My recent trip to Las Vegas was a big deal for many reasons. I was traveling alone, sharing a room with someone I’d never met, going to Vegas for the first time single, meeting a bunch of my Rock N Blogger teammates, and running my 10th half marathon – on the strip at night! I was so excited and terrified all at the same time.
I got into Vegas on Thursday evening later than expected. It seems EVERYONE was at the airport at the same time I was and it took me awhile to get to the airport. I checked into my hotel, the Flamingo, and got myself settled in. I picked the Flamingo because the finishers shoot for the race dumps you out right in front of the Flamingo and I liked the idea of just being able to walk right into my hotel after the race. It also worked out well because there was a monorail stop at the hotel which would help with getting to the expo, 5k, and ½ marathon start line. It ended up being a GREAT decision.
After grabbing a bite to eat I finally decided to crash. I had been up for 20+ hours and wanted to try and get my body on west coast time as soon as possible. I woke up the next morning at 8 am and started my first full day in Vegas. I did a little online research and found that I could get a cheap breakfast at a couple of places in the Miracle Mile Shops in the Planet Hollywood Hotel, so I headed there. I ended up at Cheeseburger Las Vegas which is actually a Hawaiian restaurant. I got 2 eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, toast and coffee for $5.99 – it was great. The best part was the amazing Hawaiian coffee that they served. SO good.
After breakfast I still had some time to kill before the expo opened so I went to Sin City Brewing. I had planned to just pick up a pint glass to add to my collection, but then I found out that if you buy a pint glass you get your first beer for 50% off. Score! It was only 10:30 am, but when in Vegas right?
As I mentioned before one of the best things about staying at the Flamingo was the easy access to the monorail. So after breakfast I dropped some things back at the hotel and hopped on the monorail which took me straight to the convention center and the race expo. When I was getting off the monorail and heading down the escalator it all just finally hit me. I was going to be running my 10th half marathon on the Las Vegas Strip at Night!! Did you know that they only shut down the strip twice a year? For this race and New Years Eve. Just makes it that much cooler.
The expo was really a blur to be honest. I got my race packet and my shirt, and did a quick browse of the race merchandise before heading off to find my Rock N Blog teammates. That is when the fun and hilarity ensued! The first day I got to meet Tina, Sue, Emily, Jen, and Dorothy. Tina, Sue, and I spent a lot of time together filming some footage for those fun Rock N Blog videos I’ve been posting and just getting to know each other. How is it that my very first day I make friends with awesome ladies from Calgary?? One of the best things about Rock N Blog has been meeting bloggers from all over the place. After spending a few hours filming, laughing, and just being a bunch of dorks we all finally decided it was time to call it quits for the day. After exchanging numbers and adding each other as Facebook friends we all went our separate ways.
When I got back to the hotel I knew I still had some time to kill before my evening plans and I knew that plopping down on the bed to “relax” was not going to end well. Instead I went out in search of a snack. I ended up at Sprinkles Cupcakes which just happened to be right outside the back door of my hotel. I was thinking about just grabbing a cupcake, but I wanted to save that for my post race snack. I was quite happy to see that this Sprinkles Cupcakes location had ice cream! It was a lot cooler in Vegas than it was in Florida, but its always time for ice cream right? I decided to go with their seasonal pumpkin ice cream that actually had pieces of pumpkin cupcake in it. It was AMAZING! It really was hard not to go back everyday and try a new flavor. Yum yum. On the way back into the hotel I of course had to stop so that Dave could meet his flock. He really enjoyed staying at a hotel that had his picture everywhere.
The rest of my evening was freaking awesome! I had dinner with some Florida running folks, including Nick and Beth from Best Damn Race, and then…. we went zip lining!! It was awesome and terrifying all at the same time. We zip lined over the Freemont Experience superman style and it was the best $40 I spent the whole trip. I wanted to wear the Go-Pro video camera that I borrowed from a friend but unfortunately they wouldn’t let me. They took some pictures of us when we were “landing” but I haven’t gotten those yet AND I look pretty terrified, even though I was having a great time. Thanks for talking me into this Beth, it was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.
My awesome roommate Liz showed up later that night, but it was actually after midnight so you’ll just have to wait for Day 2 to find out all about that adventure 🙂