Las Vegas, NV

About two weeks ago I received a call from my mom asking me if I wanted to go to Las Vegas with her for a week. My daddy gave her tickets to go see Ricky Martin for her birthday but he got stuck with work so I couldn’t resist the offer and decided to fill in for him :)

I haven’t been to Vegas in about 20-22 years so it was almost like visiting it for the first time. The city really blew my mind! Besides all the amazing shows, concerts, restaurants and shopping I loved how this place is completely surrounded by nature with hiking trails just minutes outside the Strip.

We stayed at the Wynn, which hands down is one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed at. The lobby was absolutely gorgeous with huge flower installations made by Panamanian artist Preston Bailey. I love that the hotel offers many green initiatives like including a full vegan menu in every single restaurant they have. They also offer a recycling program, they have high-efficiency toilets and they also reclaim the wallpaper during guest rooms remodels.

You may think that a week in Las Vegas is a long time but with so much to do in “Sin City” we had to pick and choose… Here’s a summary of what we did.

Day 1: flew to Las Vegas and got in around 10:00 p.m. If you ever have a 2+ hour layover in Atlanta head to terminal E and enjoy a delicious meal at One Flew South (p.s. the edamames are my fave!)

Day 2: had some fruit and a cold-pressed juice at The Café, which became our everyday breakfast.  We did some makeup shopping at Sephora in the morning and had lunch at Vegenation, a super cute vegan restaurant in downtown. We had the black bean hummus and the Torre Washington bowl that was delish. Then we went to a street that’s home of some of the most famous wedding chapels and stopped by to check them out, so much fun! Dinner was delicious vegan sushi at Mizumi.

Day 3: we went to an awesome spin class at The Ride. This place is brand new, super cool, with the best bikes and the nicest staff. Then we enjoyed a vegan brunch at The Juice Standard and went to Fashion Show for a couple of hours. That night we went to the Ricky Martin concert at the Monte Carlo where we had a blast! We became friends with the people behind us including two Australian women that came all the way to the U.S. especially for this concert! I loved the fact that he sang all of his best hits in English and Spanish… The production and dancers were great! I was surprised on how small the theatre was, we were so close to him! I feel that even the worst seats in the house were probably great seats.

Day 4: this was a very special day. In the morning I met my friend Cat who moved to Vegas three months ago. We grabbed a smoothie and went to Red Rock Canyon. This place is absolutely gorgeous and peaceful. We were there for a couple of hours talking, hiking and soaking in the beautiful surroundings. Later that day my mom and I met with my cousin whom I haven’t seen in 18 years for lunch! Her boyfriend is raw vegan and both of her kids are vegan so she knows all the good spots in town. She took us to the most amazing vegan Chinese joint called Veggie House by chef Kenny where we enjoyed all the traditional Chinese dishes completely veganized. Then we went for coffee and I met my 23-year-old cousin for the first time! It felt so good to be reunited and to reconnect with members of my family that I haven’t seen in so long! We had the best time catching up and learning about each other’s lives. That night we went to see Cirque Du Soleil’s 'O', which was so much fun and stayed for about 20 more minutes to watch the beautiful Fountains of Bellagio. Then we had dinner at SW, the first steakhouse I’ve ever been to with a full vegan menu! After dinner we headed to the casino for a bit where I didn’t win anything :(

Day 5: this was a more relaxed day. We woke up late, enjoyed our traditional fruit-juice combo and headed to The Cosmopolitan to see the largest chandelier in the world! We had lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s Cucina and spent the afternoon shopping at The Shops at Crystals where they have one of the very few Stella McCartney stores. In case you didn’t know all her products are eco-friendly and vegan… Yes! high-quality vegan leather! Then we went to The Forum Shops and had the best dinner of the trip at Andrea’s. If you have the opportunity to go, definitely order their vegan sliders and crispy lettuce cups.

Day 6: since we knew we were going to Vegas we started talking about the idea of visiting the Grand Canyon by helicopter. Once we got there my mom backed out because of fear until we met with my cousin who told us that if we could we had to do it! I have to admit that I was a bit nervous too since I’ve never ridden on a helicopter before. The day after we saw my cousin my mom woke up and said “let’s do it” so I called and reserved. I went to the Grand Canyon by car years ago and it doesn’t even compare to this excursion. This has been the best money spent in a very long time… At the beginning I had a bit of anxiety but about 15 min. in a sense of peace took over me as we were flying over the Hoover Dam. I realized, once again, how big God is and how many natural wonders he has created for us. It’s important to get out of our heads, put our fears aside and explore the unknown… Usually great things come from this practice! The trip was about 45 min. each way and we landed inside the Canyon where we had a picnic, took pics and soaked it all in. We had an awesome experience + got to meet some beautiful souls... This was a day I’ll never forget! (If y'all ever have the opportunity to book this amazing experience the best and safest company to do it with is Maverick) Back to the hotel and we were exhausted and decided to eat back at Andrea’s since it was so delish. Once again we went to the casino for a bit but no luck!

Day 7: we woke up early, went to the airport together and said our good-byes.

A couple of places that were on my list but didn’t get a chance to visit where Xcycle for spin and Eatt Gourmet Bistro for food. Have y’all ever been to any of these?

Thanks mom for an unforgettable trip that I’ll cherish forever! Here are some wise words my dad told me a long time ago: the best way to spend your money is by traveling to new places and experiencing new things!