It’s a question I’ve been getting a lot and I love answering it, but there is just SO much to tell! I end up rambling for 10 minutes and wrapping it up with “Yeah, it was fun!”. It WAS fun, but my trip from small(ish) town Central Texas all the way to the glitzy, skin baring city of Las Vegas, Nevada was not an easy trip!
My trip to Las Vegas would mark the longest I’ve ever been away from “the guys”. As you can see, my 2-year-old, Jack, was not happy with the idea of his mommy leaving for several days. I’m lucky to have these three and always grateful for their support. My husband plaid some serious “Mr. Mommy” while I was gone and this trip wouldn’t have been possible without him!
My trip stated with an Amtrak train ride to DFW. I met up with Jo (my editor and right hand woman for this event) to flow out of the DFW area to Las Vegas. I go to Fort Worth often to visit family and my favorite way to get there is by train.
Everything I needed for this trip fit into my stunning Red Poppy Quilted Duffle Bag by the Balboa Bag Company. This bag company is known mostly for their line of baby products, dubbed Balboa baby. This bag ended up being a life saver, especially after I was loaded up with all my Cosmoprof goodies. It really will hold everything you need! This bag is a must for a mommy or beauty buff on the go. Balboa was nice enough to offer one for giveaway to one lucky reader so stay tuned for that later today!
Once in Fort Worth, we had some dinner then headed to the DFW Airport. We opted to fly Spirit Airlines. Of this experience I only have two words: Never Again. You truly get what you pay for. With delay after delay, cramped quarters and an overall lack luster staff, I can say wholeheartedly that I would most certainly not recommend flying with this airline. No matter how inexpensive it may be! I’m not the only passenger that swears never to fly Spirit again. I even heard horror stories of people going completely through security only to show up at their gate to be told a flight was cancelled? At one point, our return flight even updated online as “departed” when we were actually sitting in the terminal waiting for the plane to even arrive at all! It’s one thing to be late, but at LEAST keep your customers in the know!
Moving on…after a safe arrival (check out the lights flying into Las Vegas at 1am!) we checked into just a few hours of sleep at the Circus Circus. I can’t say too much on my stay since all I did was sleep briefly, but it was full of children and fun shops. It’s certainly not somewhere you’d want to stay on a business trip like mine and I just don’t see the point of bringing littles to Las Vegas but maybe that is just me 🙂
After our one night in Child town, we checked in to our home for the next 3 nights, The Excalibur. This is our view from the hotel. We were right on the strip and right across the street (connected by a quick tram ride, too!) from the Mandalay Bay where Cosmoprof was held. While our stay there was not perfect, I would say for the price ($32 a night) this did end up being a good investment. I saved a lot of money being able to take the tram from my hotel to the Mandalay Bay and I just couldn’t afford to stay at the Mandalay Bay itself.
Our room was a good size, the bed was comfy, we had a bigger bathroom than the room we stayed in at the Circus, Circus (thank goodness!!) and again, the price was right. I do plan on staying at the Excalibur next year for this event. One thing to note is that because this is an older hotel and smoking is allowed in all the common areas, there is smoke almost everywhere you go. This was quite a shock to my senses! But even in a nicer resort like the Mandalay Bay, you can’t avoid smokers in Las Vegas 🙂
Jo & I did a little bit of slot playing, mostly just penny slots and while I walked away $45 poorer, Jo won 20,000 pennies on a $.50 bet! On top of that, she won a few other small stakes as well! Looking back, the only time I walked away “beating the house” was when she handed me my first dollar in Vegas (and actually my very first dollar I ever gambled anywhere) and I walked away with $2.77. I’m not sure what she was promising to HER bills, but the machines liked them much better than mine!
Most people walking briskly through the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Resort were headed to one place, the South Convention Center where Cosmoprof was held! There is SO much to be said about the actual experience I had at this event but I’ll get to more on that later! I learned so much and I’m so happy to have met the amazing people I ran into during the event!
Carrying all my bags, purse and keeping up with my camera (on loan from the lovely Caitlin from Caitlin’s Confections) was NOT easy. It would have been near impossible without my cute, flirty Mod Strap. This was another life saver while on my trip. With over 26,000 people in attendance at Cosmoprof this year, the risk of loosing this camera or having it stolen were pretty high. Unless, that is, it’s hanging from my neck! This also kept my hands free for product testing, swatching and shaking more hands than I can count! I can’t wait to tell you guys more about Mod Straps AND offer one to one lucky reader so stay tuned!
One thing I didn’t anticipate about the Nevada desert was just how hot and truly dry it would be. I found myself glued to my water bottle! We got the chance to check out KorWater Vessels that would prove to be fun, functional and save us a lot of money! You never realize how expensive water bottles can be in a tourist area until you’re dying of third in a place with a quarter of the humidity you’re used to! Jo received the Kor One (in green) and I tried the Kor Delta (in purple). We argued a few times over whose bottle was best 😉 MY lid comes completely off for easy filling but Jo’s lid clicks back into place to keep the lid from coming back at you! Either way, we were both super happy with these and are happy to have been able to stay hydrated!
Once we were all tuckered out and ready to go, we packed everything up one last time! We had to purchase a second rolling suit case just to bring back our nearly 90lbs of products for testing, trial and future review!