The Anatomy of a Galentine's Day Weekend In Las Vegas

Las Vegas looks the way you’d imagine heaven must look at night.
— Chuck Palahniuk

Even though I have been a single gal for quite some time now, I still have no apathy towards celebrating Valentine’s Day.  I definitely still believe in love and think my future traveling mister is out there somewhere dreaming about me (ha), but until the time comes, I have absolutely no problem celebrating with my girlfriends.  When I lived in Houston, I would often get together with one of my sorority sisters (hey, Julia!) and we would paint the town.  Last year for Valentine’s Day though, I knew I would have a three-day weekend because President’s Day fell on the following Monday and there would be no school.  Naturally, I was determined to get away for the weekend and explore a new place.  After going back and forth between Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, I got together with one of my coworkers (who is also a Valentine’s Day baby) and we decided that Las Vegas would be the perfect place for a fun girls’ trip.  

Neither of us had ever been to Las Vegas and there was a lot of excitement.  The weather was reasonably warmer than Dallas’ forecast during the day.  We weren’t too into gambling, but Las Vegas offered so many other options for entertainment we wouldn’t let that stop us.  So, after spending the previous weekend in Washington D.C. for an education conference and spending the morning making blessing bags with Singles & The City, I rushed off to Love Field for my first Las Vegas adventure with the birthday girl, Jasmine.


The Grannies Are [Back] In Town

I always knew that Vegas had a casino in the airport, but they also had a liquor store.  Being the tourists we were, we purchased a bottle of champagne and spirits prior to departing for our hotel, The Luxor.  Now, we already know that I’m a hostel / AirBNB girl, but since the hotel rates were cheaper than expected and it was a birthday weekend, I was willing to splurge.  We would only be spending two nights in the city anyway, and wanted to live it up.  Seeing the line wrapped for check-in was a bit disheartening, but we scooped up some alcoholic slushies to officially welcome us to the city.  We were both thoroughly impressed with the Egyptian decor and intricate details to make you feel as though you stepped back in time.  

After getting settled in, we ate at one of the many restaurants in our hotel and I was able to satisfy my craving for wings.  Yes, I love wings and eat them anywhere… even out of the country.  We had some drinks and agreed to take a quick power nap before we would head out and bring in her birthday at midnight.  Joke’s on us… we are both grannies.  I woke up around 2:00 amand my coworker was sound asleep as well.  Whoops.  The good thing about our decision to sleep was beneficial though because we were due to take a tour to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and needed to be awake at 6:00am.  Challenge accepted.

After a day of volunteering, flying, and Vegas living we decided to check out our hotel, The Luxor in Las Vegas. Photo taken in February 2016.

After a day of volunteering, flying, and Vegas living we decided to check out our hotel, The Luxor in Las Vegas. Photo taken in February 2016.

 

"We slept through your birthday!"

After popping some birthday breakfast mimosas in the morning, we pressed forward to the Grand Canyon on the bus with our tour group.  We quickly learned that Arizona is a rebel child and does not follow Daylight Savings Time and therefore was operating at a different hour than Vegas.  Whenever we took breaks in route to the Grand Canyon, we had to be careful about whether we were on “Arizona” or “Nevada” time.  As we got further and further into Arizona, I was in awe about how naturally beautiful of a state it was.  I’m a beach girl and you will rarely catch me in the mountains, but I couldn’t help but be fascinated with the scenery around me.  I was in a desert, on Valentine’s Day, seeing snow in the Canyon.  I have no idea why seeing snow was surprising to me, but it was.  

I have a separate post coming for our experience at the Grand Canyon, but it was a surreal experience and I am so glad that we decided to take the voyage.  I am a city / beach girl to and through, but being in that space felt like I was in a living painting.  The backgrounds were vivid and my adventurous side couldn’t help but climb and step over snowy patches of rocks to take it all in.  What I will say in hindsight is that that it is not for the faint at heart… or for those afraid of heights as sometimes you were completely exposed.

Pure unfiltered beauty.  We felt like we were in a painting the entire time while visiting the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Picture taken in February 2016

Pure unfiltered beauty.  We felt like we were in a painting the entire time while visiting the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Picture taken in February 2016

 

When we returned from the Grand Canyon, we knew we had to step out that evening because it was my coworker’s actual birthday, Valentine’s Day, and we would be leaving the next day (Monday).  Best of all, one of my great college friends happened to be stationed out in Vegas for the time being and agreed to meet up with us.  After dinner and drinks, we knew that we wanted to go out, hear black music, but not do anything too clubby.  Per the suggestion of a local I had met and my college friend, we went with Blue Martini and had an absolutely wonderful time.  Drinks were purchased on our behalf, the music was great, and it was a kick butt Valentine’s Day.  We all returned to the casino at my hotel and I supposed I had a sudden burst of Vegas energy because I hung out and kept drinking until about 4:30 in the morning.  Who was I and what did I do with my old Granny self?  But hey, when in Vegas?

Time to get busy.

For our last day, we had a lazy morning and went to hang out at the pool at The Luxor.  It was a wonderful 80-degree day and it was at that moment I regretted not packing at least one bathing suit.  I dipped my feet into the pool water but I was definitely hating on everyone splashing around, but I had a cocktail in hand so I got over it quickly.  We researched a few buffets but did not think about the fact that it was now President’s Day and hotels were inflating their prices.  We went with the buffet at the Aria, an absolutely stunning hotel & casino that I would love to shop in.  

After stuffing our faces for a few hours, we strolled around the city to do things we hadn’t done on Saturday upon our arrival because we were being old ladies.  The dopest part to me about visiting Las Vegas during that time for Galentine’s Day was the fact that it was also Chinese New Year and Vegas did not come to play with you all.  It seemed as though the hotels were in competition with one another to see who could have the most creative of a tribute.  To me, they were all winners.  Between my obsession with lights, glitter, and all things celebrations, I was loving my time in the city and could see why people flocked to visit as much as possible.

My Galentine and I are both art lovers!  We went to three dope (and free) galleries by the strip.  We aren't too into gambling but Las Vegas still has plenty to offer.  Photo taken in February 2016. 

My Galentine and I are both art lovers!  We went to three dope (and free) galleries by the strip.  We aren't too into gambling but Las Vegas still has plenty to offer.  Photo taken in February 2016. 

Although we didn’t really gamble, we still had a fabulous Galentine’s Day weekend in Vegas.  We saw dope art galleries, exhibits, casino decor, and had great cocktails.  YES, it was ridiculously expensive and your coins diminish quickly, but I think there is something for everybody at Vegas, which is something I was initially worried about.  I’m definitely open to going back on a solo vacation to check out some spas and shows, or even take a trip with others.  No matter where I go, I will make the best of my time.  


Of course, we had to get in at least one selfie.  The weather at the pool was absolutely perfect during our Galentine's Day weekend. Photo taken in February 2016.

Of course, we had to get in at least one selfie.  The weather at the pool was absolutely perfect during our Galentine's Day weekend. Photo taken in February 2016.

For all of my singles, don’t let the upcoming holiday get you down.  Treat yo’self or spend some time with your best friends!  I had a wonderful Valentine’s Day last year even though I didn’t receive any gifts, roses, jewelry, etc.  I was able to have a new experience and make memories with a friend, and that’s what holidays are about and I highly recommend going to Las Vegas for a Galentine’s Day trip with your girls!

So, tell me, what do you have planned for Valentine’s Day?  Do you plan on celebrating this weekend or will you be postponing until President’s Day weekend?  Are you going anywhere?  Let’s chat!

Thirty30Courtney-Signature