What Happens in Vegas..

August 05, 2017

...apparently doesn't stay in Vegas. 😉

Last weekend I was in Vegas for an honors society conference. Yes, you read that correctly. Vegas. An honors society conference. It was my first time there and thought it would be fun to do a recap on the blog.


I arrived in Vegas at 11-ish Thursday evening (1:00 am Dallas time 😭  so technically Friday already). My friend and I, who were on the same flight together, met up with two other members of our org also arriving around that time. After much confusion navigating the airport then an Uber ride, we made it to the hotel room's door two hours later (3:00 am Dallas time). This was definitely too late for Granny Kaylee. 

We were then up the next day at 7:00 in order to be at the conference, which was at a different hotel, another Uber trip away, at 8:30. The day was spent attending various workshops and talks. They had a good variety of workshop types so I surprisingly found myself enjoying the workshops more than I thought I would. My favorite would have to be the first one I attended: Out of the Box. Essentially, the speaker discussed how our 'box'--whether that be preconceived notions, boundaries, pasts, fears, or whatever other baggage we carry--can trap us, can make us feel stuck. We have to recognize and realize that though it may seem there's no way out, our boxes are actually lid-less; we have to shift our thinking and find or create a new path. Upward & onward friends. 

Luckily down time was factored into our schedules. We got off at 4 and a few of my friends and fellow members wandered around. Our first stop was the pawn shop featured and showcased in the show Pawn Stars. Since we were already in the area, we walked around downtown Vegas, observed the many, err, interesting street performers and artists, and grabbed pizza for dinner. We were famished and it totally hit the spot. 

We then headed back to the Strip, the main part of Vegas, and did some hotel hopping. Our main stop The Bellagio to watch the fountains' evening light show. We also hit up Caesar's palace gambling games like blackjack, poker and the slot machines. All virtual though; no tables for us! I put only $7 in and lost $6.50 if that tells you anything about my skill/luck. Finally, we impromptu decided to go on the High Roller ferris wheel (Thank god not the roller coaster). A tad expensive for my liking but the view + the company + the overall experience made it worth it. Subsequently crashed back at our hotel rooms at around 1:00.  

A mid-post caution: the spew of photos only continues...


The second day was also a relatively early start. A couple more workshops then we had time off again at for the afternoon. Continued hotel hopping along the Strip since we wanted to stay closer to the conference location since there was still a gala to attend in the evening. 

Only in Vegas can one go to Paris, Italy (twice i.e. two diff hotels), Rome, and Egypt, see flamingos and a pirate ship, among other things, in just days. The hotels in clockwise order: The Venetian, Treasure Island, The Bellagio, Flamingo, Paris, Cosmopolitan, and The Luxor. These were SO cool. My two favorites were the Luxor with its diagonal elevator & Venetian with blue "skies" and legit gondolas to ride.

Galae time!

We were treated to a three course meal then as a group we were recognized as one of the key chapters for the year. This was also the closing ceremony for the conference so the keynote speaker gave his presentation. Something he said spoke to my soul:
As human beings, we don't learn from perfection; we can only learn from imperfection. 
A not-so-impressive view from the room but thankful for a view nonetheless

Though the conference itself ended on Saturday, I decided to leave on Sunday and give myself more time to explore the city alone. First stop was Christina Tosi's Milkbar of course! Got a few cookies to take home with me including the oh-so-famous corn one. 

After grabbing that freekeh bowl for brunch, I continued walking the streets of downtown LV. I randomly came across this bookstore, Writer's Block (that name!). Such a neat store with things like a pet rabbit named Baron, artificial bird adoptions, a bear that gives you haikus for 25c., walls lined with the history of publishing. It hosts book club meetings and writers' workshops in the back room too. Def need more stores like this around the world. To think I almost didn't go in. 

Then I walked around Container Park and perused the various shops there. One of the park's famous features is a giant mantis, which supposedly breathes fire at night. Before riding over to the airport, I grabbed a snack at this vegan restaurant, Vegenation. I chose the raw carrot cake slice which had a lemon cashew frosting (uhhh, yes please!!!) 

My flight was at 4:00 in the afternoon with a layover in LA, which seems very counterproductive to go further west then back east but who knows how airlines think... Because of the stop though, it was another long day. I landed in Dallas at midnight (central time). Super grateful for my mom who brought me and picked me up from the airport. 

My overall thoughts/observations on the trip & Vegas:
  • Uber/Lyft/ridesharing = main form of transportation. They actually have a pretty cool system in place with designated spots for rideshare pick-ups at each hotel. I hadn't seen anything like it! As much as I enjoyed my random conversations with drivers, it did get a tad pricey. Even when my friends and I split the costs, it adds up for sure. So make sure to take advantage of the promos! 
  • For all you vegans out there or those like me who just like to try vegan food, I realized it was a lot more vegan friendly than I thought it would be. Not necessarily entirely vegan restaurants but a lot of places had plenty of options that were. 
  • Travelling with a lot of people is rough. Supposedly I had already missed some drama that went down on Thursday evening but even so there were just too many people wanting to all do different things trying to coordinate as a group. So glad I spent the extra day there to get in things I personally wanted to do that others may not. 
  • If you aren't big into gambling, drinking or paying to watch shows, I felt that there isn't much else to do especially if you don't plan in advance. Many of the museums required we book tours and shows just did not fit in our budgets or schedules. If I were to go back, 
Til the next adventure & window seat!

If you made it all the way here, thank you for reading! I know that was a long one to throw at ya. 

Have you been to Las Vegas before? Got any exciting stories to share?
Do you consider yourself lucky? 
Tips for group travelling? 
What upcoming adventures do you have in store? 
Window, aisle or middle seat on the plane? 

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