Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Fear & Loathing Vegas Bender

So many times I've gone to Vegas with a plan, and it has ended up - inevitably - getting screwed up. Obviously I eventually stopped making Vegas "plans".
But this time around, it was Steve's birthday. So we at least made it our "goal" to stay up all night. Honestly, I didn't really think it was possible.

But it happened.

And here's the story.

We touched down in Vegas just before 3 PM on May 28th. Memorial Day weekend. Now, I love Steve dearly but he picked a bad day to be born. This was my sixth trip to Vegas, and I've never seen it so crowded. Longest wait ever for a cab (okay, still only 5 minutes or so), traffic on the way to the hotel (at least the cabbie drove somewhat aggressively)...I could go on.

There was a dumb screen thing outside our window, but hello suite floor!
After checking in and receiving a pretty suite room upgrade (misspelling/pun intended - I need to be in Vegas on MY birthday someday, seriously!) our first order of business was the liquor store. A six pack of Pacifico, pint bottles of gin and bourbon, and a couple mixers ran me nearly $60, but honestly...we would have spent three times that in drinks otherwise. We stopped back in our room to mix up some walking cocktails and hoofed it to Circus Circus. We had stopped there in 2009 but thankfully this was different - we knew what we were looking for and even though the Carousel Bar only sells snack food nowadays, we chatted up the waitress about Fear & Loathing and it was worth the stop.
Please excuse the slight blurriness - despite numerous takes, this is the only halfway decent picture of that darn Carousel Bar. Which obviously looks nothing like it does in the movie ;)

Fast forward 30 minutes and we're in downtown Vegas - Fremont Street. Steve had never been, so I figured it was a must. I kept my $50 and won an additional $45 playing Blackjack at Binion's, formerly The Mint, where Hunter S. Thompson stayed for part of his Vegas trip back in 1971. We ate at Golden Nugget's Carson Street Cafe - nothing amazing, but the prices were right.

After dinner it was time for a real night out. Our names were on the list at Jet, but a friend of mine also had a table and bottle service at Gold at the Aria. We stopped in at Jet just long enough for me to realize that it wasn't any better than I remembered from my 2008 Vegas trip, and headed over to the Aria to close down Gold.
Mallory and I at Gold
Steve and his pimp beer bucket
 We also apparently creeped out some pour souls when we were trying to get rid of our prepaid alcohol. Seriously, why the hell do they have to open the bottles for you upon delivery? We had like 3 or 4 beers left and with the cost of a beer at one of these clubs, didn't want them to go to waste. That said, do I really look like the type of person who needs to roofie someone? For real? In the end a couple of guys took at least two of the beers, though, so I guess it wasn't a total loss. I think they felt better about the fact that we weren't planning on or trying to hang out with them - we literally just wanted to get rid of the drinks and leave. Geez.

Anyway, at this point we took a cab to the Flamingo - our next Fear & Loathing stop and the only one that actually still exists as per the story.
Proof that we stopped at the Flamingo! Blurry picture tells the tale of how late it was. And how we felt...haha
 One drink there and it was still too early for bed (or maybe too late? it was at least 3 AM at this point), so after chatting with some random couple from Brooklyn we all walked over to Rokhouse at Imperial Palace. At this point I lost track of myself - which will happen when you've been drinking for nearly 12 hours, I suppose. I guess we were there until the club closed, and when we walked outside it was broad daylight! A quick Google search on my part determined that sunrise in Vegas on Sunday, May 29th was 5:26 AM. Yeah.
Holy crap, it's daylight! :D
At this point I knew it was one way or the other - crash for a few hours or not at all - but my hopped up self sincerely believed that we still had to visit at least one more Fear & Loathing haunt, and I chose the Bellagio, nee the Dunes. But first we made a pit stop in the room to fuel up on beer, and on our way back out fell into a random conversation with a group of guys drinking in the Mirage casino.
New friends at the Mirage! ;)
Eventually I was able to drag Steve away, knowing that we needed to eat something soon - but unfortunately, the next hour and a half or so is a pointless blur. It was cold outside - really cold - and after rushing through the Bellagio we stopped at the Paris for breakfast.
Stumbling from the Bellagio to the Paris...where are we? What time is it? WTF?
We were too early for the full champagne brunch (not that we needed to drink anymore), but on top of that I just wasn't impressed with the food. The scrambled eggs were good (light, fluffy, actually fully cooked) but the Eggs Benedict and chocolate croissants were disappointing. We didn't end up eating much, that's for sure, and in the end we made our way back to the room, packed our things, stopped in the casino for a bit more gambling and eventually headed to the airport a good two hours before our flight was supposed to leave. Mainly because there was just nothing else to do.
Doing my best to keep Steve awake - I want to say this was taken around 9:30 AM?
And now here I am, having survived nearly 30 sleepless hours (much of that spent in Las Vegas) and with no clue at all how I did it. Or for that matter, why I did it.

I will say this much though - it's an experience I'm glad I had and I'll surely be talking about for quite some time ;)
10 AM-ish. 25 hours awake at this point. I tip my hat off to...well, I'll keep that to myself. ;)


  1. Sounds like you did the fear and loathing tour right! If I ever go to Vegas I'm hitting you up for tips :)

  2. No problem! I won't pretend to know everything about Vegas but I can at least steer you well for a first trip out there, I think :)

  3. YAYYYY!!! Sounds like a wonderful trip and I'm so so so glad we got to hang out. You and Steve are tons of fun! I have a feeling we have not had our last Vegas adventure together :)

  4. haha that's so funny, i was like...i recognize that girl (mallory)! glad you enjoyed it, HST style.

  5. Sounds like you guys had a wonderful trip!! Haha

    PS - the bag from my blog is a Vera Bradley! :D

  6. @Mal - Thanks again for everything! We had such a blast too and this BETTER not be our last Vegas adventure together :D

    @Stacy - Thank you...we did...though it wasn't really as HST as it could have been...no illegal drugs. haha

    @Jessica - Thanks! That bag is too cute haha.