Monday, February 16, 2015

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015 - Las Vegas Style!

December 30- January 4, 2015 - Something we have never done is spend New Year's in Vegas. I know it's hard to believe but it sounded fun and with all the crazy stories you hear about this time of year out there well, frankly we wanted to see it for ourselves! Luckily we are pretty loyal to Southwest Airlines and have earned Companion Pass where Brandon flies for free (or any of the 3 people you choose) until December 31, 2015. The other sweet deal is that we are M Life Players Card Holders and somehow we have earned enough points / comps to allow for free room stays and a few other perks! Sweet! Sign us up and let's go to Vegas baby!

After a couple flight delays we finally made it and checked in to our hotel for the evening at 1:00 AM! We stayed at the Mirage for the first couple nights as this is one of our favorite places to stay because it's centrally located on the strip making it easier to get to places.

So in case you didn't know.... I'm a planner. I like to plan vacations and figure out what to do when we go to certain places. It is a good challenge when we go somewhere you have never been but it's equally a challenge when you have been to a place like Las Vegas say 7 times. I am very good about finding things for us to do but this one was a tough one.... Here's what we came up with! 

The Auto Collections 
Located in the LINQ Hotel and Casino
3535 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109

1949 Buick Custom Sedanette $75,000
1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom 1 Barker Torpedo Tourer
The ex Maharaja of Kotah "Tiger Car"
1962 Lincoln Continental Towne Limousine
President John F. Kennedy's car - Display Only!

Obviously there were tons of cars and it was hard to pick just three of them to show you but if you get a chance to check this place out you should! I am glad we took time to check them out! Some how we scored free admission when I asked the hosts where this place was exactly.... Sweet!

While we were there we met Jimmy Velvet a friend of Elvis Presley's. 
Yes I bought his book and what a cool guy! 

I can tell you that the heater works dang good in that place 'cause it was hotter than a burnt biscuit!
Felt good to get outside to some fresh air! 

So in all the times we have been to Las Vegas we haven't ever seen the show Jubilee and decided to take advantage of a backstage tour before the show. It is always interesting to see the behind-the-scenes of shows like this because there are so many things that are going on yet it all seems seamless. Jubilee wasn't a favorite show of ours but the costumes were really neat and still in great shape for being some of the originals. 
(No pictures on the backstage tour were allowed)
So this picture cracks me up... Brandon can't seem to hold his eyes open when we take pictures... which ends up being a whole photo shoot until we get a good one. What's funny about this one is the foreign people taking the picture and thinking they did an amazing job after 2 re-takes and 8 pictures! Hold your eyes open B... the flash is bright! 
 By the time we got out of the show they had already shut the streets down. (For New Year's Eve they shut down the main strip and surrounding streets for the mass of people waiting for the firework display. You can read more here if you are interested in going for 2016) It was only 8:45 PM and the streets were starting to fill up with people everywhere. Since it was cold outside we knew that we wouldn't be waiting around for the show to get started so we headed for our hotel where it was nice and warm! 

We decided that we would watch the fireworks from our room where we would see the Stratosphere. We knew we wouldn't have to fight the crowd and any other crazy things Las Vegas had to offer.
You can see the fireworks display that started at 12:00 AM by clicking on the video or link below: 

January 1, 2015 - It seems so strange saying 2015 but today is the first page of your 365 page book so be sure to make it exactly how you want it! Live each day to the fullest no matter how little or much you have, be thankful for the things you have never taking them for granted and be a positive person who gives back when you can! Brandon and I are ready to venture out and see what we might find today! Las Vegas.... are you ready for us?!?!

First stop.... The Gun Store! Oh yes we are! The taxi driver like to fell out when he heard it was my idea to go shoot guns! He said in the 40+ years of driving a taxi I was the first woman to suggest going here... usually it's the man who wants to do this.
After picking out a handgun, shotgun, semi-automatic and fully automatic machine gun we are ready to go back into the indoor shooting range!

Brandon picked a Glock 40 handgun - 20 shots
His photographer caught some pretty sweet photos of the bullets exiting the gun!

My gun of choice was a Dirty Harry 44 Magnum - 5 shots
Nope I've never shot one before and yes it was a blast! 

We both picked the 12 Gauge Shotgun - 5 shots

Next gun of choice was an FNH Scar .223/.556 - 10 shots

My final gun of choice was a World War II fully automatic Suomi 9mm gun with 50 shots!
It was awesome! 

Next up.... Taking a ride on the High Roller  - Tallest Ferris Wheel in the world!
The last time we were in Las Vegas they were still building this big boy and I am glad to see it's finally done and we are ready to take her for a spin! 
The Spry's at the top of the world!
The view from the top of the High Roller! 
This was a pretty neat little area full of great shops! 
(You can barely see the full moon between the two pods on the High Roller in the background)

When you see a big ol' chair....
you take pictures! 

We had to stop by the Polaroid FotoBar and Museum!

The museum was small but still neat to see history of the Polaroid camera!

The Spry's getting captured in the big Polaroid! 

Next up was dinner at our favorite buffet in Las Vegas....
The Buffet at the Wynn Hotel and Casino!
They had this gingerbread display at the front... 
awesome job to who ever designed this! 
It's hard to show you this place as it's massive! They have anything you can imagine from huge crab legs (already cut in half so you just scoop out the meat) prime rib, salads, chinese, italian and the list goes on and on!
Now for their desserts.... Oh. Em. Gee.
They are perfect sizes and oh so yummy! 

After checking out the Beatles store it was time to call it an evening!

January 2, 2015 - So when we went on this trip we knew we were going to switch hotels because of our comps. We moved over to Bellagio for the remainder of our stay! After we got all moved in it was time to head out on a fun adventure... A VIP Tour that would take us to some famous shops!

First stop of the trip... Rick's Restorations! 

After taking a tour of the inside we had to check out the golf cart that Rick restored for Pawn Stars "Old Man". After they got picked up for a show "Old Man" gave Rick this golf cart as a gift.
Oh and we got a chance to meet owner Rick Dale! 
That was pretty cool to see their shop and where the magic happens in restoring cool pieces!

Next stop on the tour was Count's Kustoms!

He had a pretty cool shop with lots of great rides! 
 I decided I wanted to own a piece of art from their shop...
This one is a heavy piece of metal with custom paint and was signed by Danny "Count" Koker.
(He wasn't there otherwise we would have got to meet him)

So I really liked this custom piece also but it wasn't signed.... the super nice lady went in the back to get Gary and Ryan who actually made the piece to have them sign it for me! 
Super cool to have this piece signed!

Next stop on the trip was Pawn Stars! 
We have toured this place before but it was nice to bypass the long line to get in! 
It was nice to see that they had upgraded their counters since the last time we were there! 

Ready to hop on the shuttle but not before a quick photo! 

Next stop on the tour was Ultimate Sports Cards...
another business often seen on Pawn Stars.

Pretty neat little shop filled with all kinds of memorabilia!

 The next stop on our tour was another business often seen on Pawn Stars...
The Toy Shack!
He had some really cool toys from all era's. It was fun to see how many toys I had as a kid.
We got a chance to meet Johnny, the owner of The Toy Shack!

The last stop on our tour was to visit ATM (Acrylic Tank Manufacturing)
 as seen on the TV show "Tanked"!

When you walk in the door you are greeted with this awesome fish tank made from an old car! 

It was really cool to hear from "The General" and tour their shop! 

 We didn't think our tour would last as long as it did but we made it to our dinner reservations just in time! We have heard a lot about Hugo's Cellar but have never tried it... until tonight! 
Dinner was really good but the Jerry Springer show next to us.... well I could have totally done without all their drama! Seriously some people just don't care about other people around them when it comes to trying to enjoy a nice dinner.

After dinner I arranged for a limo to take us to see the lights at the Las Vegas Speedway!
(A limo was less than a taxi ride there and back so simmer down y'all... it wasn't expensive)
It was a nice drive and the lights were beautiful! It was hard to capture good pictures on my iphone but it was something I would recommend! 

January 3, 2015 - We decided to do a private tour of the Lion Habitat! This place is where the MGM lions came from and where the grandchild of the original MGM lion lives! 

 It was really cool being the only ones on property with our tour guide. 

They had rescued a giraffe... he was a little more shy but loved lettuce so he let me take a few pictures of him! 
Great tour and I would recommend to anyone! These guys are certainly well taken care of and they don't take in more animals than they can care for which I appreciate!

So while in Las Vegas we had an opportunity to meet Mike Tyson and get a few things signed...
Ok and maybe a quick selfie! LOL! 

Next stop... Luxor to take in a show! 

Taking in our very last Cirque du Soleil show....
Criss Angel Believe! 
Hard to believe we've been married nearly 18 years....
Brandon still makes my hair stand up! 
(Of course he has been telling everyone that we just met!) 

January 4, 2015 - Home Sweet Home with our Bailey! 
What seems like too long of a trip (anything over 3-4 days is too long for us) we are finally glad to be back home with our Bailey-girl! We seem happier when we are all together! 

Las Vegas.... until next time!

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