5. “Staycation” is something locals actually say—and do.
After living in Vegas for so long, “staycation” is just part of my lexicon, but I’m always amazed when people in other cities don’t know what it is. Basically, it’s a vacation while staying in your hometown. You can take advantage of room service, lounge by the pool and engage in super-hot hotel sex with your significant other (or a stranger, whatever), all without paying for a flight or dealing with TSA dolts. I spent an afternoon at the pool with my friends who were staycationing at Caesars Palace, and it reminded me how much I love this trend.
4. Paris Hilton is a regular fixture.
I landed in Vegas just in time to catch a private media opening at Mizumi, the new Japanese restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas, and having been to countless restaurant openings, it was everything I would have expected: opulent décor, a spread of bite-sized samples and the same roster of publicists, media folk and socialites that show up to every event, including Paris Hilton. When you’re not running into Paris, you’ll see her whereabouts in the SpyOnVegas galleries or at least in Norm Clarke’s column. I guess some things never change.
3. Yeah, drinks really do cost $16.
I wish I were exaggerating, but cocktails can easily cost nearly $20 each, especially at the newer hotspots. I downed a banana daiquiri at the Hard Rock pool, and for $16, I decided to just call it my breakfast. I mean, it’s a lot like a smoothie, and when you’re poolside, I think that’s perfectly justifiable.
2. For free stuff and a great hangover remedy, the spa is your best bet.
I always try to hit the spa on my way out of Vegas, since it’s great for detoxing and soothing sore muscles after late-night dancing. (And, after paying $5-$10 per bottle of water, it’s a welcome change to have all-you-can-drink lemon water, fruit juices and free, healthy snacks.) Even if you’re not a guest at the hotel, it typically costs less than $40 to get in. This time, I checked out of my hotel room and spent a few hours at Reliquary Spa so I could relax and shower before getting on my flight. The service was less than stellar, but at least the facilities were nice.
1. Even if you’ve “seen it all,” you still might be surprised.
I had only heard stories about Electric Daisy Carnival from friends who went last year, (whose tales were a mix of warning and awe) so suffice it to say, when I went last weekend, I was so excited that it really just felt more like nervousness. My entrance to the festival was met with booming beats, psychedelic visuals from multiple stages, neon carnival rides, throngs of enthusiastic ravers in candy-colored outfits and mind-bending performances from nearly 400 stilt walkers, clowns and costumed creatures. Yes, it was overwhelming, but it was equally exhilarating to know that I can still be amazed by something in the City of Sin.