Warning: Photo heavy post. (As if that's a bad thing....) I just say that so you know this isn't as long as it looks -- not a lot of reading in case you're a picture-book lover. I'm not judging.
I know a lot of people - myself included - head to Vegas for gambling and drinking. And why wouldn't you? Debauchery, thy name is Las Vegas. So it certainly surprised me, as it may you, that there is actually quite a bit to do there that has nothing to do with marching the strip and sitting on slot machines for free cocktails.
In one crazy whirlwind of a day, we had an opportunity to visit three fantastic Vegas attractions: The Mob Museum, The Neon Museum and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.
Naturally, my time with the mob began as any mob experience should - with a mug shot.
You might recognize my Shop Taffy jacket here. I love it so much.
You can spend hours in the museum, which is dedicated to the history of the mafia and law enforcement. No joke. I'm amazed we did it in under three hours. Some friends and family know this about me -- I am kind of a mob history buff. So this was basically my Mecca. There is so much to read, touch, try and watch. Countless interactive stations and pictures and hisoric retellings. One of the absolute coolest things? They have THE wall from the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
See the holes? That's some mafioso realness, people. That is hard core. I sat in front of it like a Jew at the Western Wall. It was a spiritual moment.
When I'm next in Vegas, I plan to head back to this spot and spend more time. I really could get lost in there. Not to mention what I could have spent on books in the gift shop.
Since we began with a lineup, we ended with the electric chair. No one's ever looked as cute getting the death penalty as Julie did:
Julie was kind of my favorite photo subject that day because I also made her pose for this one at The Neon Museum:
When one of the lovely PR peeps from The Plaza was touring us around the hotel, he jokingly challenged us to just try and take a bad picture at The Neon Museum. He was right to do so -- it's impossible. I've never taken so many wonderfully stunning and colorful photos in my life. I have to go back there, too. I want to see it at night when some of the signs get lit up for the hour-long tour.
Can you see the Moulin Rouge sign (above)? It's been moved around a little to read "in love!"
The museum is a non-profit on two acres of land with glorious sights and signs to be seen. The tours are limited in size so you have an easy time hearing all the info. and freedom to take lots of pics and ask questions. It's about an hour but if you're not a walker, there's a seat to rest on like every seven feet. ;)
We did a lot on the Saturday we were in Vegas. I mean, really -- a lot. These museums, lunch, dinner, a photo gallery, a tour of a makeup studio... I can't get it all in here! I can't type as fast as the thoughts are coming into my brain. But I'll leave you - at least in this post - with just one more fabulous experience since I'm already inundating you with photos.
Madame Tussauds is an internationally known brand with almost 20 locations across the globe including one here in Hollywood, so it's pretty crazy I've never been to one before. And it's a crazy fun activity to do with a group of goofy girlfriends, I assure you.
And, P.S.? There's a lot of hot guys there.
You can't believe how real these wax figures look. And you can get SUPER close to them. The detail -- the shadows, the stubble, the manicures -- it's all remarkable. They even update them when hairstyles and fashion trends change. And we really lucked out because they also have added an Avengers exhibit and AWESOME 4D movie experience to the location. They've got Nick Fury, Thor, Captain America (SWOON!) and Ironman. Hulk is on the way but I asked rather firmly for them to get their act together and get a Loki in the exhibit as soon as possible. Don't think I won't go back there just to take a picture with a wax Tom Hiddleston!
Just an awesome day. I haven't run around so much or been on my feet so much or been that CRAZY in a long time. I loved all of it.
The skinny -- find all of these amazing places online and get tickets in advance to save a little dough (after all, you'll need it fo the Wizard of Oz slot machine, which is my personal favorite):
- The Mob Museum: Website, Facebook, Twitter - $19.95
- Neon Museum: Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter - Tours start at $18 pp
- Madame Tussauds: Website, Facebook, Twitter - $24 if you buy online in adv.
Disclosure: Our Vegas trip was made possible by many generous companies, sponsors and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. All opinions, thoughts, feelings, drunken rants and lustful thoughts are my own, as always.