When I look back, I have barely any recollection of the details of my Las Vegas trip back in 2014. I cannot say with certainty which hotel we stayed in but I do know which show we saw (Thunder from Down Under) and which club we went to (Hakkasan where Afrojack was DJ’ing). I can’t remember the steak restaurant we went to or the place in a hotel we had breakfast. I don’t remember any other meals. We did one of those Intro to Erotica kind of bachelorette classes but I don’t remember the company. We were provided with black hipster (style) underpants with some pink writing if that helps.
Apparently, if I don’t blog about it, I won’t recall it despite my meticulous records in Google Calendar and TripIt. And this last trip deserves remember if not just because of the cost!!
Airport; And the beginning of freedom from one life
For months, I listened to a coworker talking to another about preparations for her Vegas stagette that – it turned out, after our initial dates fell through – was just a few days after my sister’s. I was just trying to survive May tying up work projects ahead of fiscal year end after being away for nine days at the end of April and into May. In the last two weeks before departure date, I started getting into it. Like figuring out my outfits, buying a hat, swimsuit, sandals for the wedding (which would be broken into while in Vegas), and a dress to go clubbing!
On May 30th, I made that remark that is atypical of me, “I can’t believe it is already May 30th!” I did not follow it up with nauseatingly lame remarks about the speed of passage of time and how the year is nearly half and soon over. May 30 has significance because Lil Sis’ wedding is on June 30 – 31 days later. And so, on May 30, I decreed that while I was in Vancouver and before the wedding – a mere 22 days – I would exercise everyday. NPY joked I should have done it a month earlier but – honestly – that is not maintainable.
My commute to the airport for my 11:10 a.m. flight gave me the opportunity to ready E for the day and not leave that on NPY, but it did not have an auspicious start. I was lingering at home until the latest moment before heading to the subway station. And while E and I were holding an elevator and waiting for NPY to join us, I let go of the elevator button and the door closed with E inside and I couldn’t get the door to open again! That was so scary! I could hear him calling for me as the elevator moved away and all of a sudden, it seemed like our highrise has too many floors and there are far too many people living in the building given who might get in the elevator and find him. NPY rushed to lobby in the other elevator and found him. Then I got a text message from my boss because someone didn’t think I had forwarded a file I was working on last night. Panic again! If the email was sitting in my Outbox – and I didn’t think it was possible because I continued working on the network for another half an hour with no connection issues – I might have to go home, turn on my laptop, connect to the work network and re-send. Terrible minutes passed while I restarted my phone because my work email app hates my phone and checked my Sent folder and re-sent the email with the attachment. Whew.
Things like that make me really relieved to be able to turn my attention to having some fun! Four days and seven hours. Or 103 hours that are just for myself! It’s unprecedented! (In the last two years.)
At first, I packed the way I normally do now, ever the practical. Even though I was bring just a carry-on for the trip, I had plenty of room for frills and I was also carrying a purse that could be used entirely for my belongings instead of sharing with the kid. I selected a purse that I barely use while I’m in Vancouver. And I used pouches that might be too bulking or impractical in other situations, like a wet bag and a jewelry satchel stuffed with jewelry so I would have options every day. Since I was afraid a tube of lipstick would come open and ruin my purse lining, I brought an unopened tube of Rimmel lip colour. It was gifted to me probably 10 years ago and I can tell because the colour is “Kiss ‘N’ Tell” and it was given to me by a friend back then when that handle was new to me. They probably don’t make that lip colour, name or applicator style anymore! (Edit: They do, but the packaging has changed, naturally, since 10 years ago!) I would be wearing a saturated lip colour every day for days because I’m only responsible for myself…! For once!
I was almost overzealous and packed two books, both over 300 pages hardcover but realized I could only bring one and I finished it during the trip. Whee! I wore my new straw fedora at the airport and during the flight, a bit like a douchebag, because it was a style that would get crushed in my suitcase! Finally, I changed my smartwatch face from a non-descript one to one that is rather stunning and, frankly, conversation worthy.
It worked like a charm. My first unsuspecting victim was the guy across the aisle from me whom I chuckled to myself about because he was dictating work notes into his phone until the last possible moment. Since I also use the voice recognition software to respond to messages, I know how we have to alter our speech to be understood. He asked me if it was an Android watch and my experience with it. “I love it. It changed my life.” He nodded as that answer is quite agreeable and he’s been considering getting one for his wife, the woman sitting in the window seat right next to him!
First solo flight and trip in about 30 months! Leaving for Las Vegas for Lil Sis’ bachelorette trip. What a novelty to pack just for myself and bring wardrobe/accessory items usually deemed impractical when slinging a toddler. Thirty pages in and @ClaireCamer0n’s latest novel is so good! Also sweet: five hours on flights to read a proper hardcover novel! #yvr #lasvegas #solotrip #sunny #packing #bookworm
Hotel: The Venetian Las Vegas
When planning the trip, the three of us bridesmaids largely left Lil Sis out of it. We’d plan the activities and cover her costs (except her flight). All three of them are Las Vegas newbies which means they had different expectations than I had and – in the case of the planner – big dreams. I thought I would end up planning it and I was secretly loathed to. I don’t like deciding what other people will do and I feel like I could sound pushy even if I don’t mean to. Fortunately, S has a Type A personality and big Las Vegas dreams. Her dream was to stay at the Venetian and I managed to get in a word that my dream is to stay at the Wynn but Venetian had a better package and I said, “I’ll stay at the Wynn another time with NPY. And, I’ve already stayed at a Wynn in Macau.” Shrugs, because what can I do?
The girls had a good chuckle when I can’t remember all of the places I’ve stay in Vegas. MGM the first time (2006), Caesar’s Palace the second time (2008), Monte Carlo and maybe one other hotel the third time (2012) and I couldn’t remember where I stayed in 2014. I recall visiting E&O one year (2008?) when they moved to the Palazzo when it was new and we were leaving (Las Vegas) before they were. I thought they had enjoyed an upgrade and we relaxed in their living room adjacent to the sleeping area. And when I saw in the living room again and particularly using the grand bathroom with shower and bath, double sink, a vanity and separate toilet room, it seems so familiar. So perhaps I did stay in the Venetian in 2014!
I can’t speak for the other Vegas five-star hotels but the Venetian’s “entry level” suite has the grand bathroom and the living room. That is not only indulgent but terribly useful if, for example, a family were staying in the room like could be the case next time I go to Las Vegas. On that trip, finally we might truly use the living room space!
The Toronto people took a 9 a.m. flight which meant they were at Pearson at 7 a.m. which meant they woke up as early as 5 a.m. local time or 2 a.m. Las Vegas time. Which meant that after the 9 p.m. shows we went to the first night, they had been up for 22 hours. Meanwhile, I had taken an 11 a.m. flight and had been awake only since 7 a.m. Thus, I was awake first the first morning we were there.
On my own, I like checking out the hotel pool. I remember fondly hanging out at the Wynn Macau pool, even if I didn’t go in the water, even if it was no more than half an hour. In 2014, we checked out a pool party but the girls didn’t like it and we left very quickly. And in trips to Las Vegas before that, I might not have seen the pool at all – which seems so strange now. I thought that in the past or at some hotels, pool access was an additional fee. In any case, it seemed really convenient to get to the main pool at the Venetian – just an elevator ride to fourth floor and the pool deck is right off the elevator bank. I had envisioned having to cross the casino floor to get to the end of the hotel with the pool or something and gritting my teeth the entire time I was en route.
In the morning around 8 a.m., the pool was quiet with people just enjoying the lull in the day. The sun was warm but coming from an angle and I sat on a lounge chair next to a shrub that provided me with cover. I sat by the larger and deeper pool and nearby was a shallow pool where you could sit and the water only came up to your chest. Got some more reading done.
Later the same day, I was back at the pool around 4 p.m. and it was busier but not so full that I couldn’t get a lounge chair by the shallow pool. I was prepared in a swimsuit and cover-up, lotioned up to bake on each side for 20 minutes (I set a timer) and then hang out in the shallow pool for about 20 minutes.
The next day, we went to a pool party (more about it below) and after that, we went to the Venetian pool because I had raved so much about it and the girls hadn’t made it there. We hung out for about half an hour in the peaceful environment that is on Friday around 6:30 p.m.
On the last morning, I finally ventured away from the two (of four) Venetian pools I kept visiting. There are about 10 pools in total between the Venetian, Palazzo and Venezia, resorts that are related and interconnected. On the last morning, I elected to visit the 10th floor pool we kept seeing listed on the elevator buttons and it was such an excellent choice. As I walked through the halls from the Venetian to Venezia section, the decor changed subtly. It was more lush and quiet on the Venezia end. We aren’t party animals by any stretch but we elected not to stay in the Venezia section. As I got near, I saw the signs for “Venezia Pool Garden” and hoped it would look as good as it sounded.
It did indeed. With the Venetian and Palazzo towering over the smaller pool area, I truly felt like I was in a private courtyard. Obnoxiously green shrubs and landscaping created alcovesand it felt like a garden maze with marble statues, columns and water fountains. There were small and private whirlpools seating seven fed by water fountains. The main pool was small and adjacent to it was a smaller pool feed by a lazy and wide water fountain to the amusement of the children playing under it. It was a most delightful half an hour in an elegant paradise.
I think I have stayed at The Venetian before but haven’t taken advantage of the grounds to the same extent as this time. There are so many hotel choices in Las Vegas and ordinarily I like trying new places out but I’m sold and will ask for The Venetian from now on. From the central location to the spacious suites with living rooms to gorgeous pools, it has everything I want in a hotel I want on a future trip. Three days off from Real Life but ready to return and be back at ’em! #LAS #lasvegas #venetian #bachelorette #leavinglasvegas
Wednesday dinner: The Buffet at Wynn Las Vegas
I’ve been to the buffet at the Wynn before. The girls cracked me up. As soon as they arrived in town, they dropped off their baggage at the hotel and then walked to Wynn next door and indulged in an all-you-can-drink offer and had four drinks each in two hours. There was another all-you-can-drink offer with the dinner buffet and they ordered it again. I refrained. First, the buffet is like $40-something and the drink offer was another $20-something. I’d rather save my calories and appetite for food, especially at a buffet!
So it seems like I accidentally deleted my photos of that dinner. It’s not a big deal as pictures of buffet plates aren’t all that appetizing anyhow. It wasn’t bad, of course, but I can’t remember any highlights.
Wednesday entertainment: Jennifer Lopez “All I Have” at Planet Hollywood
I had an outfit picked out to go to Jennifer Lopez and we decided to go back to change after to dinner. But being Vegas newbies and traveling as a new group, nothing happened quickly and in order to not have to eat and run, we stayed longer at dinner and went straight to the concert venue. Even though the tickets said to arrive an hour early, we arrived at the time the show is stated to start but we knew it wouldn’t start for another 20 minutes. Plenty of other people were in line to trade their confirmations for tickets and thus we didn’t end up having to wait too long for the show to start.
It’s funny when I look around at fellow concert-goers and wonder how much of a fan they are. Some people were completely outside of the majority of the demographic that enjoys Jennifer Lopez’s music. It’s as if they were given tickets as part of some package of activities they bought. Our seats were in the farthest section but the theater was small compared to a real concert venue in the city. Which meant we could see her fairly clearly and not need giant video screens. And there weren’t giant video screens. It seems like true fans who spent more than twice what I spent in order to sit on the lower level and see her so clearly and up close were getting their money’s worth. Our seats sufficed, except when one really self-absorbed guy would be the first to stand if he liked the song and stay sanding and block my view 100%. Fortunately, the seats next to Lil Sis were not filled and we could shift a seat over and I could see around him. Early into the show, he disappeared and we never saw him again. Weird.
It was a great concert. With the recent premiere of her dance competition series, World of Dance, we are reminded of how she started as a dancer. Then she got into acting. And after her role in Selena, she had confidence to pursuit a singing career. Her continued ability to dance all through one set and then another was amazing and we enjoyed the show thoroughly. The “sexy set” (Burlesque, according to the May 28 setlist – see a video) was very good and the Funk and Latin sets were inspiring. The sets were simpler than if she had a big stadium so it’s a give and take on intimacy versus spectacle.
Thursday (and Friday and Saturday) breakfast: Bouchon Bakery & Cafe at The Venetian
Each of the three mornings, I visited Bouchon Bakery. There’s at least three Bakery and Cafes in the Venetian including one right by the elevator bank. The first morning, I discovered their cheese danish so I got another one the second morning. The cream cheese filling was more than ample and the pastry very flakey.
On the third and last morning, I got a kouign aman that I had not noticed before and a blueberry danish for NPY. Lil Sis had spied the Epi Bread which is also pictured and I hadn’t noticed it before. She drew me a diagram and I couldn’t fathom how that shape could exist but there it was, looking like frayed rope.
I really have changed over the years. It used to be I would want to go somewhere different every morning. This time – in part, I was loathed to leave the hotel that early in the morning and the hotel didn’t have any better cafe – I was happy to go to the same, solid establishment each morning. Like forming a little ritual even though I am not at home.
Thursday lunch: Wicked Spoon at the The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
One day in and I was already slightly loathed to go to another buffet! It’s because I had had a satisfying pastry so I felt guilty to indulge some more even if it was the name of the game in Vegas!
But the thought of trying Wicked Spoon, known for having really tasty and innovative buffet items, was tantalizing and I rued not starving myself in the morning. We walked from our hotel to Cosmopolitan at a leisurely pace which meant that by the time we arrived, I was less full from the latte and pastry I had. And I was pleased that Lil Sis got to take in what I label as “the girly hotel”. She was adequately impressed.
Once again the girls indulged in an all-you-can-drink with lunch but I refrained because of feeling my appetite wasn’t that big to begin with. And from the contents of my first plate, I worried I wasn’t going to take full advantage. I loaded up on vegetables. To be fair, the salads weren’t that healthy because of the dressing. And while I wasn’t drawn to the meats so much, I was definitely interested in t he pasta.
The cranberry grapefruit cocktail that we got from the buffet was fresh and delicious. The girls discovered that it was tastier than a mimosa to add the champagne their ordered to the cocktail.
For my second round, I got into heavier fare including a mac ‘n’ cheese, gnocchi (I didn’t like), fried chicken (for the second buffet in a row), kimchi bone marrow and some house-made sausage. There were so many choices and I found myself passing up on the prime rib at each of the buffets. By far, the Wicked Spoon dessert won out and Lil Sis and I had to split our efforts to not be gluttons and have so much waste. We tried passionfruit/mango cake, bread pudding, Thai Iced Tea ice cream, a lemon sponge cake, coconut banana layer cake and a signature chocolate orange tart.
As it was a lunch time meal with no set time for afternoon activities, it was nice to linger after lunch, talk, laugh and allow us all to feel less full before having to leave.
Thursday afternoon: The LINQ Promenade
The girls opted to go to a shooting range off the strip in the afternoon and I stayed back. I wonder if I would have chosen differently as little as three or five years ago. There are some thrills I would like to explore one day (like skydiving), ones that I thought I might do but now have changed my mind (like bungee jumping) and ones I never had interested in doing. Shooting a gun might fall in the latter category. I didn’t think it would be fun for me to hang out with them if I was not participating and I absolutely didn’t want to participate just to be part of it. Fortunately, everyone was understanding.
Instead, I made my way leisurely back to the hotel and checked out the LINQ Promenade which I think is new since the last time I was in Las Vegas. I poked in some shops that offered free samples (Ghirardelli and The Honolulu Cookie Company), visited some other stores including a souvenir shop and then made my way back to the hotel with a higher clip once I decided to check out the pool and give it a go at evening out my t-shirt tan.
One of the alcoholic slushy stands was advertising a summer flavour of Dole Whip and rum but I didn’t want to drink alone so I passed on it.
Thursday entertainment: Magic Mike Live at Hard Rock Casino
When trip-planning, we learned that the three most reputable male – er – entertainment shows were Thunder from Down Under, Chippendales and Magic Mike Live. I saw Thunder in 2014 and wasn’t impressed and if that was the plan, thought I might refrain from that evening. Chippendales is a worse show, supposedly but Magic Mike…? I couldn’t make it through more than 10 minutes of the first movie, I thought it was pure swill.
Pure swill when I have precious little time for a movie and hardly a need to feast my eyes on a hard body on the screen. My Vegas-bound co-worker had already booked her Magic Mike tickets and when I read a review that it is truly a higher caliber show with excellent dancing, I reluctantly agreed. Thunder from Down Under/Chippendales is a great deal cheaper and you can get “half-price” tickets. Meanwhile, Magic Mike was a new show and good on a different level.
The venue at the Hard Rock Casino is accessible when you descend a set of stairs. It felt like an underground club and our seats on a plush couch against the wall was the farthest from the stage (compared to being right up against it) but we still had a great view. It’s just that the walkway at our feet was not frequented as often by dancers as the inner walkway between the front tables and the stage. To start things off nicely, the servers were good looking and friendly and I finally indulged in a drink. It felt like the right atmosphere – I ordered one with blue curacao and we also got flutes of Prosecco. This was a great start compared to Thunder from Down Under which felt like we were sitting communally at long plastic tables with black table cloth thrown over, all facing a dinky and uninspired stage. I may be having false memories from three years ago.
The show started deliberately unpromisingly with the major cliches stepping on stage including the firefighter in uniform who groped a (planted) audience member. She put the brakes on it and shared with the audience what she wanted to see in a show, the kind of men she wanted to see (and that was a diverse list and they all appeared to our great delight), and how she wanted to feel invoking the good graces of a wish-granting unicorn. The show proceeded with some random dance routines to introduce some of the guys and also continued with the story of Mike the Waiter learning the craft to become Magic Mike. Highlights included the aerial ropes routine where the guy dramatically performed with sinister black ropes above a woman on a round bed and “the shower scene”.
Overall, it was truly thrilling to see an all-(ripped and shirtless)-male group dancing skillfully a contemporary or cool hip hop routine. That is far sexier than what the other two shows are known for providing.
Do I have other photos and videos? Of course! Am I going to share them. No way!
Thursday dinner: Gordon Ramsay Burger
I had few items on my wish list for Vegas because I have been several times already but one that I didn’t want to let go of was trying Gordon Ramsay Burger. It was named BRGR for a while which isn’t just a hokey drop-the-vowels gimimick because Ramsay’s initials appear in the BRGR name. A burger always hits the spot and it doesn’t break the bank. I don’t think the girls appreciated my suggestion until they realized it was a Gordon Ramsay restaurant.
We queued at Burger in Planet Hollywood for about 15 minutes after we arrived from the Hard Rock Casino. I could barely wait for food since we did without since the buffet lunch.
I ended up choosing the foie gras burger but can’t say I really tasted it. (Mindful eating is not a forte of mine.) But I could definitely tell there was foie gras content later when I would burp a little, haha.
Thursday clubbing: Intrigue at Wynn Las Vegas
When we could roll out of Burger, we head straight to the Wynn because we had tickets for Intrigue. It was S’s call – we decided to go to a club on Thursday after Magic Mike and Diplo would be DJ’ing that night. Intrigue is well rated, too but … I didn’t really get it. It’s cool they have an outdoor section with a dramatic waterfall wall but it hardly made a difference to me when all I wanted to do was sit down and there’s no where to sit unless you start making friends.
Three years after the last Vegas trip feels like a lifetime ago. While we were at Burger, my strappy sandals were already hurting, strangely while I was sitting. Basically, my feet started to swell up and thus felt suffocated in the heels. It was our first night out and I would learn that the girls weren’t interested in “making friends” even though I thought two of the girls could be quite successful, one of them on account of her awesome curly hair that really suggests how fun she is.
We got into the club around 12:30 and Diplo started his set around 1 a.m. The dance floor was small and I felt shorter than ever and unceremoniously bumped around. Two dancers danced above us and on his DJ table and the “special effect” at Intrigue was to periodically blast a cloud of cold smoke on the dance floor. I begged out at 1:30 and didn’t think my feet would make it to the Uber pick-up spot or until the car arrived.
Friday lunch: Canonita at The Venetian (Canal Shoppes)
Fortunately, on our second morning, the girls weren’t clamouring for a buffet but instead wanted to sit on a patio. We exited the Venetian and wandered just a block away before deciding to return to the hotel. It was so late to still have to decide on a lunch spot when we had tickets for a pool party that only went up to 4 p.m. (or so we thought).
I had mentioned how we could go for fake patio dining alongside the fake Venice canal on the Canal Shoppes level since I had the feeling that they hadn’t spent any time in one of the cool sights of the casino.It didn’t sound appealing at first but when I lead them to the Canal Shoppes level when we returned to the hotel, they spied the long terrace and we sat down for a casual, comfortable and economical meal.
I ordered a soup. Since I had once again gone to Bouchon, it was just the right amount to make me feel energized again.
Friday pool party: Encore Beach Club at Encore
During lunch at Canonita, we determined that the pool party did not end at 4 p.m. but at 7 p.m. So that gave us room to take a nap before setting about to getting ready.
Initially, I thought that I could get away with wearing my trust one-piece Roots swimsuit and save on a cover-up by tying up the ends of a scarf. But a couple of weeks before the trip, I dropped in Winners and picked up a cute one-piece swimsuit with a skirt and cheerful pattern. It essentially looked like a very short and form-fitting sundress. After Googling “what to wear to a pool party”, I learned t hat pool parties are like going to a club by day (which is why some are called “day clubs”) and can in fact be more fun. So have fun and dress up like you’re going out. I was still going to wear the tied scarf as a cover-up though.
Of course the other three girls were wearing two-piece swimsuits and I would soon realize that of the hundreds of people, I was the only person wearing a form-fitting sundress-looking swimsuit. It was immediately too matronly. Of course, there were people who were wearing who knows what kind of swimsuit because they kept their t-shirt or tank top on and wore shorts. So I did feel a little like I got the dress code wrong slightly, but no matter…! We deliberated a little where to store our stuff, in a public area or lockers. I have no idea what the lockers cost but they were easy to access if you needed to repeatedly retrieve and store stuff.
I had another drink because it was the appropriate occasion in my opinion. Our drinks (two Sex on the Beach and two gin & sodas) came to $80. That is shocking as it was significantly more than the only other drinks I had at Magic Mike. But you just roll with it (and not get a second drink).
There were really just two pools and if you thought too long about it, it’s kind of gross. Was the water just a little cloudy? And those orange things we saw along the bottom? Sunken clear plastic cups with the Encore Beach Club orange logo. We arrived at 4:30 and it wasn’t as packed as the promotional photos would suggest even though the Encore Beach Club is one of the top-ranking pool parties. I wonder when their peak time is. Shortly after we arrived, the other pool was closed and I assumed it was for cleaning but it remained closed while we were there.
We just sat along the edge. People didn’t seem to notice let alone dance to the music that was mixed by a live DJ. I really wasn’t so sure what to do as we were not into making friends with people with cabanas. At least you do have a place to sit… in the water.
At one point when I was talking to S – as opposed to kind of staring off into space and enjoying the music – a guy came up to my sister and M and I joined the conversation. Lil Sis and M moved off leaving me to entertain the guy and it was a small thrill for 20 minutes to get to know him. He stood in the water and held two cans of Bud Light, swigging from them as we talked. Who knows how much is true but it was interesting and the opinions we shared about books and travel should be genuine.
We left after about 90 minutes and it was a stark contrast to the pool party atmosphere to just lounge for a bit at the Venetian pool.
Friday dinner: Picasso at Bellagio
There was a little bit of debate before we decided on dinner. M had suggested some places including Le Cirque and Atelier. Le Cirque sounded great but she heard a so-so review and found Picasso and Atelier. Picasso’s website looked so staid I voted for Atelier but the Atelier reservation was too early in the evening and we started to consider Joel Robuchon. But the latest suggestion was on a new level and I wasn’t willing to do that. I didn’t know Picasso (by Julian Serrano) is also a Michelin star restaurant and agree to try this restaurant that captured M’s attention by it’s location at the Bellagio fountains. Big whoop, right?
Thus far, we had only seen the fountains when we were in a car. While we dined for over two hours starting at 9:45 p.m., we caught nine shows since they were on every 15 minutes for a five-minute show. We sat on the balcony that was water-level and after all the water has splashed down, the wind would carry mist over to us. We tried not to dwell too much on what else might come with the mist.
Our dining options were either the five-course chef’s tasting menu for which you had a couple of choices for the entree or the four-course prix fixe menu for which you had a few choices for each entree making it a bit like a la carte dining. The wine binders was a tome and we decided to go with a wine pairing that was half the price of the meal and seemed like a splendid meal. It was the right choice because a particular bottle of red or white (or second bottles) wasn’t going to match our individual food selections. Once again, it was the right occasion to have some alcohol.
While we made our menu selections, we were presented with an amuse-bouche of a creamy asparagus soup and fish croquette. Three of us ordered the poached oysters and they were perfect except we could have easily eaten more. The creamy liquid had a hint of tart and the caviar elevated everything. Somehow, a squeeze of lemon made it even better and that is how I enjoyed the last two. My wine pairing with the oysters was a crisp Sauvignon Blanc.
Two of us ordered the foie gras second course and it was intriguing how the cream tart was paired with apple galette. Dessert this early – although none of the staff would appreciate if I said that aloud. My wine pairing was a late harvest Riesling and so that was easily my favourite wine of the evening.
Lil Sis and I ordered the fallow deer as our entree and for that we were matched with a Cabernet Sauvignon. It was my first time having deer and it was delicious at the medium that I requested it be cooked.
My dessert selection was bread pudding as was on my mind after seeing it twice on the buffets but it seemed more like a dense cake than bread pudding. The dessert was not the highlight of the meal. There was also a selection of petit fours provided to us with their compliments but I couldn’t eat any more. Before we left,w e were each provided with a branded box and inside, banana chocolate muffins which we enjoyed as a snack the next day.
Friday clubbing: Hyde at Bellagio
After we finally peeled ourselves out of our chairs – so full – from Picasso, we were walking through the casino in Bellagio to get to the High Roller when a tall and slim guy in a suit approached us. He asked us where we were going and advised us that we were headed to the wrong exit. And then he proceeded to invite us to Hyde for complimentary drinks and free entry. I was wary but did not speak up to stop the girls, quite sure that we were not leaving any time soon and going to miss the High Roller.
I’m quite pleased that we did go to Hyde. Located right in the middle of the casino and perched above the fountains, people with tables along the windows were right along the water and all of us were treated with a glittering view of the hotels across the strip, like the base of fake Eiffel Tower. Although it was not an enormous club (like Hakkasan) I immediately felt like it was a more impressive club than Intrigue and people were well dressed and so it felt overall nicer. The DJs were easy on the eyes (Hyde resident DJ C.L.A. and DJ Kittie). We arrived in time for a giant confetti storm to get dumped on everyone and it was an excuse to touch someone’s hair to pull out straggling pieces.
Friday gambling: Flamingo Las Vegas
Sure enough, after we left Hyde, it was too late to make the last ride on High Roller. The girls hadn’t gambled at all so far and S had done her research and wanted to play craps specifically at Flamingo. The other girls didn’t understand as there are craps tables in Bellagio but I felt like the person with the concrete idea of what to do should get to decide. And, Flamingo was “just” kitty corner from Bellagio, unless someone (like myself) leads all to the wrong exit and we had to walk further.
We made it anyhow and it’s clear why the chill atmosphere at Flamingo makes it a recommended gambling destination. I accompanied S since Lil Sis and M weren’t interested in craps at first but was the first to turn in for the night after about half an hour there.
Our flights were midday the next day so other than one final Bouchon run, we didn’t have any more activities!