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The World’s Largest Chocolate Fountain. Is In Vegas. (Duh).

December 4, 2009

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.

J and I on The Strip

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!

  1. December 4, 2009 10:39 AM

    Glad you enjoyed your trip! Vegas is a lot of fun, with all the shows and shopping. Plus, you can walk from one place to another with a drink in hand! 😉

    • December 4, 2009 11:05 AM

      I’m not a big drinker, but the shows and shopping do seem like a lot of fun. Maybe a family vacation destination someday!

  2. tmana permalink
    December 4, 2009 10:56 AM

    Vegas has changed a lot since the first time I was out there, in ’98. At that time, they still allowed smoking everywhere, most of the in-hotel shopping malls were still in their infancy (if they were there at all), and there was no route from anywhere to anywhere that did not take you at least three times through the casino floor. The second (and, sadly, most recent) time I was there, in ’02, the shopping malls were in place and indoor smoking was confined to the casino areas. (I react very badly to cigarette smoke; its ubiquity in ’98 made my trip less than perfectly enjoyable.)

    Both times I was out was for the Association of PC User Groups fall conference, which was at the time attached to COMDEX, so it was a full week of not seeing much other than expo floor and conference area, food, vendors, and vendor presentations. (Of course, for computer geeks, this is best translated as “FUN” in upper-case, totally-blinged-out letters. Just like Vegas is Totally Blinged Out in oversized everything.)

    I’d love to have a week or two just to see all of the sights I missed (i.e., everything but The STAR TREK Experience and the Hoover Dam, and a couple of casino shopping malls)…

    • December 4, 2009 11:06 AM

      Oh I wish I had gone to Vegas when the Star Trek Experience was still around. I’m so bummed I missed it.

  3. December 4, 2009 10:57 AM

    Looks like fun! My sis is 13 and LOVES her ripstick. 🙂 It just look painful to me. LOL

    • December 4, 2009 11:06 AM

      It was incredibly awkward. I’m not sure I would get on one again.

  4. Tina permalink
    December 4, 2009 11:23 AM

    This blog is making me want three things: 1. a Ripstick for my friend’s son 2.To go to Vegas and 3. to make a list of my own. I am so glad you had a good time!

    • December 4, 2009 11:27 AM

      1. He’ll love it.
      2. You definitely should go.
      3. Absolutely. Can’t wait to see it!

  5. December 4, 2009 3:01 PM

    I had my first Vegas trip earlier this year. I’m not sold, but I think it’s because I went for a conference and not with a group of friends. I’m looking forward to going back so I can explore more!

    • December 4, 2009 3:09 PM

      I think the only reason I even came close to liking Vegas was because of hanging out with J and B. If I had only gone for the conference, I would have thought it was big and obnoxious. But there isn’t anything beyond the Strip so I think I would get tired of it pretty quickly, so I think only a 2 or 3 day trip would hold me. Any longer that and I’d be itching to get out!

  6. December 5, 2009 5:32 AM

    Sounds like you had a lot of fun!! Vegas is an awesome place and I’ve been there 3 times now and am sick of it already, haha. I live only 5 hours away & it can get a little bit tiring if you don’t want to spend money but end up gambling and see the same things again. Going there with a purpose makes it more fun!

    • December 5, 2009 9:19 AM

      Yeah, I don’t know if I would like to live so close to Vegas. But I have the same prob living in NYC. It’s so expensive! So easy to spend money on mindless, unnecessary things.

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