Disclosure: #runawaytovegas is a media trip, all travel, food and activities were sponsored. All thoughts are my own.
I totally ran away from my family last month. It was only for 2 ½ days but still. I honestly needed a breather from the holidays. I was tapped out from traveling all Summer, back to school madness, an endless Halloween and Thanksgiving. Let's be real, there is a huge amount of pressure on women to make Thanksgiving and Christmas memorable. That means perfect home, perfect meals, it's hard to keep up with the perfection. I'm not about all that and I desperately wanted to escape that stress. In my mind, Vegas is the place to recharge and refresh. The city is cheap and always evolving. And it teases you with the chance to win lots and lots of money. I needed Vegas. I needed to runaway.
What happens when you runaway to Vegas with four blogger friends? Fun and a lot of firsts. I saw a different side of Vegas with AJ, Chris, Julie and Marla and I loved it.
Chris and the littles dropped me off at the Metrolink station at around 6am. It was my first time at that station and on Metrolink. I was a little stressed about it. It was cold and dark out still. He ended up parking and surprising me by waiting till I got on the train. I would get off at Union Station and catch Megabus from the Patsaouras Transit Plaza. The train was packed with workerbees but it was a smooth 40 minute ride. I'd do it again!
Day 1 Megabus and Plaza Hotel:
- Get there early and check-in, seating is first come, first served.
- Bring snacks and drinks
- Bring your gadgets and chargers! There is free WiFi and outlets at every seat!
- LA to Vegas has only one stop in Riverside to pick up/drop off passengers
- There is a bathroom on the bus
- You are allowed one suitcase and one carry-on
- Fares are as low as $1
Megabus uses double-decker buses, going to Vegas we rode on top and the views were awesome. The trip from LA to Vegas was about 4 1/2 hours. Heading back to LA we opted for sitting downstairs. I really liked Megabus. It was easy and affordable, I didn't have to worry about TSA or delays.
I loved that sign packed full of information in Vegas at South Strip Terminal. You can catch buses to the strip or Downtown or you can catch a cab. South Strip Terminal has vending machines and good restrooms!
I asked the information desk at South Strip Terminal where we could catch a cab and they told us in front by the flagpole and handed me a piece of paper with about 5 cab companies on it. Only one of them could accommodate all 5 of us. We waited about 10 minutes and it was about a 15 minute drive to Downtown Las Vegas. The damage was about $26 not including a tip. We each pitched in $6 so it wasn't so bad.
Our hide out for the weekend: The iconic Plaza Hotel & Casino. This was a huge first for me because I have never stayed in Downtown Las Vegas. When we were doing our planning, I read some horrible reviews and honestly wondered what type of hotel is only $29 a night. We pulled up and I fell in love with the exposed light bulbs outside...was itching to see it lit up at night. Walked right in and there was the check-in desk. No walking for miles. No long lines. After staying Friday-Sunday, I now believe those reviews are from people that love the Plaza and don't want anyone else to find out about it. Seriously, it is a hidden gem in the desert. The hotel underwent an extensive $35 million renovation with the majority completed in 2011.
If you think the Plaza Hotel looks familiar, it should. Back to the Future Part II, Pay it Forward and Casino are only a few movies it has appeared in. I have a soft spot for pop culture and those three movies are some of my faves. If that isn't enough reasons to love the hotel, once you walk in, you get the sense of old school charm & history with a very hip, modern ambiance...
Things I learned about the Plaza:
- Downtown Las Vegas is actually Las Vegas. The strip is Paradise, NV.
- The hotel & casino sits on the former site of the first train depot in Vegas
- There are 48,000 lights under the iconic dome and along Main Street
- The Plaza houses the largest convention space and the largest sports book in Downtown
- The hotel is green! From lighting, air handlers, paint, water conservation - Plaza is saving energy and passing the savings to guests!
|Elevator selfie with my girls! Photo courtesy of: Chris|
Still renovating, the Bier Garten will be open this year!
The location of the Bier Garten!
Oscar's! It is in the dome and overlooks Fremont Street Experience. The history and decor is gorgeous!
Isn't this the most gorgeous Wedding chapel you've ever seen? I want a round door right now!
Check back for more of our #runawaytovegas adventures and for your chance to win a trip to Vegas from Megabus and Plaza Hotel & Casino!
Labels: #runawaytovegas, LA, Megabus, Oscar's, Plaza Hotel & Casino, Travel