Viva Etc.

(I stole this title from Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black. This post will not be as insightful or funny as the chapter of their book America You Sexy Bitch about their couple of nights in Las Vegas. I am not as good at this as they are and also did not have as clear of  thesis statement on my trip…)

I went to Las Vegas to celebrate having money and not having work. This was a big deal because I went by myself and paid for it myself and just kind of did something instead of talking about doing something, which is generally what happens with me. I really wanted to go to Disney World, but EXPENSIVE! (Vegas also expensive but slightly less…)

So here are some things I did:

Roller Coasters:

I went on 3 roller coasters! My favorite was the one at New York, New York, but the Canyon Blaster at Circus, Circus, also good. El Loco has a cool 90 degree drop at the beginning, but it’s nothing special. Once you’ve ridden Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure, crazy drops lose some of their gusto. But the view from New York, New York was amazing you can see the whole strip, and the mountains that surround the city. It was very, very cool.

Gambling:

I’m not a big gambler, so I  played Penny Slots and roulette, which require no skill whatsoever. I even won some money…which I then promptly spent.

Food:

I told myself I was going to do one of the big fancy celebrity restaurants on my trip. I talked myself in and out of this idea at least seven times, before putting on my big girl cocktail dress and heading to Giada at The Cromwell. (Actually it was a pink sundress. I looked SUPER cute if I do say so myself.)

This was a very fangirly decision. Giada DeLaurentis is possibly my favorite Food Network personality and of the like seven things that I can cook three of them are her recipes. (I used to make her risotto at least once a month.) Turned out I made a really good choice. I ate at the bar, because then you get to chat with the bartenders and also it was an hour and a half wait for a table. I had this amazing ricotta crostini drizzled with honey and I think brown sugar? I don’t know, it rocked. Then I had the spaghetti, which was in some king of cream sauce and had shrimp and capers. Also, delicious. The restaurant itself is gorgeous and homey and completely lovely. Also all the specialty cocktails are named after nerdy things!

I also ate at Pink Taco in The Hard Rock (where I stayed, will not stay there again, it was fine, but too far from things and sort of dull…) which was awesome, but had these really cute bartenders who I couldn’t talk to. Seriously, I froze, I felt like Raj on Big Bang Theory. So, I left there fairly quickly because, nope.

I had a crepe at Paris, and I of course, went to Margarittaville. I ate less than I thought I would, mostly because I was generally walking or sleeping during the days.

Drinking

I did a lot of this. Nothing very stand out, although those sidewalk drinks that you can buy? They make those m’fers STRONG. I got a margarita at Treasure Island and then promptly went to my room and slept for 3 hours.

Cirque De Soleil

Also had to talk myself in and out of this, but I went to see The Beatles: Love. It was completely stunning. I cried a whole lot. Which is a ringing endorsement. I also made friends at this, which was great. But this was overall just completely overwhelmingly beautiful. The performers are insanely talented and I love The Beatles music so much.

Piano Bars

If you’re on vacation by yourself, find a piano bar. They’re kind of instantly social and keep you entertained. I hung out in 3 separate piano bars…I really like piano bars.

General Wanderings

When I was little one February break, my mom took us to Atlantic City and we stayed at The Taj Mahal, there isn’t a lot for little kids to do in Atlantic City, but we were just excited to stay in a hotel and swim in the indoor pool. But also, even then, I kind of fell in love with the idea of themed casino hotels. The stupid ornate decorations. The silly sometimes ham fisted ways of drawing things together. Atlantic City, sadly doesn’t have much of this.

But God, I got myself lost looking around every day. I kept winding up at Caesar’s and finding something new each time. The Bellagio is really stunning and elegant. Paris & New York, New York made me feel like I was at Disney. And I might never get over the gasp inducing beauty of The Wynn & Encore. The Bellagio Fountains and Mirage Volcano made me laugh and maybe cry a little. (Yeah, ok, water ballet set to Whitney Houston’s version of The Star Spangled Banner got me choked up, what am I robot or something? AM I NOT TO FEEL?)

I really had an amazing trip and this is the sort of thing I’m going to try to do more regularly and was a huge push out of my comfort zone. I also totally plan on returning to Vegas, maybe at a different time of year when the weather is a little better and I can check out the pool scene.

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