Viva Las Vegas: 12 Questionable Gift Shop Purchases

Nubby Twiglet | Viva Las Vegas: 12 Questionable Gift Shop Purchases

When In Vegas…

When you’re in full-on vacation mode and the rules of the rest of the world simply don’t apply (because in Vegas, you can do whatever you want whenever you want), you’re bound to make some questionable decisions and purchases along the way.

With five full days stretched out ahead of me and nothing more on my agenda than a David Copperfield show and Britney Spears concert, I began to stop into gift shops as I strolled through casino after casino. The mix of merchandise I discovered was random, hilarious and kitschy. It was the stuff dreams are made of (or, at least mine are) — a wild mix of the tacky and bizarre.

Without further ado, here are t he top 12 purchases of my trip along with their sources in case you find yourself pining for a Sigefried and Roy picture book or flamingo statue of your own.

1. Flamingo Statue (above)
Source: The Flamingo

This beauty sure was a pain to fit inside my carry-on luggage but it was definitely worth the bulk since it’s now basking in all its salmon-hued glory inside the Branch office. It adds a nice Miami Vice vibe, don’t you think?

Nubby Twiglet | Viva Las Vegas: 12 Questionable Gift Shop Purchases

2. Glittery Postcards
Source: Caesar’s Palace

When you’re shopping alongside the glitter queen herself, Kat Williams, you start taking extra special notice to everything that has a little extra sparkle. These are perfect for still lifes and once you’re done photographing them, you can scribble a little message on the backside to send home and let mom and dad know you haven’t gone bankrupt at the roulette table (yet).

Nubby Twiglet | Viva Las Vegas: 12 Questionable Gift Shop Purchases

3. Flamingo Mug
Source: The Flamingo

Your morning coffee will never be the same! It’s impossible to be in a bad mood when this gem is sitting on the corner of your desk. As you can tell from the tattooed arm, Kat is responsible for this purchase!

Nubby Twiglet | Viva Las Vegas: 12 Questionable Gift Shop Purchases

4. Siegfried and Roy Keychain
Source: Mirage

It’s nice to dress up the things you reach for every day — make the mundane extra special for a change! My car might be 14 years old and un-fancy but now I’ve got the keychain of champions holding the key.

Nubby Twiglet | Viva Las Vegas: 12 Questionable Gift Shop Purchases

5. Bedazzled Bling Hat
Source: Starlight Tattoo at Mirage

Kat was responsible for this questionable late-night purchase and it was a good choice — when you’re in Vegas, rhinestones and false eyelashes before noon are fair game so you might as well live it up.

Nubby Twiglet | Viva Las Vegas: 12 Questionable Gift Shop Purchases

6. Donny & Marie Necklace
Source: The Flamingo

What’s better than siblings who have enough of a tolerance of one another to work together after all these years?! Gotta admire a strong family bond. Since I live with my brother, this gives me hope — maybe we can still get along and not want to kill each other well into our 50s?

Nubby Twiglet | Viva Las Vegas: 12 Questionable Gift Shop Purchases

7. Las Vegas Sign Keychain
Source: Planet Hollywood

Vegas is full of kitschy keychains — every gift shop seems to be swirling in a slightly different mix. This 1959 sign is a reminder of the golden years. Sidenote: that confetti in the background is courtesy of the Britney concert.

Nubby Twiglet | Viva Las Vegas: 12 Questionable Gift Shop Purchases

8. White Tiger Figurine, 9. Postcard and 10. Siegfried and Roy Picture Book
Source: Mirage

I’m a bit obsessed with the self-proclaimed Masters Of The Impossible and it’s not hard to see why: they had the most visited show of all time on the Vegas Strip full of tigers, magic tricks and flamboyant costumes. Even though their show ended over a decade ago due to Roy’s accident, their sanctuary full of exotic animals is still going strong, as is the gift shop inside that bears their name.

Nubby Twiglet | Viva Las Vegas: 12 Questionable Gift Shop Purchases

11. Cubic Zirconia Ring and 12. Magnet
Source: Mirage

When you’re on your final morning in Vegas, what better way is there to commemorate the best vacation you’ve had in ages than an over-the-top piece of jewelry? This baby set me back around $20.00 and would make Liberace proud. Totally winning in my book. And I’ve got a major love of the original Mirage logo with its peppy palm trees — this magnet makes my fridge a much happier place.

So, there you go! Five days in Vegas can really warp your sense of what’s considered a good buy.

And now, it’s your turn: What’s the most fun / strangest / eccentric item you’ve ever purchased during a vacation? Tell all!

10 Responses to Viva Las Vegas: 12 Questionable Gift Shop Purchases

  1. Kim says:

    When I went to Sevilla, I bought fans. And there were AMAZING fans there. It is the home of the flamenco. Hand-carved, mother-of-pearl, lace, hand-painted, fans costing hundreds of euros. The only bad part is that I somehow always see the best souvenirs at the beginning of my trip, when dropping a lot of money isn’t what I am up for yet (what if I miss something amazing later?!?).

    • Shauna says:

      Ha, vacations are all about being impulsive and getting out of your everyday responsibilities. Next time….live it up and buy all that fun stuff!

  2. Katherine says:

    I have a small carved version of the gigantic Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks Rio. Regrettably my ex husband turned his nose up at the 12-inch tall glow in the dark version and at that stage I was still too loved up to stand up for myself. If only I knew how badly I would regret this, almost thirteen years later! I’ll just have to go back and get one another time!

    • Shauna says:

      Hey, that’s the perfect excuse to go back! I don’t care how much someone rolls their eyes at my purchases, it’s all about being surrounded by great memories. That statue needs to be yours.

  3. Scarlett says:

    Omg, Shauna! This has inspired me to photograph some of the amazingly silly things we bought in NYC. Like the NYPD kerchief for my chihuahua and the New York City Bitch! T-shirt I let my 14 year old buy!
    Totally inspires me. Teri Hofford (from our Vancouver Blogcademy class) and I are going to commish and then shoot together next week – can’t wait!

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