Almost immediately after I returned from my Colorado trip, my boyfriend Sam and I started planning for our short excursion to Las Vegas. We apparently have a hankering for party cities – our last trip was to New Orleans – but we swear we’re not really party people. I honestly thought it sounded like fun and it was reputedly a great weekender trip. That’s all you need! And it was; though I would not rule out another trip to experience everything I missed. Here’s everything we did do, though.
We caught an early morning July 4th flight from Midway in an effort to squeeze out as much time of the vacation as possible, not to mention to try and beat the holiday crowds. When we touched down in the dry tundra that is the desert, our plane had to stand for a moment before docking, and our flight attendants asked us to close our window shades to prevent it from getting too hot. At that point, I started chugging water for fear of dissolving in the Vegas sun.
Rolling into the Monte Carlo at 10:30 am turned out to be a smart move. We finagled our way into a 19th floor room with a view of the strip. Tip: get to the hotel early, and don’t hesitate to ask for a upgraded room – if you don’t say anything, you probably won’t get anything other than what you were expecting. They’ve gotta fill all the rooms they can. Worst thing they can do is say no! Anyways. After admiring our view and settling in, we immediately walked around the hotel to get our bearings. I’ve never been to a casino before, and now I can say that my standards are set high. It seems like a never-ending room full of blinking machines and people slinging cards in uncomfortable tuxedos. At all hours of the day, you could find people gambling, although there were certainly different crowds at 3pm and 3am.
First Vegas meal was to Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris Paris. Another tip: if you’re going around a holiday like us, make reservations for dinner ahead of time! Even though July is low season for Vegas, the streets were still stuffed with people, and wait times were horrendous. Luckily I had done a bit of researched and snagged us an outside table at 6:30 pm. My boyfriend and I dove straight into the booze (appropriate) after we had safely hydrated. White wine and IPA, stat!
Sam ordered the Trout Amandine with brown butter and almonds. The one forkful I got was very succulent and savory. I had the Mussels Mariniere, which were soaked in a white wine herb sauce and came with fries. Absolutely to die for. Although, I did have a wardrobe tragedy mid-meal. Whilst picking a delicious morsel from a mussel shell, my fork slipped and I splashed the marinade all over my brand-new dress. I booked it to the bathroom, seltzer water in hand, and scrubbed as hard as I could, although it didn’t do much. Ah, the price of decadence. The best thing about this restaurant, though? Across the street were the Bellagio fountains. Dinner and a show, indeed! The view made up for my dress disaster.
After dinner, I dragged Sam to Walgreen’s to get a bottle of Dawn (a lifesaver for grease stains!) so I could do a little dress damage control. There was no way this number wasn’t seeing a night out in Vegas! Our side trip shortened our first event of the night: Fun on the Fourth at the Stratosphere. We were led up to the pool on the 8th floor, where there was a live band. Things were definitely dwindling down – it was an older crowd than we anticipated – but we made it just in time for the fireworks! Of course, in true unpredictable fashion, it started to pour buckets (for the first time in four months!) two minutes after the show started. Many locals were rejoicing in the storm, as the West has been suffering through a terrible drought. It actually worked perfectly for me as well. My dress was splotched from my stain rubbing, and now I could just blame it on the rain!
Now comes the part I am a bit ashamed of: we then went to Tao Nightclub at The Venetian for…wait for it…Khloe Kardashian’s birthday party. Okay. It’s out there now. I had heard that she was throwing a 30th birthday bash about a week before we left for Vegas. After much cajoling, my ever-so wonderful Samuel nervously agreed to go to the party. How can you not attend an event like that, though? Nothing like this happens in Chicago! Plus, I have a Kardashian vice, and I figured if I was going to give into my vices, Vegas was the place to do it. We arrived to see throngs of people dancing, drinking, and wearing very Kardashian-like outfits. High heels and lip gloss abound. We immediately grabbed a shot and a drink and squeezed onto the dance floor. Of course, Khloe did not show up until about 1am, so we had a couple hours of good ol’ dancing before the madness began. Once she (and her new boyfriend French Montana – I am paining myself with this knowledge) arrived, the crowd pushed in her direction and never really stopped. Phones were flashing as a large cake and Vegas dancers made their way to the Kardashian Korner (I’m so sorry). Sam and I lasted about 30 minutes before we had to get out of there. I had gotten a few decent photos for proof, and had a fresh stiletto heel in my toe, and thus it was time to go.
Next up in the Vegas saga: lazy rivers, Cirque du Soleil, huge frozen drinks, and Club XS. Stay tuned!