Monday 6th May – Royal baby
Today was a happy day as we woke up to the news that Meghan had given birth to a baby boy! It wouldn’t be the UK Pavilion if we didn’t celebrate this so Sam wrote a cute message outside and we had little blue baby Mickeys on the desserts. So cute.
Tuesday 7th May – Goodbye Florida
Today is the day I leave Florida for the first time since I arrived 7 months ago! I’m excited to be in a new state and experience things outside of the Disney bubble, especially somewhere that’s so well-known.
After managing to get mine, Chloe’s and Elin’s things into one suitcase, we were at the airport. The flight was 5 hours and the first thing I saw getting off the plane was a load of slot machines! Our Uber driver stopped off at a liquor store on the way to our hotel so we could get some drinks for our room (in an attempt to save some money when we were out!).
We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel and when we arrived we were given a smoking-optional room. It absolutely reeked of stale smoke (if you know me, you know I detest smoking) so we requested to move rooms the following day. We went downstairs for dinner and had a go on the slot machines… I lost some money on the first one but actually made it all back on the next one! I had no idea what I was doing though…
Wednesday 8th May – Grand Canyon
Chloe and I were up at 5am today as we were going on a tour to the Grand Canyon. Elin didn’t come with us as she’s done it before. It was a 15 hour bus tour and we stopped at Hoover Dam and Seligman on Route 66 (the town that the ‘Cars’ movie is based on) on the way to the canyon.
When we got to the Grand Canyon I was blown away. I couldn’t believe I was seeing it with my own eyes; it was spectacular. There was a storm following us as we walked along the South Rim and we could see it in the distance over the canyon. It looked very dark and ominous… we managed to avoid the rain until we stopped off in a lodge at the end of the trail, then it hammered down!
It was a long journey back but was a really good day. Chloe and Elin went out when we got back but I got straight into bed; I was exhausted!
Thursday 9th May – Exploring
We had our first buffet breakfast at the Flamingo hotel. So much food with bottomless mimosas! We walked along the strip, through different hotels like Caesar’s Palace, Palazzo and Circus Circus. I couldn’t believe how huge the hotels are! The casinos are the first thing you see in every hotel, obviously, but everything else is upstairs, including restaurants, shops, even roller coasters!
We then went to Downtown Vegas, had some dinner and did the zipline, superhero style. I was so scared while we were waiting to do it, but once we were all strapped in and let go, I loved it! I flung my arms out and felt like I was flying over all the people, casinos and shops, such an amazing feeling.
After the zipline, we went up to the Stratosphere hotel observation deck which is crazy high. I felt very anxious in the elevator going up and back down again… but the views were insane! We had a great view of the strip and saw lightning over the Vegas skyline as another storm was approaching.
We had planned to go out tonight but on our way back to the hotel the storm broke and it was a big one. We decided to stay in our hotel room instead, safe and dry!
Friday 10th May – More exploring
I woke up early today as Jonas Brothers tickets went on sale. They are playing in Orlando the week before my birthday and I got tickets!!!
We had another buffet breakfast today, this time at Luxor, the Egyptian themed hotel. We explored the strip some more, going into hotels that we’d not seen yet, including New York New York. We rode their roller coaster which goes round the outside of the hotel.
We went to see the Las Vegas sign in the afternoon. It was smaller than I’d imagined it but it was really cool seeing it in real life!
After getting ready back at our hotel, we had dinner at the Venetian (where there were gondolas in a river… upstairs). We ate in Black Tap, which is the home of the original freakshake. Chloe and Elin got one each and they were enormous!
We had tickets to a Cirque du Soleil show that evening so we walked along the strip, stopped at the Belagio to watch the fountains, then back to New York New York to watch Zumanity. It was definitely an experience… with half naked people doing acrobatics!
Again, we had planned to go out that evening as it was our last night but I was suffering with stomach issues so we stayed in our room with the alcohol we’d bought. I was up until 5am because I decided to facetime Matt, but Elin and Chloe went downstairs to the casino and they were up even later than me!
Saturday 11th May – Pool party
Due to the late night, we slept in then rushed to pack and check out of Hard Rock. Ella (who we work with at the Rose & Crown) and her boyfriend Ben were staying at the MGM Grand and we were going to the Calvin Harris pool party with them. They had kindly suggested we leave our bags in their room while we were at the party, which worked out really well as we had to go straight from there to the airport.
The pool party was crazy! When we first arrived, you couldn’t see the pool because there were so many people in it… Elin bought our first round of drinks and my chin hit the floor when the bartender said it was $156 for THREE drinks!!! Needless to say, I made that drink last me a few hours. It was massive, to be fair, and it did have alcohol in it!
Once Calvin Harris started his set the party was in full swing… I recognised loads more songs of his than I thought I would. It was lots of fun and definitely another experience I’ve never had before.
We went back to Ella’s room afterwards, got changed and had the MGM dinner buffet before leaving for the airport. The flight went super quick as it was overnight and I slept for most of it.
Sunday 12th May – Back to Orlando
We arrived home at around 8am. I unpacked straight away then went to bed. I only meant to sleep for a couple of hours but I missed my alarm and woke up at 3pm! Oops. I spent the rest of the day catching up with Mum, Dad and Matt, tidying and doing laundry.
Reflecting on the trip: I feel so so lucky to be able to have these experiences and to have seen Vegas in person rather than through the screen on TV and in films. I did everything I wanted to do while I was there; I feel like I can tick Las Vegas off my list so I don’t think I would go back. Although I enjoyed it, I felt pretty overwhelmed the whole time and I’m not a massive drinker or gambler so that side of it was a bit lost on me. The fact that people smoke inside/ everywhere made me very uncomfortable, too. That being said, it was an amazing trip and I had a great time exploring Las Vegas with two great friends. Thank you to Elin and Chloe! ❤