Viva Las Vegas

One of the Neighbs just got back from a month-long hiatus at the Hilton in Vegas and it prompted me to reminisce on my most recent trip there.

Since the crazy pledge class who called themselves ’04, it has been a tradition for the seniors in my sorority to go to Las Vegas for spring break. They started it of course. But the ’05′s went and our year was certainly no exception. So in the middle of March, me and 15 other girls booked 3 adjoining rooms for 5 nights at the Venetian Resort. We were hyped to leave for like a month, pulling all the connections we could think of before we left, shopping around for new skimpy clothes and optimal clubbing attire, sweetly asking our parents for extra gambling money. I literally didn’t think of anything else a week up until departure and I watched The Hangover on repeat.

I flew out of Tampa with three of my friends, but as I was the first one at the airport, I started drinking at the Chili’s bar outside my gate. I’m sure I didn’t look out of place, drinking Blue Moon and attentively solving my cross word puzzle. Anyway, as soon as the rest of them got there, I was ready to do the scream-and-jump-up-and-down thing but couldn’t because M was upset. She had forgotten her garment bag with tacitly- planned outfits for each day and didn’t have time to go back and get it. All she had was a suitcase full of shoes and underwear with nothing to wear them with. I told her she would fit in just fine only wearing shoes and underwear in Vegas but she didn’t believe me. But eventually she realized the flight must go on.

Four hours later M had regathered her usual peppiness as we arrived in Vegas. I took pictures of the skyline through the plane window, even though I knew full well how inside-the-plane pictures never come out okay. We met up with the rest of our core crew (10 of us) at baggage claim and I was finally able to jump up and down and scream with K. Meanwhile C was bargaining with limo drivers to take us to our hotel in style and she found us a classic black stretch. Driving up to the Venetian was a movie-making moment. The hotel is just so luxurious, gorgeous, and extravagant. It was like finding a house made of candy at the end of our bread path and we were dying to eat it. Except this was made of gold gleaming in the night so we couldn’t. We checked in, snuck in our extra person to the room, and started to get ready for our first night out. No time to eat, oh well.

My picture attempt of Vegas skyline. Looks cool in an accidental way.


K was good friends with a guy who used to go to our school and who had become a promoter of sorts in Vegas. So we went with him to Jet Nightclub in the Mirage Hotel at midnight. Obviously we were dressed to the nines, but with my friends-as gorgeous as they are without trying to be-we looked SMOKIN’ with the extra effort. We were shown our way to a platform behind the DJ booth where they set up buckets of vodka, champagne, Patron, Crown, chasers, sparklers, etc. Hard-partying commences. There were a couple of other tables on either side of us who we made friends with. I met an extremely good looking Australian man who was probably 6’5″. We danced, we schmoozed, but I got bored quickly and returned back to my lovely girlfriends after 20 minutes. He asked us if we wanted to go back to his hotel and after-party, but yeah right, it was only like 3 am and we had other places to see. I was not about to cut myself short like that. That’s the great thing about Vegas- there are SO MANY hotties there and coming from a place that’s devoid of them, I felt I was picking from a dessert tray in Vegas.

Jet Nightclub Mirage
Persuasion from the hot Aussi

After a couple of girls got tired and wanted to leave, 10 of us and “The Connection” go to late night XS at The Encore Hotel. (Wynn’s sister hotel). I vote this my favorite moment of the trip. SUCH GOOD MUSIC. We got a little booth with a red velvet barrier and more bottles/ anything we wanted. We danced our tushes off, we went to the gambling tables outside and rolled some lucky dice, we marveled at the showgirls and bursts of decorative fire, we literally let every thing go. I felt so good. Call me a weirdo, but when I think of something I want to remember for a long time, I put the thought in a memo in my phone. I memo-ed this message at the time and I still have it in there- “O thnak god for a minute ther I thogught i was ready !s clubs and thatt that was normal. VEGaS.” It’s obviously incoherent but I’m pretty sure the message I was trying to portray was “Thank God for Vegas because there was a point when I thought the clubs at home were the best I was going to get.”

XS Poolside

XS Inside

Good tunes the club blasted:
Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix)
Where’s Your Head At/Smack My Picture Mash Up
I’m In Las Vegas Bitch
Hometown Glory- Adele (High Contrast Remix)
Coeur De Pirate- Comme des Enfants Remix
Emerge- Fischerspooner
Stylo- Gorillaz (Alex Metric Remix)
New In Town- Little Boots Remix
Priors- What You Need (Hey Champ Remix)

I’m very blessed to say that I have my girl K who is on the same caliber of party-level as I am because I wanted to stay up after this and she was the only other one who said, “Hell yeah” to the suggestion. So we, “The Connection” and his roommate go back to his place and proceed to play music, dance, and play Never Have I Ever among other mischievous games. Here I got some really good Vegas skyline pictures since his apartment was the top floor in the middle of the main strip. Of course I hog the laptop with my obsessed songs of the month until 10 am when they got us a cab ride back to the Venetian. As we walked the mile from the hotel entrance to our room down the golden corridors, along the Sistine-Chapel tapestries and angel-statue-lined hallways, I said “Hello, good day” in a British accent to every passing family. Greatest walk of shame ever. In Vegas you can be whoever you want to be.

View from The Connect’s Apartment
Venetian Lobby

Some of the songs I dazzled:
Lykke Li- Dance Dance Dance (Buraka Som Sistema Remix)
Feist- My Moon My Man (Boyz Noize Remix)
Shooting Star- David Rush ft LMFAO
Calvin Harris- I’m Not Alone (Deadmau5 Remix)

Daft Punk- Emotion

Tiesto- Kaleidoscope
Great DJ- Ting Tings (Calvin Harris Remix)
Love Me Girl- Yeasayer
Where Is My Mind- Pixies (Bassnectar Remix)
Phoenix- 1901 (DLID Remix)
Phoenix- Fences (Def Starr Remix)

I didn’t greet the next day until about 3 pm. The other girls went to frolic around town but I needed some sort of buffer of good sleep. They went to the pool where they met these three cute nice dudes. They exchanged numbers and decided to meet up at another point during the week. (They play a big part of our week later in my story). We made reservations to eat in the Palazzo, Venetian’s sister hotel. SushiSamba is a Japanese/Brazilian/Peruvian energetic restaurant that was recommended for us. C is studying to be a doctor but I consider her more of a food critic because she really knows her shit and I let her tell me what I should eat. So she orders a combined entree for the table and the waiter brings out the most elaborate looking sushi display I’ve ever seen. Quality. It was delicious. Best lychee martini’s ever.

Our next stop for the night was the much anticipated Tao nightclub in Venetian, one of the best clubs in the city. You should have seen this crowd. A line is an understatement. This club is on the inside of a main lobby upstairs the casino and the entire room was packed with people, most of whom wouldn’t even be able to get in. As it was, guys were coming up to us asking if they could take us inside with them since they wouldn’t be able to get in otherwise.

This guy that A knew with a walkie-talkie managed to snake us through the crowd and up to the front of the line. We got in and “took a lap before committing to a location.” (Clueless 1994). The criteria for choosing a table consisted of 1) hot guys, and 2) Grey Goose bottles, not Absolut. We actually ended up running into these guys that C, A, and J knew from high school so we joined their table. One of them I noticed right when we got there- he was good looking, dressed well and had this mysterious thing going on (which spells attraction for me). He had his head down, talking to his friend next to him in a low voice, and looking straight at me. After a few bottles went down, everyone was meshing well together, everyone was dancing and smoking, and me and this guy had been making eye contact a ridiculous amount. He finally came over to me and we had a really good conversation. I mean we seriously had a lot in common plus he was passionate about music and photography. I chose him as my love interest for the night. We stayed and partied our asses off until about 2 am, all the while fully enjoying myself with the mystery dude. Then the guys got a white hummer limo for our whole crew and we went to Haze Nightclub at this new hotel Aria. The same crazy-ness ensued but we left early for us at 3 am to go back to the Venetian. The guys were staying at the Palazzo conveniently enough. We changed clothes to make our feet happy and went to gamble downstairs. I ended up turning him down at the end of it all, since I was NOT quite ready to “commit to a location.”

Tao Nightclub
Haze Nightclub

Sunday we tried to get into the Wynn brunch but the line was too long. So we stumbled instead upon a cute American restaurant called Terrace Point Cafe that looked out to the huge gorgeous Encore pool. Then we went to Caesar’s Mall, the best hotel mall on the strip, in my opinion. I spent a whole lot of money I didn’t have and walked about 3 total miles up and down this gargantuan mall. I’m not a shopaholic or anything but holy shit, this place was luxurious. Las Vegas is one of the only places in the world that houses certain infamous designers. Going into some of these stores was like a never-again opportunity.

Forum Shops Caesars Palace

Apparently Sunday nights in Vegas are designated free-dinner-for-hot-girls night. Through our newly-acquainted connects that we had collected the last few days, we were offered about 3 different comped meals for the 10 of us. We chose to go to Lavo Restaurant in Palazzo. We were seated immediately, served our drinks and then the plates started coming. They brought out about 5 appetizers, 4 pasta dishes, 2 fish entrees, 2 chicken entrees and many vegetable a la carte bowls. The whole time we were replenished with alcohol and we didn’t have to pay a dime. Except, of course generous tips from each of us. We noticed that our guy fellows from last night were also eating there but we didn’t pay too much attention to them since they were so 24 hours ago. The girls also noticed the 3 guys they met at the pool the first day eating there too. They told us their plans of going downstairs to the Lavo Nightclub to start their night off. We decided to join them and right off the bat the guys bought 4 bottles of Grey Goose and a table in the center of the dance floor, barricaded off to anyone but us. They were really cool friendly guys and we were having a great time.

Lavo Nightclub Palazzo

After watching them purchase $400 bottles after $400 bottles, I start to wonder what these guys did for a living. I asked J if she knew the deal on these dudes and she replied that they had told her they played football. J wasn’t sure if she believed them or not, so we kind of blew off that allegation and we continued to party with them. Um, we are retarded. All of a sudden this harsh spotlight shone on our table. The music went low and the intercom screams, “Congratulations to Chase Daniels and Tyler Lorenzen for the Saints Superbowl win!” WHAT!? We’ve been partying with Saints football players for 3 hours and had no idea. Not that it had mattered- we would’ve partied with them regardless, but WHAT!? I asked them to see their Superbowl Rings, but seeing as it was only March, they hadn’t received the rings yet. Their friend, who was not a football player, apparently took a liking to me because he didn’t really leave me alone the whole night. He was as Midwestern and clueless as they came and danced with me like he’d never had so much fun before. He entertained me as well so we had a good time together. A few of us went back to their hotel room to party some more. I eventually made it back to my room but a few girls stayed. He sent me a plethora of text messages after I had already fallen asleep but our moment had passed for me.

More Club Tunes:
Flashing Lights/Superstar Mash Up
Creator- Santogold
La Roux- I’m Not Your Toy (Data Remix)
Evermore- It’s Too Late (Dirty South Remix)
On the Dance Floor- David Guetta
Bassnectar- Kyrian Bee Bop
Justice- DANCE Mstrkrft Remix
Dance the Way I Feel- Ou Est Le Swimming Pool
Drive It Like You Stole It- Glitch Mob
Starry Eyed- Ellie Goulding (Jakwob Remix)

Monday just me, D, and A went to eat downstairs and walk around; everyone else got a late start. One of my favorite things about Vegas is looking at the extravagance of the hotels- so we peeked in Bellagio, Mirage, and Paris. We also had a two hour long hiatus at Urban Outfitters. I know Urban isn’t an extravagant hotel, but oh well, it’s just as important! We gambled for a while at the Wynn video poker bar tables. I had to teach my friends how to play, although I’m surprised they even listened to me at all since I barely knew what I was doing. The nice bartender who was giving us complimentary cocktails was pretty much telling me what buttons to press.

Me in the moment!

It was E’s birthday this night so we celebrated by dining at Tao restaurant and had great Pad Thai/ Japanese cuisine. Afterward, K’s “Connect” joined us again for our last night out and took us back to Haze Nightclub in Aria, but this time around things were done right. All 16 of us went there with them and we were accommodated spectacularly. It was to be expected if these clubs were competing with each other. I acknowledged at this point that the clubs were using us for walking advertisements just as much as were using them. Offensive? Nah. More like a trade-off. Anyway, the music this night was on point too. At one point, the bottle girl brought out all the champagne bottles she could carry with sparklers shooting fire out of the top for E’s birthday. It was too bad she was in the bathroom and didn’t get to see it. We enjoyed that anyway. Lastly, we went back to my favorite place, XS in Encore for our final topping for the whole trip. I think I got lost at one point since I was extremely “hazed,” but if my memory serves me right, I had a great time non-the-less.

Tao Restaurant
Happy Birthday E!

We ran into the Tao dudes and stayed with them at XS until close. Then, in the great tradition of the Las Vegas spirit, we decide to go to a strip club! The guys paid our way in since girls never really pay to see women strip and they bought E a celebratory lap dance. I have to say though, the girls were not that hot! I know, surprising since you’d think strippers in Vegas would be the best. Having been to Mons Venus StripClub in Tampa for a few birthday celebrations, I can vote that those girls set the caliber for strippers and Vegas did not meet it. After having enough of shoving bills in fake cleavage, we decide to leave. It was to our great surprise that the sun was shining bright as we emerged from the club. It was 7 am. Seriously? We had started partying at 11 pm and it was 7 am. One of my top longest binges I’d say.

For our last day we were finally able to eat brunch at the Wynn. I’m not sure why they call it a brunch though, it was more like a feast for a small country, all on silver platters/ made to your liking/ from some of the best chefs in the country. Afterward, we continued to walk around, shop, and gamble. Me, E and A went to an oxygen bar, but as J had said previously told us, “the only way to get oxygen is to inhale,” and we found out that oxygen bars really are bogus. That night we went to a show that J’s family friend got us discounted tickets for. It was called Le Reve at the Wynn. It was absolutely beautiful and made me cry at one point.

Wynn Brunch= Babylon hanging gardens

Overall our trip to Vegas was a hit. We didn’t get to walk away quite as rich as Ocean’s 11 watching the Bellagio jet show and listening to Claire de Lune. But we hit all of our Vegas goals- shopping, gambling, partying, meeting new peeps, strip clubbing, and surviving.

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