Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I went. I saw. Vegas conquered.

Been waiting with bated breath for the Vegas recap? Well exhale, because here goes. I’ll break it down by day:

The moment we stepped onto the outdoor oven that is the Las Vegas strip, I was a little overwhelmed. Talk about a stimulus overload! Where do I look? Is that Elvis? Oh crap, that's a wall! We immediately headed to the Stratosphere and as mentioned, I thought I was going to die, because we rode the Big Shot, which thrusts you off the top of the building, like, for real. Thrill rides are not my thing but I didn’t want to be left out. I’m such a sucker for peer pressure. J kept yelling for me to open my eyes and I kept yelling for my mommy. I was a little wobbly until I had my first drink to straighten me back out.

We wandered through the Venetian (gelato ... mmm) and ended up at Carnaval Court, which is attached to Harrah’s. This outdoor bar has a laid-back party atmosphere and if you have never been, I highly recommend it. The establishment is known for its flair bartenders (think Tom Cruise in Cocktail but way better) so it's a very entertaining place to just sit and drink. I don’t know how long we sat there — at least through 4 rounds of free shots from the bar and a few buckets of beer. After that it gets a wee bit hazy but we stumbled to O’Shea’s for the world’s longest game of beer pong. I think we ate at Diablo's. There might have been guacamole. There was definitely Dos Equis. We ended up back at the hotel and in bed by 8:30 p.m. I’m blaming the time change and early outbound flight.

Next morning we were up bright and early.. We hit the buffet and made our way down to the MGM pool area, which has a really cool lazy river. We relaxed, had some more drinks (there’s nothing like a gigantic $24 mug of pina colada and a raft!) and soaked up some of the 105 degree sun. We cleaned up and swung by the MGM lions, where J and I got a photo of us with a cub. I got to pet its butt. Totally not worth the money but some of us don’t get to go to South Africa and play with cubs there, so we take our chances when we get them.

From there it was on to Minus 5 in the Monte Carlo — one of my favorite experiences since it was so unique. You get bundled up in an anorak, gloves, boots and basically head into a freezer where the entire bar (cups, seats, tables) is made of ice! It was pretty … cool. Sorry, couldn’t help it. We ended up back at Carnaval Court. More shots. We totally missed our dinner reservations and ended up snacking on corn dogs and garlic fries. We hopped a cab to Fremont Street to experience “old Vegas” and a fun little zip line ride. Gambled a few bucks at Binion’s and stopped by the fountains at Bellagio. In bed by midnight. Hey, no judging.

Another early morning with breakfast at the Bellagio buffet and a walk through Caesar’s Palace. We lost Bryan at some point. No worries, we found him. Luckily, he had not been murdered by some crystal meth tweakers. Then we were back at the pool. We had agreed not to start the drinking until later but once we were down there, I started craving a beer. It just felt right to take some swigs while making fun of all the folks who made poor choices in pool attire. The others followed suit. Two more buckets of beer later...

After lunch I was feeling sluggish so J and I took five hour energy shots. This is the exact moment where it all went wrong. I had never tried one before and it immediately made me ill. This devil elixir will henceforth be referred to as Satan spit. We went back to (all together now….) Carnaval Court but all I could get down was some water. I fell in love with the charismatic bartender (FLIPPY) and eventually sipped on a mixed drink just so I could see him twirl some more bottles. There were more shots … some from the bar and some from our new bar buddies Peter, Mike and Brandy … oh, and 80s music. I remember 80s music. Between the waves of nausea and wanting to die, I really enjoyed myself. Peter dropped 20 shakers-worth of shots. Bummer. That was our cue to leave.

Bryan and Erica had tickets for the Beatles LOVE show so when they went to the hotel to change, J and I went to the Forum Shops at Caesar’s — swanky! He treated me to some goodies from Fresh but by the time we were headed back to the hotel, I was feeling super sick again. J napped and I laid as still as possible begging for mercy until we all met up for our fancy sushi dinner at Yellowtail. I was able to choke down 2 pieces of salmon, one sliver of my shrimp tempura roll and a ginger ale. What a waste — although those three bites were really yummy. I tried to stay in good spirits best I could but I was down for the count after that. We all headed back to the hotel. Must have been around 11 p.m. I know, we’re so lame.


Despite my 9-hour turn for the worse on Friday, it was an awesome trip. We loved vacationing with friends!  The trip was filled with was endless Hangover quoting and That’s What She Said jokes, J and I won (and lost) $60 in penny slots, there are videos we’ll never share with the public and lots of other good memories. In the end, there are now four of us in our wolf pack and I’m ready to do it again any time (except next weekend, the Jonas Brothers are in town)!

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