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Since our flight wasn’t until 6:40 PM, we both went into work for a short day on Thursday and met up in Richmond around 2:30 PM. There was about a 45-minute wait at the border but we still made it in time to Bellingham International Airport (BLI) shortly before boarding. We both skipped lunch so we shared a breakfast sandwich we got at the coffee shop after security.
My Google timeline told me it took 2 hr 40 mins from work in East Vancouver to BLI, including driving and crossing the border. Same duration for Eric when he came from Delta.
One of the things I enjoyed most about flying out of BLI had to be the friendly and more relaxed airport security check. Granted, it was a domestic flight. When we crossed the Canada-US border, because we weren’t Nexus-holders so the border wait had made our trip about 40 minutes longer (Nexus’ wait time was 5 minutes). We applied for our Nexus after our San Fran trip so things will become better soon!
Our Allegiant flight once again departed and arrived on time so we arrived at McCarran Airport (LAS) just before 8 PM. We took the Lyft to Encore where we were going to be staying for the first time! We were offered an upgrade to a panoramic view king suite for $40 USD/night and we took it without hesitation. The room was on the 60th floor with a strip view and it was gorgeous therefore it was worth every penny!
There were only 2 complaints I had regarding our room/stay and they were the noise from the pool parties at night (which continued past midnight..) and the water leaked outside of the shower. I only found out at check-out that the parties took place every Thursday to Saturday which was exactly the nights we stayed there for. In hindsight, I probably should have asked at check-in whether the room location will be quiet.
Overall though, the room was amazing. It was spacious and clean. The strip view from the floor to ceiling was quite an experience.
After we settled in, we headed back down with the intention to walk to Peppermill as we haven’t eaten since that shared sandwich. It would have been a short 7 minutes walk (tip: use the Encore Tower Suites exit) but we were shocked to hear thunderstorm when we went outside. Eric and I both weren’t dressed for the rain so we had to re-think our plan.
I showed Eric a few of the restaurants I was thinking about that were close by and he was most interested in the Grand Lux Cafe at the Venetian next door. Sadly, we only made it halfway when one of my sandals broke…
There we were – hungry, cold, wet and tired. Eric had to go back to our room to get me a pair of shoes (thank goodness I packed plenty, smart) while I waited for him in the lobby.
We ended up at Strip Burger as it was just across the street from Encore and the rain was getting heavier. They had a late-night happy hour so we ordered a few appetizers to share. There was something special about watching the thunderstorm on the patio with the heater on in Vegas. The food served its purpose but it did not warrant a must-return in my opinion. We have been here once before and thought it was just okay as well.
It was close to 11 PM by the time we finished eating so we did not want to venture out any further in this weather. We went straight back to the room but not before dropping by the Cafe at the Wynn to grab chicken noodle soup for myself (late-late-night snack) and ice cream for Eric.
This concluded our first night in Vegas – feels good to be back 💖