What Actually Happened in Vegas Sunday, Mar 29 2009 

The inspiration for this entry comes from a quote that Lisa said at dinner last night:

“He swung at Grant and Grant punched him three times in the face and Grant and Alexa ran and hid and you went to to the IP and Beth and I were dancing with Mormons!”

Vegas.  In a nutshell.  That sums up that night so well.

That night was so crazy, we hadn’t really figured out exactly what went down until last night.  Alexa and Grant, who live in DC, flew up to Boston for the Duke game, so we grabbed dinner at Not Your Average Joe’s.  This was the first time that the five of us had hung out together since the Vegas trip.

Here’s what happened that night:

We went to XS, the brand-new nightclub at the Encore (we were there for its second weekend open!).  I think I’d go so far to say that it’s my favorite club in Vegas.  Just gorgeous.

Here are the five of us after quite a bit of dancing:

Here’s the video of us (which NEVER gets old!):

And now, the trouble:

There was a weird guy at the club who wanted to get with one of us — we weren’t really sure which one.  He tried to move in on us and Grant told him to back off.

That’s the guy on the left.

After that, the guy did the weirdest thing.  He stepped back, and from about 10 feet away, just STARED at the back of Grant’s head with an intense expression in his eyes.  He didn’t move for at least 30 seconds.

I started to freak out.

And then, apparently after I left the club and Lisa and Beth were dancing with Mormons (who weren’t drinking and made comments about a “hotbed of sin”), the guy took a swing at Grant.

He missed.

Grant punched him three times in the face.

Security kicked the other guy out!!!  They must have seen the first attempted punch.

And THAT is how you end a night in Vegas.  Well, I kid, I kid.  That’s way too early for a night to end in Vegas.  We ended up staying up all night before jumping on a 7:30 AM flight back to Boston.

Vegas: Debauchery is a Mild Word Sunday, Jan 25 2009 

Vegas was absolutely amazing.  This trip totally blew the last trip out of the water.

I could go on for days, but at least a few things need to stay in Vegas.

The highlights:

  • Four hours of sleep a night, supplemented by far too much Red Bull.

  • Meeting people you become best friends with for a few hours, then tastefully ignoring them when you run into them the next day.

  • Never paying cover.  EVER.  Never waiting in line.  EVER.

  • Comped dinner and subsequent partying at Tao.  Love my Tao guy!

  • Eating things you’d never eat at home, like fish with a head on it and sweetbreads.

  • Getting dressed up in designer dresses, black sparkly eyeshadow and fake eyelashes and not being overdressed.

  • Meeting characters at buffets.

  • Hanging out in the casino until 5:30 AM, not even gambling, your fake eyelashes now a moustache.

  • Molesting the statues at Madame Tussaud’s.  (Then, karma: getting molested on stage by the Chippendales in front of everyone.)

  • Also: here’s the one thing in Vegas to NEVER, EVER do.  DO NOT GO INTO THE HAUNTED HOUSE AT MADAME TUSSAUD’S.  PEOPLE JUMP OUT AT YOU AND IT’S SO SCARY.  Lisa was in the fetal position afterward.  Beth and I were in similar states.

  • Getting pulled into VIP booths at Tryst all night.

  • Drinking giant drinks just because you can.

  • FINALLY trying In-N-Out Burger!!!

  • The odd celebrity sighting; also, magnificent chi-chis.  Ice-T and Coco!!!!!!!

  • Getting to spend time with your best friends from high school: The Brood.

  • Never going to bed your last night there.

  • Making friends with bachelor parties.

  • The best part: here’s what we did on Saturday night.  After Chippendales and primping, we headed over to the Bank nightclub at the Bellagio.  We walk past a line of people who have been waiting for hours and walk right in, no cover or anything.  We hang out at the club for 20 minutes, decide it’s lame, then decide to head to Pure at Caesars Palace.  Again, we walk past a line of people who have been waiting for hours; again, we walk right in, no cover.  Later, our host feeds us shots at the bar.  The day before, we do the same thing with an all-you-can-drink party for ladies at Jet, then we head to Tryst.

And so much more that I can’t publicize.

We’re going back in June.  😀

Top 25 Photos of 2008 Saturday, Jan 3 2009 

Here are the 25 best, weirdest and funniest photos of 2008 — the ones that I think best represent the year.  God, this has been a cruisazy year.  Enjoy!

Arrival in Albuquerque, New Mexico!

I had a really difficult winter, mostly due to a rocky relationship, a bad breakup and being unable to shake a cold for two months.  My mom invited me to come to New Mexico with her and it was EXACTLY what I needed.  It was a time to heal.

I loved the color of this car.

Callie and I attempt to smile with our eyes, Tyra Banks-style, while at Ned Devine’s.

Lisa and I celebrate our Irish heritage in the form of Guinness, Jameson and Bailey’s on St. Paddy’s Day.

I quit my job of nearly two years!!  Here I am on my last day with my wonderful friends Jackie, Nadine, Esther and Michelle.

The weekend before I start my new job, I meet Josh.

This is the start of a crazy friendship and the first of our many, many adventures.

While out in Faneuil Hall, I befriend a bachelor party and end up jumping on their bus with them, partying till dawn.

In Las Vegas at Madame Tussaud’s, Lisa, Alexa and I give Hef a good time!

I then get stuck inside Frank Sinatra.

Ever sat in a guy in a wheelchair’s lap as he spins you around on the dance floor?  I now have.  This was also at Tryst.

This is probably my favorite picture of the year.  It’s definitely the funniest.  This is me and Lisa in Vegas at 7:00 AM after leaving Drai’s and walking back to TI while high-fiving random onlookers and yelling, “Vegas!” then going to play Blackjack for a few more hours.  This is around the time Lisa lay in the alley next to the IP.

Yeah…no explanation needed.

I spoon Beth (under the tarp) on the Esplanade in Boston on the Fourth of July.  It rained for part of the day.

Beth tries to help me discreetly change from shorts into pants on the Esplanade as Janelle looks on.  Yeah, we kind of failed at the “discreet” part.

If you’re napping, you might as well keep up the patriotism and the pimpin’.

This picture is so embarrassing.  I was convinced my hand was on his left outer thigh, NOT HIS RIGHT INNER THIGH.  I nearly died when I saw this — and Lisa, Beth and Janelle nearly died of laughter.  We met this guy at the Blackthorne in Southie and he went to our high school 15 years before us.

I reunite with my wonderful college roommate Kelly Anne at our friends Sean and Shannon‘s barbecue at their beautiful new house in Bridgeport.  (Sean and Shannon have since gotten engaged, which excites me to no end!)

The night before our shared birthday, I run into Hans at Mantra in Boston.  We’re smiling pretty big despite our disastrous weekend a week before.

Me and my lubly Sars on my birthday at 28 Degrees.

Me and my wonderful friends on my birthday.  These are some of the people most important to me: Kara, Carissa, Surina, Sars, Josh, Callie, Lisa and Beth.

I attend Barack Obama’s September rally in Manchester, New Hampshire — what an amazing experience!

I needed a popular, smart, topical and preferably political, yet not overdone (aka Sarah Palin), Halloween costume this year.  I fretted that I wouldn’t be able to find a good one — and then the PERFECT character swept into the news and into my life.  Ashley Todd.  One of my best costumes.

My first night in Buenos Aires and I’m getting licked!  Maxi unsuspectingly gets me when I was expecting a normal, smiling picture.  That’s a genuine expression of shock on my face.

Poor Louis…in Buenos Aires, food poisoning and parilla do not mix.

Carissa and I get borderline violent at Shabu Shabu Kaze in Chinatown.

Beth and I celebrate the arrival of 2009.

The Most Argentine Night Ever Friday, Dec 19 2008 

My Sunday night in Buenos Aires was probably the most quintessentially Argentine night of my trip, and it was one of the best nights there.

Because of that, I’m only going to blog about this night in depth.  I’ll skim over everything else lightly.

After a morning (well, in Buenos Aires, the morning begins at noon) shopping and enjoying the market in Plaza Serrano in Palermo Viejo, right down the street from my house.  Later that evening, I hopped down to San Telmo to go see a band called Rosal perform at Bar el Nacional.

Rosal was FANTASTIC.  Two (or three) acoustic guitars, and I LOVE multiple acoustic guitars, and the girl had a wonderful voice.  Here they are:

Louis, my Couchsurfing friend from Chicago, found out about the band and invited us.  Christian, our Couchsurfing friend from Los Angeles, came as well.

Christian (check out his blog, Aimless Wanderers) is traveling around South America for nearly a year.  He had spent time in Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, and is planning to spend more time in Argentina, then Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and I believe Costa Rica, then heading home.

Louis was in Argentina for about a month — he just got back.  He rented a pretty amazing apartment in Palermo SoHo (oh, yeah — and this is weird, but YOU CAN’T GET OUT OF THE BUILDING without a key!!!  FIRE HAZARD!!!) for two weeks, then went down to Bariloche and up to Iguazu Falls before returning to Buenos Aires, then home.

I love these guys.  🙂

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ños there, and that was perfect.

After that, we walked around and decided to go to a parrilla — pronounced pa-REE-sha by Argentines — and sample some legendary steaks.

And wow, was that ever a meal.

We started out with sausages — Christian looks eager to dig in — salads and prosciutto.

And some FANTASTIC papas fritas!

Poor Louis was fighting off a bout of food poisoning.  He ate as much as he could — it was all about the experience, he said.

Christian, on the other hand, spent most of the meal like this.

I believe that’s Christian’s pork.  Some of the steaks are so tender, they CARVE them with a SPOON.

Our delicious spread.  That’s my filet in the front.  (Yeah, the vegetarianism kind of went out the window in the name of experiencing Buenos Aires to the fullest.)  What I love — that was one of the most expensive cuts on the menu, and it cost about $15.00.

Self-portrait!  Christian’s got a better one…

We also enjoyed a bottle of Malbec.  It was lovely.

Awww.  Poor Louis.  I felt so bad for him…he wanted to enjoy the food so much…

After dinner, I grabbed a cab back to Palermo Viejo.  (30-minute cab — $10.00.  Love it.)  And sadly, I had to say goodbye to Louis, who was leaving for Bariloche.  Christian and I made plans to meet up the next day.

After getting back to the hostel, a group of backpackers, including Sarah from Boston (she used to live in Southie!) decided to go out.  I thought we were going to a club.

We ended up at a tango milonga!

Now, this is the most fascinating people-watching I have ever seen.  Dozens of couples fill the dance floor.  The men are in jeans and button-downs of all levels of style.  The women wear everything from leggings to short denim skirts to casual dresses — but all of them wear gorgeous tango shoes.

Everyone dances perfectly, intricately, not missing a beat.

The most fascinating thing is that everybody who dances like this appears to be so passionately connected, so deeply in love.  And then, often, they switch partners.  And it begins all over again.

What a great night — it was truly unforgettable.

It’s ironic, though, that I glorify this particular night, considering that I missed the ONE thing I hoped not to miss and tried not to miss, but missed anyway.

Hmm.  How do I put this?

Of all the lessons I learned from my college creative writing advisor, Dr. White, one stands out the most: “Just because it happened that way, it doesn’t mean it makes good fiction.”

But sometimes, the opposite happens.

Things happen to you in life that you don’t expect.  Things that hurt badly.  But you know what?  This experience would make FANTASTIC fiction.

And I lived that.

God, that’s pretty fucking poetic.

Stories like this are why I need to stop drinking. Monday, Dec 15 2008 

This story is so weird…

Well, yesterday, my friend Josh and I went to go see The Slutcracker in Somerville.  It’s a burlesque version of The Nutcracker, and it was fantastic.  It used the same music, but had a different, much more sexual storyline.

Here are just a few tidbits:

  • Drosselmeyer is an eccentric old lady, and instead of a nutcracker, she gives Clara a dildo.
  • Instead of a Christmas tree growing, a giant red-and-white-striped peen appears.  Predictably, Clara licks it nonstop, and it then shoots snow out of it.
  • The Russian dance is done by three dominatrices with whips.
  • There is an AWESOME pole dance.
  • The pasties!  The pasties!

After the show, we had some Indian food and martinis at Diva (the show was in my former ‘hood of Davis Square in Somerville), then grabbed one of those beer-slash-energy drinks from the liquor store (AND some beef jerky — goodbye, vegetarianism for us both!), then hopped on the T to go back downtown.

We went to one of my favorite bars in the world, and due to the nature of this story, I won’t be revealing the name of it…but if you live in Boston or know me well, you can probably guess.

At the bar, which is hopping on Sundays, we each grabbed a frozen Bellini and hung out.  Before long, one of the bartenders came up to us and asked us how we were, started chatting.  We talked for a few minutes and he went back to the bar.  Josh and I looked at each other.

“Do you know him?” I asked.

“No.  That was kind of weird — he acted like we were friends.”

“I know!”

After a bit, I went up to get the second round.  I ordered them from the same bartender who came to chat us up earlier.  Expecting to pay well over 10 bucks a pop, I took out my wallet.

“No, it’s all set,” he said with a grin.

“Really?” I was dumbfounded.

“Yeah.  Enjoy them.”

I tipped him and went back to Josh.  “Um, he gave these to us for free!” I crowed.  “I LOVE free drinks!  How awesome is that?”

“That was your cue to introduce yourself,” Josh chided me.  “He’s straight.”

“Are you kidding me?” At that bar, most of the bartenders are gay.  And hott.  But gay.

“No.”  Josh nodded at the guy.  “That guy’s definitely straight.”

Well, after that, we drank our Bellinis a bit faster than usual.  I then went up to the bar again.

“Two more, please,” I said to my bartender with a smile.  “I’m Kate, by the way.”

“I know,” he said.  “We danced together for about three hours at [our mutual friend]’s birthday party.”

I NEARLY DIED RIGHT THEN AND THERE.

Yes, I remembered this guy.  And maybe it wasn’t for three hours, but boy, did I do a lot of dancing with him at a club downtown.  And yes, I was hammered out of my mind that night.  I don’t usually get that bad, but that night, I had been on a date and had gone through a lot of wine before even arriving at the party.  The birthday became as muddled as the mojitos we were drinking — one of my very few blackout nights of recent memory.

Oh, God — yes, I remembered this guy.

You think that that would be enough of a lesson to stop drinking then and there.  Well, I was with JOSH.  Do you know what happens when I go out with Josh?

Here are three typical nights out for me and Josh:

  • The first time I meet him (the weekend before I started at my current job, where he also works), I go to a party in Jamaica Plain expecting to have one drink and drive home.  I end up playing (and winning) Beirut with him for hours before passing out in a recliner, bag of chips on my lap.  I wake up next to Josh on the couch with a giant picture of my ex’s naked centerfold in Playgirl (seriously) on the laptop.  In a house full of lesbians.
  • After deciding to go out for a veggie burger in the Back Bay, we end up drinking for hours, picking up college students and then getting lost in Beacon Hill looking for John Kerry’s house so we can play Ding Dong Ditch on his door.  Thankfully, we’re too drunk to find Louisburg Square and instead go to another bar, getting a pitcher of Sunset Wheat for each of us.
  • When taking out a new coworker for dinner, we end up hopping from bar to bar to bar…and out until 4:00 AM.  On a Tuesday.  On his first week in the office.  On an earlier date, we take out a visiting coworker from our UK office, end up having two oysters and three martinis each for dinner, and I end up inviting the whole bar to “the after-party” at my Somerville apartment.  Nobody came, thank God.

Combine that with free drinks from the bartender all night, and even some free food, and you have a recipe for disaster.  Yep, before long, Josh and I have had six Bellinis — EACH.  I’m chatting up the whole bar and telling stories that would make the cast of The Slutcracker blush.

And even after all that, I get a text message from the bartender late that night, telling me he’ll call me tomorrow.  (Apparently, I put myself in his phone as “Kate McIS SO HOT”.)

And he called me just now.  According to the context of the conversation, we made plans last night to hang out today…yeah, I have no recollection of that.  I told him that I couldn’t believe that he wanted to talk to me, ever, considering that the two times I’ve seen him, I’ve been shitfaced and making an ass out of myself.

But he didn’t care.  He doesn’t care at all.  He wants us to hang out.

The moral of this story is pretty obvious…STOP DRINKING, KATE.  Stop drinking to the point of blacking out.  Stop trying to match Josh drink for drink — he’s a guy, and that’s a contest you can’t win.  Free drinks do not equal a challenge.  Especially when alcoholism and addiction run in your family.

My company party is Friday (Lord, help us all), and I plan to go easy on the drinks there.  It won’t be easy — the venue has FABULOUS cocktails and there will be an open bar.  But it will probably be more entertaining to watch everybody else, and God knows that that’s probably what I need the most right now.

A Buenos Aires Thanksgiving Saturday, Dec 13 2008 

I’ve done Thanksgiving in a few different places — Florida was nice; Florence was AWESOME — but my Thanksgiving in Buenos Aires ranks among the greatest of all time.

Buenos Aires has a great group of Couchsurfers, and two of them, Romi and Belle, put together a great gathering at Romi’s house — which happened to be right in Palermo Viejo, a quick walk from my hostel.  The BA Couchsurfing group always has events going on.

We had dinner, everyone was SO warm and welcoming, I made friends from Argentina, Ecuador, Sweden, Colombia and all over the US (there were three Americans in our group!), we hung out for a while, and we went to a club (at 4:30, which I WISH you could do in Boston!!).

Here are the best pictures:

Andres (Ecuador), Louis (Chicago), Jorge (Colombia), Maxi (Buenos Aires) and Romi’s dog!

Christian (LA), a sunburned Kails and Belle (Buenos Aires)

The beginning of odd pictures with Maxi.

I LOVE THIS PICTURE.  Seaman (Sweden), Belle, me, cruisazy Christian and Romi (Buenos Aires) — I think Romi looks just like Lily Allen.

Seaman, Fanny (France) and Elia (California).

Yeah, I don’t even know…I thought we were taking a normal picture!!!  (I do love this guy.  So crazy.)

Club time!

What a great night.  This evening is testament enough to why you should sign up for couchsurfing, no matter where you’re headed on your next trip!

VEGAS! Day Four/Night Four: Recovery, Exploration, CHIPPENDALES!! Sunday, Jul 27 2008 

When I last left off, Lisa and I had just finished one of the party-heaviest nights of our lives.  Combine that with a mere four hours of sleep for me (and less for Lisa, who actually went back for more blackjack!) and you have the recipe for a very low-key day.

We decided to just walk around the Strip and see some of the things that we hadn’t seen yet.

This is the escalator at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.  It’s not fun with a hangover.

The fountains at the shops.

The shops were cool — very high-end with lots at which to ogle — but we kept taking breaks because we felt so tired from the night before.

Lisa is the Brutus to my Caesar.

Posing in front of the world-famous IP!!!!  We finally made it inside!

And posing outside the M&M Factory.

MEN IN KILTS at Mandalay Bay!  We had to get a pic.

Afterward, Lisa and I met up with Alexa for dinner at the Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay.  I had a veggie burger with pepper jack, avocado and asparagus.  Despite being too sick to eat anything all day, I ate a ton of it — it was so good.  (Would not recommend the zucchini fries, though, unless you like huge battered slabs of zucchini.  The sweet potato fries Lisa got were good.)

CHIPPENDALES!

The show was SO much fun, and quite unexpected, as well.  I was surprised how dirty they got.  Let it be known that if you get called up to be on stage (and believe me, I tried like it was my JOB), you will have guys feeling you up like crazy, as well as making you feel them up.

They faked one girl out into thinking that she had to put a condom on a guy (and it got CLOSE!) then at the last moment, had her do it on a banana instead.

I swear on all that is sacred and holy that the blond one in the top left of the picture kept checking me out all night.  Seriously.

And because everyone keeps asking me, they show their bums quite a few times, but no full-frontal nudity unless you’re one of the girls they call up on stage.

But I HIGHLY recommend Chippendales.  Highly, highly, highly recommend it.  So much fun!

But here was the best part ever, and one of my favorite Vegas stories:

Lisa went up to the bartender to ask if she could get ten ones in exchange for her ten.  Well, the guy actually gets OFFENDED and indignantly tells her, “It’s not that kind of show.”  Lisa, embarrassed out of her mind, returns to her seat, feeling like she’s too inappropriate for Vegas.

I just laughed for a good five minutes.

SHERRI SHEPHERD (from The View) WAS THERE!  She was very nice to take a picture with us.  And you can’t tell from that picture, but she recently lost a ton of weight and her body looks AMAZING.  You should see her legs!

It’s so funny because they called her up on stage and Lisa and I remarked that this woman looked just like Sherri, and it turned out to really be her!  They were filming The View in Vegas all week.

I said what what?  In the…

After the show, Lisa and I headed up to VooDoo Lounge, on top of the Rio, for the best view in Vegas.  The Rio is set pretty far back from the Strip, so the view at night is amazing.

Believe it or not, after that, Lisa wanted to go to a club!  We almost went to Jet, but after the night before, I felt like if I went to yet another club, I would very likely die.  We walked around T.I. for awhile, then headed back to our room.

Seriously, I would not have been in good condition if I had gone to yet another club.

So it was a low-key final night in Vegas, albeit with many hott men (and if only you could see hte professional pictures we got taken of us with three other Chippendales guys!!  I’m too lazy to scan them).  What a trip!

At which age is one too old to keg race? Sunday, Jul 20 2008 

I’m not talking about the kind of keg race during which you binge drink.  That’s so dangerous.

This story is a few weeks old, but I’m glad that I FINALLY have enough free time to post something!  Here we go:

We were celebrating Beth’s return to Boston, so we decided to go out in style.  We dressed up, met up at my place and headed to the T.

Classy, no?  🙂

About halfway to the T from my house, we came across a yard filled with college students.  We heard everyone cheering, so naturally, we started clapping along and yelling, “Chug! Chug! Chug!” without even knowing what was taking place.

And then we saw that a guy was walking on a keg, the way that a cartoon character might run on a log submerged in water.  We started laughing — it was so random!  And I have never seen anything like that taking place in my neighborhood, much less between my house and the T!

The guys saw us watching and brought us over.  And several of them were VERY handsome.

“I’ve lived here for a year and a half,” I told the most attractive of the bunch, “and I’ve never seen anything like this taking place.”  It was pretty impressive — the entire yard was crawling with people.

“Oh, we just moved in,” he told me.  “That’s why.”

“Ah.  I see.”

“Want to try?”

“NO.  No, no, no, NO no no no no.”

They kept insisting.  We kept refusing — we were in short skirts and heels!

Well, after a while, an urge takes over.

I sucked in a deep breath and as Frank the Tank once did, decided, “I’ll do one!  I’ll do one.”

My friends thought I was crazy.

HA!!!  AMAZING!!!  I only made a few steps and I held onto the guy the whole time (I was terrrified of falling on my ass and cracking my tailbone), but it was a lot of fun.

And then Beth decided to step up.

And the dismount!

(I’m glad Beth survived.  Beth is living proof of Murphy’s Law, and the craziest things happen to her.  She even wrote her college essay about it.)

So here we are, ranging from ages 22-24, and still hanging out at keg parties.  But who cares?  We’re in our twenties!  We’re having adventures!  We’re indulging in the unexpected, and every minute is FANTASTIC!

I told the guys to give me a call sometime.  Nobody said, “Sure, what’s your number?” and I took that as a sign to leave.

We went on to have a very classy night.

VEGAS! Night Three: LOVE, Tryst and Drai’s Monday, Jul 14 2008 

And so our Vegas adventures continued.  Little did we know that Sunday night would be the most memorable night of all — a night that is right up there with Sh*t Show Night in Florence and The Collegest Night of My Life at Fairfield.

Also, I should mention that I’m not putting in NEARLY enough pictures to describe the night.  The best ones (and the nicest ones) are posted here.

We began our night by seeing LOVE, the Beatles Cirque du Soleil show at the Mirage.  And it was astounding — so amazing, so beautiful, so fun.  At times, it nearly brought tears to my eyes.

You have to see this show, even if you’re not a Beatles fan (but really — who isn’t, to a degree?).  My favorite numbers were the symbolic Something, the imaginative Octopus’s Garden, and the fun and brash Lady Madonna.

Lisa got this shot of the LOVE Theatre before the show began.

After the show, we headed to the Grand Lux Cafe at the Venetian for dinner.  It’s like the Cheesecake Factory, but upscale.

We then visited the Palazzo and the Wynn.  My God, they are both SO gorgeous and SO luxurious.  I would love to stay at either resort the next time I go to Vegas.  (I’ve since researched this and found that the Palazzo is the most expensive resort on the Strip and isn’t listed on any of the budget sites.  You can find deals on the Wynn or the Bellagio, however.)

This picture above is the interior of the Palazzo — so beautiful.

Of course, the Wynn isn’t exactly slumming, itself.

The parasol theme at the Wynn is lovely.

We got into Tryst with no problems — another great VIP host, more free drinks, and no line whatsoever.  You might think that because there was no line that it wasn’t exciting.  On the contrary.  Tryst is FANTASTIC.

I’ve been to clubs in the U.S. and Europe — superclubs, goth clubs, gay clubs, all-you-can-drink-for-15-Euro clubs.  And I can firmly say that Tryst is the best club to which I have ever been in my entire life.

Sunday is supposedly the night for 70s, 80s and 90s music, but it was more mash-ups than anything else.  I had always heard that Tao was the most visually stunning club, but Tryst was so much more amazing — red walls, red crocodile booths, accents in black and chocolate brown, and best of all, the waterfall.

Tryst is an open-air club with giant doors leading out to the patio and the waterfall.  That made it so great — it kept the music from getting too pounding, it led to a peaceful oasis (without having to walk miles to get there, like you had to at PURE and Tao), and it gave you breathing room.

In fact, Tryst was great BECAUSE it wasn’t as bloody crowded as PURE and Tao.  You had room to walk around, meet people and have conversations.  And you also had your dance floor.  It was PERFECT!

Of course, we got grabbed by a group of guys right away.  That’s to be expected, and that usually happens when we go out.  We chatted with them for a bit.  Then we got our free drinks (Grey Goose Lemon Drops and Cosmos, as always) and checked the scene.

Also — they have the best bathroom in all of Vegas.  You just have to see it.  (Lisa left the attendant 6.00 over the course of the night!)

As soon as we finished our drinks, I figured we could find a booth and some guys that would let us hang out with them…and possibly buy us a round of drinks at some point.

Well, all it took was a look.

I made eye contact with a guy in a booth, and he grabbed my hand and invited the three of us in.  We sat with them and talked for awhile; they got us a few drinks.

By then, Alexa decided to go back, so we got up to walk her out.  As we walked back, ANOTHER guy grabbed my hand and dragged us to where he was sitting.

And lo and behold, the Boston Bar Stars were sitting in their second booth off the night without even making an effort to do so.

Because we’re gangsta like that.

This guy was really nice.  He’s a local, from nearby Henderson, and we spoke a lot of French.

And we were dancing.

And Lisa was dancing.  (Love this action shot!)

And we were making new friends.

And meeting up with old friends!  We had hung out with this guy at Tao the night before!  He had the sweet retro dance moves of bopping with two fingers in the air.

Lisa does her best imitation of John from Agganis Driving School.

We were at Tryst until it closed at 4:00 AM — so we grabbed a cab to Barbary Coast to go to Drai’s, the hottest after-hours club in Vegas.

This is the only shot I have of the inside Drai’s!

I make a new friend.

He actually texted me for a while after Vegas.  (Josh also texted him a few times, pretending to be me.)  Kind of weird.

At 6:00 AM, we decided that for the sake of our health and our sanity, it was probably a good idea to leave.

We didn’t go without a fight, though.  Lisa really, really wanted to go to the IP — the Imperial Palace, or the crappiest casino/hotel on the Strip, yet greatly lauded by a friend of mine — and I would not let her.  It then appears that she resorted to begging.

6:30 AM and feeling fine!

Now, if you are a normal person, you would know that 6:30 AM after an epic night out is NOT the time to start gambling.

Well, we walked all the way back to T.I. — half a mile or so — and hit the $5 Blackjack tables.

I mean, I had spent about $3.00 the entire evening — $1.00 to tip the bartender for that one drink before joining the guys in their booths, and $2.00 to tip the bathroom attendant.  Everything else?  PAID FOR.  UNBELIEVABLE.

So playing $5.00 Blackjack for an hour and a half seemed like the perfect thing to do.  We had a great dealer and played by ourselves for most of the time, except when a guy around our age joined us for a bit.

By the time I made my second ATM run of the night and was alerted that I had insufficient funds, I took that as a sign to pack it in.

At 7:30 AM, we finally went back up to our room and crashed.

Four hours of sleep later:

You see that?  That’s how the end of a GOOD NIGHT looks.

VEGAS! Night Two: Tao Tuesday, Jul 8 2008 

Back to the Vegas recaps!

For our second night out, the three of us went to Tao at the Venetian, both the restaurant and the nightclub.

This was our major dress-up night.  I wore the Cavalli dress I bought on eBay.  Don’t we look fabulous?  🙂

Absolutely EVERYTHING we had at Tao was amazing.  I had the black miso Chilean seabass, while Alexa had lo mein and Lisa had pad thai — all phenomenal — and the tempura we shared (avocado, string beans and onions) was light and delicious.  Our vegetarian spring rolls were hearty and chock full of vegetables.  We finished with an apple spring roll.

And then our waiter (one of the most cheerful waiters I have ever had) brought us free sake that went perfectly with the dessert.  “This is compliments of your personal assistant, Katelyn,” he said.

Meaning ME!  I made the reservation with the account from my old job.  They thought I was one of my clients, despite the fact that the name on the reservation was the same as the name on the account!

The bathrooms are only marked with “Yin” and “Yang.”  We figured out that “Yin” is for women and “Yang” is for men (just think about what rhymes with “Yang” and you’ll get it), though there are male and female statues designating which one is which.

We then decided to switch the statues to freak everyone out.

Hilarious as that would have been, the statues were WAY too heavy for us to move!

The dance floor at Tao.  The girl in the pink and black shirt on the bottom left is wearing the outfit that I wore on Monday!

Alexa took this picture of me in the club bathroom.  It looks really cool.

Alexa also took this picture of Tao Beach, the outdoor part of the club.

Apparently guys find these models (along with the ones in the bathtub, naked and covered with rose petals) sexy.  We found them weird and a little bit hilarious.

Eh, what the hell?  Here they are, too.

Sparklers heralded the birthday of none other than…

RANDY JACKSON!  (Karina Smirnoff and Rosario Dawson were also there, but we didn’t realize that until we read People magazine a week later!)

What was that old guy doing there?!  How about his trophy girlfriend?

Alexa left after a bit, but the Boston Bar Stars — Lisa and I — were there late.  Meaning an hour after the time when clubs in Boston are closed.

Lisa and I then went into the casino and people-watched for awhile, running into one of the guys from TBS’s My Boys, but not knowing who he was at the time (only knowing that he was famous)!

Tao was a LOT of fun, and it was definitely more visually stunning than PURE.  Our VIP host was great.  The only thing is that it took a while to get going.  It wasn’t until about 1:30 or 2:00 or so before the music got good — party hip-hop! — and Lisa and I got into our club groove.  Since we weren’t drinking much, it took us longer to get into that zone.

The crowd was a little bit strange, and again, there were so many more guys than girls.  At one point, we were surrounded by entirely guys in two concentric circles, like a Greek or Jewish dance!

The worst thing, though, was the wait at the bar.  We waited about HALF AN HOUR for drinks, and then decided that those drinks would be our last.  I can’t stand it when the bartenders only pay attention to the girls around you, and they ask them what they want, and the girls say, “Um…wait, what do you want again?” to all ten of their friends.  Sheesh.

I would definitely go to Tao again.  It’s definitely a sceney place on Saturdays — but also abominably crowded.

Keep in mind that if you go there for dinner, you can get into a separate, faster line at the club.  Not that we knew anything about that — we had our VIP treatment all the way!

And the adventures continue…

VEGAS! Day Two: Sightseeing on the Strip Saturday, Jul 5 2008 

Despite the late night, Lisa and I were jetlagged and awake by 9:00 AM.  Alexa got in around 11:00 AM, and in the meantime, we watched a bit of What About Bob?, coincidentally one of her all-time favorite movies.

First, check out our room:

T.I. is a FANTASTIC space to stay.  The price you pay is on par with aging casinos like the Flamingo, but the gorgeous rooms, the amazingly comfortable beds, the incredible location by the Wynn, the Venetian, the Palazzo and the Mirage and the AWESOME buffet at T.I. make it an INCREDIBLE bargain.  I highly, highly recommend it.  If you’re considering the IP or the Stratosphere or something else low-priced, come here instead.  It is so worth it.

After Alexa arrived and got settled in her room with her boyfriend, Grant, who was at T.I. playing poker for the past week (he plays full-time), we headed down to the Paris for brunch at Le Village Buffet.

Le Village was fun, especially since stations were based on regions in France (Alsace, Normandy, Brittany, Provence, etc.).  They also had the BEST scrambled eggs I have ever had.

I also had a tiny cheat on my vegetarian diet, which I’ve been following for five months — a baby quiche lorraine, one of my favorite foods, which has bacon in it.  I should start making it at home with soy bacon.

Alexa got these plates of desserts for the three of us to share.  Yummy cannolis.

Scandal!

Lisa gets hott for the card.

The Paris was really nice, but a bit too theme park-y for me.

We then walked down to the mall at Planet Hollywood.

The original Incredible Hulk was there signing autographs.

I pose with the dress Michelle Obama wore on The View earlier that week!

This made me happy — I never see the real spelling of my name anywhere!

We considered buying this for Beth, then decided against it.

If you know Lisa, you know that this picture was an inevitability.

After that, we walked to the MGM Grand, the Monte Carlo, and then one of my favorites, the Bellagio.

This is in front of the lake at the Bellagio.

The Murano glass ceiling at the Bellagio was amazing…

…as was the Conservatory…

…as was the world’s largest chocolate fountain!  (Just for future reference, they generally don’t approve of dipping your hand in and licking it.)  I loved the Bellagio!

The canals at the Venetian.  Much cleaner, calmer and better-smelling than the real Venice!

That night, we headed to Tao.  The adventures will be chronicled in later entries…

VEGAS! Day One/Night One: Arrival, Pirates, PURE Saturday, Jul 5 2008 

Finally, it’s time to post about our absolutely CRUISAZY weekend in Las Vegas!

Lisa and I arrived at about 4:30 PM on Friday.  (Alexa would be arriving the next morning.)  And because we’re so fabulous, we made sure to arrive in style:

In a limo!  It’s a great deal ($65, including gratuity, from Presidential Limo) because in addition to arriving in style, you get to bypass the long taxi line, you get a magnum of champagne (!) and tons of bottled water, which is so expensive in Vegas.

Lisa promptly began hoarding the bottled water.

I cracked open the champagne.  We got through about three glasses each on the drive to T.I.

I LOVE THIS PICTURE!!!  Our limo driver suggested stopping here, traffic whizzing around us, to take pictures of us.

We then drove up the Strip, which took a surprisingly long time with traffic.  T.I. is at the top of the main part of the Strip, right near the Venetian, the Palazzo, the Wynn and the Mirage.

Most of my pictures on the way there are bad, but here are a few good ones:

Caesars Palace (the lack of an apostrophe drives me INSANE!).

The insanely luxurious Palazzo, where I would love to stay if I had unlimited funds.

We got to T.I., checked in, and slipped the girl at the desk a twenty.  In turn, she hooked us up with a recently renovated room on the 28th floor overlooking the Wynn, the Palazzo and the fireworks-filled pirate show:

A bit tough to convey in pictures, but the view was great.

We then decided to head down to watch the pirate show.

I love this picture of the Wynn.  It was taken from the base of the pirate show, where we had prime viewing due to being guests at T.I.

Is the show appropriate for kids?  Well, it used to be perfect for kids.  Now, it’s essentially “Pirates vs. Strippers,” or “Sirens,” as they call those pirate hos.  There’s stripping, gyrating and bondage.  Of course, there were plenty of kids there.  It kind of pushed the limit.

Who wouldn’t want to be boarded by these hott pirates?

After the show, Lisa and I got dinner at Isla, the Mexican restaurant at T.I. (good food but not fantastic).  As we were eating, we were falling asleep — I had been up since 7:00 AM Eastern Time, and she had been up even longer, and though we napped a bit on the plane, we were EXHAUSTED!

We headed back to our room and took a 90-minute power nap, then dressed up, went downstairs to Starbucks, and each downed a latte.  We were NOT going to let a Friday night in Vegas go to waste.

And so we headed to PURE at Caesars Palace!

Yep, I broke out the red satin shorts.  Vegas, baby!

It is a fabulous feeling when you’re trying to get into one of the hottest clubs (if not THE hottest club) in Vegas on a Friday when there are hundreds upon hundreds waiting in line, and all you have to do is make a quick phone call and have a VIP host find you and take you inside, no line, no cover, nothing.  Thank you, Former Job!!!!!

The Pussycat Dolls Lounge at PURE.  Lisa made a great observation: “Aren’t the Pussycat Dolls supposed to be singers, not just dancers and strippers?”  Valid point, indeed…not much actual singing took place.

It was kind of cool, though.  There were girls on swings in the back.

PURE from the VIP section.  As you can see, it was so not the opposite of a sausage fest!

More sausage.  I thought clubs were supposed to keep a 4:1 girl:guy ratio.  That wasn’t even close to the case, no matter where we went!!

Us with our host at PURE, Brandon.  He was SUCH a nice guy — definitely the nicest of all the hosts we met over the weekend — and he bought us drinks and shots, took us to the VIP section, introduced me to hosts at the new Christian Audigier club that opened up last night at T.I….

DJ AM is the DJ on Fridays there — and his music was AWESOME.  It was a great mix of rock, hip-hop, Top 40 and mash-ups — and anyone who plays Ludacris’s “Ho” is gold in my book!  Lisa and I were on the dance floor, screaming out, “You doin’ ho a’tivities with ho tendencies, hos are yo friens, hos are yo enemies!” as a few guys crushed up against us looked on amusedly.

That brings me to something else.  The worst thing about PURE was how crowded it was.  It was even worse than Gypsy Bar.  At least at Gypsy Bar you could do something besides slightly wiggle.  The VIP section, though, was blessedly spacious, as was the deck outside.

Lisa and I pose on the deck, which was really nice.  They played mostly house up there.

The deck overlooks the Flamingo, Bally’s and the Paris, among others.

On the way back, we posed by the Trevi Fountain at the Forum Shoppes at Caesars.  I love this picture of Lisa (almost as much as I love her dress)!

We had a great time at PURE, but it wasn’t our favorite.  The pros were the music, the size (it was huge with tons of rooms), the VIP section, and Brandon being awesome.  The cons were how crowded it was, and the decor and outdoor deck paled in comparison to those at Tryst and Tao.  I would absolutely go back, though!

(I think part of it was that we were still so exhausted when we were there.  DO NOT FLY OUT TO VEGAS IN THE MORNING, ESPECIALLY FROM THE EAST COAST!)

We got back to our room and fell asleep instantly.  Our adventures would only continue the next day…

Oh my God, I actually crashed a bachelor party! Sunday, May 18 2008 

Red lipstick has always served me extraordinarily well.  It’s weird, but a lot of great things have happened because of my wearing red lipstick.

Last night was no exception — and it led to one of the craziest adventures I have EVER had!

My friend Holly’s birthday celebration was last night.  We met up at Kingston Station, had some drinks and proceeded over to the Hong Kong (where, honestly, I hadn’t been in quite a long time).

We had some scorpion bowls; we danced to 90s hip-hop; we checked out the mostly unremarkable crowd.

(Great quote from earlier in the night:
Me: “I hope we meet some hot guys tonight.”
Esther: “At the Hong Kong?”
Me: “…Yeah, you’re right.”)

And then the bachelor party arrived.

There were about 20 of them and they were dressed in red and blue baseball jerseys, either the “Jerk Sox” or “New Turk,” and they each had their nickname on the back.  The bachelor himself was decked out in a sombrero.

I went over to them and started chatting.  It’s wedding season, and whenever I spot a bachelor party, I always go talk them up.  It turns out that the groom was getting married in a little over a month and they had a full weekend of festivities planned.  (They had strippers at the house earlier.)  They also had a party bus outside.

The guys were awesome.  All of my friends talked to them a bit, but I was spending the most time with them.  (One of the guys told me that he had a girlfriend but that whatever I wanted, however my tastes fell, I could have my pick of the entire group!)

After about an hour or so, Holly’s group had mostly dispersed, and the guys were ready to move on to the next watering hole.  Then they started telling me that I should totally join them.

None of the other girls wanted to join me, and even though it went against any safety training I was EVER taught, I decided to join them.

Just me and a busful of guys.

Well, I got on the bus, grabbed a beer from the overstocked cooler, and joined in the fun, telling stories, throwing back drinks and dancing.  The guys were hanging from the bars like monkeys.

Check it out:

Lapdance!  Wouldn’t be a bachelor party without one!

There are a few girls in the back of this picture.  They picked up another group of girls to come with them as well — but I think it goes without saying that they weren’t nearly as fun as me.

 

There’s the groom in the sombrero.

Yeah, no comment.

But the guys at the Hong Kong did get pissed at him for wearing sunglasses inside.

 

I couldn’t resist.  I had to take a picture.

This guy was really cool.  We talked for a while, and it turns out that he is in the same industry as my new job!  He’s now working as a consultant, pulling in crazy money and working abroad.  It was FANTASTIC to hear about someone doing that.

This guy was just fun.

And now for the red lipstick.  I’ve found that guys always LOVE it.  There are certain biological reasons for this (I won’t go into details here, but Google it and you’ll find out some surprising information).  At any rate, it’s always a hit.

They told me to give the groom a kiss on the cheek, just to leave a mark on him before his wedding, so I did.  And pretty soon there we had escalated into all-out red lipstick war, and everyone was covered in it.

Yeah.  The guys wore it.

They put it on and they loved it.

It was a sea of red.

We dropped by a bar in Beacon Hill, but the line was too long, so we decided to just ride in the bus for a bit (while still doing acrobatics on the poles), then head back to Allston, where one of the revelers lived.  The group of girls joined us there, though they didn’t stay at the house for long.

One of the guys was really into wine, and I attempt to be somewhat into wine, so he ended up pouring a really nice Zinfandel, my favorite varietal.  (NOT White Zinfandel.  We had this argument with all the guys.)

I had to get a shot with the groom.  He was a really good sport, despite what they put him through all night.

I love this picture so much.  And doesn’t the guy on the right look like Joel McHale from The Soup?

I stayed there for a few hours, telling stories, dancing, singing songs, trading travel stories, trading drinking stories.  And it wasn’t weird at all being the only girl there.  In fact, it was exhilarating.  I was the center of attention (and you know how much I love that!).  They weren’t weird about it, either — though they kept trying to outdo each other whenever they were in front of me.

I have to say, they were such fun guys.  I had a blast hanging out with them.  They told me that I was the coolest girl ever for being spontaneous and actually coming on my own, without a buffer group.  Again, they were awesome.

I returned the favor by not overstaying my welcome and catching a cab back as the sun was rising.  The guys were due to play paintball today.  What a great bachelor weekend!

Looking back, I’m still kind of surprised I did it.  I mean, that’s exactly the kind of thing they tell you NOT to do.  Well, I trusted these guys, and I know that’s not a valid reason, but it was the truth.  And they turned out to be AWESOME. 

I’m off to find a new tube of bright red lipstick, because mine has worn down to a nub.

I HAD A FANTASTIC TIME!!!!!

I OWNED the Blackjack table!!!! Tuesday, Apr 22 2008 

On a bit of a whim, Lisa and I decided to go to Foxwoods yesterday.  We decided that we needed to do a bit of gambling practice before we go to Vegas in June.

I’ve been practicing Blackjack since seeing 21 (and reading Bringing Down the House, the book that inspired the movie), and I was eager to try it out.

But when we got there, it was so intimidating — we were leered at everywhere we went.  To be frank, we were the best looking people there by FAR, and I say that truthfully.  If you’ve ever been there (and it was my second time — I’ve also been to Mohegan Sun once), you know the crowd — EVERYONE is old, and there are wheelchairs and oxygen tanks everywhere.

It’s quite depressing, actually.

First, we met up with Janelle, who drove up from Sacred Heart, and we grabbed some Panera.  Janelle had to head back after a bit, and Lisa and I headed over to play hih stakes bingo.

It was fun, though not as fun as the first time I went a few years ago, and we ended up leaving after a few hours of highly competitive play and realizing that we couldn’t keep up with the grannies.

We then hit the Blackjack tables.

I was scared, but I had promised myself that I would play Blackjack publicly for the first time ever.  Then a guy beckoned me over to a table.  I joined.

The minimum was $15.00.  I got $45.00 in chips and decided that if I lost that, that would be it.

Hand #1:

  • Bet $15.00
  • Lost the hand
  • Total winnings: $-15.00

Hand #2:

  • Bet $15.00
  • Won the hand!!
  • Total winnings: $0.00

Hand #3:

  • Bet $15.00
  • GOT BLACKJACK!!!
  • Total winnings: $22.50

Hand #4:

  • Bet $15.00
  • Won the hand!!
  • Total winnings: $37.50

Hand #5:

  • Bet $15.00
  • Won the hand!!
  • Total winnings: $52.50

Hand #6:

  • Decided to up things and bet $20.00
  • Got a 2 and a 9, while the dealer had an 8
  • Doubled down — bet $40.00
  • Won the hand!!
  • Total winnings: $92.50

At that point, I knew it was time to quit.  I was ahead, and I might not have as much money if I kept playing.

So that was that!

Lisa, as we walked away: “Those few minutes were more exciting than the entire time playing bingo.”

And now I cannot WAIT for Vegas!!

The Presidential Suite Saturday, Apr 19 2008 

I love spontaneous, unexpected adventures.  The one I had on Monday was certainly memorable.

I was doing errands in Davis, finally getting my shoes repaired (they all wear down on the right heel!), when I got a phone call from my friend Esther.

Esther: “What are you up to?”

Me: “Doing errands in Davis.  What about you?”

Esther: “I got VTO [Voluntary Time Off, when you get to leave early without pay or using your accrued time off hours].  I’m at Park Street.  Want to go get some food?”

Me: “Um…OKAY!”

We met in Harvard Square and went to the Border Cafe, one of my all-time favorite places.  I used to go there on my birthday each year, though I rarely go anymore.  We split a quesadilla and each got a strawberry margarita (and let me say that Esther is also a vegetarian, so I love that she doesn’t temp me into eating meat!) and spent the next hour or so girlytalking at a thousand miles an hour.

It was fun.  We then decided that it would be a great idea to congratulate/roast everyone we knew who had recently gotten a promotion of any kind.  Yeah.

Esther used to work at the Charles Hotel, which is one of the nicest hotels in Boston.  We dropped by to say hi to her friends, and then, after taking a break and getting some food with one of her old work friends, we headed back in and he beckoned for us to join him in the elevator.

We rode to the top of the building.

To the Presidential Suite.

Bill Clinton has stayed there.  So has Al Gore.  And Will Smith.  And countless other politicians and celebrities.

I have never been in the best suite in a luxury hotel before, so I found it very cool.  I have to admit that I giggled like crazy at the seemingly precious painting that zips up into the wall to reveal a flat-screen TV.  It’s the best of both worlds!  I think I’d like that in my dream home someday.

The view was great, too — you could see the skyline across the Charles (river, not hotel).

After crashing the suite, Esther and I hung out in the square for a while, then went back to the Charles.  To use the bathrooms.  (They were really nice.)

Special thanks to our lovely guide for sneaking us up there!

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