We are huge believers that trips don't have to be long to be meaningful. I'd much rather takes lots of small trips and see more places than take one long trip. But in order to get the most out of a short period of time, you have to be strategic.
We recently came to Las Vegas for WPPI (The wedding + portrait photography expo) and the Photo Booth Expo -- which coincidentally happened the same week. We only had time to step away from work for 2 days, but we wanted to make the most of our short trip. So, here is how we spent our 48 hours in Las Vegas!
We have been to Vegas before, so we have explored the hotels quite a bit. Since we had such a short stay, we chose a hotel we loved that had restaurants we wanted to try - The Cosmopolitan. We ate all our meals at The Cosmopolitan, which saved us a ton of time.
As much as I hate waking up early, I am a huge fan of early morning flights, expecially when flying west. You get to enjoy an entire day in your new surroundings which gives you the most bang for your buck as well as extra time.
Our flight left Richmond at 5:30am, and we arrived in las Vegas by 10:00am.
Upon arrival, The Cosmopilitan Hotel offered us an early check-in and a room upgrade for a disounted rate which we gladly accepted. The room exceeded all expectations with 2 full bathrooms, a living room, large master bedroom with spacious en-suite bathroom, and a full balcony overlooking the fountain at the Bellagio and a view of the of the Eiffel Tower.
The Cosmoplitan is filled with amazing restaurants. For lunch, we decided on China Poblano, a Jose Andres Mexican/Chinese fusion restaurant. We did a drink tasting (4 awesome mini cocktails), which got us in the vegas spirit. The salt air margarita was everything!
Our favorite dishes were the pozole rojo (best pozole I've ever had), the traditonal siu mai, and the mongolian beef lettuce.
We hit the casino to grab some free drinks and play the slots - we weren't lucky :(
We both love Spanish food, so for dinner we chose another Jose Andres restaurant located inside The Cosmopolitan - Jaleo. All the food was incredibly authentic and made us feel like we were back in Barcelona.
We opted for the pan de cristal con tomate (tomato bread), patatas bravas (spicy/garlicy fried potatos), pimientos del piquillo rellenos (peppers stuffed with goat cheese), cono de sobresada y queso (cone filled with goat cheese, honey, and chorizo), mini pepito de iberico (a mini spanish burger made from Iberico), and arroz caldozo (soupy paella rice with seafood). Everything was so amazing, and there were so many other delicious things on the menu that I wish we could have experienced.
We were exhausted from all of the traveling, so we went back to our room after dinner. Luckily our room had and amazing view of the Bellagio fountain and the Eiffel tower. At 9pm every night, there is an amazing water show at the fountain, and we had a perfect view right from our balcony.
Egg slut is inside the Cosmopolitan, so we chose that for breakfast. The line was long but it moved quickly. David ordered "The Fairfax" (scrambled eggs, chives, cheddar cheese, siracha mayo, camelized onions on a warm brioche bun). I ordered the "Slut" (coddled egg on top of a potato puree poached in a glass jair with chives, salt, and slices of baguette). We both loved that we ordered!
We took an uber to South Point for the Photo Booth Expo. There were so many new types of photo booths, backdrops, props, and gear. We walked away from the event with lots of photo booth pictures and new ideas!
We attended WPPI 5 years ago, and it was amazing to see how much it has grown since then. The speakers and booths were amazing. Well-known photographers were actively photographing and giving demonstrations about their techniques. We even met our idol Peter Hurley!
We had an opportunity to use new gear and to test a few things out that we had been eyeing online.
I also walked away with an amazing posing guide photo book by Lindsay Adler that I highly recommend.
For lunch, we ate at Momofuku, a laidback Japanese restaurant inside The Cosmopolitan. I ordered the pork ramen and david opted for the pork buns and shishuto peppers. While I enjoyed my ramen, I have definitely had better.
The plan was to walk around and explore some of the nearby hotels, but we were wiped out from the expos, so we came back to the room to relax. We've been to Vegas before so I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything, but if you've never been make sure to pop-in and see each hotel.
We headed to Zuma inside The Cosmopolitan for the last meal of our trip. It's an up-scale, small plate, Japanese restaurant that had great reivews. We stated dinner with cocktails and then dug into the small plates. We had the maguro no tataki (sliced seared tuna), the kurobuta pork belley skewers, king crab with ponzu lime butter, the sushi roll of the day, and the gyoza wagyu.
This was our favorite meal of the trip, and I can't recommend it enough.
We left early the next moring, so we really did only spend 48 hours in Vegas (maybe even a little less), but we had a great time and achieved everything we wanted. If we had an extra day, I think we would have rented a car and explored a bit, but this quick trip was well worth it!