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High Above Las Vegas

November 20, 2013

The last night of my Las Vegas trip was by far the most Vegas-y evening of our trip.  What does that mean?  For starters, we saw a show, went out to dinner, had drinks with new friends and stayed out past 3 a.m.  And we had a blast.

We started the night by  heading back to Planet Hollywood to attend V – The Ultimate Variety Show.  As part of the great deal we got on our vacation in exchange for attending a grueling timeshare presentation, we got vouchers for dinner and a show.  There was a list of shows and restaurants to pick from, and the shows weren’t exactly Cirque de Soleil.  We were actually pretty disappointed when reading Yelp reviews of our options – lots of 2-star results.  So we took the list to our concierge and asked for her help choosing among our mediocre options.  She came through because we really enjoyed V.  First of all, we were in the very front row.

Front Row Seats

While admittedly quite cheesy, V really was the ultimate variety show.  The host/juggler was funny and entertaining as he presented the acts. Cute tap-dancing brothers from America’s Got Talent and the “Skating Aratas” were the highlights in my opinion, but all of the comedians, dancers, acrobats, etc. were quite entertaining.  Who are the Skating Aratas, you ask? Take a look here and stick with it until at least 20 seconds to get an idea:

I was so scared that something was going to go wrong and I was going to get a roller skate to the face.  Luckily there were no such mishaps.

There was also a nice element of crowd participation.  Having laughed much harder than we expected to, we left the theater for a late dinner.

Again, we were faced with choosing a restaurant among apparently lackluster options.  So we went with the one that sounded like the most fun: Las Pampas Brazilian Steakhouse.  This was not exactly Fogo de Chao, but for a “free” dinner Pampas was great.  I loaded up at the extensive salad bar, and the boyfriend appreciated the variety of meats that waiters brought to our table every few minutes.  That said, I would have been unhappy if we’d shelled out the $50ish per person to dine there at full price.  Satisfied but not too weighed down, we moseyed down the block to Paris.

Paris Las Vegas

I love Paris, so I jumped at the chance to spend time at the next best thing without flying to Europe.  We took the elevator to the restaurant at the top of the “Eiffel Tower” to have a drink while enjoying a birds-eye view of the Strip.

Paris Las Vegas

The Eiffel Tower Restaurant is a fine dining French restaurant with the prices to match (hello, $290 caviar “trilogy” on the dinner menu).  It’s not the kind of place I could see myself eating dinner, but it was definitely a great call for an after-dinner drink.

Eiffel Tower Las Vegas

The views alone were worth it, and the elegant but contemporary and low-key atmosphere at the bar was a great bonus.  And after unwittingly ordering a $16 watered-down vodka soda during V, I was more than happy with a good glass of French wine for $12.  Plus I got to enjoy it with this handsome dude.

Eiffel Tower Restaurant Vegas

And we had a perfect view of the Bellagio fountains (made famous at the end of Oceans 11) when they erupted into a choreographed show every 15 minutes.

Bellagio Fountains from Eiffel Tower

I don’t think there’s a bad table in the house, but the ones directly overlooking the Bellagio are definitely the primo seats. 

Eiffel Tower Las Vegas

Between gawking at the fountains, we also found ourselves chatting with the two gentlemen sitting next to us at the bar.  Long story short, we made friends and decided to all head to the Stratosphere together to ride the roller coaster atop the hotel.

Las Vegas Friends

I’m aware that if I were on my own or with a group of girlfriends, it would be sketchy to pick up a couple of middle-aged guys at a bar.  But since I was with my boyfriend, it’s ok.  Right?

Anyway, our merry group of four made our way to the Stratosphere (the hotel on the north end of the strip that looks like Seattle’s Space Needle) and were disappointed to find that the roller coaster was already closed for the evening.  At least our quest lead us by this red-carpet-like backdrop, right?

Stratosphere

Bummed about the roller coaster but still looking for fun, we opted instead to have a drink in the lounge at the very top of the hotel.  There, we were treated to another birds-eye view of Vegas, this one from a greater distance.  The twinkling lights sprawled out below us like a blanket until they abruptly ended and the dark desert took over.  It was absolutely beautiful but I failed to snap a single photo.  You’ll just have to see it for yourself.

From our glittery perch above the city, we toasted to a fabulous long weekend in Vegas.  The next morning, we woke up exhausted and satisfied with our trip.  I definitely enjoyed our time in Sin City, but was perfectly happy to return to my low-key mountain lifestyle at the end.

Have you been to Vegas?  Were you ready to leave at the end of your trip or did you want more?

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