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The Nat Pack: The super fashionable, super mod, super hip family consisting of Nat, Pete, Jakob, Brock, Troy, and Ivy. Like The Rat Pack, only younger, cuter, and not as rich or famous.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What Happens in Vegas...

...stays in Vegas.

That's why I can't tell you anything about our recent trip to Las Vegas.


We didn't do anything crazy, so I can totally tell you about our awesome trip!  It was just me and Pete, and my mom watched our kids, which was wonderful of her.  We left on a Friday night via plane and flew straight from our home town to Vegas, which took only a little over an hour, which is SO awesome. 

We had a shuttle take us to our hotel, and after we got all checked in and found our room, it was about 11 p.m. Mountain time, and we hadn't had dinner.  The awesome thing about Vegas is that there are restaurants in the hotels.  There was a Baja Fresh on the ground floor of our hotel, so we got it to go and ate it in our room.  I got a chicken burrito thing, with mango salsa and avocados on it, and it was to DIE for!  SOOOO yummy.  Mmmm, just thinking about it makes my mouth water.  It was so huge, like the size of my forearm, but I ate the whole thing in, like, 5 minutes.  YUM.

Here's a pic of Pete by our room's door, room 20166.  The 20 part means the 20th floor, and the 1 means the 1st tower.  Each "tower" was actually two towers, because the even-numbered rooms of tower 1 were in a different segment from the odd-numbered rooms.  So really, there are four towers.  Also, where we caught the elevators had one side that went just floors 2-17, and the other side of elevators was for floors 18-28.
Now, I've been to Vegas before, but it was a really long time ago.  I had forgotten how BIG everything is.  Oh, and they gave us a little (deceitful) map of the Strip, so it looks not very big, but in all actuality, it's so super huge and spread out.

We found that out the hard way the next morning, as we went in search for our breakfast.  We found a Denny's (which there's at least five along the Strip), which was just across the street.  But to get across the street, you have to go through the casino/maze on the ground floor of the hotel, down some steps, up an outside escalator, across a bridge thing, and then back down and over.  We could see it from the other side, but it took us, like 15 minutes to walk there.

While there I had a yummy drink, of orange juice, peach juice, and Sprite all mixed together.  At first it tasted like Gummy Worms.  That's my best Gummy Worm impression that my finger can make.  After I stirred it up a bit, though, it was really good.

So, because we're idiots, we decided to walk from our hotel (Excalibur) (well, actually, from Denny's on up), which is on the southwest side of the Strip, and go pick up our Phantom of the Opera tickets in the Venetian, which is northeast.  Again, the little map was all deceitful and was like, "Look how close it is!  That's not bad!  Just walk the strip!  YAY!"  Stinking map.  By the time we got there, I was a little tired, but it wasn't too bad.  And it had warmed up outside, so it was nice.  However, we decided, after getting our tickets, to walk back, down the other side.

One word: stupid.

Going up the strip on the east side wasn't all that bad.  It was actually a pretty straight shot.  Going down the strip on the west side, however, was entirely different.  On the west side, you still have the escalators and all that, but it's like, jig in, go up, go across, go down, jig out, walk down a little, jig in again....yeah.  Like a big ol' zig zag.  About halfway down my knee started feeling weird.  And I felt all wimpy, because hi, we were just walking, right?  It just felt like it needed to pop or something, but it wouldn't.  So that was fun.

We stopped and got our picture in front of the Bellagio fountain.  Which of course wasn't going off at the time, and I have no idea what its schedule is.  I was under the impression that it goes all the time, but guess not.  It was still pretty, though.  And notice the short sleeves and sunglasses.  Ah, to have warm weather...

We went back to the hotel to rest, and by that time my knee was killing me, as well as my feet.  Good times.  While Pete slept, I watched a couple of awesome TV shows.  One was called "The Stranger", about this guy that started hanging out with a family, and he was all nice and calm, but it turns out he was on America's Most Wanted, and he had killed his wife and set her on fire.  Nice, huh?  The other show was called "A Twist of Fate", where these two girls who totally look alike went to the same college and worked together, and got in an car accident.  One was killed, and the other was in critical condition, but they got the identities mixed up, so the girl in critical condition belonged to the family that thought their daughter had died.  Eventually they figured it out, but weird, right?

We got all dressed up, and after managing to pull ourselves away from the TV (read that last phrase sarcastically, okay?), we had a late lunch at Rainforest Cafe, which Pete pointed out tastes a lot like Chilis.  And because we like Chilis, that was a good thing.  Luckily, Rainforest Cafe was in MGM Grand, so we only had to go through our hotel maze, up and down and around across the street, and then into MGM Grand's

Here's Pete all pimped out.  We didn't pack his dress shoes, though, so he wore his tennis shoes.

After that, though, we caught the monorail thing up to Venetian.  The monorail thing is kind of behind the east side hotels, and starts at MGM Grand.  And the Deceitful Map was all, "Look!  There's a stop at Harrah's, which is totally right next door to Venetian!  No more walking for you!  YAY!"  So we got off at Harrah's, but then we had to go through that hotel's maze, and out to the road, and then there were five million shops between Harrah's and Venetian, and then into the Venetian, and through its casino/maze, until we finally reached the theatre.

Oh, and I was doing all this walking in heels.  So not only did my knee hurt, and my feet hurt, my ankles also hurt.  Good times.

However.  Phantom of the Opera.  PHANTOM OF THE OPERA!!!!  That was the whole reason we wanted to go down to Vegas, because the Venetian has a permanent Phantom stage.  I bought tickets beforehand, and we sat on the VERY front row.  I wanted to get a picture of me in front of the orchestra pit, which was about four feet in front of our seats, but there was a worker there that was a Camera Nazi.  I got down in front of the pit, and she came over and was all, "NO CAMERAS!!!"  I was like, I just want a picture of how close we are.  And she's all, "NO CAMERAS!!!!"  So, I didn't get a shot of us in there.

Since I don't have a picture of how close we were, let me describe how close we were.  We were so close, we could see their mics on their foreheads (it was a little peach bump).  We were so close, we could hear Christine's dress rustle as she walked around.  We were so close, we had to look behind us to see the chandelier fall.  We were so close, that we could feel the heat from the flames that came up on stage.  We were so close, that when the singers turned from singing to the back of the stage to the front again, we could hear their actual voice (instead of just hearing it through the mic).  We were so close, we could hear the conversations of the orchestra members prior to the show starting.  We were so close we could see their eyeliner lines.

Did I mention that we were close?  The tickets were a little pricey, but TOTALLY worth it.

Afterwards, we walked (well, Pete walked, I hobbled) to the Cheesecake Factory.  I had a super yummy salad, and we got cheesecake to go.  We totally grabbed a taxi on the way back to our hotel, which was worth every penny (and really, it wasn't super expensive).  Note to self: next time I go to Vegas, I'm taking a cab everywhere I go, even if Deceitful Map tells me it's not very far.  My cheesecake was so good, but I could only eat about 2/3 of it because it was so rich.  That made me really, really sad.

While we were there, I made Pete gamble a dollar.  That's right-one smackaroo.  He went up 50 cents, then lost it all.  NO!  Not our dollar!

So Sunday morning, we totally got sucked in to going to a time share pitch.  In exchange for our time (a couple of hours) on Sunday morning, we got a free lunch and a free ticket to the Tournament of Kings, which is the dinner show that Excalibur puts on.  We took a shuttle out to "the future of the Strip", which is further south.  And the condos were nice, but SO overpriced it wasn't even funny. 

What was funny, though, was the saleslady.  We were all, sorry, it's too expensive.  And she's like, well, let me check and see what they have going on right now.  And she'd come back with this SUPER AMAZING DEAL that must be a typo and we can't pass it up!  We said no about 4 times, and she got the message after slashing the price to about a third of the original price.  We went downstairs, and went into another room, where we met with a guy, and he was all, "I can offer you this same deal for half the price."  We were like, dude, no, and where is our free stuff?

We finally got back to our hotel via shuttle.  I guess if you signed to buy a condo timeshare, you got to ride back in a limo.  So we started joking with all the other people on the shuttle that it was the Loser Bus because we didn't get timeshares.  But in all actuality, we were the Smart Bus, and I don't mean that as a joke.

Was it worth it?  Hard to say.  Because we got a ton of stuff out of going to the presentation, but we wasted a good three hours there.  Would I ever go to a timeshare presentation again?  Probably not.  But if you're into getting free stuff, and are great at saying "no" about 50 times, then you should totally do it.

We ate our FREE buffet lunch, which was like glorified cafeteria food, then hung out at our hotel room again.  And this time I slept and Pete watched who-knows-what on TV.  Then we went to the Tournament of Kings.

If you don't know what it is, it's a show about King Arthur and the different kings from different countries.  You eat your meal (chicken, potatoes, roll, broccoli) with your hands, and watch as the kings fight each other.  We sat in the France section.  It's so fun.  You get to yell and cheer for your guy, and boo at the bad guy.  They joust and sword fight in the arena right in front of you.  I had gone to this before when I was in high school, but Pete had never been.  I couldn't believe how well-trained the horses are.  And the guys are SO good at their stunts!  So, so fun and entertaining.  I'm sure my boys would have loved to see it.

Afterwards, we decided to walk again (you'd think we had learned our lesson, but NO), mostly to find souvenirs for the kids.  But it really wasn't very far this time, and I wasn't in heels, and my knee was feeling better.  We went to the Coke store.  I had my camera out, and a lady in there was all "I'll take your picture with the Coke bear!"  But I thought she was yelling at me like the Camera Nazi had the night before.  So I was all, "I'm putting it away right now-sorry!"  But then I heard her the right way.  The bear kept taking Pete's hat off.  I loved the Coke store.  But I love Coke, so, you know.

After that, we had to go back to our hotel room to sleep.  We're boring and old that way.  We had to get up to catch our shuttle and flight the next morning anyway.

Here we are in front of our hotel.
And...that's it.  It was a fun, albeit short, trip.  But it was nice to get away, just me and Pete.  I don't know when I'll be heading back to Vegas, but when I do, I'm getting taxis everywhere I go.  And I'd see Phantom again.  And eat my yummy cheesecake before my yummy salad.  And not listen to Deceitful Map.


Mindy H. said...

How fun! I did the Vegas thing with friends a couple of years ago, and it was a blast. Thanks for sharing your adventures!

Karlenn said...

Now I know to just do the taxi cab thing in Vegas. If I ever, ever get to take a trip anywhere... Sigh. You look so cute in all of those pictures! I really like your hair that length. And that first pic of Pete all "pimped out," he totally looks like he's wearing a grey apron. Like the one you-know-who wears on the movie in the you-know-what. "It's a symbol of my power and...." Anyways.

Rachel said...

How fun to go on a little trip just the two of you. I went to one of those time share things before- talk about high pressure sales. WE got a $100 gift card to somewhere. I was so annoyed when I left that place, they made us feel like we were horrible parents because we weren't buying this amazing timeshare for our children. I guess it was worth it for the gift card, but I could see how easy some people could end of buying something they can't afford because of those people. The last time I went to Vegas I also loved the Coke factory, I also loved the M & M factory. Glad you had fun!