Las Vegas, Nevada

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(Sunrise from our hotel room)

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(Fremont street)

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(Glitter Gulch)

As promised, here are my adventures in Vegas! My friend Vanessa and I arrived into McCarren International at approx. 10:30pm on the Friday before my birthday. After checking into the Hard Rock Hotel, where we were surprised by a complementary room upgrade, we decided to explore. Being huge classic rock fans (especially Vanessa), the Hard Rock was the perfect place to stay. It was very windy outside and we opted to see what our hotel had to offer. It was a fun first night with a late dinner at Pink Taco, drinks and lots of picture taking. We went to bed pretty early for Vegas standards so we could get a good start the next morning. Saturday was my birthday! We started the day with room service coffee (amazing) and ventured out to the strip for some shopping. In the first shopping centre we entered, we discovered Fat Tuesday. One of many such shops, at Fat Tuesday you can buy almost any kind of frozen drink your little heart desires! When you see photos of people in Vegas with giant drink cups, this is probably what they are drinking. They also have $1 Jell-O shots, which we gladly did. The best part is you get to take your cup and continue walking around and shopping. You’ve got to love the relaxed drinking laws! This is what we did for the rest of the afternoon, finally returning to the hotel in the early evening for a (pretty drunk) nap. Note: daiquiris contain a lot of sugar, which equals a hangover. After dragging ourselves out to dinner (a delicious steak dinner in the Wynn hotel) we decided to try our luck at Tao nightclub. We quickly got our second wind and just as quickly we made some friends. A bouncer called us over to join a bachelor party in the VIP area. Normally this would not appeal to me but they ended up being the nicest group of guys. All from Texas, they were the epitome of southern gentlemen. We danced into the wee hours of the morning with our new friends before heading back to our hotel. Just to give you an example of the character of these men; we took a taxi back to our hotel and as we tried to pay, we learned they had already pre-paid! That group of guys, along with Vanessa, gave me the best 30th birthday I ever could have asked for!

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.

Sunday was obviously a day of rest by the pool, which quickly turned into our third wind and we made some more friends with a couple from Orange County. We left just before sunset to head down to “old” Vegas also known as Fremont street. While I was in Ireland, I met a woman named Patti on a tour who actually lives in Las Vegas. We met up with her and she showed us all around Fremont street. It was so much fun and exactly what I thought Vegas would be like. The signs are all lit up everywhere you look. There is a different energy here too that’s hard to put into words, it really is the “Fremont Experience”. We saw all the landmarks that you associate to Vegas; including Binion’s, the Golden Nugget, Vegas Vic and Glitter Gulch (to name a few). We also saw the impressive canopy of lights and caught a Bon Jovi “concert”. Patti then drove us along the strip to show us all the sights we missed during our drunken daiquiri escapade. It was a perfect end to our Vegas adventure. I would like to return one day even if it’s just to eat! But really, there was just too much to do and see in such a short period of time. Still, I had the best time and I am beyond happy to have gotten to go and experience all we did see.
Happy Birthday to me!

October 24- 28, 2014

Monte Carlo Casino

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This was a great day! I had been out the night before at High Club in Nice and watched the sunrise on the beach, getting home just past 7:30am. I had planned on going to Monaco the following day and somehow the next morning I headed out, slightly hung-over and all. One of the bus stops will let you off just in front of the world famous Monte Carlo Casino and that’s where I started. I had seen the outside before during that trip in 2010, but had yet to be inside. It’s an intensely extravagant place and walking up you see car after car of Rolls- Royce, Bentley and other fancy sports cars. The Hotel de Paris next door is frequented by the very rich and hosts many parties and events. I saw a party there once on the terrace and the dresses these woman wore made me beyond envious! I tend to be nervous when I feel out of place or uncertain if I am allowed in somewhere, I had seen tourists going in and knew it was probably okay and I desperately wanted to see inside Monte Carlo; so I gathered my courage and walked right up those steps and went inside. I didn’t go to gamble, I just wanted to see it. Unfortunately pictures are not allowed inside, but I can tell you it’s gorgeous. The details in the carpet, ceiling (a stunning shade of blue, I can’t even describe) and decorations are exquisite. The bathroom even has a self cleaning toilet that rotates the seat and dries it after each use. Sections were closed off for a function of some sort and so I really only saw a small bit but I was happy nonetheless. I decided to get a drink at the bar and opted for a Aperol Spritz (my favourite) made with champagne at a staggering 19 Euros. It was probably the best one I’ve ever had! I made friends with the bartender and learned he was Italian (probably why his Spritz was so good) and that he travelled in each day from Ventimiglia, Italy. Coming to Nice from Cinque-Terre, Italy, I had passed through Ventimiglia so I knew of it and was surprised he travelled in each day (about an hour and a half). In total I was inside only an hour or less, but I felt really special and enjoyed myself a great deal. I just watched the people mingle about and gamble at the tables; drinking my Spritz. I’ll tell you about the rest of Monaco in another post but to this day, I will say, I have yet to see a place as glamourous as the area around Monte Carlo and the neighbouring Hotel de Paris.

July 27, 2013