I was the second of my 10 g-friends to arrive in Sin City this past Friday and enthusiastically greeted at baggage claim by a Devan – vodka tonic in hand. We grabbed my suitcase and headed for the curb.
The first cab line we came to was completely vacant – which we were beyond psyched about because the airport was a zoo. Unfortunately we were informed that it was a handicap only line and we had to follow the masses to the other end where hundreds (I kid you not) of people were standing around looking buzzed/pissed.
We decided right then that the theme of the weekend was going to be “VIP - no lines” and headed back inside in an attempt to cut (because it’s always a good idea to try to aggravate already irate strangers). Devan got tired of dragging her bag and we took up one of the skycap’s offers to help. BEST move ever because he paraded us right back to the handicap area and quickly tucked us into the first cab for only a $10 tip.
Checking into THEhotel was a smooth transaction, despite the fact that Expedia had incorrectly put my room in the regular part of Mandalay Bay. It only took an additional $90 (on top of the $1000 already paid) to get a room 3 doors down from the other.
The rest of the ladies slowly trickled in while we pre-gamed with a bottle of vodka and mixers (bought at a liquor store outside the hotel for way less than the little bottles you could get inside), and by midnight we were actually ready to go out. We headed to the Palms and up to the Fantasy Tower (Moon and Playboy Club). That’s pretty much where my memory ends.
The next morning I dragged a few of the ladies out of bed at 9am to head down to Moorea Beach Club (the 21+, tops optional pool at Mandalay). Not deterred by the $10 cover, 60 degree weather, or fact that we were the ONLY group at the pool, we actually managed to strip down to our b-suit bottoms and get a few hours of color. The $12 pina coladas were a huge help in tolerating the cold.
Later a group of us headed to the Bellagio to see the early showing of “O” (for which we were lucky to get tickets 3 months in advance). I’d been to 4 other Cirque du Soleil shows so I thought I had a good idea of what to expect but I was still blown away. It’s a combination of synchronized swimming, high diving, circus (contortionists, clowns, acrobats), and opera on acid.. and I would pay $168 to see it again in a heartbeat.
After the show we decided to hang around the Bellagio for a bit and grab sushi at Yellowtail (6 people + no reservation = 10 minute wait) and see the seasonal flower exhibit (very cool). We were on our way out, but got sidetracked by promoters offering to have us cut the line and skip the cover at The Bank (club with entrance up escalator from the casino - used to be Light). Since this matched the VIP theme we decided to try it.
The music was fun, the lingerie-clad go-go dancers and free shots they carried were great, but we were kind of stuck in a corner so we decided to bounce - although not before watching some girls get dragged out of a bathroom stall by security for doing drugs (very COPS).
We jumped in line for a cab and a girl fight broke out right behind us. Security wasn’t too concerned about the hair-pulling and name-calling, but then one girl ended up on the hood of a cab and they stepped in. We eventually made it to the Palms and headed in to Rain (not having to pay a cover because we’d received free vouchers the night before). I was pleasantly surprised to find out Paul Oakenfold was the guest DJ for the evening. The vibe in Rain was much like Ibiza (with crazy performance artists – kind of like in Cirque du Soleil). It was only enhanced by the fact that some random Canadian guys invited us to hang at their table and drink for free all night.
Towards the end of the evening Devan and I hopped into a stretch limo (found in the cab line) with two strangers and headed to another club to meet up with one of her guy friends. At 4am the bouncers didn’t want to let us in (since the club was closed and they were kicking everyone else out), but they did after her friend paid them $200. For that money we got about 15 minutes of club time then headed back to our rooms to sleep.
Sunday morning was a little rougher for me than the day before, but I was enticed out of bed to hit up the buffet (and endless champagne) brunch for $25 each. We made it back to Moorea – where there were actually a few other people – for a few hours. At this point I decided it would be a great idea to get a tattoo (under the influence of 4 glasses of champagne, pina coladas, bud light and a shot of tuaca – from a rando guy at the pool).
Conveniently I didn’t even have to leave the hotel to get said tattoo. We went to Starlight Tattoo (just off the casino – like everything else) and I was able to get an appointment in an hour. I didn’t care that I was charged the $150 minimum for a tiny tatt on my foot. I was going to commemorate the trip in ink. I was allowed to bring one friend into the room with me – and everyone else in the lobby watched through the glass wall.
Post tatt, we all started getting ready for dinner at China Grill in Mandalay. Dinner was AMAZING (family style dishes, delicious food, great décor and staff). We did a little gambling (black jack) and stumbled into a club in the middle of the casino when some rando guy insisted on buying us a bottle of grey goose (no arguments). Then we found ourselves in Forty Deuce (club with burlesque dancers and live music). The go-go dancers were very tolerant of us when we decided WE should be onstage dancing instead of/next to them. More free bottles of booze ensued (I consider it our tip) and then I went to sleep.
Monday was rough.. but the hangover was well worth all the good times, crazy pictures, and silly tatt that resulted.