Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Las Vegas

We went to Las Vegas last weekend -- really just because it's too fun, we hadn't been in awhile, and it was a 3 day weekend.  So, why not?

I had been doing some research on what big DJs were going to be there that weekend, and when these two were announced on Instagram, the trip was a done deal.

Calvin Harris at Hakkasan and then Zedd at Light.  Yes, please.

Flying in to Vegas Friday night.

So we snuck out of work early on Friday and for once, our flight was actually on time.  We got in to Vegas around 7pm and went straight to our hotel for the weekend: Aria.

Giant reindeer in the lobby at Aria

There was a loooong line to check in, so I walked around and scoped out places for dinner while waiting.  Up on the 8th floor, our room didn't disappoint.  The lights turn on the and curtains open when you open the door!  So cool!  We even had a decent view, too!

Our room (left) and our view (right)

I had found a nice tapas place called Julian Serrano near the lobby that I thought looked good, so that's where we went for dinner as soon as we dropped our bags in the room.  It was late in "Kansas time" and we were both ravenous.

Julian Serrano's turned out to be the perfect call.  The food came fast, and it was all delicious.  And by "all" I mean all SEVEN courses that we ordered and shared:

In the elevator heading up to our room after dinner.  
Baack up in the room, we thought we would take a quick power nap.  Although neither of us could actually fall asleep,  it was worth a try. Since it was getting late and we had friends to meet, we quickly cleaned up to head out for the night.

Can you ever have too much glitter or sequins in Vegas?  Obviously, I don't think so...

I was solid sequins, head to toe. (Or shoulders to ankles, technically..)

Before going to the new nightclub at MGM, Hakkasan, we went to meet Ty and Sara at their hotel room.  Somehow, we went completely the wrong way and ended up walking down a street with no sidewalk, but we eventually made it to their hotel suite at Elara.  And it was definitely a sweet suite!  It was like a full apartment...a really cool one with a full kitchen, a projector to watch movies and a giant bath tub in the bedroom.  Somehow I forgot to take any pictures of it. :(

After a couple of drinks there to save money (the drinks at the clubs are literally at least $20 each), we hopped in a cab to Hakkasan.  THIS was the main reason I wanted to come to Vegas.  To see this nightclub.  I was SO excited to get in there!

Just some stats on Hakkasan:   Its the biggest restaurant/nightclub in the nation.  5 floors at 80,000 square feet.  That means you could fit the White House inside of it with 25,000 square feet to spare.  No joke!  It cost almost $200 million to build, and that's just crazy.  

So anyways, we bought our tickets weeks ago and got in with no effort at all.  We stumbled upon a smaller room first, which was actually really, cool, but I was WAY too excited to see the main room so we just stayed for a few seconds.

And the music....ooohhh the music.  I can't even describe it.  Louder than loud.  Add in the confetti and flashing lights and crazy performers in wild outfits.  It's just too much to describe.  But IT. IS. AWESOME.

Sara and I fought for our good spot on the floor, just feet from the DJ.  Literally, fought.  It's just a mad house packed full of drunk people, so there is lots of pushing and shoving to stand your ground, haha.  But we did it.

So when Calvin Harris came on around 1am, we were in prime position and the night got even better.  I have several videos of the madness on my YouTube page, but here are the links:

I think I've watched each of them at least 100 times by now...

Tiesto came out and joined Clavin Harris for a little bit.  He was scheduled to be there the following not, but just made an appearnce, which was pretty awesome. :)


Tyson and Sara left earlier in the night, but I made Matt stay until around 3am.  Poor guy was literally falling asleep in the dance floor while I was still bouncing around.  (I had a red bull.  That stuff messes me up!)

Apparently half of the club also decided to leave around 3am, because the cab line was just absurd.  And it was cold.  So Matt decided to *loudly* ask how much a limo was to Aria.  Another couple standing nearby heard him and said they would split it because they were going to Vdara - right next door.  So we hopped in, for the $40, 2 minute cab ride.  Ridiculous, but there is no reasoning with drunk people.

For some reason, Matt sat in between the couple and managed to become best friend with them in the short drive.  The guy even got out to give him a hug before we left.  So weird.

By that time, I was hungry again.  Really hungry.  We didn't have anything in the room, and there was only one store open in the lobby, so, I am ashamed to admit it, but I bought a NINE DOLLAR box of Wheat Thins to snack on.  That's robbery right there.

Yes, that is my bra showing. Classy, I know.

I had such a hard time falling asleep that night.  I just laid there and kept watching the videos from the club.  I swear, half of a Red Bull keeps me up all night long.  Literally.  I mean, I was up almost 24 hours by that point!

Day 2:  After sleeping in until around 10 or 11 Saturday morning, we finally got moving for the day -- and discovered a much shorter walk to the strip.  It was easier in the day light I guess.  (Last night took us forever -- and down some back road?)

Representing Kansas City!
First stop was Walgreens to get some food:  yogurt, a banana, juice, and trail mix.  So much cheaper there than sitting down at a restaurant. 

We found a little spot to sit down and eat it while enjoying the gorgeous weather...which happened to be down an alley just off the strip with a great view of the new worlds largest ferris wheel being built!

From there, we kept on trucking...all the way down the strip to Venetian.  I had to get my seats to the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Soul 2 Soul Tour!!  Acting on a tip, I requested seats on the aisle, and my wish was granted.  I was one happy girl!

                                                                                (You can't leave the Venetian without 
                                                                              seeing the guy singing in the canals!)

We didn't have much planned for the afternoon, and I wanted to shop!  So we walked aaalll the way back to the other end of the strip and went to a mall, whereI tried on a few slightly inappropriate dresses...

There was this one ridiculous purple one that I decided I just couldn't live without.  

Yes, I bought this...and eventually wore it!  (ONLY in Vegas...)  It's actually two separate pieces - the top being a regular swim suit triangle top.

Somehow the day got away from us.  I don't know what we did.  A lot of walking and a lot of shopping, I guess.   We were hungry again.  That's always the tricky part for us in Vegas for some reason.  Food.  After some deliberating, we ended up back at Aria to eat at the amazing buffet they have there.  Yea, it's overpriced, but it's so good and they have a little bit of everything!

Giant buffet at Aria
Since I had such a big night ahead of me...seeing Tim McGraw...I decided earlier in the day that I needed to get my hair down at one of those blow out bars they have all over.  So after some research and phone calls, I made an appointment at iBlowDry, just off the strip a few miles (which saved me about half the cost of on the strip).

After a quick nap in the room, I grabbed a cab and took off for my appointment.

My stylist was super sweet.  After she washed my hair and gave me one of the best scalp massages ever, she went to work on straightening / curling my hair with a thing little hair straightener.  


I was amazed.  In no time at all, she turned my crazy curly un-ruly hair in to this:

Before (left) and After (right)

I guess the wild curls on the left aren't so bad 

considering I hadn't touched my hair that day...
She was GOOD.  I was in and out of there in under an hour, and in love with my new hair!

Since I couldn't shower and risk ruining my pretty curls, I opted for a nice bubble bath back in the hotel room.  Which was heaven.  I don't know why I don't do that more often.  
(Oh yea...because I don't have a bath tub in my bathroom.)

Dressed and ready for dinner at Tao and then my big concert!
(MORE sequins...)

Dinner at Tao -- DELICIOUS Chilean Sea Bass.
After dinner, I went to the concert and the boys sat around and drank at a bar. 

This silhouette was on the stage as they started singing.  So everyone thought they were up there, naturally.  

But then, Faith walked out from the side I was on...just a few rows in front of me.  I died.



Since she was there...I knew Tim had to be on the other side.  And sure enough.  There he was.  Such a sexy cowboy! I couldn't take it anymore.  The closer I got, the more I knew I had to try and get closer.  



 So when he was almost to my aisle, I ran down and screamed, "TIIIMMM!!" and stuck my hand out.  


literally died then.  I was screaming and shaking and just completely freaking out, hahaha!  I mean, I JUST SHOOK TIM MCGRAW'S HAND.  That's understandable, right?  The video I took of myself while it was all going down is pretty hilarious.  Watch it here.

My night -- or really, the whole trip -- was pretty much made after that.  But the actual concert itself was amazing.  Tim was such a great entertainer, and Faith's voice was so powerful.  I loved it all, but especially the duets!  

(I took videos of a couple of them...check out my YouTube page if you want to see them.  Link on the right side bar.)



Tim got off the stage at one point to read a sign that two girls had held up. The only one in the small theater.  They apparently skipped their brothers wedding to come to the concert.  (Yea, right.)  So he took off his guitar, signed it, and gave it to them.

Note to self:  If you go again, make a sign and hope for a signed guitar!


A little later in the show, Tim jumped off the stage again and was just standing in one spot singing.  

Ummm..hello people!?  Why are you not swarming him!?  It's TIM MCGRAW!

Don't mind my while I go jump him -- mid-song -- for a selfie and a little butt grab.  

Oh yes, I did this:

I have no shame.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.  

And I started something!  Other equally crazy women decided to follow suit after I did.  It didn't last long though.  He eventually ran back on to the stage to finish the song before he got tackled by all the middle-aged women acting nuts.  

Your'e welcome, whoever you other women are that I inspired to get up and take pictures. ;)

Such a good looking, talented cowboy!

It was a pretty quick concert, and the last song was an intimate duet:  I Need You.  I was practically in tears by the end of it. 

I was absolutely on Cloud 9 after the show, and couldn't stop looking at my selfies with Tim and watching the video of him shaking my hand.  I talked about it the entire walk back -- all the way from Venetian to Aria - again.  That's quite a walk, especially in heels.

Quick stop at Bellagio to watch the fountains!

We had to go back to the room so I could change outfits -- in to my new dress -- for Light nightclub at Mandalay Bay.  

That dress is short.  Very short.  And a little more 
see-through than I realized.  But I still love it!
We bought tickets in advance for this show, too -- to see Zedd -- so we hardly waited in line.  The place was an absolute zoo inside, which was to be expected, I guess.

I don't know how they get their numbers, but Light sure looked a lot bigger than Hakkasan to me.  I think Hakkasan is counting all their other rooms and the restaurant.  But as far as just the main floor goes, Light has to be bigger.

Zedd came on around 1am.  He's a young guy and was really in to the show -- just bounced around up there behind the DJ booth the whole time!  

There were acrobats dancing behind him and the crazies light shows ever.  I took several really awesome videos, but this one in slow-motion is probably my favorite.

We had originally fought our way down to the main floor, but it was just too much to take.  We were right in between two giant speakers and it was so loud it literally hurt to stand there.  So we moved back a ways and found a great spot in an aisle that somehow we never got kicked out of.


After a few hours of standing around watching Zedd, we decided to head back to Aria and check out the nightclub there, Haze.  A promoter stopped us earlier in the day and gave us free passes, so we decided to check it out.  We loved it last time we were there, and DJ Pauly D from Jersey Shore was there that night!!

I think DJ Pauly D might be the worst DJ to ever get to play on a weekend in Vegas, haha.  He was so bad it was comical.  We stood there and just laughed for about an hour.  The club is cool, and I loved the foam and lights...but DJ Pauly D.  Oh bad.


Up to the room after we had had our fill of him. 

I think our night went better than this guys:

Out cold at the slot machines.

Day 3: Sunday morning we slept in.  Like, WAY in.  We didn't get out of bed until 1!  I don't even know how we did that...but it felt great!  My hair was looking a little rough, but I refused to wash it and ruin the smooth, straightness.

We really didn't have much planned for the day, so we walked back to Walgreens for breakfast again, and then through the mall to see how Tyson was doing getting his new tattoos.

Well, a guy caught me looking at his hair straightener -- the exact one the girl used on me the day before...and after he sat me down, did my, and showed me how to do it myself, I was hooked.  I bought it.  And I got another awesome looking hair do out of it! :)


We checked on Ty - who looked like he was in a little pain, and then decided to walk down to Bellagio to see about getting tickets to O that night.  After some deliberation, we decided they were just too expensive.  I mean, $150 to see a show is a lot of money!  

Outside of Bellagio

Back to the mall we went.  I mean, what else do you do in Vegas during the day?  I guess we could have worked out or gone to the spa or something...but the hair.  I couldn't ruin my hair! 

So we found a little sandwhich shop that came highly recomended, and sat down to eat.  We actually tried to eat there yesterday (rather than the buffet), but the line was literally out the door.

The big football game between Seatlle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers was on, and I could tell Matt wanted to watch it.  Since we didn't have anything else to do, we sat down at a little bar/candy shop called Sugar Factory.  What a genius idea!  Alcohol, ice cream, and candy, haha!  

I don't really drink much.  Like, at all.  But these drinks looked amazing.  I asked if I could try one before I bought it to make sure I liked it...and I got the tiniest little sip ever.  But it was SO good.  Tasted like cotton candy to me...


...but it wasn't just sugar.  Turns out there was A LOT of alcohol in it.  Ummm...five shots worth, I think she said.  Sooooo needless to say, this girl who rarely drinks, was literally falling off the bar stool after about half of the drink -- which I practically chugged because it tasted so good.  Yikes.

BEFORE I started falling off the bar stool.

Matt finally talked some since in to me and decided it wasn't such a good idea for me to finish my drink.  But he could NOT convince me that I didn't need to go shopping again to buy some cool pants and winter boots that I saw earlier in the day.  I marched right back in to the store and bought them both. Funny how they weren't "too expensive" once I had some alcohol in me...

I was happy with my new purchases, but decided that was enough shopping and we went back to the hotel.

Walking back to the Aria
After another soak in the bath tub, I just HAD to wear my crazy new pants out for the night. 


But my thighs --which, let's be honest, aren't the smallest -- had another thing in mind.  My brand new pants ripped!!


Back in the bag they went.  Changed outfits and walked back to the mall to return them right then.  I didn't want to have to deal with it the next day and we had time to kill.

From there, w hopped in a cab to go down to the Mixx Lounge for great views of the strip.  I hadn't ever been there before (top of The Hotel / Mandalay Bay).  It was cold out on the deck, but the views were pretty spectacular!

We kind of screwed up any normal dinner plans by eating at the sandwich place at like 3pm.  But we made dinner reservations anyways -- for 9:30pm at Lavo, one of our favorite Italian spots in Palazzo.  We love the food, but it's always been an added bonus that you then get in to their night club for free after that, and Sunday nights used to be their big night.

Trying to stay warm while waiting
for a cab in the parking garage after Mixx...

When we got there, we thought it was a little weird that the place was pretty dead.  It used to be hard to get a reservation there.  And while we were eating, we thought it was even MORE weird that not one single person was in line for the night club.  So we asked our waitress what was up.  Weeelll turns out the nightclub SHUT DOWN a few months ago!  Whoops!  So much for our brialliant idea of partying after dinner for free.  

I actually was okay with that thought.  Three nights of all night partying is just too much for me.  Every time we go to Vegas, I have big plans of doing just that. But every time, without fail, I am done by the third night.  We just went back to the hotel room.  I went to bed -- before midnight -- which is practically a sin in Vegas, and Matt went out to gamble.  (He didn't win.)

Day 4:  We both woke up feeling great - and rested, which is odd for Vegas - on Monday morning.  We slept in, packed up, and decided to just take our stuff with us for the couple of hours we had to burn before heading to the airport.

I wore my new boots!!  (I actually don't regret that purchase.  I still love them!)


We have to do the sad face pictures every time we leave Vegas.
After some oatmeal and a smoothie from Jamba Juice (seriously, why don't we have one of those in KC!?), we went to look for a cab.  Somehow we ended up in the worst spot to get one, and ended up walking down to another line.  

Our cab driver was quite the interesting guy and told us all about a big porn party he went to last year...and all about what he detail.  WOW.  (Apparently there was a big "adult" convention in Vegas the weekend we were there.  That's what started it all.)  We were both pretty relieved to get out of that car!

We landed pretty early in the evening, and neither one of us felt like death -- which is usually the case after Vegas.  What a nice change!  


As soon as I got home, I started googling about the hair sraightener I got talked in to at the mall.  Turns out it is a pretty nice tool and I didn't get a terrible deal on it.  That made me feel much better about the spur of the moment purchase. 

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