Here’s the second part of our recent trip to Las Vegas. To read about our first few days in Sin City, check out our earlier post. For our midweek shenanagins, check out the report below!
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After enjoying a couple of coffees and vegan chocolate chip muffins in the room (grabbed from the cafe in the lobby), we take a cab to Ronald’s Doughnuts on Spring Mountain Rd. Whether you follow a vegan diet or not, everyone can enjoy fritters, bear claws, and maple cinnamon buns the size of their face. There is nothing greater than hobbling back to your room at the end of the night and having a huge box of donuts waiting for you. We make a stop at Ronald’s Doughnuts every trip. It’s less than a 10 minute cab ride up the street, and they sell donut holes at 12 for a $1. We left a tip and they gave us donut holes for free. In Canada, we call them Timbits. Because Tim Hortons owns us all.
After we gorge on second-breakfast, we hit the strip. We stop in the Venetian to tour the canal shops. Jon pulls me out of the Kate Spade Store while I am only 1 new cellphone case deep. It is an ice cream with sprinkles. There are several matching purses. Good job, Jon.
We make our way to Casino Royale and sign up for their loyalty card as the current promotion is $20 in freeplay (once you lose $20). Jon hits the Hangover Machine and I find my dear frenemy, Beetlejuice. My $20 is gone in less than 5 minutes, even though I’m doing the minimum 40cents a spin. I also lose my free $20. Jon wins $40 and we leave with our original wager.
We walk through Harrah’s, the Cromwell, Flamingo and the Linq – the last of which is new to us this visit. We spend a fair amount of time touring the outdoor promenade there. It has a great array of shops and restaurants, and reminds me a lot of Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls. After a quick Google search, we learn the ‘Flour and Barley’ pizza parlour at the Linq has vegan cheese. We split a pie out on the patio. It’s a great spot to people watch, and I enjoy being able to rest my feet for a bit. The pizza was reasonably priced, about $15 including a couple of added toppings. We then make our way to Sprinkles, the cupcake shop as we’ve heard they have a vegan option. I’m not all that hungry, but once I see they have a Cupcake ATM, we have to stop and grab a cupcake. It is here we notice the camera crew and signage warning us we’re being filmed for Penn & Teller’s new season of Fool Us. There’s a magician there doing his personal profile. It isn’t all that exciting to watch, so we only stick around long enough to eat our cupcake. I hope when the season comes out that there’s no footage of me in the background inhaling the frosting on my red velvet cake.
We’re interested in seeing the ticket prices for Wednesday’s Absinthe Show, so we decide to cross the strip and make our way up to Caesar’s Palace. We stop in the Bellagio and try out the digital roulette wheels that seem to have popped up in every casino the past year. As someone who knows no table etiquette – this is probably the only way you’d get me betting at a table. Jon picks the safe bets along the edge, where I play numbers mostly at random. His money lasts longer than mine. I decide roulette is no fun and we wander over to Caesar’s.
By this point my feet hurt and I’m getting the midday blahs. We order a huge iced coffee from Starbucks to trek through Caesar’s. We’d contemplated finding a ‘Tickets for Tonight’ booth to grab our Absinthe Tickets, but as every time I’d passed them the lines are always huge – we said to hell with it, and grabbed them from the first ticket booth we find inside Caesar’s. The girl there gives us a better deal then at the official Absinthe Window outside, and we get two tickets for the following night’s show for $89 apiece.
We make our way back to the Encore to get ready for our dinner reservation at Sinatra, which advertises italian fine-dining. We both get the Caesar salad to start, which is delicious but really awkward to eat. The croutons are large slices of thinly crisped bread, and the romaine is in full leaves. There is a women across the table from us glaring at my purple hair and less-than-great table etiquette and I dread making a fool of myself so much that I make to inhale it quickly. I hate snoots. Soon a couple is placed in-between the snootwoman and I who happen to be in the middle of a marriage meltdown, so we both become too pre-occupied with the dramz to care how skilfully I consume my uncut salad. For our entrees I order the Agnolotti, which are small pasta pockets filled with butternut squash, served in an asparagus cream sauce. I eat the entire thing, and then wipe up the sauce with the rest of the table bread. Take that, snoot. Jon orders an almond/cashew tarte, that’s been crispy breaded and likely fried. It’s decadent and filling. His is served on a tomato puree and is also suitable for bread wiping.
After dinner, we make our way to Parasol Down in the Wynn for cocktails. If you haven’t visited this bar before, it is a must-stop for a cocktail. They are pricey, like at all the cocktail lounges in Vegas ($18-20 apeice), but the bar overlooks the Lake of Dreams, which has shows every half hour that are unique each time. Some have weird abstract video projections, others have giant, dancing orbs – it’s kind of like an elegant acid trip. We order absinthe for our first cocktail, as it seems the most fitting sitting under floating parasols and watching a giant singing frog. The bartender makes us an amazing cocktail that is sweet and cuts through the harsh black licorice taste of the absinthe. We order another cocktail before last call but I can’t even remember what I get. Something fruity in a tall glass. As Parasol Down closes up for the night, we are drunkenly unleashed in the Wynn Casino. I lose Jon to a blackjack table and play some more Beetlejuice before wandering away to some other machines. This part is kind of a hazy blur, most likely from all of the absinthe. Eventually we make it back up to the room, order room service, and pass out before it arrives. I wake up at about 6 am, change into some pajamas and take my contact lenses out. I wake Jon, who’s passed out on the sofa. There is a voicemail letting us know our food is ready and to call for it. Whoops. We ashamedly find the bed and crash again.
Pool day! I am dreadfully hungover. We trudge down to the Encore pool in our swimmers and are pleased at how quiet it is. We head over to the kid-free European pool and park on some loungers. The Encore and Wynn pools are exclusive to hotel guests, so they aren’t as crowded as some of the other hotel pools, especially during the week. We spend the afternoon in the sun, reading and baking our hangover away, eventually settling on a Ginger + Cucumber pitcher. It is the most refreshing cocktail I’ve ever had. After about 4 glasses each, we are sun drunk and loving it. The sun dips behind the Wynn in the late afternoon and we take our cue to head upstairs and get ready for our 8pm tickets for Absinthe over at Caesar’s Palace.
We were planning to get dinner beforehand but I took way too long deciding on an outfit. Girls. We rush down to Zoozacrackers and grab the Vegan Vegetable sandwich before hopping into a cab.
This is our second time seeing Absinthe, and I highly recommend it to everyone who visits Las Vegas. It is such an amazing show. Crude, unapologetic, and fantastic! There is so much to see and so many wonderful acts, it’s hard to even describe. There’s comedy, burlesque, physical stunts, dancing – this show has everything. If you want to get made fun of, pay for the premium seats up at front of house. If you want to hide in the audience, sit in the back. The seating is a little uncomfortable, the man in front of us actually broke his chair halfway through the show and had to hop in an empty one adjacent. But- despite the folding chairs, every seat in the house is a good one – many of the stunts have height to them. Be sure to order a green fairy cocktail from the bar before the show, it’s a great, green glowing concoction with –surprise– absinthe. Lastly, hit the restroom before the show, as there isn’t one in the Speigeltent. You’ll have to walk across the outdoor pavilion to one beside the Serendipity cafe – and it isn’t the nicest restroom.
After the show, we had free entry at Hyde in the Bellagio. We walk over, and as it’s only 10pm and hasn’t converted into a nightclub yet, we get in free regardless. We ‘re seated in a very nice booth overlooking the fountains. We each order a cocktail and get to watch a couple of fountain shows. The waitress comes to settle our tab as they are switching over, so we pay for our drinks. I’ve hardly even had half of mine before I’m asked to vacate my seat. Alright, then. We’re told to head up to the top bar which has now opened up, extending the club. There are red ropes everywhere, leaving very little space to even stand around. We get to the top bar, and after I finish my first cocktail, I try to order a second. At first I ask if they are still serving signature cocktails from the menu, I am told no. Then I ask for a rye and ginger and am told no. I am told this bar is for a private event and that I have to go to the other bar – the one I had already settled up at. We go to head down to the other bar, and see that the upper bar is now roped off, so we have to wait to be let out of the ropes to return to the rest of the club. At this point, I’m kind of over the pretentious service and feel like we’ve outstayed our welcome. The remaining areas for the public without bottle service are minuscule. We try to leave the way we came in and are denied. We’re told the exit is on the opposite side. By this point I am so over this club I just want out. We go down a completely unmarked, unthemed white hallway where two men are standing at the end. Neither of them acknowledges us, despite the fact that we are and look completely confused as to where the exit is. I wave my arms until one of them looks up from their phones and ask is the unmarked door is the exit, they nod. The door lets out into the other side of the casino, I guess to keep people at the entrance from seeing people leave the club early?
Either way, Hyde leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It is only just after 11pm and we have no other plans for the evening. We make our way over to Paris as we hear some loud music coming from the Eiffel Tower. The Chateau nightclub appears to have a Wednesday Party. We ask about cover – $40 for guys, $20 for ladies – and at 60 bucks we eventually decide to pass. I’ve had enough night club vibes for the night.
My feet are killing, so we take the monorail from Bally’s to Harrah’s and head to the least pretentious bar on the strip, Carnival Court. I limp gleefully from the monorail. A band plays a set of rock n’ roll covers of modern-day party songs, and then a DJ takes over for the rest of the night. Jon gets no less than two separate offers of cocaine in the men’s washroom. I get zero. It’s probably because I’m wearing pantihose. The cocktails are strong at Carnival, I recall only ordering 3 rounds. We stay there until 3 or 4am, dancing and having a ball. We stagger all the way from Harrah’s back to the Encore and pass out, our feet raw. (By the way, is there an award given out for keeping your heels on all the way to your hotel room? Because I did that. And there were SO MANY bare feet on the strip..)