My first Vegas trip being 21!! Woohoooo 🙂 I took the trip with my friend Sierra, who also just had her 21st birthday!
Keep in mind, we went over Memorial Day weekend, so everyone and their mother was in Vegas too. We left at noon (also a bad idea), and it took us over 6 hours to get there… It’s normally a 4 hour drive! But we finally reached Sin City, and checked in at the Rio. I didn’t have high expectations for the Rio. We chose to stay there because it is cheaper than a lot of other hotels, but it was surprisingly really nice. The room was classy, big, and had a nice window. Really my biggest complement is that I literally have 0 complaints. From the air conditioning, to the bathrooms and cleanliness of the room, we enjoyed every aspect of the Rio.
For dinner that night, we wanted something quick, so we just got food downstairs in the hotel at the Sports Deli. They had a large selection of food, including pizza, sandwiches, burgers, wings and chicken tenders. It was pricy, but what in Vegas isn’t?! I got chicken tenders, fries, and a bottle of water totaling $19. But it was a TON of food. Like, definitely enough for 2 people. It was good food too.
We took a $10 taxi ride to Treasure Island. We love to line dance, so we had to find a country bar. We decided on Gilley’s. It is a restaurant and bar, but you can’t see the dance floor from the restaurant tables. It is only a $10 cover to get in. Sierra was wearing a birthday sash and crown, and they let her in for free! They had an awesome live band playing, and the floor was pretty big. They did a majority of two stepping, and barely any line dances. We just stood in the middle of the floor and did our own line dances to the two step dances anyways.
There wasn’t a lot of people there… It wasn’t dead, but it also wasn’t packed. There were only a couple of people who actually knew how to dance, but I managed to find 3 two step partners who were actually really good! That made me happy.
They also have a mechanical bull that is $10 to ride. They told us that we could ride free for our birthday, but we decided to pass up the humiliation.
They sold these awesome cowboy boot cups that you could fill with whatever you want. I think they were $25 each, but I wasn’t paying! :p You have to get those from the restaurant bar, which closes before the bar does. Make sure to get one first thing!! We got ours filled with raspberry lemonade. Sooo yummy! We could only finish a third of it though! They aren’t skimpy on the alcohol!
At around 2am, we took a taxi to Peppermill. I had never heard of it before, but apparently it’s more of a locals place. It’s like a high class, really really delicious Denny’s. Maybe it was only really delicious because drunk food at 2am is always the best, but seriously the food was SO GOOD. I got eggs, sausage, hashbrowns, and a blueberry muffin.
After we ate our 2am breakfast, we went to bed and then got up for another breakfast! I love breakfast food, so I will never complain. We were totally skeptical about going to the Rio Carnival World Buffet downstairs because it’s about $35 per person. Our friends were already there and said it was good, so we decided to try it out. And it was worth every penny. I have been to a lot of buffets and I’m not kidding, it was the best one ever. They had breakfast and lunch foods out, which was unnecessary to me because all I wanted was breakfast. They had unlimited champagne (which I didn’t try), an omelette bar, and a pancake bar. I have never been so excited about a pancake bar in my life! They had so many options to add inside or on top of your pancakes. I got bananas inside with strawberries on top… but I regret not adding Oreo pieces. They also had gelato which looked amazing! We were in a rush, but I could have stayed in there eating all day.
Sierra and I decided that we wanted to go to a pool party during the day. We had gotten in contact with a promoter to get on the list for Daylight at Mandalay Bay. I found a promoter through Instagram. You can also find them through other social media, or just while you’re walking around on the strip. They can help get you into clubs and pool parties for free, but you usually have to stand in line. He told us to get to Daylight by 10:30am, but we didn’t listen and got there at noon. There was a suuuper long line, but we decided to stand in it so we wouldn’t have to pay. After over 2 hours of standing there, the line had stopped moving and there were even a few people who were starting to leave the pool! Our patience ran out a long time ago, so we decided to leave. It was a horrible experience. If you’re going to get on a guest list, make sure to get there at the time you’re told! Or just pay the $20 and wait in the short line!
After waiting in line for what seemed like all day, we were ready for lunch. I suggested Burger Bar in Mandalay Bay. I ate there during my last Vegas trip, and really enjoyed it. (See previous Las Vegas trip blog here). We both got the chicken sandwich, and split sweet potato fries. They gave a good size piece of chicken, and we were both happy with our meals.
Since Fat Tuesday’s is right next door, of course we had to go there! We both got Bellini flavor… it’s my faavorite! We managed to drink the whole thing and didn’t feel even buzzed… so I recommend adding a shot if you’re goal is anything besides a sugar high or brain freeze.
This next part of Vegas was my favorite part of the weekend. We got all dressed up and were looking good for our night out. It was showtime. We got to the Excalibur hotel, got some drinks, and lost money on the slot machines.
We were there to see Thunder from Down Under. What better a show to see?! Make sure to BOOK IN ADVANCE. We booked the day of, and Chippendales was completely sold out, and there was only the early Thunder from Down Under show available. (Also, Memorial Day weekend might have been the reason it was so packed, but I would still book earlier so you can choose your show time.) Don’t buy a drink right outside the door, because you can’t bring it in. You’ll be stuck chugging drinks like we were! The show was amazing. We had the greatest time! They chose around 5 girls that got to go on stage at various times throughout the show. The guys were constantly going through the crowd to hug and dance on everyone. Their dance routines were so good. We were laughing and smiling the entire time! They had tons of outfit changes, from firefighter to cowboy, so everyone was happy! It was also a pretty small venue, so it was very up close and personal! 😉
The guys were all so handsome. We were a little afraid that they would all be old, but even the older ones were gorgeous. It’s $20 per person to go up on stage after to meet them and get a photo. They guys were extremely nice and all had Australian accents! My favorite guy was Eddie, so I made sure to sit on his lap for our picture. 🙂
After our show, we got dropped off at The Bellagio to see the fountain show. A must see! It goes every 15 minutes during the evening, and every half hour during the day. It’s always beautiful and one of the few things in Vegas that is free!!
We walked to Harrah’s to go eat and dance at Toby Keith’s bar and grill. I got a $20 chicken salad. It was good, nothing amazing though. There were surprisingly quite a few good looking guys in their 20s there. They had a live band playing, and people were two stepping. No one was doing line dances, but we did some in the corner of the floor. The floor is really small though so we kept getting run into by two steppers! We met some cool guys, so we didn’t end up dancing much but we still had a really good time!
The next day, all we wanted was to go to the Rio buffet, but we had to hit the road for our next adventure!