Every year Julio and I drive to Las Vegas the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to spend time with my Dad’s brother and sister and their side of the family. I get to see my cousins, we spend time on the strip, and it’s a nice change of scenery. This year, Julio’s parents decided to join us, so we left a little earlier on Wednesday afternoon and stayed all day Friday to do some shopping and see a movie. I love spending time in Vegas with my family and we got to see some fun sights as well!
I had found a deal on Groupon for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino for $35 a night plus tax. For our two night stay in only ended up costing $84 plus the resort fees when we arrived. When I heard Julio’s parents were coming, I checked my old emails and found one from the Palms advertising $39 a night for select dates. Their room also included free buffet passes for two each day and free drink cards for club Moon. So overall we both got a great deal on rooms. We’ve stayed at the Hard Rock before and this time I was upgraded to a corner room on the 11th floor with a view of the entire Las Vegas Strip. It was amazing because we had two full floor to ceiling walls of windows and could see all the way from the Stratosphere and Old Vegas to the MGM and Mandalay Bay. We also had a massive walk in shower and of course, a huge comfortable king-sized bed.
On Thanksgiving Day Julio and I usually try to get some kind of workout in before we gorge ourselves at dinner, but this time we joined his parents for breakfast at the Palms and then set out to walk the Strip. We went to the Venetian first and walked them through the Canal Shoppes, which are painted to look like you’re walking outside on the canals of Venice. After stopping in my favorite store- Michael Kors, we headed outside past Madame Tussaud’s and across the street to the Mirage and Caesar’s Palace. It was a beautiful day out, sunny and 62, so we enjoyed seeing the fountains and the volcano outside the Mirage as well as the statues in front of Caesar’s. We made it to the Bellagio and went inside to see the observatory, which is themed to the seasons each year. I have to say, I was disappointed to see their “fall” theme still up instead of their fantastic “Christmas/Winter” theme, but it was still pretty. We got a Lyft for Julio’s parents back to the Palms and walked out front to catch the fountain show at the Bellagio before heading back to the Hard Rock. Every time I come to Vegas I make it a point to always catch the fountain show- it’s just so beautiful, you always see a different song and it’s one of my favorite things about Vegas.
We went to my Uncle Dan’s house for dinner out by Red Rock Canyon, which is west of the Strip. He and his wife Jenny have hosted and cooked the past two years, and we always have a delicious dinner surrounded by family. We drank lots of red wine (and tequila shots, I must admit), and enjoyed Uncle Dan’s famous cinnamon cheesecake dessert that is to die for! Julio and I usually go visit our friend Mike who bartends the graveyard shift at a bar near my uncle’s house, but we finished up dinner early and were so tired that we just went back to the Hard Rock and crashed. Good thing we saw Mike the night before when we arrived! On Black Friday, it was nice to sleep in and not get up at 7am to drive back to San Diego. Julio had asked for Friday night off, so we slept in, checked out, and headed over to Henderson to do some shopping and meet up with my Aunt Paula, my cousin Christin and her husband Darrin. We got some Christmas shopping done, grabbed lunch at Chevy’s, and then Darrin took their daughter Lucey home for a nap while the rest of us saw Allied, the new Brad Pitt movie. It was amazing, but very sad at the end. I’d recommend it to anyone though, it was so good. Afterwards we grabbed a quick soup and salad dinner at Aunt Paula’s and headed back to San Diego! I really enjoyed our slightly longer trip this year, and we got to spend more time with the family. Next year we’re going to fly to Vegas though- I can’t take that long drive anymore!