You can call it Sin City, Disneyland for Grown Ups or even just The Strip, but I call it Fabulous Las Vegas.
Got back last night from a 5 day extravaganza of good times and decided that just for once, what happened in Vegas can make its way back home (well at least some of it, I’m not that crazy!!!) The wingchick and I decided a couple of months ago, sometime in March when it had been raining and 5 degrees for about a hundred years in Vancouver, that we desperately needed some sun – ok and maybe some sin. Both of the above had been in such desperately short supply in Vancouver that we were starting to sprout moss – from all the rain I mean . . . .but anyway . . .
Since we have lots of Alaska Air miles, we decided to try flying out of Bellingham. We usually fly out of Seattle, but it’s a longish drive (especially on Sunday coming home) and the traffic can be nasty, and as it turned out Bellingham is an excellent little airport. Only about 1.5 hours from North Van (including crossing the border), directly off the highway, with cheap (by airport standards) onsite parking (no shuttle) and very short security waits. 2.5 hours later you are touching down in McCarren and the party can get started – it couldn’t be easier.
Well, that’s not entirely accurate – the party actually got started on the plane. How often have you had a really, really unfortunate person sit next to you on a plane – oh, maybe like every single time? And how often have you sat next to a really fun, interesting – really interesting – guy? Never? Yup, me either till this flight. About 10 minutes into the flight and 2 minutes into our Bloody Mary’s we struck up a conversation and found out that the guy sitting next to us was not only a former Marine who had been deployed with anti-terrorist units in Iraq and Afghanistan. but he is a firearms instructor at a national firearms training facility and also a personal security expert. Hmmmm, not totally Bourne Supremacy, but as close as I’m ever going to get so I’ll take it – hell yeah!!!! And as if that’s not enough, he’s a contestant on season 3 of a reality TV Show called The Hot Shot on the History Channel. Sweet. Could not have been a more entertaining flight – he’s under confidentiality agreements so he couldn’t tell us too many details of the show, but it was sure interesting to hear about reality TV from the inside. And of course put a Lotusland hippy like me into a conversation with an American firearms expert who has the 2nd Amendment tattooed on his arm – well that’s gotta be interesting. Thanks for making it a great flight Chris, the story of your buddy’s family and their love of guns was hilarious – OMG, really.
We were staying on the Strip for 2 nights and then moving to a resort and spa out in Summerlin for 2 nights, so Wednesday and Thursday it was party time for the gals. I guess everyone has their own favourite things to do in Vegas; the wingchick and I like to hangout in slightly dubious bars, go see offbeat shows and find some good live music. Oh, and seek out the best tequila bars in town, of which, I would note, there are a LOT. I’m pretty sure that Patron is the national drink of Vegas – lucky for us. Our favourite tequila bar is at Bally’s – what’s not to love about $2 shots, margaritas and beers. All you have to do is park yourself at the bar, throw down a $20 and get busy . . . and so long as you stand up now and again to check that walking is still at least a remote possibility, what the heck could go wrong. . . .[XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX] censored to protect those not smart enough to figure out the answer to that question – like us. Some stuff just has to stay in Vegas. But it is possible to fall off the people mover, just saying . . .and why the heck did I wake up with a note in my purse from the live band karaoke – it’s a fantastic idea – at Wild Bill’s Saloon and Gambling Hall that said “you have my permission to shoot me if I do karaoke”. It was a loooooong night.
If you are not picky about having to see the hottest show in town (and we are totally not) then Tix4Tonight is a great place to pick up cheap tickets. We scored a couple of good seats to see Gladys Knight at the newly renovated Tropicana, which is rapidly becoming one of my fav casinos. Bought out by a Canadian with both good taste and a great sense of fun, it’s gorgeously white and red South Beach chic, but also fun and unpretentious with a great vibe. Highly recommended.
When we went to pick up our tickets the first game of the Boston v Canucks game was on a giant screen and the bar was full of hockey fans of both stripes, so we got to watch most of the game in a great atmosphere before the show. And what a show. Gladys Knight has to be in her 70’s, but her voice is still amazing and she created such a warm and intimate atmosphere that it was like sitting in her home, listening to her tell the story of her life and sing all her greatest hits. It was a really, really good show, and yes, she did Midnight Train to Georgia.
Although we’ve seen them before, somehow a trip to Vegas is just not a trip to Vegas without a stop to visit the Awesome Aussies at Thunder Downunder. Ahhhhhh, so cute, so funny, so hot. And this time I got to watch the entire show from the audience, not the stage like last time – but that was no fun, no really, no fun at all, I swear. And the wingchick may have a rash around her eyes [XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX] yup, more censoring . . . I thought I was going to die laughing.
After 48 crazy hours we had to move out to the Red Rocks Resort and Casino in Summerlin – maybe the most gorgeous, sexy hotel I’ve ever stayed in.
And we were going to see a Goo Goo Dolls concert at the poolside Sandbar. Wow, wow, wow – what a venue. Met up with some of our Goo friends for Blood Orange margaritas on the deck and then it was concert time. 4,000 crazy party people and at least a few die-hard Goo fans showed up. What an audience, what a show. Could have lived without the girl fight and the woman in a too short mini who ended up on her ass – with no underwear! No kidding, full Paris Hilton. Not pretty. But it was quite the night and only in Vegas.
With a pool like that, there was nothing more to be done on Saturday than sit poolside and have the cabana boys fetch us umbrella drinks – a tough job but someone had to do it. It has been a pretty full 4 days (was it really only 4 days????) and the R&R was fantastic. Some of our friends decided to head into The Strip that night, and I don’t know the whole story but we didn’t see them again and their last post from the airport Sunday morning was about too many martini’s at Mandalay Bay and only getting 45 minutes sleep. Gotta love the Vegas airport on a Sunday afternoon.
Viva Las Vegas, I can’t wait to go back!!!!