The World’s Largest Chocolate Fountain. Is In Vegas. (Duh).
Confession: I used to judge Vegas. Maybe it was because when I was younger I used to be slightly more moral than I am now, but I used to think really bad things about Las Vegas. I used to think it was nothing but gambling and sex, and that both are bad things. I used to think it was nothing but half-naked ladies walking around and that only special things about the hotels are the mirrors on the ceilings.
For the record: my hotel room did not have a mirror on the ceiling.
This past Monday thru Wednesday was the annual company retreat, a time for the folks at my company to get together from different offices, meet each other, learn how well the company is doing, and have a little fun.
But seeing as how I had never been to Vegas, and also knowing very well that any event held in a hotel means you’re not seeing the light of day the entire time you’re at said hotel, meant that I wanted to get to Las Vegas early. And lucky for me, one of my best friends from high school, J, lives in Las Vegas with her boyfriend, B, and even though it was Thanksgiving weekend, she let me crash at her pad. Because that’s what awesome friends who live in Vegas do.
My attitude towards Las Vegas definitely change while I was there. Even though I didn’t do much more than walk around the strip, I saw that there were a ton of performances that didn’t involve n*ked boobs, and that Cirque du Soleil, the Blue Man Group and, yes, Donny and Osmand Marie were popular alternatives. The hotels had tons of shops (mostly very expensive, but I’m from New York so that’s hardly a new sight to see) and were very cleverly decorated with each hotels designated theme, whether it was Ancient Rome (Caesars Palace) or old-world French villages (Paris).
I arrived late-ish on Saturday night, and headed back to her place to sleep. I actually stayed up pretty late considering I was still fully on East Coast time, but I think the adrenaline of being there was enough to keep me going.
The next morning, we headed to the Venetian for brunch (which is the hotel where our retreat was being held, though our rooms were in the Palazzo – the two are connected because Vegas is fancy and all-encompassing like that), and then chilled for the afternoon. It was so nice to relax and the weather was beautiful, although not especially warm. Several people reminded me that it was November, but excuses excuses!
That night, J and B took me around The Strip to check out the casinos and hotels, and watch super awesome fountain shows.
We started off at the Bellagio hotel, which is simply known for being gorgeous and fancy.
We saw the World’s Largest Chocolate Fountain, which contains over 500 feet of stainless steel piping, measures over 26 feet in height and circulates 2 tons of chocolate at a rate of 120 quarts per minute. That is a LOT of chocolate.
After checking out the casino, we hurried outside to grab a good spot for the Bellagio fountain show, which is an elaborate water spectacle set to the song “One, Singular Sensation” from the Broadway show A Chorus Line.
We continued our tour over at Caesars, which had it own cool fountain show but the pictures from that didn’t show up quite as well. We also spent some time at FAO Schwarz, riding around on a ripstik which are utterly fascinating yet dangerous modes of transportation often favored by teenagers (obviously). We finished the tour of the Strip by stopping at Ballys (where I lost a bit of money), Paris, and then back to the Bellagio (where I made money).
Yeah, that’s me on a ripstik. J got on it first, so I had to try it out.
I would love to eventually make it back to Las Vegas, to really enjoy it as a tourist. I think a long weekend, with a show, some gambling, laying by the pool, and hanging out with my friend, J, would make a perfect vacation. This also marked my fourth out of five new states on my 101 Things List, which means I only have one more to go. I’m taking suggestions… and donations for my plane ticket!