Vegas 2018: Las Vegas Travel Guide

October 24, 2018
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A couple of months ago, I spent 48 hours in my hometown of Las Vegas with one of my closest girlfriends. Back in January, right before my move, she had called me up because she was about to purchase some Backstreet Boys tickets, who are in their last leg of their residency at Planet Hollywood. Now, I may not be a Backstreet boys superfan like she is, but I can appreciate a 90’s boyband and a quick visit back to my hometown. I’m going to break down my super fast and sleepless trip to Sin City.

Pool Party at Liquid @ Aria

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We landed in Vegas super late the night before, checked into our hotel, and tried to catch up on sleep. The next morning I grabbed brunch with my uncle and cousin and met back up with my gal pal for some pool time. We decided to hop on over to the Liquid pool party at the Aria hotel. I had only been through the Aria a couple of times, never to the pool. For a Wednesday afternoon, the pool party was pretty hopping, with people hanging out in their cabanas and whatnot. However, as the afternoon went on, it got wee crowded for us two. Lots of Instagrammer boys and girls got their photo-ops poolside. We soon felt like fish out of water, AKA not plastic enough and not daring enough to wear Brazilian bikinis (and if you are, then go YOU). Okay, so we had strolled past their regular pool and decided to dip into there, where it was quiet, relaxing, and honestly, paradise the rest of the afternoon.


Going Retro at The Peppermill

Las Vegas Travel Guide Peppermill Steph Shakes

After pool time was over, we walked back to our hotel. I missed walking the strip, so this too was relaxing to do! We caught one of my favorites, the Bellagio fountains, on the way back to our hotel. , Then, we got dolled up for dinner at the ever-famous Peppermill Lounge and our show after.

Las Vegas Travel Guide Peppermill Drinks Steph Shakes

I never had the chance to hang out at the Peppermill when I lived in Vegas, and always wondered if it would live up to its hype, and it certainly did! We loved the retro-ness of the whole place; you walk into a diner, where families can eat dinner-type meals (the menu is HUGE). But the lounge part, in the back, is a completely different ball game! It’s like stepping into a den – actually, it IS stepping into a den: mirrors everywhere, sunken in round vinyl booths, round fireplace, indoor bonsai-looking trees, and oldies playing all around. Unfortunately, the huge menu that was in the diner was not available in the lounge area, but that was okay! We noshed on a bunch of appetizers and sipped delicious cocktails instead!

Las Vegas Travel Guide Peppermill 2

Backstreet Boys in Vegas

Las Vegas Travel Guide Backstreet Boys Steph Shakes

We took a Lyft to our show at Planet Hollywood. Pro tip: Lyft and Uber are both 1/4 of the price per ride than in Chicago, so we REALLY were on vacation. We made our way through the line to our show. I really had no clue what to expect. As we got seated, I observed the other patrons, and although the audience was mostly females and couples, the age range was certainly mixed. Interestingly enough, I did not feel like a fish out of the water like I did earlier in the day at the pool party. Before our show started, we also made a friend who happened to be in town on business from the Chicagoland area. I love going on vacation and finding out you have six degrees of separation.

The Backstreet Boys show was amazing. I love going to a show, not knowing what to expect, and getting a pleasant surprise when it turns out so well. The dancing, costumes, and the music were certainly on point. I had been worried I wouldn’t know some of the songs, and so I was also pleasantly surprised when I found myself singing along to all their hits. It was like a blast from the past! I would definitely recommend seeing the Backstreet Boys in Vegas if they ever do a residency again. Maybe when they’re 50? LOL. Either way, the venue had perfect seating and acoustics, so whoever you end up seeing will most likely be great at PH!


I’m not going to go over too much on day two because we literally just did a walk on the strip in the morning, and then headed to see my family. We also embarked back to Chicago at 1 am, which was exhausting, but I’d say well worth a quick trip back home. <3


Until next time!




Steph Shakes



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