Left Coast By Design

Tag: Las Vegas

Michael Jackson ONE

As you may recall, the wife and I recently returned from “our first trip” to Las Vegas. While the main intention of the trip was to attend my brother’s wedding (which was a blast), the wife and I truly wanted to immerse ourselves into the Vegas culture and decided that going to a show on the strip was a must.

Deciding to go was easy. Deciding what to see? Another story – there’s so much choice.

While the wife and I have somewhat similar tastes, we also had to take into consideration what my parents would be willing to see as we invited them to come along. During the decision-making process, we decided that Cirque du Soleil was the route to go, even though I’d never seen a show and wasn’t too sure I was all that into “circus acrobatics.” Hello boredom my old friend.

Well, Michael Jackson ONE proved I could never have been so wrong! Boredom was not an option. Continue reading

Vegas Vacation – Our Arrival

One of the benefits of social media is that it tells me my first trip to Las Vegas took place in March 2011. While I would at best describe that first trip as a whirlwind of activity (arrive late day one and leave early day three with a wedding in between), I got a good enough taste that I knew I needed to come back in the future.

Fast forward to present – my brother and his soon-to-be-wife are getting married here in Vegas (today!) and I’m back.

WestJet winglet in the rain at YVR

Peace out Raincouver!


Our trip from Vancouver was relatively painless.

WestJet as always was top-notch and the $30 upgrade we paid for Plus seating (a must if you travel on WestJet) was well worth it, if not for the extra leg room but the free snacks and booze we got to set the mood. Little to no turbulence made for a smooth flight and the length was just perfect to let me watch Edge of Tomorrow – which wasn’t too bad.

As someone who travels between Vancouver and Calgary with the odd trip to Maui mixed in, I found McCarran International huge! Aside from the fact there are multiple detached terminal buildings and a highway that goes underneath two runways (I think – we did arrive at night), there’s so much space inside that I’m surprised they don’t have limos picking people up straight from the baggage carousel!


Anywho, a short cab ride is all it took to get us to the Tropicana where we booked our stay. As one of the older hotels on the Vegas Strip, the Tropicana now markets itself as new having gone through significant renovations. And furthermore, it’s also the venue of the wedding (today!) so most of us decided it was also a convenient base of operations.

This is where things go slightly awry.

When I booked online through the Tropicana website, I was presented with many room options. Deluxe this, Paradise Tower that, Bungalow there. Wanting to have a nice trip and thinking it would be good to splurge a little, I booked the Paradise Tower which is strip-side. Yet upon check-in we were provided a Club Tower room.

Now for those of you who’ve never stayed at the Tropicana, the Club Tower is so far from the front desk that you nearly walk halfway back to the airport. And while online reviews have it as the “quieter” tower, it’s also got wicked… err.. lame views of the airport itself (remember, you’ve pretty much walked back to it).

Having an issue with this, I promptly called down to the front desk to express my displeasure. I explained our situation, the room I booked and the fact I even paid more for it. Tara, the woman who answered my call, empathized with our concern but advised us they had no record of which tower I booked in.

WHAT?!

Incredulous that this could be the case, I checked our reservation confirmation and sure enough – no mention of Tower either. Just that we booked a non-smoking deluxe room with a king size bed. Not good enough I proclaimed!

Tara explained that as this is a busy weekend, unless we wanted to go to a smoking (a blog topic of its own) room there wasn’t much we could do for the evening. She did offer to move us the following day (today!) and for the inconvenience of moving on the day of the wedding, offered a $50 food and beverage voucher. While I accepted, I explained again that all I wanted was the room I “paid” for and in my estimation, our new relationship between guest and hotel was getting off to a rocky start. She provided me a customary I’m sorry and that’s where things were left.

So I did what I do best. I tweeted about it.

As it stands right now, I’ve been told this will all be made right. And frankly, I’m sure it will be.

But today my brother gets married and that reinforces what’s important in life. Family.

Not a hotel room mix-up in the City That Never Sleeps.

What Happens in Vegas?

As I blogged about recently, Marnie and I are off to Las Vegas in October. While I’ve been to Sin City once, this will be a first for Marnie, so my hope is to soak in as much of the City That Never Sleeps as we possibly can over four days.

We’ve got our flights booked on WestJet (yay $99 companion fare and WestJet dollars), our hotel booked at the Tropicana Las Vegas (in a Deluxe Paradise Tower room whatever that means), and now we begin the bigger step of trying to figure out what we should get up to while we’re there.

I’ve already determined that at least one of our nights will be spent visiting Fremont Street (I loved it and it felt far less pretentious than the Strip). And with another night tied up with the wedding we’re attending, we obviously don’t have much time for anything else. So if you were us, what would you do?

We’d obviously love to take in a show or something. I’ve always wanted to see the Blue Man Group. Can’t say Marnie would be necessarily down with it, but it’s a start. And is there something we should know about shows on how to get the best deals? I always hear of people getting tickets at less than face value, but know nothing of it.

Or should we just take it easy and walk the strip, check out the fountains at the Bellagio, and gamble away our savings? I’m okay with that too, though I’d obviously like to keep a few dollars in the bank to cover the cost of the taxi to the airport on our way home.

I know you’re all Vegas veterans, do us a solid – we really don’t know what happens in Vegas!

Off to Vegas

In just under three months, I’ll be on a plane heading to Las Vegas. Sin City. Capital of Second Chances.

Las Vegas

Bright lights! (courtesy Pedro Szekely)


Yet it is only my second trip to Vegas ever (which apparently is very odd to many, many people) and frankly, not being a Vegas expert has me a little worried.

Where do I find the deals? Who must the wife and I make sure to see? Will I come home rich, or possibly with a tattoo I don’t remember getting?

So many questions!

So what say you world? While I know it’s generally recognized that “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” I’ve been known to keep a secret! And our new wondrous world of social media has already let the cat out of the bag! I know there are deals! I know you have favourite places to stay! I know you know how to get sweet airline deals!

And it’s all that first-hand knowledge I want access to!

And while we’re at it, if I get stuck in the airport on my way home, I’m so going to make a video that rivals this:

Never Been to Las Vegas

This may come as a surprise to a few of you. I’ve never been to Las Vegas before.

Welcome to Las Vegas!

Welcome to Las Vegas – courtesy of Dan Doan

Mind you, I’ve also never really been further south in the US mainland than Seattle so maybe it’s not that big of a surprise. And even though it’s a relatively easy destination to get to from Vancouver (and can be bloomin’ cheap when flying out of Bellingham), I’ve never really thought of heading down south to sunny state of Nevada. So suffice to say, I’m pretty darn excited.

Now to give you some info, I’m actually heading down with my Uncle to a mutual friends wedding. The only details I have about the wedding itself is that Elvis will somehow be involved, so it will definitely be an interesting experience. Beyond this though, I don’t know much more and the only thing that Marnie has asked (as she isn’t coming) is that I don’t try and reenact “The Hangover” while there. We haven’t yet decided on a place to stay (the wedding party is staying at Imperial Palace – we’re not really sold on that idea), but hope to find somewhere decent and/or fun for a reasonable rate. And I’m still trying to figure out if I should stay an extra night (I’m heading down Friday, the wedding is on Saturday, and my Uncle is leaving Sunday – I don’t have to be back to work until Tuesday).

So what should I do? Where should we stay? What say you all?

This happens to be the first post in the “Never Been” series – a variety of posts about places I’ve never traveled to, but wish to hit up at some point. If you ever think of somewhere that I should go, please drop a line – I’m always looking for inspiration.

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