48 Hours in Vegas...with a teenager this time!
Jason and I have been to Las Vegas twice before and we had a great time, but our past trips were when Sarah was younger and would be spending part of her summer vacation with her grandparents. Now that she is older, we figured we could make it a family friendly trip and that she was mature enough to handle "Sin City"...and we were 100% right!
Jason and I have stayed at the Paris before so we knew that we were going to be getting a middle of the road room, nothing fancy and probably a bit worn down, but we knew that the location was EXACTLY where we wanted to be. Center of The Strip, right next to the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino (another place we love to play cards) and right across the street from the Bellagio. Unless you are a regular player with a consistent record of gambling at either the M-Life Hotels & Casinos (Bellagio, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, New York/New York, MGM Grand, Excalibur, Mirage) Caesars Properties (Paris, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Bally's, Harrah's, the Flamingo, etc...) or are just coming off another stay there and they want you to come back and spend more money, your chances of getting a super cheap or comped room there are slim to none these days. Being a Total Rewards Visa card holder as well as Total Rewards Member, I had more than enough points to cover our room for 2 nights.
Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino
3655 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV
We had a Red Room with 2 queen beds on an upper level and I'm glad Sarah wasn't expecting a great view, because we had a view of the back end of the Planet Hollywood Hotel and McCarran Airport in the distance. No Eiffel Tower view for us, but our room, #2516, was clean, comfortable and easy to find. In Vegas that really is all you need.
Sarah thought it was "super cool" and she would have no trouble hanging out there later that night while we played poker. I guess since I have a more discerning eye, as I noticed the small things she didn't...the peeling wallpaper in the bathroom, the faux red leather of the headboards beginning to peel off in places, the scuff marks along the walls near the baseboards and the random spots in the carpet. What did I care though? It's a hotel room base camp for the next two days, not a part of a "Southern Living photo shoot.
The sheets were clean.
The in-room safe and TV worked (both essentials) and there were parental control options on the TV to prevent the watching or purchasing of adult programming.
Fridge for stashing a couple of cokes or water to keep cold
The glass enclosed shower is wonderful.
Decent Gilchrist & Soames toiletries
No noise could be heard from neighbors or from Las Vegas Strip
As for the rest of the Paris Hotel is is quite clean. This was our second time staying there and we wouldn't have gone back if it were a real shit hole. The public bathrooms are SUPER nice...I even took a picture! Granted that was at 4 am and I had been drinking and playing poker so I thought everything was awesome, but when I went back the next day, it really was a nice, well maintained public restroom.
The casino itself was nice, although the dealers need to loosen up a bit and smile more often. Having a nice dealer who laughs and smiles makes our losing money a bit easier to bear...and when we do win, we are more inclined to tip them. Oh and the Paris needs more upbeat music playing, more often. The more fun the atmosphere is, the more people spend. I know my husband was all about it when the music was cranked and the go-go dancers went to work!
We loved getting our made to order crepes at Le Creperie, located in the "restaurant section" of the Paris Hotel, directly across from Le Village Buffet...The Banana Fosters Crepe is so amazingly delicious!!! They offer a selection of both sweet and savory crepes. Some selections:
Butter & Sugar (sweet)
Berries & Cream (sweet)
Ham & Cheese (savory)
Shrimp Scampi (savory)
Fresh Tomato, Mozzerella and Basil (savory
Since it was Jason's birthday our first day in Vegas, I asked him where he wanted to go for his birthday dinner and instead of going somewhere fancy, he decided he wanted to go back to the Freemont Street area of Downtown Vegas and have dinner at the Triple Seven Brewery in the Main Street Station Hotel and Casino. We've been there 2 other times ago and we really enjoy the food there...it is reasonably priced, they have a GREAT beer selection and since Sarah wanted to go to the Golden Nugget Hotel and see the world's largest gold nugget, we decided to schedule zip-lining for Sarah and Jason above Freemont Street at SlotZilla, it just seemed like the right place to go.
During the late afternoon, of course. Trust me on this one. Freemont Street is NOT where you want to take your kids at night. Hell, I was hesitant with us taking Sarah there at 5:00 pm because there are some very odd, if not downright sketchy people there. Luckily the people who "work" for tips posing for photos and such are regulated to specific circles that they have to remain in and they are not supposed to hassle you for tips. At night, there are people walking around in VERY little clothing, there are a lot of drunk people and it's just not a place for kids. Sarah is VERY mature for her age (14) and I knew she could take everything in stride and we had no issues. She had a GREAT TIME zip-lining and we had a wonderful dinner at the Triple 7. Take a look at those oysters. Jason thought they were so delicious and the server was so nice to bring Jason a special sundae for his birthday dessert!
Triple Seven Restaurant and Microbrewery
Located inside the Main Street Station Hotel and Casino
Located in Downtown Freemont Street, near the Golden Nugget
Afterwards, after heading back to the hotel, while Sarah chilled out in the hotel watching TV and movies on Netflix, Jason and I went over to the Planet Hollywood Casino next door and played a little bit of poker, before heading back to the Paris. Being out on The Strip at night is an interesting place. If you're not familiar with what "Porn Slappers" are, they are people hired to stand along the strip, about every 10 feet, and hand out business card size flyers adverting the services of local dancers and such. The flyers show naked women, with their naughty bits ever so slightly covered, so when you walk down the street, all you have to do is keep walking.
You will probably also encounter people trying to get you to attend their local strip club. For example, as we waited for the Bellagio fountains to start at midnight, we received this invitation from a promoter (and I took this directly from my Facebook status at 11:45 that night):
"As tempting as naked midget tossing sounds (I'm being facetious) we had to pass up the offer from a local strip club promoter. Even though it IS Jason's birthday, we are keeping it decidedly low key, and midget free".
We watched the fountains do their display across the street and then wound up playing a little more 3 Card Poker at the Paris. We wound up ahead for the night, so it was a fun time all around! Jason had a great time and loved his birthday!
The next morning, we headed up to the Venetian Hotel for something we were SO excited for: Virtual Reality Star Wars
Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire
The Void at the Venetian Hotel
I have to say this was one of the most fun, nerd-tastic, coolest things I have ever done. It's like being in the Star Wars universe yourself. You are outfitted with virtual reality headsets and body gear and are directed to a series of rooms (yes you walk around) and it is like you are actually a Rebel in the Star Wars universe. You get to shoot Imperial Stormtroopers (pew-pew-pew) and come up close and personal with some iconic characters. It's not too expensive at $36.95 a person and if you are into Star Wars, it is SO worth it! We had SO much fun and would do it again in a heartbeat!
On our final day in Las Vegas, before our flight left later that day, we wanted to take Sarah out walking around to see a few of the other hotels in the area. We headed over to the Bellagio Hotel and Casino to show Sarah the gorgeous flower display at The Conservatory and to look at all the amazingly expensive things in the store windows in the shopping area of the hotel. Nothing beats the floral display at the Bellagio, except maybe the Chihuly Glass sculpture on the ceiling of the lobby or the diamonds in the window at Harry Winston. It truly is a beautiful hotel, but since it is a part of the MGM Resorts properties (and the M-Life Rewards program) we have never stayed there. I'd love to hear your thoughts if you've stayed there before!!!