So, not knowing what I wanted to do with my January trip due to being a little low on cash and time off work Megan and I decided Vegas would be the perfect weekend escape. For a very very low fee we got two round trip tickets plus three nights at the MGM Grand and two free tickets to a Vegas show. Without the ability to possibly say no, away we went!
We arrived pretty late on Friday night, eleven or so, after a very quick and relaxing flight. There was a nice girl in the seat next to us that was fun to talk to and having this not being her first trip to sin city got us even more excited than we already were. We grabbed a shuttle bus from the airport to the hotel and checked in at the front desk. Our room was quite welcoming with glass doors on the shower and toilet and even had a TV screen in the mirror! The room also featured a king sized bed which we later learned has so much space you literally lose the other person in the middle of the night. With much ambition to begin our adventure we quickly dropped our luggage and headed down to the casino in the MGM Grand!
Upon first entering the casino area we were pretty much overwhelmed. The lights and the noise and all the drunk scantly clad people wandering around kinda made our heads spin. So we went to the ironically circular bar and meandered 360 degrees around it trying to find a place to sit. Eventually a couple got up and we sat down and each had a $12 drink and blew a little cash on some video blackjack. After we finished out drinks and were surprised by the bartenders suddenly jumping up onto the bar and dancing for one song (Vegas! … ?) We decided to find something to eat.
About a block and a half was as far as we had to walk before finding “La Salsa” which turned out to be an awesome Mexican place. When we came in the dance floor was packed with hispanic folks dancing to hispanic pop music, and also an old white guy “dancing”. We sat down and ordered some tacos or something, a few shots of tequila and two giant margaritas, they were ridiculously sugary and gave us both small stomach aches haha.
After that we were pleased to be reminded that we could take our beverages with us, so we grabbed our giant margaritas and went to wonder around. After being way too overwhelmed, and not knowing what exactly to do, we got a cab to the one place people insisted we check out: Sapphire. Sapphire is the largest gentleman’s club in the world :)
Naturally, we were at the club for several hours and were shocked to learn that beers were $12 a piece, they gave out free cigarettes and candy in the bathrooms, and there were over 250 girls there. Wowza. From there we went back to our wonderful hotel and crashed out from a very well deserved long nights sleep.
The next day we got up pretty late and slowly got ready trying to decide what to do next. We knew we needed to reserve our free show for the evening and knew we needed to get something to eat. So, we wandered around and somehow resisted the mexican place ;) We decided to be super touristy and see what the hard rock cafe was all about instead. The food was fine, the beers weren’t too expensive, our server was nice and there was some interesting things on the wall. I don’t recommend it, but it wasn’t a bad decision for us. After that we were still a little overwhelmed and walked around checking out all the celebrity impersonators and then saw the ROLLERCOASTER at New York, New York. Naturally we went right there and it was super awesome! Kinda bumpy, but so totally awesome. We went to the hotel Aria after that and picked up our tickets for our free show. Unfortunately, the two Cirque Du Soleil shows we wanted to go to were all full, but we got tickets for the Elvis one and got excited about it really fast! Then we went to the Excalibur and got a beer and wandered around looking for a possible swimming pool to sneak into later.
Then went over to the Tropicana to look around as well, since Megan had hung out there years and years ago. Finally we were getting a little hungry again and noticed that Hooters has their own hotel/casino so we naturally headed there for some hot wings! The place was great! Cheap beers and finally, after all my searching, we found the STAR WARS PENNY SLOT. I used to play this and pretty much only this when we went to Deadwood back in college and was delightfully pleased when we found it. Megan was a natural from the beginning and loooved it! Then we went back to the hotel for a breather before the show :)
After a short rest we got all dressed up and left for the show!
The show was super fun! We brought in a little booze and had really good seats! There was tons of singing and dancing and Cirque Du Soleil-ing. After the show we went back home and changed into some street clothes and went to a bar called The Double Down that we heard so much about. It was a crazy cool place. Super dive-y with some crappy punk band playing and a sticky floor. After not being there for long we met a nice couple (alcohol keeps reminding me I don’t remember their names) who won a bunch of money on Keno and bought us a ton of drinks there and at the gay bar next door. After a few awesomely fun games of pool we went back to the hotel for another well deserved night of sleep.
The next morning we just went wandering again. After a long time trying to decide where we wanted to eat we settled on an Irish bar at the New York, New York to watch the Packers game. We had a mediocre burger and a couple Boddingtons and watched the Packers win a pretty fun game. Then we went back to our hotel because we wanted to get tickets for a show called “Crazy Horse” that was showing in our hotel but were referred to a cheap ticket stand out front that referred us to a different show called “Fantasy” at The Luxor. After getting our ticket from the stand we went back to the hotel to check out the Lion cage in the hotel! They were cleaning the cage every other time we went, and naturally if there’s Lions in your hotel you’re going to want to see them.
From there we went back to the room and watched some bad tv, ate some good room service and took a short nap. When we got our things back together we went to the Luxor and played some Star Wars Penny slots after talking to a really rad guy at the little beer store in the lobby. I lost $40 at the penny slot I took off for the black jack table and won it back :)
Then was Fantasy! It was soooo good! The host lady looked and acted like a mix of Shakira and Christina Aguilera and was very entertaining. Otherwise it was a burlesque show with a really funny comedian in between acts. Very enjoyable. After that I went back to the black jack table and won a ton! It was great! I pretty much payed for our 3 night hotel stay :) Next we went to another not nearly as awesome as Sapphire gentleman’s club, then it was back to the hotel for some more black jack winnings and then bed.
We got home at around 7am after all of that and check out was at 11am (whoops) So we ended up not leaving the hotel til around 3pm hahaha then we just did one last round of wandering around including another wonderful meal at the mexican restaurant. We ended up at The Bellagio where we did just a tad bit more gambling and then at around 8 or so, it was back to the airport :(
All together I’d have to say this was one of the best trips I’ve EVER taken. Thanks so much to Megan for putting up with me and being game for all the stuff we did :) I can’t wait to go back sometime in the future!
Kyle and Megan <3 Vegas
So, I totally sucked at updating this at all, and for that I appoligize. This year I will do better, I internet promise you.
As you can see I have a new travel itinerary up and intend on kicking it’s ass in 2011.
Sorry again for no posts on the rest of my travels. I did go to ATL and it was really super super fun. Maybe my favorite city I’ve been to! Also went to san fransico the next month and had a blast! other than that I also went to denver in september for the great american beerfest which was amazing as always, and disney world and daytona beach in november. December I took a nice weekend trip up to port townsend, which is a small port town north west of seattle.
For the first trip of ‘11 I’m heading to Vegas for a weekend with my girlfriend Megan. We getting tickets this weekend for 3 nights on the strip and are leaving in two and a half weeks. I’m verry excited
For my next adventure I decided to finally go see my super great best friend for life Vanessa in Phoenix (or Tempe or Mesa, whatever) Arizona. And it just so happened the weekend I had off for work/planned on going down was her birthday! What a better time? And plus, Arizona’s not a dead man’s dried out flaky bones hot in February :)
I got there on Wednesday the 3rd in the afternoon and the weather was perfect. Overcast and about 65 degrees. After Vanessa picked me up and we dropped my things of at her place we went to Papago Brewing in Scottsdale. It was a really homey bar/brewery in a strip mall.
I really liked the place because they had a great local beer tap list and even a walk in fridge with beers from all over you could choose from to drink as well. I had Papago’s Robust Porter, Coffee Stout, Coconut Stout and Trippel. I also had a Cinnamon beer from a place called Thunder Canyon in Tuscon that was really good, and an amazing turkey sandwich called The Gobbler as well. I highly recommend the place if you’re in the area. After that we went out and walked around Mill Ave at played some pool, which was a ton of fun. Then we hit up a bar that had a punk kid playing requested songs on the piano and danced the evening away. It was awesome. Then we caught the light rail and went home to get some sleep.
The next day, Vanessa had to work early so I was left to fend for myself. I took my time getting up and eventually made my way over to Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe. It was in a building that used to be an old creamery, it was really pretty. I tried e-mailing this brewery a week or two in advance to see if I could set up some sort of a look around, but never got a response so I asked the bar tender to check for me. They didn’t ever show me around but I got a sampler of their beers and they were all great! Especially their scottish ale ‘Kilt Lifter’. Now, I’m not normally a fan of most scottish ales (well the way most people make them anyways) but this was a fantastic beer. Here’s what I wrote about it at the time: “dark copper, white good head, sweat grainy nose low-medium to medium body, low carb slight smoke/woody fruity taste decently dry finish, great lingering sweat smoke wood” Boy, it was tasty. I also met some cool guys at the bar. One recently moved to PDX and one from Port Townsand, so that was cool.
Vanessa met me at the brewery and we hopped into her car and took off to a place called south mountain. Initial intention was to find the trashiest, most authenticly side of the road, bad-ass mexican place on the way but we ended up accidently heading the wrong way and found a place called “Payas Del Novillero”? I think? In South Phoenix and the first words the waitress said when we walked in was “No Espanol??” hahaha, no one in the place spoke english. We got food and the salsa they had was to die for…uuugghhh so good. And when I asked for a beer I got denied because the Washington ID looked fake, I think she said. We then made it to south mountain and got a greeeat view of the city right after dusk. After that we went back to Vanessa’s and I drank more Kilt Lifter and watched a movie called The Go-Getter. It was awesome.
The next day Vanessa had an even busier work/school day so I was again on my own. I didn’t get up til super late and took my time getting to the light rail to downtown phoenix. Let me tell you, downtown Phoenix might be the lamest downtown in America. All I could find is 3 terrible bars and a few bad little restaurants. The rest was nothing but convention centers and arenas. Lame. So, I got a slice of pizza at some little pizza place (with about a gallon of water, it’s so hot and dry!) and then met Vanessa at the Arizona Science Center!
We got to the science center about 2 1/2 hours before they closed so we had to hustle through it, but it was awesome! We laid on a bed of nails, built a damn, DJed, made animated cartoons of ourselves and watched the most bitchin’ iron magnet musical dancing thing.
After that it was Vanessa’s birthday night so we bought awesome science center shirts, ripped the sleeves off and went out to Mill Street with a few of her friends to party it up! It was really fun and included lots of drinks and dancing and even me getting kicked out of a tough jock guy bar for wearing a sleeveless shirt hahaha. After some drunk french fries (well the fries weren’t drunk, we were) at Fat Burger we caught the light rail back to Mesa. Upon getting there we went the complete wrong way back to her house and ended up waiting for an hour for a cab to take us home were we slept like drunk babies.
The next day we slept way in and I was really excited for it to be Vanessa’s birthday and was super crazy about finding something way awesome to do, but she was just excited we were hanging out and was down for whatever. So, we got on the internet to find out what was going on and (obviously) narrowed it down to the Renaissance Fair or Chocolate Festival. With a little bit, but not much, of my inner nerd pushing us in the correct direction we went off to the Renaissance Fair!
The Fair was absolutely amazing. It was on 30 acres of land out in the middle of the desert and even after walking around it for 3 hours, I’m pretty sure we didn’t see it all! There was jugglers, belly dancers, fire eaters, giant turkey legs, mead, cider, JOUSTING, street performers, games, booths, everything!
It was an absolute blast! After that we were kinda worn out and took a little nap and then watched some movies and went to bed.
The last day (sad) was very lazy and nice. We ate delicious homemade strata and then went to A-Mountain and hiked up and checked out the view of the area. It was gorgeous.
Then we went back down to Mill Ave and got some chicken wings and beer. Unfortunately, it was then time for me to head to the airport (sad) we took the scenic route there which took a little longer and talked about the adventures we had.
All together it was an absolutely wonderful time and I can’t wait to show Vanessa around Seattle soon
3PO! @ Arizona Science Center
For my first journey, I spent New Year’s Eve in the great city of Portland. I rode down there with a new friend on 12.31.09 and got into town fairly late. We first stopped at Deschutes (link) obviously, and had a Weizenbock an AMAZING glass of The Abyss. I must say, I’ve had my share of The Abyss, but on tap it was just so much smoother and overall wonderful. After that, we went and met some great friends at the Ace Hotel in downtown for a champagne filled room of awesomely fun people. I knew only a few of them but had a great time regardless. My wonderful neighbors Anna and Noel were there keeping things happy and awesome. After a gin and tonic and some fun conversation and shared dance moves a few of us then moved out to a friend of a friend’s house. When we got there, there was a ton of familiar faces and ever more new ones. With plentiful amounts of beer, wine, champagne, liquor and snacks we all killed the night away with drinking, laughter and music.
Midnight struck and cheap champagne bottles were popped, kisses were exchanged and outrageous dancers hit the floor hard. With the ridiculous amount of alcohol that was consumed by all, it got fairly fuzzy after about 12:20 am. I was told that the evening went sour and remember most of a completely unnecessary one sided screaming match pulsating at my face from my ride to Portland. Unfortunately, it ended in me getting stuck in Portland without a way home.
The next morning, a great breakfast was had with great friends and I struggled to find a ride home. Finally, as a last ditch effort I got a train ticket back to Seattle that night because I needed to work the next morning. So, my friend Eddy and I hit the bar by his place to drink some cheap beers (hangover cure?) and watch the Rose Bowl. Oregon got crushed and we got a little tossed, but I needed to get to the train station.
Upon entering the public transit train to get to the train to Seattle, I realized I had absolutely no idea where I was going or when to get off. This realization was proven when I apparently missed an obvious stop at the train station and found myself somewhere on the far north side (I think?) of Portland. Whooops. Luckily, I found someone to switch me at work and eventually got a new train ticket for the morning. The only downside (or upside?) is that I had to pay $20 extra to sit in business class because the rest of the train was full. That night was spent with some great Portland friends, beers and laser disk movies. Nicely done I’d say!
The next day I made it to my train on time and it was a rather unpleasant trip. But I made it back to Seattle and even made it to my switched shift right on time.
So thank you Portland! Especially Anna, Noel, Toby and all your wonderful friends. Despite a few hang ups, all was awesome.