Sunday, November 27, 2011

Las Vegas Get-Away - October 2011

What Happens in Vegas...Gets Blogged About!
I'm not much of a gambler, though I can't say I'm very good with money to begin with.  But this trip to Las Vegas was something I desperately needed at the time, more so than I realized.

This trip was sponsored by my night job, and I was looking forward to hanging with some of the amazing ladies of the company.  It was guaranteed to be a relatively good time, though I didn't know what to expect as I hadn't been to Vegas in quite a long time.

In trips like this, where there are so many travelers involved, I think it's good to establish the different expectations from each travel companion.  I was lucky to already enjoy the company of my roommate/sister, but I still wanted to make sure we were on the same page. We both decided that getting some Vitamin D by the pool as well as seeing several shows were our main objectives.  I was excited for a chance to see Cirque du Soleil's "The Beatles LOVE" again.

Staying on The Strip
It's overrated, in my opinion.  I mean, I guess it helps to be a guest at one of the hotels if you plan on hitting up one of the clubs.  We found that if you are lounging by the pool, some promoter's bitch will be coming around handing out free "VIP" passes to all the ladies sitting around.  I guess that's a specific benefit when you're staying at one of the hotels on the Strip.

But, at the end of the day, the hotels are just a place to crash for the most part.

We were shacked up at The Luxor, which isn't one of the fancier hotels, but it's decent.
At the Sphinx
One of the main issues that I had with Vegas was all the indoor smoking.  Sorry if you're a smoker, but I just am not a fan.  It became so unbearable at times.  The smell stays in my hair, in my nostrils, in my clothes.  And I had some really cute outfits.  But I felt dirty all the time.
Pyramid and Palms
Another perk of staying on the Strip, and specifically at The Luxor (since I can't speak for the other hotels) are the specials you get just by staying there.  We got a different phone message every day for a different special.  One that we took advantage of was the cheaper spa packages.  These specials, coupled with another chance for cheaper entertainment, was definitely a BIG perk of staying on the Strip.

There's Always a Catch
On our first day there, we got roped into one of those timeshare demonstrations.  This was really the first time I had ever taken one of those tours, especially since I wouldn't even be able to afford something like that any time soon.  But there was a very specific benefit.

For $200, we got a bunch of vouchers.  We ended up with cheap tickets to see "LOVE" and "Menopause The Musical," vouchers for meals at The Luxor, and vouchers for the Nurture Spa at The Luxor.

It was great to get a massage for so much cheaper than the actual price!

But, we were at the timeshare demonstration for most of the day, which was alright since we were both pretty tired from the traveling.  My roomie ended up going for a timeshare, but then cancelled it later in the week.

Still, because of her short-lived purchase, we got a limo ride not only back to the hotel but to In N Out!!!  It was perhaps one of the coolest In N Out experiences I've had to date.

Buffet After Buffet
We had vouchers for 4 buffet meal at the Luxor as part of our travel package.  The buffet at the Luxor was fairly decent, with their "international" diversity of Mexican, Italian, Chinese, and American foods.  The best part of the buffet was the various types of dessert!! Also, if you got there a little bit before lunchtime, you got some of the breakfast options, which I was super excited about.

My roomie and I also used our meal vouchers from the timeshare demonstration to go to the fancy steakhouse at the Luxor called TENDER.  The meat was delicious, especially since it was free-range beef.  But it was nice to go to a fancy steakhouse, since I don't really get to do that very often at all.
A little Proseco action
Strange yet fascinating use of the horns
Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
I was even more excited about some of the other options that were available to me on this side of the country.

As the plane was landing, it was almost comforting to see the flat landscape of the Vegas desert.  But then it suddenly dawned on me that In N Out was in Vegas!  I'm pretty sure I let out a little squeal of joy.

I am also pleased to report that I was able to have a delicious sausage from Pink's as well as the ever-sought-after Orange Julius!  There was really too much deliciousness.  Just looking at these pictures makes my belly happy.
never been so happy to have a cup in my hand!
Sun-Soaking and Shows
Like I mentioned earlier, my roomie and I agreed that lounging pool-side and seeing several shows would be the main focus of our Vegas trip.

Sitting poolside was really quite nice, even when the desert wind got slightly chillier.  The hot sun was extremely pleasant, and it was difficult to hear about the snow storm that hit Boston the day before we were to fly back.
soak it up
Somehow, one of the lifeguards decided he was going to take a liking to one of the women in our group.  Then it suddenly moved on to me, though I tried to make it clear that I wasn't interested.  However, being the nice and naive person I am, I ended up giving the kid my number just in case he had some hookup to a cool club or something.  Well, that bit me in the ass, because he was soon trying to meet up with me for the rest of the week.  This child was 20 years old.  He wouldn't have been able to stand on the casino floor, much less take me out!!! And yet, he still offered to buy me...breakfast...Hahahahaha! It was sweet..but not really what I came to Vegas for.

Between the cheaper tickets from the timeshare demonstration and the shows that were part of our travel package, we literally saw a different show almost every night we were out.  Lemme break down all the shows we saw.
Sunday to Thursday
Cirque du Soleil's The Beatles LOVE
Utterly amazing.  The first time I got to see the show, I was with my family and I was sitting closer to the stage.  This time, we got seats that were much higher up, but the views were still spectacular.  Cirque du Soleil knows how to put on a damn good show, and they really did The Beatles justice with this one.  This show gives me chills every time.
rainbow walkway to the theater
posing with The Beatles
After the show, you can feel the love
the Revolution Lounge
It took way too much work to get this picture...
but it was worth it :)
Cirque du Soleil's Zumanity
Holy crap.  This show was absolutely amazing and super sexy.  There were so many hot bodies, hot dance routines, and lots of grinding.  It was orgasmic, really.  This is definitely another show I would want to see again and again.  If you sit close enough, you get to interact a bit with the performers.  If you're to close, you might get pulled into the acts!

I have only 2 warnings about this show.  If you are in any way closed-minded or not open to various and inclusive sexual acts, you will be squeamish - but you should still see the show!!!  After the show, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, suddenly looks super attractive and you just want to make out with everyone.

Consider yourself warned.

Comedy Show at Brad Garrett's Comedy Club
This show was included in our travel package.  The comedians were great!  There was definitely a lot of laughter, and I always have given comedians tons of credit for having the balls to get up there and recite a couple of lines.

But I also felt really bad for these comedians.  The group that I was with is a group of very out-spoken, very loud, and very proud group of women.  By virtue of being who we were, we often became the highlight of each of the comedians' acts.  At some point, I realized that we as a group had taken over the entire show.  While many of the women don't mind being the center of attention, at some point, I could feel the disapproval of the others in the audience, and I worried it would then translate to disapproval of the comedians.  Their job is hard enough without having a bunch of loud women taking over their show.

But overall, I had a great time and at least the comedians had a lot of material they could use on us.

Menopause The Musical
I had heard a lot of great things about this show.  Being that it's a part of the life cycle, I actually don't know too much about the process.  I was hoping to gain a lot more insight beyond the standard stereotypes I hear all the time.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Paige O'Hara was playing one of the main characters.  Do you know who that is?!?!?! Paige (mutha-flippin') O'Hara is the voice of Disney's Belle!!! As a Disney geek, I was beyond excited about this!  It was awesome to be so close to her!

When my friend and I first got there, we had a slight seating issue.  For some reason, these ladies in our row would not move down a seat, when clearly we all had assigned seats.  I don't know why they couldn't just lift their asses and move on was pissing us off.  But the show started, and we still hadn't figured out our seating arrangement.

At first, we moved to a row behind the women but soon the ladies who had those seats arrived.  We explained our situation to the usher, who had this very deep booming voice.  Though he at first explained that those ladies should have moved, he then moved us to the front row of our section!  I wanted to turn around and be like, "YEEAAAHHHH, BITCHES!!!!" But I figured that would be in poor taste.

But back to the show.  It was incredibly funny, and the reworking of popular songs to fit the situations was great!  Some of the songs barely needed a change at all!  I highly recommend this musical comedy.  It's extremely insightful and honest and downright humorous.

Tournament of Kings at Excalibur
This final show was another part of our travel package.  I had never been to any of these Medieval Knights-style shows, so I was looking forward to this.  We were seated in the Spain section of the room, right in the center.  Pretty darn good seats.
that mead tasted a lot like Pepsi...
The show was a lot of fun.  We had to cheer on our country's King, and there were a series of games they got to play with each other.  I'm pretty sure many of these "Kings" also moonlight as private dancers in other clubs on the Strip.

It seemed like a decent night for dinner and a show.  It soon began to dawn on me that this was our final night.  I had barely done any gambling, though like I said in the beginning I'm not much of a gambler.

What Happens in Vegas...Should Be Considered Before Getting There...
We were in Vegas for a week.  A week!  Truth be told, you can do Vegas in 4 days max.  Have a plan for what you want to do in Vegas, be it seeing shows, visiting the different hotels like they were museums, soaking up some sun, or hitting the clubs.

I got to go to the two clubs at our hotel, get a couple of cheaper drinks, and dance a bit with some handsome French guy.  So I won't complain about that.  I even got to see Twista do his thing at the Luxor's LAX club.
Goodness..he looks far..but he was really close to us!
He even touched my friend!
I think I had a pretty well-rounded trip to Vegas.  I didn't get too crazy drunk, I only lost about $60 on the machines, and I'm pretty sure there aren't any really bad pictures of me floating around the interwebs.  I got to get a tan, see some amazing shows, and make some life-long friends with people I already considered my sisters.

Though I was glad to get the hell out of the smokey air, I was sad to leave the bubble of awesome that is created when I'm with those ladies.  I can see why they enjoy going on yearly trips with each other.  Next stop is London in 2013.  I'm not sure yet if I'm going, but I know I wouldn't regret it if I did.

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