My Helicopter Fetish

Abby Tegnelia

©swankydietitian

I can’t believe it was such a short time ago that I had never been on a helicopter. Now? After three trips in such a short amount of time, I can’t believe what a wonderful way it is to see landscapes such as the Las Vegas Strip. It seems like ages ago that I thought I’d been the least bit scared — but it takes off straight up and with such smoothness that it truly feels like a car in the sky, as close to the Jetsons as I’ll ever get. My most recent trip was with Heli USA, which just happened to my first also. This time, I didn’t go camping with real cowboys at the Grand Canyon Ranch, but instead opted for a nighttime tour of the Strip. And just a few weeks ago, I got another taste with Papillon helicopters. This time, how fun to see such a familiar, glitzy place from  the sky at night!

Who hasn’t wanted to cruise the nighttime Strip in a helicopter? I joined my friend Kristen, whose blog Swanky Dietitian I’ve come to rely on for great recipes and inspiration for fun activities around Vegas, for an 8:30 pm ride. We kicked off with a glass or two of champagne in the hanger before taking off.

Abby Tegnelia Heli USA Vegas

Abby Tegnelia Kristen Bourque

We were so excited! ©swankydietitian

 

Of course when they asked for a volunteer to ride up front with the pilot, my hand shot up like an over-eager second-grader. I needn’t have worried: Aside from Kristen and I, the rest of the passengers were tourist couples, who recoiled from the pilot’s offer. Me, I was thrilled!

Heli USA

Up front with the pilot!

 

The Strip is so exciting at night — all aglow. The new casinos are so sleek and modern now, but a part of me misses the themed hotels. How can you say no to that Eiffel Tower?

Heli USA Strip Paris

©swankydietitian

 

The most surprising part of the trip? How close we got to the Stratosphere! It happens to be the home of my favorite ride, Big Shot. I couldn’t believe how close we were to the top of the tallest hotel in Vegas, which has always felt so high up in the air!

Heli USA Stratosphere

 

I was a guest of  activity gurus Cloud 9 Living, but all opinions are my own. Interested in having your own adventure in Vegas? Win your an experience by entering Cloud 9 Living’s 9 Days of Christmas.

From December 16th through the 24th, they will draw one daily winner for the following prizes, culminating with the Grand Prize drawing on December 24th:

  • Day 1 Prize: Flight – Learn to Fly
  • Day 2 Prize: Relaxation – Spa Package
  • Day 3 Prize: Driving – Drive a Stock Car & Stock Car Ride Along
  • Day 4 Prize: Foodie – Food Tour for Two
  • Day 5 Prize: Golf – Golf Lesson with a PGA Pro
  • Day 6 Prize: Romance – Dinner Cruise for Two
  • Day 7 Prize: Adventure – White Water Rafting for Two
  • Day 8 Prize: Adrenaline – Tandem Skydiving
  • Day 9 Prize (GRAND PRIZE): Experience of a Lifetime – Fighter Pilot for a Day

And please check out Swanky Dietitian — she’s super-fab!

 Vegas isn’t the only city with Cloud 9. My friends at Santa Fe Travelers went on a food extravaganza with them in Denver. Have you ever taken an adventure with this company? How did it go?

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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Comments

  1. Hard to find something on there I wouldn’t do! too bad it’s not open to Canada 😛

  2. Seriously such a cool way to see Vegas!!! I have only been on a helicopter once when I was in Kauai. Would love to do it again soon.

  3. I am so happy I have a sidekick! 🙂
    I had such a great time with you!

  4. I was not sold on our helicopter tour in Oahu and did it because my dad really wanted to, but I ended up enjoying it. A ride over the Vegas lights sounds fun!

  5. I don’t know if I could ever have the courage to ride on a helicopter, but maybe if I’d be given a chance.. hmm I’ll think about it (lol) But I’m glad that you’re enjoying it. The views from the top though really are amazing.. the most recent was when I ride on the London Eye, the city looks so cool at night. I will soon try viewing it from the Shard.. and now a helicopter idea. ohlala :>

  6. I am so with you on the helicopter love. They ROCK! When I was a kid, I wanted to be a helicopter pilot (alas, my poor vision did not allow). Still, I’ll go up in one any chance I get. 🙂

  7. I have never been with a helicopter, but I always imagined my first time in a helicopter will be in USA and why not above Las Vegas.

  8. Chris Murphy says:

    You will have to do a helicopter flight the next time you are in Hawai’i, it’s a great way to see an individual island.

    I would have jumped at the chance to be up front too!

  9. I don’t think I’ll be going on a helicopter ride for a long while, considering my personal tragedy this year. But I can’t imagine a better way to see your home city than from above. I’ve always love seeing the lights when I approach Vegas on a plane.

  10. I would have volunteered to fly shotgun, too! In fact, I did just that on a tiny prop plane from Martha’s Vineyard to Boston Logan (after elbowing my way onto the only flight off the island that day–in the fog. A flight that I was not scheduled to be on. But that’s a story for another time…)

    I’d LOVE to see the strip from the air–and the Grand Canyon excursion is on my list, too. Gee I wonder if I could find a cheap flight to Vegas for next week…hmmm…

  11. Loved this post! Hard to believe (because hubby is a flight instructor) but I haven’t been in a helicopter yet, just because it’s so darn expensive. I should have asked Cloud 9 for that experience…sounds like you had a blast. Love your expression—priceless! 🙂

  12. I think helicopter tours just got a new ambassador! 😉

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