Living the ‘Suite” life took on a whole new meaning for our kids and for Lara, our former German Exchange Student, who is back with us for her summer vacation. She made a second visit to Las Vegas…but this time it was with her American family! During her 10-month stay in the 2011-2012 school year, she traveled to Vegas with her mother during the last month she was here and her mother was touring the western United States.
The “suite” life didn’t start until we arrived in Vegas… and after a 5 hour drive with the funnest kids around,… our two kids, Brittany and Travis, Lara and one of the girls’ friends, Katie, who is half German, whose German-speaking Grandparents are from Germany. Lara got to know them during her 10-month stay here. Driving with 4 teens/young adults, ages 16-20, was quite the experience… especially when it came to their luggage resting on the back of the vehicle. The girls were so worried their clothes for Vegas were going to get lost that they were actually comical…looking back to make sure it was all there!
Our room at Mandalay Bay was a 1,450 square foot, 2-bedroom SUITE! It was about $100 more to book the suite than 2 separate rooms… so I grabbed the suite! I mean, really…. how often do you get to live like a celebrity? It ended up being on the 15th floor facing the strip with floor-to-ceiling windows the entire length of the suite! The kids were so excited, walking back and forth from room to room comparing everything! Which bedroom was bigger? Was there really a TV, phone and jacuzzi tub in BOTH bathrooms? Did the drapes open and close on EVERY window with the push of a button? What was in the fully stocked refrigerator? I thought one of their favorite moments was when we saw all the lights of the strip after sunset. We were facing the Luxor, where Lara stayed during her last visit to Vegas. We watched the lights moving up and down the sides of the pyramid and the huge spotlight shooting into the night sky! It was awesome to fall asleep to!
The girls spent a lot of time at the “beach”, wave pool and lazy river at Mandalay Bay. I think their favorite part was watching the lifeguards! Typical teen girls! Terry and I spent a little time there too enjoying a souvenir cup filled with a Pina Colada or Strawberry Daquiri! Where else can I do that in the middle of the desert when it’s 110 degrees? There were hundreds of lounge chairs in sand so with a little imagination… it felt like a beach… kind of.
Our first night in Vegas was spent at Caesar’s Palace, The Forum Shops and a trip to the Belagio Fountains. Inside the Forum Shops, the kids were in awe of the decor and designer stores. If you haven’t been there, it is like walking the streets of Rome with the architecture and the moonlit skies. Katie had never been to Vegas so it was fun to see her reaction to everything! The H&M store was a popular place for the kids. Lara LOVES H&M. It’s European and she made a point of it to tell us that! She shops there in Germany all the time so she was right at home. In fact, her outfit that night was almost all from H&M…so I snapped a few pictures of her with the mannequins! Afterall, she’s about as tall as they are and the clothes look better on her than the mannequins! My highlight was Lara and Travis in matching sunglasses from H&M!
On the second day… we hung out by the wave pool and just relaxed for once. I thought the girls would have gotten so sunburnt as long as they were out there! In the evening, we walked the passageways from Mandalay Bay thru the Luxor and thru Excalibur… then took the overpass to New York New York where we had dinner in a restaurant called “America”. It had a huge map on the ceiling of America with three-dimensional images representing each state. It was fun for us to look at the states and remember how many Lara had traveled to when she was in America. After dinner, Terry and I went to Blue Man Group Show, which was amazingly different than anything we had ever seen. Travis played arcade games and won a bunch of stuffed animals while the girls went to the M&M store across the street.
Before leaving for home, we made a stop at Circus Circus so the kids could play arcade games and go on rides in the AdventureDome.
Overall, I couldn’t imagine going to Vegas with a better group of kids! From living like Rocks Stars in a Luxury Suite to their funny antics and little videos… to their crazy poses for pictures… they were hilarious!
Enjoy the photos! The next blogs will be our other road trips to see area landmarks!