Our second day in Vegas fell on August 17– my birthday! I woke up to some birthday text messages and a phone call from my lovely mother. I had no idea that J had called room service and ordered a birthday surprise for me– strawberries and whipped cream along with freshly squeezed orange juice and a small bottle of champagne for making mimosas!
The whipped cream was out of this world. I ate almost all the strawberries (J had some too), and when they were gone I may or may not have had a few spoonfuls of straight-up whipped cream. There was enough juice to make two mimosas, so I shared that with J too. Perfect birthday breakfast… thank you so much honey!
Happy birthday to me! (And yes, my bikini has strawberries on it. I am a little obsessed.)
Following breakfast we spent a little time relaxing in the hotel pool before getting ready to hit the Strip.
We knew we wanted to go to a buffet in Vegas, and decided to opt for a lunch buffet because they’re much cheaper than dinner buffets. After weighing the cost and convenience of a few different buffets, we ended up at the Paradise Garden Buffet in our own hotel, the Flamingo (we got a discount, so the total cost, including the tip we left, was about $11 per person). Let the gluttony begin!
Crab legs, sushi, shrimp, and some seafood salads
I fully recognize how unnatural it is to eat seafood in the middle of the desert. But it’s just such a Vegas thing– buffets always feature stuff like crab, shrimp and lobster– and I love seafood, so how could I resist? The cold foods were definitely my favorite– I loved the seaweed salad with sesame seeds and mini shrimp, and of course I had plenty of the bigger shrimp with cocktail sauce.
More sushi, more shrimp, and salmon with cream cheese and capers
I tried some of the hot foods too, but honestly nothing struck me as all that good except for this one creamy pasta dish (the pasta was overcooked, but the sauce was yummy). Then it was time to get started on dessert.
I’ve heard that buffet desserts usually aren’t stellar, and I have to agree. Everything looked delicious, but nothing was amazing. I only had one bite of the mini cannoli, and I ate the creamy chocolate part of the cake but not the base. It’s hard to go wrong with chocolate-covered strawberries, but since I’d already had a whole bowl of lovely strawberries that day, they didn’t seem as special. I ended up going back for one more mini cake (which was OK) plus a cookie and banana, both of which I saved for later. Overall I feel that we got our money’s worth from the buffet.
Following a brief break in our room to digest, we headed out to the casinos. After visiting Bellagio and Planet Hollywood, we stepped outside and were greeted with an absolutely beautiful desert sunset.
We visited casino after casino, also stepping into a few stores. I saw this sign at the M&M’s store and thought it was amusing.
Eventually we headed to a bar J had read about that offers Pabst Blue Ribbon beer for 5 cents on Tuesday nights. Yes, five cents. When we arrived there, we were SO disappointed to discover that the offer ended at 11 pm (in the info J had printed out, it said midnight!). So no five-cent beers for us. Sad! Nothing left to do but go to another casino and get a drink for free. After a very full night we eventually did get tired and hungry, so we headed back to our room for snacks and sleep.
Day 3 in Vegas started off with us redeeming our vouchers for hot dogs at the Irish casino near our hotel. Hot dogs for breakfast… sure, why not?
One of our goals for the day was to see as many free shows and happenings as possible (almost every hotel/casino has one). J’s goal for the day was to get me one of these things:
Those would be ridiculously large cocktail cups that come filled with pre-mixed frozen drinks, which you are allowed to drink out in public. Ah, Vegas– land of excess.
We met our goal for the day and saw free spectacles at Treasure Island, Caesar’s Palace, Mirage, and the Bellagio. And I have to say that the famous dancing fountains outside the Bellagio are absolutely breathtaking. While many of the other shows feel cheap and go for simple entertainment value, the fountains are somehow so classy, not to mention genuinely impressive. I’m rather sorry we only saw three different performances.
Our non-free activity for the night (well, other than gambling) was going to the top of the Paris casino’s faux Eiffel Tower to get a bird’s-eye view of the Strip.
It was a fun last day, but we were definitely starting to feel a bit burned out. Vegas is exhausting! Food-wise the last day was pretty boring, as I mainly survived on foot-long subs (for only $5) from the Subway near our hotel. I got one in the afternoon and another the next morning before we caught our shuttle to the airport. We flew back to Maryland ready for one more week of fun before our vacation had to come to an end!
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