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Gambling? Bright lights? Slot machines? Well, Las Vegas does have all of those things and more, much more. I describe Las Vegas as the adult Disney World. One of the things I like most about Las Vegas is it does not matter if you have a lot of cash, or a little, you can still find hundreds of things to do while you’re here. Don’t get me wrong, the more money you have, the more fun things you can do, but it’s nice to know you can still enjoy fine dining, great shows and more on a budget.
The purpose of our trip was to play poker at some of the different casinos around Las Vegas.
I am going to now share with you how it is possible to do both. We recently visited Las Vegas in July of 2019. We stayed at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino. The Mandalay Bay is located on the Las Vegas Strip at 3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd. It is a member of the MGM Grand family. As such, it is a very large hotel with 3,209 rooms and one of the nicer hotels on the strip. As of this writing, it currently receives an overall rank of 4.5 out of 5 stars and an overall room rating score of 92 out of 100. (From the 2019 Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas)
Even though it is a very large hotel, the staff treats you as though you are sharing the facilities with a handful of guests. It is very clean and the MGM company spared no expense at making sure the world recognizes this is one of their many signature properties. (The Delano and the Four Seasons Hotels are also located on the property of the Mandalay Bay).
If you are a gambler, you came to the right place as there are casinos everywhere along the Vegas Strip. I can tell you Las Vegas offers more restaurants, shows, shopping and entertainment than almost any place in the world. Millions of people visit Las Vegas for fun, but it also one of the largest convention areas in the world. (As we were visiting the annual Woodworking convention was taking place with over 18,000 attendees).
Let’s begin with the restaurants. Las Vegas is known for its fine cuisine. Whether you would like a burger or a fine steak, Las Vegas has that and everything in between. We visited the “The Burger Bar” at the Mandalay Bay.
The Burger Bar:
My Burger-The Black Angus burger (8 oz patty) on a sesame hamburger bun with one egg, bacon, lettuce, tomato, American cheese, grilled onions and ketchup with sweet fries. I also ordered the Caesar salad which is large enough for two people.
Kenny-The Salmon burger featuring salmon, lettuce, tomato, onions on a hamburger bun. The burger comes with a side of your choice. (He elected for the mozzarella sticks as his side).
For breakfast, we selected the Citizens Kitchen & Bar also located at the Mandalay Bay. We ate breakfast here twice. Although it was a little expensive, the food was well worth it. I ordered the Cookie Dough French Toast, Kenny ordered the Belgium Waffle with fresh fruit.
Citizens Kitchen & Bar
(Cookie Dough French Toast with chocolate sauce and whipped cream)
The Shoppes at Mandalay Place
The Shoppes at Mandalay Place feature twenty-six stores and seven restaurants including The Burger Bar and Citizens Kitchen & Bar.
Chapel hats is a hat store located inside of the Shoppes at Mandalay Place. The Shoppes are located at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino. Chapel Hats is also located at the Venetian Hotel & casino in Las Vegas, New Orleans, The Mall of Minnesota, Disney World (two locations) and Canada. (West Edmonton Mall and CF Chinook Centre) To find out more about Hazel Hats, visit them on their social media pages and website: chapelhats.com
STAFF: Rigatoni, Christian and The Cynth posing in their store
You never know who you are going to run into while you are in Las Vegas. I was able to catch up with Public Enemy’s Flava Flav at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino.
The NFL also recognizes Las Vegas as one of the biggest cities in America. They are currently building a new 65,000 seat stadium that will be the future home of the Las Vegas Raiders, and is expected to be completed before the start of the 2020 season. Plans are to host concerts, events and more all year round and should energize Las Vegas just like the Vegas Strip does.
There will be state of the art technology, fan interaction and sports betting. Can you think of a better city than Las Vegas?
Future home of the Las Vegas Raiders, a 65,000 seat stadium scheduled to open in 2020
One of the things that makes Las Vegas is the Las Vegas Strip itself. There is nothing quite like it. There are hotels and casinos everywhere, restaurants, shows and attractions every day. Some of the world’s biggest performers appear in Las Vegas. When we were here, George Lopez performed two shows at the Mirage Hotel & Casino. (We caught the Saturday night performance. Very good show!) Seal was performing at the Palms. Common and Ty Dollar hosted their own pool parties and concerts. Tickets were also on sale for Rick Ross’s August 31st show at the Mandalay Bay.
The MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
Our only regret was leaving a day too soon. Janet Jackson opened her Metamorphosis Tour on July 24th with a multi-night engagement running until August 17th, 2019.
Once you go up and down the Las Vegas Strip you’re probably wondering where can you go next, and what else is there to do. If you hop on the crosstown bus going Northbound, you will end up at Fremont Street. Here you will see some of the older hotels and casinos that still attract large crowds. One reason is the Fremont Street Experience. You can take a zip line across the main thoroughfare, listen to a live band or DJ playing loud music, or take advantage of the cheaper gambling tables. ($3 and $5 Craps and Blackjack) In addition, the casinos offer very good lunch and dinner specials. It is definitely worth a visit.
A local Cowgirl at the Fremont Street Experience ready to be photographed
If you haven’t visited Las Vegas yet, what are you waiting for? Depending when you are able to getaway, September and October are wonderful times to visit. The weather is still warm (80’s and 90’s), the rooms are a little cheaper, and if you are not into large crowds on the Strip, you will be able to walk without bumping into many people.