Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend recap - Sin City edition

I have barely been back in Iowa for 12 hours after a whirlwind trip to Las Vegas for a best friend's bachelorette party festivities, but it's time to recap it before I forget all the little moments.  Bear with me.  And if any of my travelling buddies are reading and see something I've forgotten, be sure to remind me in the comments.

Friday 

I left work shortly after noon, quickly packed and got on the road to Ames.  I live a good drive from all major airports, but I really don't mind it.  The drive gives me time to relax before and after a trip.  My dad took me to the Des Moines airport for my 8:10 p.m. flight.  Well, it was supposed to leave at 8:10, but we didn't even board until about 8:45 p.m.  So our flight was delayed for about an hour, for reasons I still don't know.  But it's OK.  I knew I'd get to Vegas when I got there.  The flight was enjoyable -- my seat neighbor was very friendly and chatty.  He told me about his vacation plans with his daughter, we talked baseball and football and he asked me about my trip and gave me some tips and recommendations for seeing Vegas.  I was really glad he was next to me to distract me from the drunk middle aged men in front of me, who seemed to think they were still in a bar and not on a plane.

I touched down in Las Vegas just as my beloved Texas Rangers became the American League West Division Champions!!!  This was fantastic news to start my weekend.  Grabbing my carry-on (so glad I didn't have to check a bag), I headed out to find my shuttle.  This process was really easy, and the shuttle service was great.  I will definitely do that again.  It was cheaper than a cab and very convenient.  It was really fun scoping out the strip as we made our way to my hotel.  Everything was so bright and busy.  Hard to believe it was after 10 p.m.  I checked in at the Paris Hotel and freshened up in  my room before going to join my friends.
My room at the Paris Hotel.
I found Bruna, Shay (her fiance), Josh (Shay's friend) and Brett (Shay's brother) at Napoleon's Dueling Piano Bar.  I had not seen the bride-to-be in four years, but our friendship is amazing.  We picked right up as though we had never been apart.  I ordered a glass of Riesling, and Bru and I chatted while we enjoyed the piano players (who were a lot of fun).  After awhile, Josh left, and the remaining four decided to walk the strip.  We walked through MGM (and saw a fight between four guys on our way out), the Excalibur and the Luxor.  Every hotel is almost like its own little city.  It'd be fun to try different ones on every visit (yeah, I'd already decided at this point that I would return to Vegas).

Bruna and me in front of New York, New York.
We finally called it at night at 2:30 a.m.  It sure didn't seem like the middle of the night with all the bustling activity, but I was exhausted and knew I'd need my energy for Saturday.


Saturday

The day started with a great breakfast at the Sugar Factory.  I regret that I did not take a photo of my delicious egg whites and spinach omelet, but I assure you it was fantastic.  I also got to try some of Bruna's banana walnut pancake and a fluffer nutter shake Shay and Brett were sharing.  Mmm.  So good.

With our stomachs full, we headed out to explore Vegas some more.  We had to go to Rio to pick up our tickets for the evening, and grabbed some alcoholic drinks at Evening Call.  Of course, all four of us shared with each other.  (By the way, I had not met Shay or Brett before this weekend.) We tried to go to the pool. Twice. During the first attempt, it started raining. We waited out the rain by playing some slots, and it was still overcast when we went out there later.  We decided the weather didn't want us to sit by the pool, so we changed again and headed down to New York, New York because we were anxious to ride the rollercoaster.  Excellent decision.  It was an awesome ride!
Brett and me on the rollercoaster at New York, New York. Two thumbs up, is right, Brett.
After the rollercoaster, we had to head back to the hotel and start getting ready for the evening.  The girls had plans for dinner at Voodoo Lounge, Chippendales and Pure, while the boys were bound for a Blue Man Group show.  I can't speak for the guys, but the girls sure had a good time.  The food at Voodoo was excellent, and our server was perfect.  He took great care of us.  I wasn't sure what I would think of Chippendales, but I absolutely loved it.

Me with my favorite dancer. I have another pic with the real him, but I'm not posting that here.
Pure had a really cool atmosphere and fantastic view, but clubs are really not my thing.  And by this time, my feet were killing me.  We all decided to head back to our hotel.  On the way back, we caught the Bellagio fountain show.  Really pretty.  I'm glad we saw it, because I've heard about it, but I wasn't sure we'd be able to squeeze it in.  ((EDIT TO ADD:  I forgot to mention the three guys who jumped into the fountain during the show, which was set to "Proud to Be An American" by Lee Greenwood.  Reportedly, they were wearing American flag trunks, but I just heard splashes and saw some dudes swimming.  For all I know, they weren't wearing any trunks.))  Back at the hotel, we all kind of went our separate ways.  Yes, I was back in my room by midnight on a Saturday in Vegas.  Ha.  My feet were grateful for the long soak in the tub and the subsequent rest.

Sunday

We ate at the Sugar Factory again.  This time, I had an apple pie waffle.  Ah-may-zing.

  

Sadly, this was the last highlight of the weekend.  I chatted with Bruna and Shay a little before I had to catch my shuttle to the airport.  I have to say, by the way, that the airport in Vegas is extremely efficient.  Checking in and going through security was a breeze ... even with the enormous crowd of travelers.  I was impressed.  Our plane boarded late, left late and arrived about half an hour late.  I'm sensing a trend with this unnamed airline.  I haven't decided if I'll travel with them again, but if I do, I'll make sure I'm OK with delays.

Overall, the weekend was a great one.  I am so glad I got to spend time with Bruna and meet her awesome fiance, Shay.  They make it really hard to give up on the idea of love.  Seriously.  They are a sweet couple, and if I have to wait ten more years to find what they have, it will be worth it.  I also enjoyed meeting other members of the wedding party and seeing Vegas for the first time.  It definitely won't be the last.

1 comment:

  1. Another thumbs-up for McCarren. When we were headed back last month and got to the security line (at approximately 4 a.m.), I thought we would be waiting for hours--we were FAR away from the checkpoint. We shuffled and shuffled, though, and probably only stood in line 15 minutes.

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