Viva Las Vegas


After a day of hiking in Black Canyon, we headed back to Las Vegas and met up with Adam's family, flying in from Atlanta and Columbus. The five of us headed to the famed Fremont Street, a five-block entertainment district in historic downtown Las Vegas. The centerpiece of Fremont Street, besides the casinos and people watching, is Viva Vision, the world’s largest video screen. The Viva Vision screen is 1,500 feet long, 90 feet wide and suspended 90 feet above the main walkway. I'd certainly recommend Fremont Street as a fun alternative to the strip, particularly if you have some extra time and a rental car, which we did.

For dinner we headed to Pizza Rock, which came highly recommended by a friend of mine—and it certainly didn't disappoint! The unique restaurant features gourmet pizzas served up in an energetic atmosphere. We opted for the Sicilian style La Regina, which easily served all five of us.

Fremont Street


We woke up Saturday, to the perfect weather, ready to see the sites of the Las Vegas strip. It was Adam's first time to Vegas, so he was particularly excited to check out some of the more popular strip landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower at Paris Hotel & Casino. We hit them all: the Bellagio fountains, New York, New York, the Venetian (my favorite), Hard Rock Hotel, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island and more.


After an morning taking in the glitz and glam of Las Vegas Boulevard, we headed to one of Vegas' most iconic landmarks, the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada" sign. We'd later learn, on our Neon Museum tour, that the sign was designed by Betty Willis while she worked for Western Neon Company and cost $4,000 to build and install.

For lunch we decided on In-N-Out Burger. Neither Adam or I had been there before, and were excited to try this Southwest fast-food favorite. It definitely tops the list of some of our east-coast favorites, Shake Shack and Five Guys.


After lunch we headed to my favorite stop of the day, the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, and home of the History channels hit show, "Pawn Stars." I've enjoyed watching Pawn Stars for several seasons now, and was so excited to see the shop in person. Sadly, the guys were on vacation when we visited, but it was neat nontheless to walk around the shop and look at the items for sale, many of which I'd seen on the show. I'd recommend a stop at Gold & Silver for any "Pawn Stars" fan or history buff, especially as it's just a 10 minute drive from the main strip.


That night we tried our luck at the slots in Caesars. We had a ton of fun, but I think only Ally came out ahead, beginners luck she said. For dinner we headed across the street to Margaritaville for some live music, drinks, and the most massive plate of "volcano" nachos I'd ever seen. It was a great day in Vegas, tomorrow: Hoover Dam!