Our friends had been planning this trip with us for at least 5 years, with the purpose of taking our daughters (who are now nearly 23) to this ultimate of adult playgrounds for their 21st birthdays, which incidentally fall a day apart. I was back in planning mode for this one. I mostly made suggestions, but I was given pretty much free reign as to what we were going to do. This can be great, but when taking someone to Vegas for the first time, it can be a lot of pressure!!
Anyway, we had an absolutely fabulous time, chock full of brand new experiences. These are the new things we experienced and what I thought about them.
SHIN LIM: LIMITLESS
We only saw one show while we were there, and it was hard to find a show I hadn't seen, because I've pretty much seen them all. I chose "Shin Lim: Limitless" at the Mirage because I had never seen it, as he had only begun his long term residency at the Mirage in October of 2019. All I knew was that Shin Lim had won America's Got Talent in 2018 and that his act was mostly magic and cards. I was pretty nervous about delivering on my choice.
Every show I have seen in Vegas has been great.
THIS WAS HANDS DOWN THE BEST VEGAS SHOW I HAVE EVER SEEN
Shin Lim was a marvel. The 6 of us literally sat with our mouths open and our hands on our faces shaking our heads the entire show. These were card tricks that were completely unimaginable. Shin Lim is borderline creepy and mysterious in exactly the way you need a magician to be, but then he cracks jokes and interacts with the audience. There is a good amount of audience participation.
Shin Lim has a sidekick named Chris Cloud, who also does magic, but his line of work is more in the mind reading category. He is a quirky Scot dressed liked a professor. Chris performs while the headliner is changing sets and preparing how to blow your mind next. He is equally entertaining and just as mind boggling.
Listen, I don't want to say too much because you just gotta go see it. This show is an absolute MUST! At the Mirage theater. 90 minutes. Great seats for about 100$ including fees.
ATTRACTIONS and ACTIVITIES:
I hesitated to start with Shin Lim because some of the new experiences were not nearly as impressive.
|It seriously looks nothing like this..|
There are three shows currently to choose from: Wild Wild West, Iceland, and the newest addition, the Canadian Rockies (Windborne), which is what we rode.
Think of Flyover as kind of a kind of Soarin' on steroids. There is a pre preshow and then a pre show, both of which are kind of mother earthey as opposed to comic, like the famous quotable Patrick Warburton intro we are all used to. The turns and swings in the glider are more pronounced on the FlyOver. The ride is longer (8 1/2 minutes) and the photography is more expansive. There's a great view no matter where you are sitting and none of the horrific "bent" photography you experience in Soarin should you not get in the best seats.
My complaint is that the "wind in your hair" generated by the ride is FREEZING and blows right into your eyes the entire ride, finally forcing me to put my hands up to shield my face. Worse, occasionally you go through a cloud, which is actually wet, so now you are both wet and cold. This killed it for me. I would not go again. It was 30$ per person. I wish I had kept my jacket on.
MEOW WOLF: OMEGA MART at AREA 15:Meow Wolf Omega Mart which is described online as "an imaginative, immersive installation with interactive artwork, optical illusions and hidden passageways." The reviews were impressive, so despite the fact the tickets were $59 dollars, we decided to take the plunge and go. Listen, it's Vegas, so it is probably worth it.
Okay whatever? I expected this to be much cooler than it was. It's a contrived supermarket with a bunch of fake colorful groceries with some doors and passageways that lead to a bunch of weird areas. There is nothing to do particularly or play with or read or discover. It's just a bunch of lights and paint and stairs and colorful stuff. I kept expecting something to happen. It just never did.
The online guides will tell you to allow 2-3 hours to see the attraction. We were out in just over an hour, wondering what all the hype was about. There is a card you can add for I guess three dollars which was supposed to add some storyline and context to the whole nonsense, but we didn't get it. Not sure if anything could have helped.
Restaurants in Las Vegas rarely disappoint. The restaurants seem to turn over fairly quickly. I would be inclined to say that at least half of the restaurants we have enjoyed over the last 20 years have folded, some of them quite famous, including Rao's, Spago, Circo (where we spent my 40th birthday), and Alize.
On this trip, we tried five new eating establishments and one new bar, The two restaurants that I'm not reviewing are Carson Kitchen, at 6th and Carson downtown, very close to the Fremont Street Experience, and the Buffet at the Wynn. Both were excellent and come with my highest recommendation. We had a late reservation on a Sunday night at Carson Kitchen and though we had only 30 minutes until the kitchen and bar closed, they did not rush us a bit. The buffet had everything to eat you could imagine. The 50$ price tag was well worth it. I also highly recommend the PRE-PAYMENT option, which gets you right up to the front of the line, which was long.
If you type "best Steakhouse in Las Vegas" into Google, Primal Steakhouse comes right up. I had never heard of this place before. The reviews were outstanding and the pictures looked fun so I made the Saturday night reservation
Primal Steakhouse opened in January of 2021 in the unlikely location of Boulevard Mall, a shopping center on Maryland Parkway about 4 miles off the strip. No joke, though, the medieval decor including red velvet wallpaper, swords, helmets, and candelabras dripping wax transport diners to a different time and place. There is a specialty drink menu and a fairly good wine list. Corkage fee is an unbelievable-for-Las-Vegas $25. Apparently happy hour pricing last all night if you are dining at the bar. Anyway, no drink discounts for us, we were comfortably seated in our cozy booth.
The menu as the name would suggest consists of mostly steak, many of which are too big for one person to eat. In fact, three of us shared the 32 oz Tomahawk Steak medium rare which was cut up for us on a carving board before we ate. This steak was so delicious, my husband accepted the dare to try and gnaw on the bone for extra meat! The meat was complimented by the usual a la carte sides: broccolini, brussel sprouts, mac and cheese and mashed potatoes. Our share of the dinner with tax and tip for three people was about $285. Really not too bad. I have spent more than this for two people in Vegas.
There was some live music which was just slightly too loud for my taste, but it seemed to die down as the night went on. The restaurant has a themed little corner with some props and big chairs and the like where you can take some pictures. This was a fun end to our time at the restaurant.
This has got to be the most popular breakfast spot on the Las Vegas Strip and we found out why. I warned my friends that there was bound to be a wait and that we should get there as quickly as possible. We left at nine and were at the restaurant at about 9:20 and we were looking at a 1 hour and 15 minute wait. Luckily the LINQ promenade is right there with its own Starbucks (also with its own very long line) so the time went pretty quickly and we were actually seated in about an hour.
What a menu! And the portions, holy Toledo! There are a lot of tempting drinks on the menu, but they are all about 20$ and come with a souvenir cup you are never going to use again, so we mostly opted for beer (remember we had all had coffee at the Starbucks and it had to be 5 o'clock somewhere) except our friend who got the 24 oz Johnny's Famous B.L.T. Mary. The food was amazing and it was pretty incredible how much of it we were able to put down. The girls got the Roasted chicken, Garlic, Onions, Asparagus and Rosemary Hash, I got Andy's Sage Fried Chicken and Eggs, and my husband got the Andy's Sage Fried Chicken Benedict. OMG. I can't believe he did not just lay down and die after that. I kid you not. It was serious.
I wouldn't bother going here if you are not eating meat. It's just pointless.
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They have a good selection of cocktails all of which are 3 for 12$ all day long. You cannot split the special but they did not seem to have any issue with us having one at time at the table and all sipping out of it. If you only drink one at the table, they will give you the other two to go, but we drank all three at the table. Yes it was 830 am, but how can you pass up a special like that??
Ok well this is not a restaurant at all but it definitely is a food and beverage experience so it kind of belongs in this category. Anyway, this super classy bar is located in the front lobby of the Bellagio in full view of the front door and the glass flower ceiling. From the moment you approach the hostess podium the space exudes class and style. There is a certain clientele visiting this bar, and it's not the same people you see at the Fremont Street Experience or the Dueling Axes. The chairs and sofa are crushed velvet, a soft piano plays, the lighting is low. The average age in this bar is definitely higher than we saw at the Golden Tiki.
I didn't really gather that you could make a reservation here, except for certain events, like afternoon English tea service, which only is available on the weekends. If you try at a different time the reservation system will default to nothing being available, which does not mean they are full, it just means that they are not taking reservations at that time. Anyway, we did not have a reservation. It was a Sunday night at primo happy hour time so we waited about 20 minutes.
We spent more here than we spent on dinner downtown later on in the night. There are drinks on the menu that are 40$. Pretty intense. There is also caviar service that can cost you over 1000$ dollars-knock yourself out-not really my thing. I'll stick with the 30$ cheese board. My Old Fashioned, which was likely served in Baccarat crystal, came with a craft ice cube and was made with Japanese whiskey, was smooth and delightful. Our bill was over 200 for six of us. One drink a piece and a cheese board. You do the math. This was possibly the most opulent Vegas experience of my life. I would do it again. I would like to be a bit less rushed.
Thank you for reading my post! In less than a month we are off to Disneyland! Looking forward to more experiences and more posting then!