Last weekend James and I headed to Las Vegas to party it up with AJ for his 30th birthday. It was wonderful seeing everyone again, though a little bittersweet to be reminded of what we’d lost by moving to San Francisco. (OK I promise that’s the last Debbie Downer bit from me)
We arrived Saturday morning, dumped our bags in AJ’s room and all headed out to go ATVing in the Nevada desert.
Predictably the motorcyclists and go-kart enthusiasts were right at the front. I’m super timid so I stayed at the back so I wouldn’t slow everyone else down. You can probably guess which category James fell into.
It was crazy, ridiculously hot. It reminded me of those super dry 40C days back in Australia.
Very important to stay hydrated!
Maybe not too hydrated. =P
When we got back to the hotel everyone showered and got changed for dinner at Jaleo’s that night. It was super delicious, which was good because we were planning on having dinner at its even more upscale sister restaurant the next day.
We walked past the Bellagio fountains which were so breathtaking – one of my favourite parts of the weekend. I could have stayed there all night looking at the different choreographed fountain shows.
But I couldn’t, because we’d all chipped in to reserve an outside bungalow at Drai’s night club. It was a great arrangement because instead of being jostled around on the dance floor all night we had bottle service in a private cabana. We could still hear the music and see everyone inside, but those of us who just wanted to chill out could do so next to our very own pool.
Here’s a photo I nabbed from online:
I had way more fun than I was expecting, and I know it’s because we had the pool-chilling option. We were the only group outside so we had the whole area to ourselves and although the area was roped off the bouncers let us wander around – you could see the Vegas Strip and directly across from us were the Bellagio fountains. Later that night they started letting people outdoors so it got a bit more crowded but we still had our bungalow retreat.
I didn’t get a lot of photos. Well I did, but our cabana came with 3 bottles of vodka (subsequent bottles were $700 each!!!) so most of my photos looked like this:
Our servers mixed our drinks really strong (so we’d deplete our bottles faster) and I think we all got tipsy waaay quicker than we were anticipating. It’s almost admirable how slickly Las Vegas extracts money from you.
Quincy had drunk a bit much so Chi Kai bought her a bottle of water. $10!!!
Still, it was such an awesome night! The servers came round with an armful of glowsticks for us, and the boys got so excited.
At one point James went inside and when he came back he’d managed to acquire another glowstick. Then later when he went to the bathroom he hid his two glowsticks under a cushion like a squirrel hiding an acorn.
Initially I thought this next photo was surprisingly nice given how drunk we both were. But then I kept looking and realised that James was still refusing to let go of his stupid glowstick!
He even brought two of them home with him. =/
I was very impressed with ourselves for staying up as late as we did. But when we left at 3:30am there were still people lining up to get in! One of the guys working there told us that apparently now there is such a thing as a “day club” – where people go after the night club closes to keep partying. Clearly I’m out of touch.
It was about 4:30am when my head hit the pillow and we’d been up almost 24 hours at that point.
We started the day off with brunch at the Wynn. The line to get in was really long but luckily Mike, Quincy and Chi Kai had gotten there earlier and pre-queued because the rest of us took awhile to get mobilised. The Wynn is freaking gorgeous.
Our group was seated in the atrium, which was the furthest from the buffet but the nicest area because it was all decorated and sunlit.
The food was great – the group favourites were the roast beef, the thick pepper-crusted bacon, the fried chicken and the desserts (we got them all and shared them so we could taste everything). James and I had to walk a fine line because we were eating at é for an early dinner and didn’t want to be too full! I had three plates of food plus dessert, so I feel like I got my money’s worth.
Afterwards we walked through the Venetian to look at the canals and the singing gondoliers.
The guys found a machine that would clean their sunglasses for $2 and so they took turns putting their sunglasses in and oohing and aahing.
There was also an oxygen bar which Greg, James and Roula used. Apparently the oxygen didn’t really do anything, but they had a great time because one of the gadgets they were given had these adhesive pads with a handheld device that could deliver these painful electric (?) shocks. I think they were supposed to relax your muscles if you use them in moderation? James said they were legit painful – on one setting it felt like you were getting pinched, another one felt like you were getting punched, and another felt like you were being whipped.
Greg suggested they do a “trust exercise” where they each held each other’s devices. It turned out it wasn’t so much a trust exercise as the three of them just continually shocking each other.
It was supposed to be a nice, normal photo but James and Greg happened to get simultaneously shocked.
James said that of the three of them, Roula was the most ruthless. Also apparently he could feel ghost spasms in his back for the rest of the day!
They were only supposed to get 15 minutes with the oxygen but James and Greg got to go for longer (Roula started a bit after them) because for awhile we were the only ones there and I guess they don’t want the bar to look empty. Roula was shocked so hard that she fell off her chair twice, and they were all laughing and having such a good time that a random photographer came and took photos of them!
Afterwards we had to go and get changed for dinner at é. I’ll do a big blog post about that soon because it was such an interesting meal it deserves its own post. =)
After dinner we walked back to Treasure Island to meet up with the group and watch a Cirque du Soleil show. It was a great end to an amazing day.
Monday was our final day in Vegas. I wanted to do some of the Stratosphere rides but I think I was the only one, so I was happy enough to explore the strip with everyone else.
A Jeff Koons at the Wynn:
An enchanted forest, also at the Wynn:
The chocolate fountain at the Bellagio: The volcano at the Mirage:
A shoe at the Cosmopolitan:
Frescoes and statues at Caesar’s Palace:
And of course, a flamingo at the Flamingo:
(There were also real ones but the photos didn’t really turn out)
Then we got alcoholic slushies (coral crush and strawberry) and met up with Paul and AJ for lunch.
Afterwards we did some gambling before it was time to catch a taxi to the airport.
Everything is so over the top spectacular in Vegas and it really gives you an appreciation for how much people must lose gambling. James and I made our own contribution this weekend, but luckily managed to come out of it with a little something.
Don’t worry, we won’t go spending that all in one place.
Vegas shouldn’t be nearly half as enjoyable as it is – it’s super tacky, everything is expensive, there are monster lines, it’s too hot, all the tourists are wasted, it smells like cigarettes and you need to tip everyone - but it all somehow works. Everyone you meet seems to be having the time of their lives and honestly I’ve never had so much fun spending such a shitload of money!