Sunday, October 24, 2010

Viva Las Vegas!

Vegas baby!

From Wednesday until Saturday of this week, Saunders and I were in Las Vegas!  Vanessa McWhorter and I planned a trip to Vegas for Saunders and Josh's joint 30th birthday present.  They both love to play poker, Josh has always wanted to visit Vegas, and it's one of Saunders's favorite cities in the world - so that made it one great birthday destination!  

We took off on Wednesday afternoon for Vegas and - because of the time change - we landed on Wednesday afternoon in Vegas!  We got checked into the MGM Grand, dropped off the luggage in the room ... and the guys spent the rest of the night at the poker tables!  Vanessa and I did some sight seeing and grabbed a great dinner at Diego - a Mexican restaurant in the MGM.  Saunders joined us at the end of our dinner and Josh met up with us at New York New York, but otherwise the boys did just what they wanted - played poker hand after hand - and the girls did what we wanted - window shopping and sight seeing!


*I will skip a description of the remainder of Wednesday night except to say it sounded a lot like this: SNOOOOOOOOORE ... SNOOOOOOOOORE ... SNOOOOOOOOORE ... and to say that the Joneses learned very quickly that Vanessa was not exaggerating when she said that her husband is a snorer.*

On Thursday, we all got a great breakfast together at Coco's, and then the boys went back to  - you guessed it - the poker tables.  Vanessa and I hit the north end of The Strip, visiting Caesar's Palace, the Bellagio, the Venetian, and several other casinos.  Saunders and Josh walked with us for a while, then they hit the poker room at Caesar's Palace.  Later that afternoon, Josh went back to the room to take a nap - one of his "must haves" on vacation - and Saunders, Vanessa, and I went to try one of Saunders's top priority items of the trip ... a look off the top of the Stratosphere!  When we got there, they had four different thrill rides to choose from that blasted you up, around, or off the top of the Stratosphere's already very high 108 stories above the Strip.  Saunders wanted us to try "The Big Shot" which is basically a blaster that shoots you straight up in the air over the top of the Stratosphere.  We all did it, and it was very scary but very exciting, too - and the views were great!

 Modeling at Michael Kors

 Beautiful fall-themed gardens at Bellagio
 The Bellagio's fountain show
 Pulling for the big win!
 After our wild ride!

Later that night, we all went out to dinner at SeaBlue.  The executive chef there is Stephen Hopcraft, who was a contestant on Top Chef: Washington DC.  Top Chef is my favorite show, and it was very exciting to watch Stephen Hopcraft expediting and putting the final plating touches on our food!  

After our delicious dinner, we headed out to one of Vanessa's and my "must do" activities - see a Vegas show!  We decided to see David Copperfield's show, and it was great.  We had great seats in the very center of the fourth row.  David Copperfield has an ego the size of the MGM Grand itself - and he has no problem telling you how amazingly famous he is - but he does have an amazing show and is pretty famous, so I guess it is understandable that he isn't the most humble guy around.  All the magic tricks were really amazing and fun to watch.  The best part was that Saunders got to go on stage and assist with a mind-boggling trick involving somehow making a whole green Lincoln convertible appear on stage!  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of us all at the show or Saunders on stage because the staff was very serious about no cameras being used in the theaters.  I wish I had a picture of Saunders on stage holding the rope while the Lincoln magically appeared right in front of his eyes!

On Friday, we had another great breakfast and got ourselves checked out of the hotel.  Vanessa and I shopped the south end of The Strip on Friday while the guys played poker again!  Vanessa and I went to the Bodies exhibit and the Titanic artifacts exhibit at Luxor, and both of those were really interesting.  Saunders joined us in the afternoon at Mandalay Bay, and the two of us went into a really neat ice bar called Minus 5 - everything is made of ice and the temperature is 23 degrees in there!

After we all headed back to the MGM, Saunders took one last shot at the poker tables while Josh, Vanessa, and I hung out at a bar called Zuri.  Vanessa and I were sooo tired ... I can't wait to hear how many miles we walked when she uploads her pedometer's data at work.  When Saunders finished up his last game, we grabbed a quick snack and headed toward the airport for our red eye flight back to Atlanta!  We didn't sleep very much at all that last day, but it was a great busy way to end our great trip!

To sum up our successes, Vanessa and I found cute souvenirs for everyone at various shops all over The Strip and started new fashion trends for ourselves with scarves and headbands.  The guys did great at their poker endeavors and walked away winners.  Saunders made it to the final table in the poker tournament and split the winnings with the rest of the table, walking away with almost $500 - and Josh won about that same amount at the poker cash game tables!  Everyone had a great time in Vegas and got to do almost all the things we wanted to do and see all the things we wanted to see.

Of course, we had a great time on our trip, and some of the best moments when we hang out together usually come at the expense of one or more members of the group!  Here are some of the most memorable hilarious moments...
*Josh's epic snoring.  Not at all funny at the time ... hilarious later*
*Saunders asking a question and then walking away before Josh could answer - repeatedly*
*My heavy-duty ketchup scooping*
*Josh being repeatedly called an "Alabama boy" by random strangers*
*Vanessa's prize fighter belt outfit*
*Posting David Copperfield's brags to Saunders's Facebook*
*Josh's "mole" status at MGM - he rarely saw the light of day during the trip*
*Saunders blowing through security, leaving us all behind, then getting mad at us for leaving him*
*Vanessa's "Jack Sprat" empanadas and my giant plate of tacos*

There were lots of funny times to remember!  We had a great time!


Kelly said...

Great trip idea! I love the list of fun memories, too.

Tara said...

OMG i am sooo jealous. I want to go to vegas so bad. I am thinking a fun girls trip in the spring. Glad you got a fun little vacation. I am sure it was needed.

Grant said...

Looks fun. I've always wanted to go to Las Vegas. I've had a few opportunities and just have never fallen through. One day, I'll make it there..