Memorial Day Weekend in Las Vegas: It really can’t be beat

By Liz Tarnof

I’m from San Diego, born avegas2nd raised. During Memorial Day, you can find us San Diegans having backyard barbeques, swimming at the pool or bonfires at the beach. However, this past Memorial Day weekend, I decided to take my San Diegan self to Las Vegas. This would be my first trip to Vegas with no exact plans in mind, and not only that, I would be driving alone. I was rather excited. Las Vegas had a reputation to uphold and I was expecting only the best. I headed out Saturday evening after work and enjoyed a rather pleasant and anticipatory drive. I stopped for a few minutes per my tradition at the Primm Valley Outlet Mall next to Buffalo Bill’s and Whiskey Pete’s.  After a quick stop, I got back onto the road.

There were the lights! This was the moment I was waiting for. I drove mile by mile, closer to my destination. Before I knew it, I was passing Silverado Ranch Boulevard and heading right towards the Strip. I was arriving at a prime time for the Strip to be alive. Everything was lit up, amazingly bright and festooned with dazzling colors. I couldn’t stop staring from my car, amidst the car honks and irritated looks from passing drivers. I was in Vegas! By myself, no friends, no family; I had done it. I was staying with my friend for the weekend, and after arriving and quickly eating and unpacking, we headed out towards the strip. Electricity felt like it was flowing through me, I was ready to experience this.

We parked at the Aria Resort and Casino and headed up towards the tram. As we arrived on the tram platform, a man came lurching towards us and fell face first on the ground. Numerous people rushed towards him, concerned and frightened for him. At first I thought maybe it would be good to see if he was okay. As I turned towards my friend, he walked down the platform and hopped onto the tram. Unbeknownst to me, the trams close their doors and don’t re-open if someone has to jump on last minute. I saw the door closing and chickened out at the last second, for fear of being sliced in half by a tram door. There I was, stuck on the platform by myself while my friend trammed his way to another hotel and Mr. FaceFirst kept me company. Oh boy…what a great start to my first night in Vegas! Five minutes passed by before the tram came back, and my friend was there waiting for me.

We headed on over to the Bellagio; my first time there. I was rendered speechless by the setup of this hotel. The Conservegas3vatory and Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio were beautiful. There was a massive array of shockingly colorful flowers, trees and plants. There were giant statues of tulips, snails and frogs. It was if I was thrown into a fairytale land, one that I didn’t want to leave. The air was fresh, crisp and aromatic. We moved into another part of the Bellagio that housed a blown glass sculpture by the artist Fiori di Como. The Bellagio boasts that this sculpture features over 2,000 hand blown glass flowers which are situated on the ceiling. It was absolutely stunning to see. However, there was more that the Bellagio offered. They own the world’s largest chocolate fountain, featuring cascading chocolate from different platforms. I have never imagined chocolate being a work of art until now.  Chocolate lovers, this is your place to unite.

Sunday rolls around. Today is the day I’m really excited for. I meet up with my two editors for brunch at Texas de Brazil. I’m a huge fan of brunch, and after saying this, I feel like a small town girl. I always had enjoyed brunch that consisted of scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and maybe a miniature quiche or two. Apparently I’ve never enjoyed a real brunch because at Texas de Brazil, they offer you 16 different cuts of meat throughout your meal. You can go to the buffet area and grab seasoned artichoke, salad, Brazilian cheese bread and more. Texas de Brazil is known for being“an authentic Brazilian-American Churrascaria” or steakhouse that combines the cuisines of Southern Brazil with the generous spirit of Texas.” After eating here, I was sold. My standard for brunches has now been raised.

Finally it was time for the piece de résistance, the main event! My friend and I would be spending our time at the Las Vegas Speedway for the Pacific Street Car Association (PSCA) event. We took the short drive to the Speedway and parked. It was nothing short of beautiful. Dragsters, classic cars and even some newer model cars were already there, having raced the night before. I was in absolute car heaven. Mustangs, Camaros and Chevelles, oh my! We made our way to the media tower where there was ice cold AC. I have never been so grateful for AC until today. I was delighted to see kids drive their badass dragsters; it made me want to get my daughter started in racing. Once the main event started, we headed back down right next to the track. I have never been around such deafening earth shaking noise before. These cars spun their wheels, and roared with a ferocity that would quite literally knock your socks off. I was hypnotized at the power in these vehicles, the raw capacity they yielded and all the hard work put into them. As we watched all these amazing pieces of work blast down the track, the hours raced on by.  There was nothing more enjoyable to me then to watch each car go by, see them pulsing with power, and shooting down the drag strip. Seeing a car race down a quarter of a mile at 164 MPH is beyond thrilling. It makes me itch to be in the driver’s seat. The Las Vegas Speedway is an experience that all car lovers need to be part of. Everything here is short of thrilling.

Before I knew it, it was time to go back to what now seemed rather quiet and boring San Diego. Nothing can truly compare to the wondrousness that is Las Vegas, it just can’t be beat. From amazing food, hotels, sights to see and car racing, you have it all. You often hear the line “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” but this time, I’m taking it all with me.

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One Response to Memorial Day Weekend in Las Vegas: It really can’t be beat

  1. Amazing experience you had… Vegas is really an awesome place to get some unique experiences. Its my personal favorite city of course. Vegas always gives these kind of surprises to the first time visitors. This is why Vegas is the most amazing city in the world.. Here you can explore Vegas and make some awesome future trips

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