Sin City: A Nontypical Guy’s Day Out

Posted: 6 October 2013 in Food, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Been a while since I’ve last written due to the fact that I have moved. Moving is ridiculous and this will naturally not be the last. It’s been emotionally taxing and all around stressful. The negative aside, it has been very nice. I am now living in Sheffield, UK studying a Magazine Journalism MA at the University of Sheffield. I’ve made some great new friends and have gone through almost every emotion known to man. Oy!!! Anyway. I’ve only been here a couple weeks. Things will normalise soon enough.

I moved from Draper, UT on the 6th of September. I left work for the last time, we packed all my stuff in the back of Mike’s truck and began the trek down to Vegas. There were four of us going on this trip: Myself (obviously), Mike, Hong, and Randy. There were many moments of uncertainty about whether or not it would happen, where we were going to stay, what we were going to do, etc. Thankfully, we got it all resolved a couple days before.

We decided to stay the friday night (the 6th) at my parent’s house in St George. St George is only an hour and a half away from Vegas. Yes, I have been to Vegas many, many times in my life. I’ll be writing a post eventually on my favourite places and other things to do there.

So, we had planned on getting up fairly early so to get there and get a lot seen. Of course that didn’t happen. We left probably around 9 or 10 o’clock, which isn’t bad regardless of the time difference. Yes, Vegas is in the same time zone as California. So if you are travelling there from the west then you’ll be fine, but if you are coming from the east (and also Arizona depending on the time of year) you’ll have to factor in the time change. That is you are driving there naturally.

Alright, so our first stop was meant to be an amazing dive called Naked City Pizza. We were all a bit hungry, but ended up waiting for a friend of Randy’s. Instead we went to Fashion Show Mall to kill some time. I know it seems a bit weird for four guys to hang out at a mall when in Vegas, but we were also there because there was a discount ticket outlet. So we walked the entire length of the mall to find it. We stopped only once. Mike loves Fossil, so regardless of the fact that he had recently bought a nice new watch a couple weeks earlier we stopped in to check it out. I have a Fossil watch that I bought at the Aventura Mall in Miami so I wasn’t concerned about them. I love their stuff so don’t get me wrong, but they spent way too much time there. I got bored and checked out a clothing store across the way.

Finally, we made it to Tix 4 Tonight. It was amazing how many different shows and/or events there were to choose from. On top of that, it was amazing to see how expensive most of them were. We had really wanted to see a Cirque du Soleil show, but holy hell they were not cheap. Note, if you plan on seeing anything outside of what your hotel offers (if they offer any discounts or entertainment packages), be prepared to spend some. A play/musical was our next choice, but we each had a specific budget in mind so it was a challenge finding something to fit each one. Finally we decided on a magic show. We found the line and waited for a good while before being able to buy our tickets. Right before we went up to the counter, we chatted with a lady working there and she said she loved the show and had seen it like three times already this year. That made us feel like we made a good choice.

Once we bought our tickets, we headed back out, stopping once more at one of my favourite shops: Gamestop. Don’t judge me for it, but I love it. I am such a gamer. We spent about 20 minutes or so there and then made our way over to Naked City Pizza. We hadn’t heard from the girl in a while, so we decided to just go and eat because we were all starving by that point.

I used to work at Sysco Intermountain, one of many operating companies of parent company Sysco. In our break room, the Food Network is constantly showing. During my lunch, the programme Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives was on and had featured Naked City Pizza on it. We all love pizza so I figured it would be a good place to go. It was AMAZING!!!!!! Hong and I had the Guinea’s Pie and Mike and Randy had either the Fatboy or the Naked City Pizza. My suggestion is if there are two or three of you to get the Not So Wee as it is still really big. We ended up taking about half of it back with us. We also got the Suicide Fries as a starter. I’m not a huge fan of peppers and onions, so I just mopped up the sauce. Yes they were very spicy. Overall, I would more than definitely go there again.

From there, we parked Mike’s truck at the Riviera (where our show was). It has become a habit to put a dollar into a slot machine. Last time I won six dollars. This time I lost four. Got a little ambitious and got bit in the ass. Randy won $15 and then someone gave him the $5 they won because they couldn’t be bothered waiting in line to claim it (there are cashing out machine located around the floor as well). Hong lost some and Mike lost his dollar. It was all in good fun. We then walked along the Strip making random stops. We walked through Circus Circus, stopped at the Trump Tower (Mike wanted to see it as our friend Don always stays there when he is in Vegas, or so Mike says), and Caesars Palace. Randy had never been to Caesars Palace so we made sure to check it out. We went into this portion of it that I had never seen before. The Forum Shops have been around since the early 90s, but the last portion (the portion I believe we were in) was added in 2004. It was still really cool. We went into a watch place and a photography place. The photography was by Peter Lik, who is Australian, and his images were incredible. I chatted with a lady there about it and whether he would do more images from abroad or base them solely in North America. We talked for a good bit and the conversation turned to humanitarian work, which I have done and which she wants to do. Her name was Olivia.

Anyway. I was slightly disappointed that we didn’t have time to see the fountains in front of Caesars (they are awesome) or my favourite casino Excalibur, but it was getting close to curtain time so we needed to get back. The show we opted to go to was the illusionist Jan Rouven. He is from Germany and is even friends with Siegfried of one of the most famous magic acts Siegfried and Roy. Jan’s show was phenomenal. It was fast paced and energetic. I have no idea how he was able to pull off those acts. We got the cheap seats, but got there early enough to be close to the front of our section. The theatre was small enough though that it almost didn’t matter where you sat as there was a good view from all over. The funniest moment was when he had an old lady on stage helping him with an act and she ended up kissing him. Twice. It was cute. Then he kissed her a third time helping him out. If you like magic shows and such, this is well worth the money.

Our last stop for the night was for dinner at the Earl of Sandwich. It is located in the Planet Hollywood Casino. I had the chipotle chicken avocado and it was incredible. Loved it. I’m not sure which was better between the pizza and the sandwich (as they are completely different categories), but the other guys liked their sandwiches better. The flavour was superb and the portion was just right. And I just found that there is one of the restaurants in London. Now I just need to find it next time I’m in the city. We bought a couple things at a specialty shop a short distance from the EoS and then made our way out and home.

It was overall a fantastic day out. We didn’t spend a ton of money, had some great food and some great entertainment. Not to mention some great company. Vegas is notorious for being a destination that is expensive and where people can lose a ton of money (either gambling, shopping, or otherwise) and that is quite true, but there is still quite a lot that you can do and still not break the bank.

  1. Don says:

    I do always stay there when I am in Vegas!


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