vacation

How To Plan For Las Vegas

I just came back from the world’s greatest vacation. A few of my friends and I just spent 4 days in Las Vegas and we had a blast! While there was very little sleep involved, we did spend a lot of time in the sun, at the pools, at parties, and living like a true 20-something. If you plan to visit Vegas at some point (and I recommend you should), there are some things you should know before you go!

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1. Packing List. Boy was this stressful. The way to go about this is to literally write out what you will be doing each day in Vegas. Typically you’ll have three outfits (day/pool, dinner/in between, going out at night). Choose one outfit for each activity and pack ONLY THAT. Remember to bring shoes and bras appropriate for every outfit. I am confident that even if you do this, you will still end up with clothes you never wear. 

2. Promoters. Coming to Vegas without contacting a promoter beforehand is a big mistake. If you’re a girl, there is definitely some leeway here (since people just throw free shit at you) but if you have any guys in your group, come prepared. We were lucky enough to contact a promoter before and it made a WORLD of a difference. We cut lines with 100 people in them and we paid no cover fees (even the men). When you’re on vacation and you’re in Vegas for only a couple days, nothing will kill your buzz faster than waiting in line for an hour. NEVER go general admission. Always go through a promoter. 

3. Plan to be AmbitiousThere is no way you can spend more than 4 days in Vegas. Not because there’s nothing to do — in fact there is TONS to do and there are a million clubs and shows I didn’t even get to. Facts are, your body can only handle so much. You can plan for three nights out and two pool parties during the day. That is a seriously ambitious schedule. Your body can only handle so much. Eventually you’re going to HAVE to sleep. Good luck.

4. Bring Water. Turns out the tap water in Vegas is nasty. Maybe it’s the heat? Maybe it’s the west coast? Either way, plan to bring some bottled water along with you. Trust me… when you wake up after your night out and you are dying of thirst, you will thank me.

5. BYOB. I’ve never seen a city with a more relaxed policy on alcohol than in Vegas. First of all, there is no open container laws. That means you can drink in cabs and out in the public with no problem. Second, the hotels do not care about how you get your alcohol. You can bring your own alcohol to the casino, out to the pools, even in the restaurants! Facts are, this is one of the only places in the world that isn’t making it’s money on the booze. They make their money from the casinos and when you drink, you gamble more. They don’t care HOW you get drunk, just that are you drunk. Cheers to that!

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In case you’re looking for some recommendations, we stayed at Mandalay Bay. It was gorgeous, reasonably priced, had tons of pools, and an awesome day and night club. We went to TAO and Marquee for the nights we were there (both clubs were a blast). We also saw Love, the Beatles Cirque Du Soleil show which was a nice tribute if you’re into the Beatles. 

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Vegas is something you need to do to check off your bucket list. Start planning your trip NOW!

Top 9 Most Memorable Moments in Costa Rica

From December 28th – January 5th, I was living in paradise. My boyfriend invited me on his family vacation to Costa Rica where we spent 5 days in the jungle wilderness near the Arenal volcano and 3 days on the beautiful Tamorindo beach. I could probably write a book about my experience there, but instead this blog will feature my top 9 memorable moments. Here they are (in no particular order)

1. The time I saw a sloth
While waiting on the ziplining platform pretending to be calm before the next line, our guide spotted a tiny sloth sitting in the tree next to us. He sat there with the cutest grin on his face, and watched as each person made their way down the zipline, following them with his eyes and then facing back at us on the platform waiting for the next person to go. I felt like he wanted us all to be safe. As if he was saying “hello there. just bein’ a sloth makin’ sure you have fun on the zipline. oh okay you’re gone? next. i gots nowhere to go.”

2. The time the Quatis crossed the road
We took a 4 hour car ride from the arenal to the beach. I was dreading it. BUT to my surprise, it was a great car ride and on the way we spotted a group of 15-25 quatis crossing the road looking for food. Quatis are the Costa Rican version of a squirrel but they are not as scary and not as ugly and just wanna noms.

3. The time I cried
There was one day at the arenal we had no adventure planned. We spent the day wandering around the town of La Fortuna, shopping and eating. We stopped at a local pastry shop where my sweet tooth took control. I picked out this flaky pastry looking thing filled with I don’t know what and topped with powdered sugar. One bite in, I felt myself get choked up. The entire family sat wide-eyed as I devoured that pastry as if my life depended on it. I started to laugh and then cry…both out of pure amusement at my behavior and disbelief at how DELICIOUS this pastry was. The moment was caught on camera that I have yet to see…

4. The time army ants became my worst fear
Has anyone ever seen a group of army ants? I have. If you step into them, they can crawl over your body, into all your holes, and kill you. This moment of fear will never leave my memory.

5. The time I kicked a stranger in the balls
As if ziplining wasn’t exciting enough (I felt like I was flying), I had to make it just that more amazing by kicking our guide in the balls. How did I manage that? You have to jump up for them to release your hook and line from the rope. I kicked my feet out and met his package. Upon my apology he responded “Thanks, now I can never have a family”. Shari Donk – preventing Costa Rican babies one ball sack at a time.

6. The time I “shit” my pants
One morning was spent on a hanging brides tour through the jungle. We hiked down to a waterfall where I wanted to take a super cute couple picture with my boyfriend on a rock near the falls. It had been pouring rain all day. Rain + dirt = mud. So, when my foot slipped off the rock, my ass found its way into a huge pile of mud. It literally looked like I shit myself and couldn’t clean it off for about 40 minutes when the tour was over.

7. The time I felt like a Disney Princess
You know how in Disney movies all the princess have animal friends who sing and follow them around and dance and are the happiest animals alive? I had a group of 3 or 4 little birds who followed the side of the boat tour we were on – chirping away and I swear one of them was holding a tiny cloth to clean the boat with. Just call me Princess Donk.

8. The time I wanted to freeze frame my life
This happened maybe 10 times throughout the week but the one that stands out the most is during the ATV ride. It was raining for 3 days straight and the sky was finally clearing up. I looked over to my left and saw my first clear view of the Arenal volcano. Breathtaking.

9. The time I saw Orion’s belt
Seeing stars in NYC is a very very rare occurrence so any time I do get a clear view of them it’s a momentous occasion  In Costa Rica, we were taking a nighttime stroll on the beach and I was able to point out Orion’s belt, which is in a completely different location in the sky as it is in the USA.

Have you been to Costa Rica? Or anywhere else amazing? Comment below with your most memorable vacation moment.