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A Vegas Adventure with Family: Exploring Hilton Grand Vacations and More!


Introduction

In a spur-of-the-moment decision, my youngest daughter convinced us to embark on a last-minute Vegas trip. The reason behind this impromptu decision was a looming expiration date on a timeshare presentation at the Hilton Grand Vacations. Faced with the possibility of losing the money spent on the hotel reservation for the presentation, we quickly organized a girls' weekend to make the most of the situation.


Despite not being the biggest fans of Vegas, we turned this unexpected circumstance into an opportunity for a unique girl's getaway. Little did we know, our journey would take us on a rollercoaster of experiences, from exploring the Hilton Grand Vacations to discovering hidden gems along the famed Vegas Strip.


Hilton Grand Vacations

Upon arrival at the Hilton Grand Vacations, we had the choice of paying $20 a day for parking or an extra $10 a day for valet. Given the chilly and windy weather, we quickly decided on valet, a decision that proved well worth it. It turned out that the parking garage was a considerable distance from the hotel, and we were grateful not to face the cold. 

Entering the hotel, we were greeted by four massive pillars and a grand circular space with various areas to explore. A staircase led down to another section of the hotel. The amenities were impressive, featuring a large pool with a closed pool bar, likely vibrant during the summer. We noticed a lifeguard on duty, an amusing detail for our eldest.

Additionally, signs around the property sternly warned against smoking of any kind including vape and marijuana, a unique touch. The hotel boasted multiple spas, a basketball court, pickleball courts, and an inviting game room with a ping pong table, pool table, and cozy seating around a large TV playing "Friends."


Our room resembled a one-bedroom apartment, equipped with all conceivable amenities, including a washer and dryer complete with Tide for laundry needs. The option to prepare our meals was available, although the allure of exploring Vegas's culinary scene prevailed. We did, however, make use of the coffee maker, oven, and microwave, and our fridge was stocked with a mix of brought-along items and restaurant leftovers.


What stood out was the absence of a noisy and bustling casino in the lobby, providing a more serene environment. The lobby itself was aesthetically pleasing, with friendly and helpful staff. Notably, the gentleman at the Experiences desk not only assisted with our planned attractions but also provided a card offering a 20% discount at selected restaurants and attractions. As a bonus, my youngest daughter received Hilton points. He even facilitated the timeshare presentation adding the eldest to the registration and securing a $100 gift card for attending.



Vegas Exploration

Venturing down the famous Vegas Strip, we were eager to explore the myriad of attractions it had to offer. Our first stop was the two-story Ross store located near Hard Rock Cafe and the Coca-Cola Store. Navigating the parking garage was a bit of a challenge, but after scanning a QR code with our smartphones, we discovered a high-tech parking system. The app tracked our time and allowed for easy payment, streamlining the parking process.

Inside Ross, our shopping adventure began, with my daughter finding a pair of pants priced at $20, a steal compared to the online market where they were listed for over $100. My mom also stumbled upon a purse priced at $80, a significant discount from its online retail price of over $200. Our shopping spree was not only enjoyable but also a testament to the incredible deals available.


Exploring further, we visited Marshalls and the Coca-Cola store. Marshalls offered my youngest daughter a great deal on pants, while the Coca-Cola store, bustling with activity, showcased various soda flavors from around the world. Upstairs, you could sample different sodas and even purchase unique variations like Lavender Lemonade.

Hungry and in search of a place to eat, the kids initially wanted to try Potato Corner in Town Square. However, the outdoor setting was impractical due to the freezing cold and strong winds. Instead, we stumbled upon Sickies Garage Burger and Brews, a fortunate find. Choosing it for its football-friendly atmosphere, we were not disappointed. The restaurant seemed to have a Cowboys fan base, evident from the patrons adorned in Cowboys gear. The girls indulged in boozy milkshakes – the youngest with a Shamrock shake and the eldest sharing a Peanut Butter Cup Shake with my mom.


The diverse menu offered intriguing combinations, including a Buffalo Mac & Cheese, a unique take on a KFC bowl, a Bacon Cheeseburger with a glazed doughnut bun, and a classic Reuben on marble rye – my mom's favorite. The food was not only delicious but left us wishing we had a Sickies Garage in Arizona.


After our satisfying meal, we decided to explore other nearby places. The girls couldn't resist trying churros from a TikTok video they had seen, and we visited a few small shops. Town Square also housed a Whole Foods, a first-time experience for my mom. Delighted by the salad bar, hot food bar, and an array of goat cheese options, she ended up purchasing two types of goat cheese, crackers, and various items from the salad bar.


Driving back up the Strip to the hotel, we noticed a captivating structure – the sphere. Intrigued, my daughter navigated us right up to it, allowing us to take some pictures. Although we couldn't park and explore, the sphere's grandeur was evident even from a distance. While my mom initially expressed interest in going inside despite the $120 cost for a 50-minute show and a $47 parking fee, the idea was eventually forgotten by the next morning as we eagerly moved on to our next adventure.




Arte Museum

One of the highlights of our Vegas adventure was a visit to the Arte Museum.


Situated conveniently, the museum became a captivating journey from the moment we walked through its doors. To begin, we opted for valet parking due to the garage's distant location across the street, a wise choice considering the unique immersive experience that awaited us.


As we checked in, a sense of anticipation filled the air. We started our exploration by walking down a dimly lit hallway, turning a corner, only to be met with a breathtaking display of huge waves cascading down from the wall. Mirrors strategically placed created an illusion of endless waves, and the atmosphere carried the scent of a fresh waterfall, immersing us into the exhibit.


Moving through the museum's six different rooms, each offered a distinct scene and accompanying scents. Mirrors played a crucial role, reflecting not only the visuals but also our interactions with the surroundings. An unexpected twist occurred when both my mom and daughter, engaged in conversation, realized they were, in fact, talking to their reflections. The mirrored floors added an element of height, creating an unusual sensation that heightened the immersive experience.


Between each room, dark hallways provided a brief respite, allowing us to reset our senses before delving into the next captivating scene. One room even invited us to color in an animal picture of our choice. After scanning it into a machine, our creations came to life on the wall alongside others, creating a collective artwork that added an interactive and communal touch to the museum.


The Arte Museum extends beyond the visual, engaging multiple senses and creating a unique and unforgettable journey. The ambiance, the unexpected moments of self-discovery, and the creative interaction made it a standout experience in our Vegas adventure.


The museum concluded with a fascinating blend of art and technology, leaving us with a sense of awe and appreciation. The memories captured in pictures and videos during our visit served as a testament to the immersive and unexpected nature of the Arte Museum, making it a highly recommended stop for anyone planning a trip to Vegas.




Fun and Surprises

Back at the hotel, the girls attended the timeshare presentation, while my mom and I enjoyed a relaxing break.

Following the presentation, the girls, craving more football excitement, decided to unwind at the hotel bar. Seizing the opportunity, the eldest decided to use the $100 gift card she received for attending the presentation. The bartender's expertise shone as they skillfully crafted a Scooby Snack drink and a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shot, both of which brought smiles to their faces.


Later, I drove the girls to Del Taco for an affordable dinner, avoiding the hassle of a sit-down restaurant and the possibility of paying for parking again.


Upon returning to the room, the girls excitedly shared their experience with my mom, who, of course, wanted to try the Scooby Snack drink. The girls returned to the bar and ordered three more Scooby Snack drinks. An amusing twist unfolded as the bartender playfully engaged with two older gentlemen, challenging them to get up and wag their tails to unlock the mystery of the drink. Without hesitation, the gentlemen complied, shaking their butts and earning a taste of the mysterious concoction. Their confusion turned to surprise when informed it was called a Scooby Snack, a drink unfamiliar to them. Learning that the third drink was for their grandmother, they expressed excitement and curiosity, eager to meet her. All in all, it was a night filled with laughter, surprises, and delightful connections.


Homeward Bound

As our memorable Vegas adventure began to wind down, the time came for us to bid farewell to the vibrant city. Packed with experiences and treasures, our journey back home was an extension of the excitement and surprises we encountered along the way.


To add a touch of luxury to our departure, we decided to request a bellhop to assist us in bringing our belongings down to the car. The service exceeded our expectations as the bellhop swiftly brought the car around before we even reached the lobby. It was a small yet delightful detail that added a touch of elegance to our departure and proved to be entirely worthwhile for those who choose to stay at this hotel.


Our drive back home included a pit stop in Kingman for lunch, and we were pleasantly surprised by the town's growth. Mom, astonished by the addition of a Cracker Barrel and a Ross, couldn't resist exploring the familiar yet charming town. Our lunch at Cracker Barrel was a hit, although the cornbread didn't quite live up to our expectations. The berry iced tea, however, was a standout, complementing the delicious spread of comfort food.


The exploration continued as we ventured into the Cracker Barrel store, where unexpected treasures awaited. A giant purple whale, proudly boasting a 75% discount, found its way into our collection. Little did we know that this whimsical purchase would later become a favorite couch companion for my husband, who found it to be an unexpectedly comfortable pillow.


Our shopping spree continued with my youngest daughter picking up a calendar and my mom acquiring the same calendar along with a quilt set. The car was soon filled with an assortment of items from our unplanned yet thoroughly enjoyable shopping escapade.


Wanting to walk off the satisfying lunch, we visited Ross, discovering more treasures to add to our growing collection. A realization struck us during this unplanned shopping spree – we had spent more money shopping in Kingman than we did during our time in Vegas. A surprising turn of events, but one that added an extra layer of fun to our journey.

As we continued our drive home, we couldn't help but notice the abundance of Joshua trees, a captivating sight that seemed to have multiplied since our last journey. Driving through Wickenburg presented its own set of challenges with ongoing road construction. Navigating through the swerving lane amidst big diesel trucks proved to be an adventurous conclusion to our trip.




Conclusion

In reflection, our Vegas adventure surpassed expectations, leaving us with cherished memories and a car filled with the remnants of our delightful shopping sprees. The unexpected moments, the luxurious departure, and the surprising finds in unexpected places made the journey homeward just as memorable as the time spent in the lively city of Las Vegas.


In the end, our Vegas escapade exceeded expectations. Highlights included the Arte Museum, unique dining experiences, and unexpected finds. If you're planning a Vegas trip, consider these recommendations for a diverse and enjoyable experience



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