My family came for about a month to visit me and it was really nice to have them around to spend Christmas with. Also taking them to New York and Arizona to meet T’s family. It’s probably the only time both our families will celebrate the holidays together. I’m glad we managed to do many different things and create lots of memories for a long time to come. And there was no drunken debauchery, didn’t catch any shows on the Strip nor any crazy late-night partying – I reckon that’d be easy and they can do that the next time they come since it’s on most people’s Vegas agenda. To be honest though, I’d have liked to watch an X-rated show just because… (But my goody-two-shoes husband doesn’t want to partake in any of that so I’ll need to go with someone else.)
Anyway, with my mother, shopping is definitely a big part of ALL her vacations so we did TONS of that. We visited the Las Vegas Premium Outlets – North and South, Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas in Primm Valley, as well as Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets in New York. If we had time (and they more luggage space), I’m sure we would have gone to one in Arizona as well. Oh yeah and when I took them to Town Square (it’s like a giant shopping mall area where locals go instead of getting their shopping, eating and entertainment fix on the Strip), we shopped up a storm at Old Navy itself (we spent about US$90 and took such a big advantage of the post-holiday sales that we saved more than US$100, and got some vouchers for spending later). Needless to say, they went home with 30 or more bags (mostly Kate Spade, Le Sportsac and some Coach), several pairs of shoes each (US$4.99 Nine West shoes SCORE!), skincare and cosmetics (apparently the Elizabeth Arden stuff here is like 1/5 of the price in Singapore), snacks and sweets (TARGET post-holiday clearances) as well as a lot of random other things. They came with 6 suitcases (2 of them were almost all my stuff) and left with 8 full ones (mostly their brand new shopping).
Other than the shopping, T and I took my city-folk family out for some nature walks – Valley of Fire (where we saw ancient Petroglyphs), Red Rock Canyon and (snowy cold) Mount Charleston. We even managed a picnic at Exploration Peak Park near our house – complete with a short trail walk, snacks, a potato salad, homemade egg as well as kaya sandwiches.
Some of the touristy things we did were:
- Taking pictures at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign
- Visiting the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay
- Walking down the Las Vegas Strip as well as Fremont Street (taking pictures of every crazy thing)
- Eating a buffet and trying our luck at the Rio (my Mum won $12 from the free credits they gave us)
- Ethel M Chocolate Factory (and Cactus Garden)
- The King’s Ransom Museum
- Las Vegas Pinball Hall of Fame (where we played some pinball and I won a Beanie Baby for 50c)
- Gold and Silver Pawn Shop (yes, the famous one on History Channel)
My Mum and my sisters even stayed 2 nights at Circus Circus so they could fully experience The Strip (T and I live about 30 minutes away in the ‘burbs). I highly recommend that if you’re coming to visit Las Vegas, try to stay on the Strip for at least 2 to 3 nights even if it’s at a Motel6. And if you’re a friend or family, please extend your stay at our house so I can take you to other places (hahahahha…)
There’s so much more to Las Vegas than just live entertainment, gambling and buffets. I’m glad I thoroughly made use of the time my family was here to explore the other places. It’s been great because I have never been to many of the attractions visited! Can’t wait till they come back again… *sigh* Back to boring ole housewifery…