Summer Moments Road Trip: Vegas Recap!
Be sure to check out the video above if you’re interested in getting more of a “visual” recap of my short, yet sweet stay in Las Vegas.
After an early morning flight to Washington Dulles Airport and then on to Las Vegas, I stepped off of my plane only to hear the slot machines a-ringing. It’s 10AM and there are only a few lost souls sitting in front of the machines as I pass by them at mach speed on my way to the rental car shuttle.
WELCOME TO LAS VEGAS!
As I approach the exit of the terminal, the sliding doors open and I’m instantly smacked in the face with a blast of heat equivalent to the feeling of standing behind a 747 when it starts its engines.
As soon as I step outside I spot the courtesy rental car shuttle which takes you from the airport to the home of every single rental company on earth. No exaggeration necessary.
THE RENTAL CAR RACKET
Prior to the trip I scored what I thought to be a good deal online through Alamo Rent A Car. I had never used Alamo prior to this trip so I wasn’t sure what I was in for when it comes to the quality of service, the car selection and the typical rental car
fees scams that most of us are pretty familiar with.
Alamo hooked me up with a 7-day rental of a compact sized car for $199.00. Of course, the price is always “estimated” since you don’t actually pay until you return the car.
The price of my rental car would have been much lower if I had been returning it back to the Las Vegas McCarran Airport but on this trip, my final destination would be Phoenix, Arizona. Either way, I think $199 for a week is quite the deal especially considering the mileage I’m going to be putting on this baby over the course of the next week.
As soon as I stepped up to the clerk at the desk he asked me a few questions about where I was headed, if I wanted to add insurance, and more. He ran me through the typical sales pitch that every rental car clerk gives you when you go to pick up your car but for some reason I felt as if he was a lot more polite and a lot more understanding of the word “NO” than the other rental car companies that I’ve dealt with in the past. Sure, there were a few little tricks that he tried to pull but nothing that I didn’t shut down before he finished his sentence.
Clerk: Do you want to add the…?
Me: No, I’m paying with my Capital One Venture card so I won’t be needing to purchase the additional insurance sir.
Clerk: How about cruise…?
Me: Nope, cruise control is not going to be a make or break on this trip but thanks for asking.
Clerk: Would you like to upgrade to…?
Me: Nah, the compact car is fine with me. I’m riding solo, what more could I need?
Needless to say, this guy knew that he was dealing with someone who wasn’t a rookie when it comes to renting cars. I would estimate it took approximately 5-7 minutes to get all checked in and before I knew it I was on my way upstairs to the garage where I would spot my sweet new ride.
The garage attendant approaches me and asks to see the paperwork. He points to the right and says pick any car over there. Any car? There’s two Fiat 500′s, a Dodge Charger, a Kia SUV, and a Ford Fusion. I paid for a compact car, why would you be offering me a standard car?
Garage Attendant: Well, I’m giving you the option to take the standard size car for no additional cost.
Me: That’s mighty nice of you sir but you’re crazy if you think I’m going to leave this parking lot in anything other than that white Fiat 500 over there.
Garage Attendant: Alright! (with a slightly confused look on his face)
THE FIAT 500, IT IS!
Call me what you want for choosing the Fiat 500 but I’m a huge fan of small cars. Not only do they save you money when it comes to gas but I also just like the feeling of driving in something small, agile, and quirky. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy driving vehicles that are higher off of the ground as well but as soon as I locked eyes on this little Fiat, it was love at first sight.
I bang three rights out of the lot and before I know it I’m cruising down Las Vegas Boulevard with the windows down and the radio up. Yeah, people are looking at me weird since I’m jamming out in a white Fiat 500 but what the hell do I care. I’ll never see these people again!
THE STRATOSPHERE HOTEL & CASINO
Four Miles and twenty five minutes later, I pull into my preferred hotel when I visit Las Vegas. The Stratosphere Hotel & Casino, that is. Sure, it’s an older hotel and it’s nothing special when compared to some of the more well known and glitzy hotels on the strip but when I touch down in Las Vegas, all I’m really looking for is a place to rest my head at night. I don’t need anything glamorous. I’m just looking for a clean room with a comfortable bed and the Stratosphere has everything I want and more.
Upon check-in I opt to splurge a little and spend $15.00 to upgrade my room to a newly renovated “Select” room.
Supposedly, the Select rooms offer rooms on higher floors, all new decor and furniture, decent views and more. By the time I had my room keys in hand the damage for one nights stay in Las Vegas came to a whopping total of $60.47 including the resort fees and taxes. Seriously, how can you beat that deal?
Once I settled in it was time to throw on my bathing suit and hit the rooftop pool. I grabbed a quick bite to eat at the pool side bar and spent some time basking in the scorching Las Vegas sun.
After getting my tan on, I headed back to my room to get dressed and freshened up for my 6PM dinner with my good friends Chris and Tawny of CaptainAndClark.com.
Once I was ready to rock, I hit the Vegas Strip and made my way down to the Luxor Hotel where Chris and Tawny were staying. Figuring out how to fit my friends into my little Fiat took a minute or two but once we figured out how to adjust the seats, Tawny squeezed her petite frame into the back seat with no issues at all.
And we’re off!
FIREFLY TAPAS BAR & KITCHEN
Tonight we would be dining at Firefly, one of my favorite restaurants in all of Las Vegas. Firefly was recommended to me by a local back in 2011 when Liz and I were out here for her birthday. We loved it so much that we still reminisce about it from time to time in our day to day conversations. It’s that good.
Firefly is the perfect place for friends to hook up and chow down. The menu mostly consists of small plates known as tapas. The beauty of tapas is that you can order a ton of small plates and share them all among the group. And, well, that’s exactly what we did!
Unfortunately I don’t have any photos from our meal at Firefly partially due to the fact that I forgot to take out my camera. Also, it was nice to keep the electronics to the side for a few minutes while catching up with friends over 8 to 10 small plates of delicious food.
All in all, we had an incredible dinner at Firefly and a great catch up session to say the least.
After dinner I dropped Chris and Tawny off at their hotel and I got Chris to “Pause The Moment” with me before parting ways.
Tomorrow I’ll be waking up early and hitting the road. It’s time to see if the state of Utah lives up to all of it’s hype!