Last week my girlfriend Paige and I took advantage of the Memorial Day Weekend and stretched it into a little vacation down in my favorite spot, Las Vegas. After pretty much every delay you could think of, we checked into our hotel room at the Flamingo at about 11 p.m. Sunday night and departed Wednesday afternoon. Throughout our short trip we had a fabulous time scoping out the city and enjoying some time “away from it all.” As I usually do with my trip recaps, I am going to pinpoint the five things I will truly remember about my most recent time in Sin City and then follow it up with some odds and ends.
Paige’s First Time: Though she technically spent a few hours there about ten years ago, Paige had never really experienced Las Vegas before, at least not Las Vegas in its current state. I relished the chance of taking her around and showing her the one-of-a-kind city. Although we didn’t get to nearly all I wanted to show her (how could you though?) I think I gave her a pretty good representation of what the city is all about. I took her to the luxurious hotels, the dirtiest dives, the Freemont Experience, the even further off downtown district, and everything in between. She got to gamble, she got to club, she got to sunbathe, and she even got to ride public transportation…not too bad!
Pool/Weather: In every summertime Vegas recap post I will always mention the pool just because it is always such a highlight. This time around it was definitely no exception. All three mornings we were there, Paige and I were at the Flamingo poolside at 8 a.m. soaking in the sun rays and loving life. After spending time lounging in the chairs we would get in the water and explore around the huge pool complex. We had such a great time waddling around and meeting new people that it was hard to get on with the day. But while we couldn’t take the pool with us as we ventured onto the Vegas strip, we could definitely take the weather. The temperature averaged 90 degrees each day we were there and it felt wonderful! Although I probably could have taken about five more degrees of warmth I couldn’t complain much considering back in Missoula it was rainy, cold, and gray.
Amazing Dining Experience: While in Vegas I wanted to make sure to take Paige out to a nice, five star restaurant. After doing some research, I ended up taking the advice of a guy I work with and on Monday night Paige and I had 8 p.m. reservations at Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico Steakhouse inside the Venetian. Wow. That’s all I have to say about that meal. First off, the service was impeccable. They use a team of about five different servers to wait on your table. This was the type of restaurant where they pull the chair out for you to sit down and then place the napkin on your lap. This was the type of restaurant where once you take a sip out of your water glass someone comes behind you and refills it. This was the type of restaurant where the wait staff is truly at your service.
Oh, and the food? I had never had a better steak in my life. Paige and I both got the filet mignon and it was absolutely heavenly. I took one bite and the way it melted in my mouth and engulfed my senses with the best steak flavor I had ever tasted made me know that I was getting every cent worth of what I was paying. We got a potato chip appetizer drenched in oils that tasted fantastic and I got a twice baked potato and Paige got the potatoes au gratin. We shared as both sides were served in huge portions and just like everything else, tasted just splendidly. When we had concluded the meal and the wait staff came and cleared off all the dishes and excess silverware around us, we knew we had shared a special meal.
Club Crawl!: The last night we were in town, Paige and I experienced a little bit of Vegas nightlife. The day prior I had bought “Club Crawl” passes from one of those promoters on the street. I talked him down to giving both Paige and I passes for $100 total. I showed him the cash and he bit. Just like that, we had a night all planned out where we would go to five different places.
The night of the crawl we showed up at the meeting point, Blondies. With about 50 other people on the tour with us, we knew things might get a little crazy. We went from Blondies to D.B.’s Pong and Pool to PBR Rock Bar to KOI to Pure. We had a good time going through the rotation and definitely came out with a couple stories. Paige was awesome and met a bunch of new girlfriends who we hung out with the whole night including a couple of Australians. I definitely liked the last club the best…Pure in Caesar’s Palace. It was cool just to go inside a big name club like that and Paige and I had a blast dancing the night away. To go to five different places, not wait in line, and get free drinks it was definitely worth the $100.
Meeting New People: Of course I would be totally remiss if I didn’t take time to mention the incredible people we met in Las Vegas! Luckily I was with Paige who can strike up a conversation with anyone so I guess it was only natural that we would leave Vegas with new friends.
We met a fabulous group from Iowa down at the pool who we spent time with all three days we were there….Carissa: Paige and I will always remember how fun you were and how you could look so different with your hair up and your hair down. Great times at the pool and at Stage Door. / We met two of the nicest and prettiest girls from Canada you will ever meet who we talked to each day at the pool….Chelsea and Katherine: You two were so nice, down to earth, and genuine. Thanks for talking to us! Keep hash tagging like crazy! / We met the craziest party girl from Georgia…Josie: You were nuts and absolutely crazy. / Thanks to Paige we met five girls on the club crawl who we hung out with most of the time…Tara, Jordan (and I forget your other names): Thanks for making the club crawl so much fun and hanging out with us in between KOI and Pure. / We met a great group of people at the tables at El Cortez in downtown Vegas where Paige gambled for the first time…To All of You: Thanks for being so chill and low key. Even though we lost all of our money it was a lot of fun!
– It was almost like we were in Montana. While in Vegas we visited two country western style bars…Gilly’s in Treasure Island and PBR Rock Bar in Planet Hollywood. Both places had mechanical bulls, country music, and a Montana feel!
– I slept three hours the entire trip with all three of those hours coming the third night.
– On Monday during the afternoon, Paige and I wore Montana trucker hats up and down the strip, causing a few people to stop and ask us about them.
– When we went downtown on Monday night there was some type of punk rock convention going on that definitely made for very interesting people watching.
– The Flamingo pool had happy hour morning specials…although it didn’t include the $25 drink that Paige bought.
– Got to hang out with a couple of Montana friends the first night we were there (Melissa and Cleo) who happened to be in Vegas for a bachelorette party.
– Paige loved the Venetian. She got to look at some great art, visit an awesome candy store, listen to a little bit of a concert that was going on, and watch the boats in the Venice replica canal.
– After this past experience, I will make sure to always fly direct in and out of Vegas.
– We ate like rock stars. Besides our nice meal at Delmonico and a decent meal at a Mexican place called Cabo Wabo, we managed to scarf down hot dogs, cheesesteaks, chili dogs, fries, pizza, and stromboli.
– We had an amazing view of the strip from our room.
What a great time Paige and I had down in Las Vegas. It always takes some adjusting when you come back from down there, especially when the weather is so depressing here in Montana. Oh well, summer is just beginning and pretty soon the temperature will rise. Until then, Paige and I will hang onto some of that sunshine we bottled up in Vegas and look back fondly on the time we spent together. Don’t Blink.