Las Vegas, NV – That One Time I Got Drunk & Ended Up In Vegas, Beast Mode, Gay Clubs, Detroit Coneys, Thomas Keller’s Bouchon – January 1, 2014 – January 3, 2014

So, this is what happened.
New Year’s Eve, I was imbibing. My night started off tame enough. First it was dinner at a friend’s house, then rooftop fireworks, then hanging out in my apartment with good friends. Champagne, whiskey, wine, and who knows what else was consumed and maybe I over indulged.
Around 1:15 a.m. I get a text from my friend Brett (he lives in LA) that said, “Quick Vegas trip? We’re going to drive up shortly.”
I replied I was interested, and I was crazy like that. Brett told me to text Mark (in Seattle) and get him to come. So, I did. He never responded. Well, I kind of said no, but Brett (now in the car with Jim and Alex) called me around 2:20 a.m. and I found myself purchasing a plane ticket and sending the confirmation to Jim, Brett, and Mark.
I do remember telling my friends it was time for them to go home, as I needed to go to sleep because I had to go to Vegas in the morning. Then I went to bed.
The next morning, I woke up to my alarm clock. I was wondering why I would have set an alarm on New Year’s Day, and not just sleep in without an alarm (as I rarely get to do that). I took a few minutes to wake up, went to the kitchen to grab my phone, saw my notifications and I had a check in notification for Delta airlines. And then it all hit me. Oh yeah, I bought a ticket to Vegas last night, and it leaves in a few hours.
I also checked my email and Mark had forwarded his plane ticket to me, apparently he was going, too. I called Mark and he picked up and simply said, “What did we do???” I giggled and assured him it would be fun.
He grabbed an Uber and came to pick me up, and off to the airport we went. On the way to the airport, we swapped stories about how we ended up buying our ticket and I said something like, well, since you didn’t respond to my text, I just bought my ticket. But he said he did respond. And then, we realized…

His message was never delivered to me! Had that message gone through, there is a good chance Mark and I would not have partook in this epic weekend. We were both feeling like crap and had not eaten, so we did something that I rarely do – got fast food at the airport. But that Whopper Jr. saved my life.

I got on the plane early, and since I was flying Alaska, I wasn’t upgraded. You know when you get on the plane, and you see someone coming toward your seat and you’re silently thinking, “Please don’t sit by me, please don’t sit by me…” Yeah, that happened.
So this guy sits next to me and he’s wearing a full face mask, like one someone who was about to ride a snowmobile would wear. And his music is so loud that I can hear the song. And he’s rapping to the song. Then he kept wearing his headphones on his head, not ears, so everyone on the plane could hear what he was rocking, too. I had my noise canceling headphones on and could still hear his music.
I was texting Mark about the weird rapping guy in the exit row, and Mark was texting me back about the hottie he was sitting next to in first class. I was feeling quite jealous. I sent Mark a picture of my seatmate to show him how ridiculous this guy was – and how scary he was with his face mask on (seriously, was he ready to hijack the plane or something????).
Marshawn Lync on an Alaska Airlines Flight to Vegas
This guy did some other rude stuff. The flight attendant had to ask him three times for a verbal yes that he understood the exit row policy before he would respond. He ignored the woman across the aisle that asked him a few times to turn down his music, as she couldn’t concentrate on her reading. Oh also, he hit me in the face with his jacket and then hit me in the shoulder with his hand while putting on his jacket, and didn’t apologize. He just looked at me, like I got in his way — two seats away.
I tried to ignore the inconsiderate music guy next to me, and looked outside at the most amazing sunset views. And, of course, Mount Rainier.

 

So, after listening to the girls behind me freak out, I figured out this guy was a Seahawk. When the plane landed, everyone was looking at him and you’d hear the “Beast Mode” murmurs. Confirmed; my inconsiderate seatmate was Marshawn Lynch. Apparently he was going to Vegas with another Seahawk or two (overheard from people on the plane that recognized these guys).

Marshawn Lynch should read my previous blog post, “Don’t Be That Annoying Passenger…” as he clearly broke #5 and #9.

Though, I probably broke some rule by taking a sneaky picture to text to Mark about how ridiculous rapper face mask dude was (and now posted it on my blog along with this blast), so maybe we can call it even.

And I know why this dude is called Beast Mode, because he was a Beast. And truth be told, he kind of scared the crap out of me.

Oh, and I kind of Tweeted about it. Read from bottom to top.

Upon our arrival in Vegas, Mark and I hopped in a cab and headed to Encore. I was starving, so we went to Society Cafe at the Encore. OK, this was a mistake. I was starving and the service was the slowest service I’ve had in some time. We were seated, then nothing. Then drink orders and I tried to order food, but couldn’t. Then waiting forever, then he came back and didn’t take our order, then waiting, then drinks came and finally he took our food order. This was about 40 minutes after we sat down.

Though, shortly after we put our food order in, we were served pretzel bread. This pretty much saved my hangry self.

Then food came rather quickly, which was good. I ordered the Lamb Gyro with Tomato, Cucumber, Onion salad. It was OK. Just OK. I also ordered a Rye Manhattan and it was not awesome. In fact, Todd ordered one, too, and sent it back. I suppose I just expected more.

 

We were ready to leave (getting drink refills was never going to actually happen) and yet, that ordeal took forever to get our check. Seriously, unless you have two hours to kill, skip Society.
Now it was time to get ready to go out. We did a quick bubbles toast in the room (because Jim in his quick packing didn’t bring any shirts, but did bring a bottle of Prosecco). We swapped stories about how we ended up in Vegas and it was random and hilarious. Alex left his car parked in Hollywood and his parents had to get it, he also didn’t have any clothes because he thought he was just crashing at Jim and Brett’s for the night. Jeff was just in, no qualms about it. Todd changed his flight from DC to LA to make this Vegas trip.
We all met up at Bally’s because we were going to Liasons. Brett, Jim and I beat everyone there, so Brett and I checked out the weird “Country Superstars” show at the bar. Basically, it was this guy with a glorified karaoke machine belting out country tunes to lonely women that were chain smoking and eating it up. He would change hats and vests to match the songs, and sing everything from country to One Direction.
Brett was getting down to it. Kind of. Ironically.
We headed to Liasons, which is a gay nightclub in Bally’s. We got bottle service (it was inexpensive at $100 for a bottle of Skyy) and a corner booth with a little private dance floor platform.
We had a lot of fun at Liasons and I loved dancing in our little private platform, though we did hit the dance floor a few times, too. One thing that was kind of weird (it looked awesome but smelled awful), when the bottle service was delivered to your table, the waiter came through with fireworks (like those extended sparklers) to let people know to get out of the way.
Next up was Share, another gay nightclub. This place was amazing. Cheap drinks, gogo dancers (boys, of course), and drag queens. Some of the gogo boys were amazing athletes and were climbing the poles, and jumping up to the ceiling, and balancing with just their arms on the pole. It was actually quite amazing to watch.
It was getting late, like 3:00 a.m. and we needed food. The In-n-Out was closed, but somehow we ended up at a 24 hour McDonald’s north of our hotel. So, I did something in Vegas I’d never do in real life – I ate a McDonald’s hamburger with cheese. I remember it tasting amazing, so, yeah.

 

It was like 32 degrees at night in Vegas, but we still walked the .7 miles back to the hotel.
The next morning, we woke up around Noon, which was crazy. But the blackout curtains and the north view made it so easy to sleep in.
Here’s the view from our Encore room.
Next stop was the Wynn Buffet. It’s a pretty intense buffet, with a lot of options, and it was the best service we had all weekend. We definitely over indulged. The buffet did give us one of our hashtags for the weekend, #WhereAreTheCrabLegs (apparently, they don’t make an appearance until 3:30 p.m.).
After the buffet, we needed to decompress and digest. So, what do we do? Gamble, of course. It was all about getting the 300 Encore Red points so we could spin the wheel and maybe get something for free. I never made it to my 300 points, but Jim and Mark did quickly playing the crowd favorite, Wheel of Fortune (I can still hear the game sounds in my head as I type this).
Mark and I had a quick workout in the Encore gym, then got ready to go out. We met up with the rest of the crew and popped a bottle of sparkling Rosé , that Todd procured. Then it was on to Morton’s for dinner (Todd had a hook up, and Morton’s is awesome).
Todd was in charge of ordering wine at Morton’s and he ordered a Blindfold white blend by The Prisoner Wine Company. It was exquisite.
After Morton’s, we went to O’Shea’s. O’Shea’s is an Irish themed bar with tables and beer pong at The Linq. We hung out for a bit, but it was packed (I mean, it was Friday night) and somehow we got the idea that we needed to head downtown (which excited me, I was all about going downtown).
 
We first went to a bar, Griffin, that was like a underground grotto, that was above ground. We were able to snag a booth in the corner, and the drinks were pretty good. The boys were thinking this might be where I could pick up men (since you know, it’s hard to pick up a straight man at a gay club).
 
After that, we went to the Fremont Casino, where they had $3 Black Jack tables and $.05 slots. This was totally my spot. Plus, top shelf drinks were like 5 bucks.
I just also really liked Fremont Street, so much so that I want to stay down here next time I go to Vegas.

 

After gambling at Fremont, I convinced everyone to go to The D casino and get a coney dog. I fully expected The D to have like an Eminem impersonator or something, but I really couldn’t figure out why the The D Casino has a Detroit theme, but whatever they have a few Detroit restaurant chains, so that’s good enough for me. Actually, I want to stay here my next trip in Vegas.
OK, I love Detroit Coney Dogs, as you know if you’ve read this blog, so I was super excited to share coney dogs and fries with my non-Detroit friends at American Coney Island.

After indulging in coneys, Mark and I went back to the hotel but everyone else stayed out late and played more table games. It was approaching 4:00 a.m. and I was tired. Plus, I had been in my heels for over 8 hours, my feet were done.

I woke up the next morning and got ready. Mark was on an earlier flight, and my flight was delayed by hours so I switched to the 3:00 p.m. This gave us just enough time for a Bouchon brunch!

We were sat by a nice sunny window, and the service was prompt and excellent. We started with the pastries of the day. I’m not a huge pastry fan, but these were really good.

Next I ordered the Croque Madame. I’m weird about white sauces, but this sauce was a gouda butter sauce and it was so good, I couldn’t get enough of it.

I felt like after this weekend, I needed some greens, too. I ordered the Salade Maraîchère au Chèvre Chaud.

Both my items were amazing. Bouchon definitely lived up to the hype. If you’re in Vegas, I recommend checking out Bouchon for brunch.

And now time for the airport, and to go home (which I was so ready to do). My flight was uneventful, and I was upgraded – which was nice.

Except for when I reached down to grab my bag… GROSS. Gum. Really, who chews gum and puts it on the floor (where it gets hot, then cold, then hot, then cold on my bag and boots). I went to the Delta baggage counter and the agent offered me a baby wipe – what, are you serious? I had to call the Diamond line, and they took care of me, but really that should not have had to happen. The Delta baggage office should have handled it so I didn’t have to escalate it. 

 

All in all, I think everyone should be random and spontaneous sometimes. It was amazing that seven of us managed to randomly show up in Vegas on a moment’s notice, and we had a weekend that we’ll be talking about forever…

“Remember that time when…”

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