We had managed to walk back into Excalibur and a lady stopped to show us a sample of MoYou roll on nail art. I got green and white flowers, and green and white zebra stripes on my right hand, and red and black hearts with the word love on my left ring finger. The lady spoke too quick for me and I wanted the large plates she was using, but Deanna got the French Kit and they sell hundreds of plates online and other nail polish brands will work too. She covered my nails in a top coat, “to make it look shiny”, but it began to look gray the more it dried – which was quickly and made me very happy.
We had to make our way back to the tram so that we could ride back to Mandalay Bay and then walk to THEhotel to watch the sunset from the miX Lounge. We passed the candied apples and rode down the escalator with a mirror above – which I love. Back in the tram, “Please do not lean on the door,” and we passed the Luxor again. Maybe later we would see it from the outside in better detail. More fancy carpets, more multi-tiered fountains, and poker seats for $100 an hour. This hotel has shinier walls and floors and a very yellow lit hallway. At the top, we are met with a glass bubble curtain enclosing the dining area with the sunset to our left and a private event to our right.
Maybe there was supposed to be more color tonight in the sky. Clouds and arriving twenty minutes sooner than 6:40 pm might’ve helped too. I still enjoyed the view and the moment for what it was – minutes spent doing something I wanted with someone, who after the goofy years of school and the straining years of becoming an adult, I can still enjoy hanging out with – and who made the effort to keep in touch and show up too. Thank you Deanna for being a best friend. I’m grateful to add to the memories of childhood too.
Back inside Mandalay Bay (we could walk through these places eight times and still find something new) we passed Aureole – a restaurant that would usually just be too pricey for us to dine at, but this one comes with an attraction – a four-story, $1.2 million, wine tower inspired by Mission: Impossible that has given the Wine Angels a job since 1999. We got to see one of the ladies in action and if you decide to eat there you get to walk around and down the tower to the tables below. Perhaps if I ever win the lottery my big senseless spend will be to go in the tower and find a bottle of Chateau Petrus to sip with Caleb.
All the way at the south end of Mandalay Bay is the Shark Reef Aquarium where you can walk through the tunnel. We were looking forward to this – even at $18 each, but we got to the ticket gates two minutes after the last ones are sold. They more than likely would’ve taken our money, but we agreed it would be better to have more time to visit on a return trip! Now would be the long trek back to the room to drop off shopping bags, take care of dogs, and get ready for the late evening. We passed a pregnant woman squatting to put her head between two marble-like boobs, a man getting his shoes shined, and some shiny guitar purses on red manikins.
After a group got off the tram at the Luxor, and I got to take a picture of the Sphinx, we had enough room to sit down and enjoy the rest of our ride. We would get back to Planet Hollywood at 7:50 pm and then the hassle of our evening would begin. Our keys didn’t work in the door and I knew it was because of the barking coming from the other side of the door. We went downstairs where I paid $84 for the one night, filled out three forms, and then waited over an hour (with me checking in every ten minutes) for security to let us in our room so that I could put the dogs in the car. They were going to move us to the pet floor, but continue to charge us. The fine print and the employee were very hard to understand – and it seems they make more money that way.
I took some deep breaths. At least for our trouble the manager knocked off some resort fees, so I helped save Deanna some money and we got to people watch the others staying on our floor – drunk, lost, laughing. Two girls got dressed up the first night and tonight were going out in flip-flops and sweaters. Two guys had taken the south elevators when they needed the other side to get to the right floor. By 10 o’clock we were on the prowl for a Dirty Girl Scout Cookie. We walked through Heart Bar and past the dancers to Halo Bar where we got the iciest chunks in our shots ever, ordered a beer, and left.
We watched the trees blowing outside the window of Mandalay Bay and I thought it had to be a fan or some sort of joke, but when we stepped outside (sans jacket – hoping to get too drunk to need it) I quickly realized the temperature had dropped and that I was too lazy to go back upstairs, so we just hurried into the nearest building – The Cosmopolitan. We were met with a shiny curtain (at least three floors high) and a line of girls waiting to get into Marquee. I saw Rose. Rabbit. Lie. written on the directional sign above us and wanted to check that place out.
Walking through The Cosmo is like taking a tour of the most art inspired hotel. Everything about the restaurants and shops is outdone in uniqueness, but the hallways have large dogs, a shoe you can sit in, and other art as you walk and large abstract pieces on the walls. We saw our first postcard art vending machine and found out the place we searched for was closed – or maybe it was already packed and all the fun hidden behind soundproof doors – or 10:30 at night is too early for this happening place to open. I could spend hours just admiring the large pictures, odd-shaped tables, different light forms, shiny and reflective walls, eclectic furniture, and carpet patterns of The Cosmo.
This place just seems to stand out, more so than anywhere we’ve been to yet, and then we see the Rhinestone Roadster – Liberace’s car – one in a collection of many from his museum that closed in 2010. The foundation is trying to make a comeback because, “Too much of a good thing… is wonderful!” which also seems to be the theme here at The Cosmo. I’d warmed up enough to forget how cold it was outside until we were walking quickly on the moving belt that approaches the Bellagio. If watching the fountain show from here wasn’t entertaining enough, we got to see a guy run by us (wrong way on the belt) screaming something about a terrible movie exit.
There was no film crew – amateur or otherwise following him, but there were his friends or adult children who tried to keep an eye on him – he hadn’t fallen or collided with anyone yet. The Bellagio gets my award for best lobby. There are over 2,000 hand-blown flowers by Dale Chihuly on the ceiling to compliment all the real flowers that surround statues, grow near fountains, climb out of oversized pots, and complete the body of caterpillars in the garden. In the back of the garden is a large frame filled with living art, and you can see the water dripping from behind the canvas.
As the color attracts your eyeballs attention, the running water and live piano will do magic for your ears. This inspired me to use my other senses – as I smelled the pink daisies and tried to take a selfie, as I tasted the Anchor Steam beer in my hand and attempted a ceiling photo, as I heard the bottle hit the floor and felt the beer splash up on my legs covering my boots and dress in the process, and as I went into the nearest bar – Fix – and used the bartender’s dirty wet rag to wipe the stickiness off. I had picked up the bottle and a man appeared out of nowhere to keep an eye on my spill until a mop arrived.
I worried that I should clean it up, but in Vegas where things can get messier I had to be grateful that the bottle hadn’t broken. I offered and was kindly assured it would be taken care of. This is where cash for tips would come in handy. Everyone else was too busy to notice, so we carried on as if nothing had happened. Moments later we are met by two boys – literally – one said he was 21 but had forgotten his ID. I just ignored them and they followed us for a while before realizing it. They offered to get us drink discounts at their work or we could go back to their mom’s house with a bottle bought from the liquor store – I don’t think so!
We find our way to the north side of Lake Bellagio to watch the last three minutes of the show playing to My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion made popular by the film Titanic. We bypass Caesar’s Palace to check out O’Sheas across the street, but when met with a line walk up to a bar in The Quad. There were four guys ordering drinks and standing in the way of us. I took one of the blue ones they got and Deanna got a piña colada. They were headed to Carnival Court – live music outside – and it was still too cold for me so we went inside after hearing them talk shit to their friend, calling him Wrecking Ball for going to a Miley Cyrus concert with his girlfriend.
We made our way in and out of the Toby Keith Bar & Grill – it was not him singing on stage. The drinks must’ve started to kick in because I had to ask a bartender where we were. When he told us Harrah’s I replied that we made it, but we weren’t done for the evening, so I don’t know what I was thinking. We made our way to BLT Burger in The Mirage – a place I remember Caleb and I eating – and sat at the bar. We ordered buffalo curly fries and waffle fries. Then at one point I had the blue drink I walked in with, the Guinness with champagne that I wanted to try, and the fuzzy navel shot that the guys next to us bought – only in Vegas!
We finished the fries, took the shot, I dropped the remaining blue drink, and grabbed my brown beverage in a plastic cup to go. The guys had left, but we met them in the hallway, so the tall one in a Hawaiian shirt tossed the drink I didn’t like (Guinness is better with cider) and ordered us each an orange Julius, gave us gambling money, and told us to have a good evening. They’d already made an exit, but perhaps this made them feel better (I know it did for us) and gave them more time to escape – as if they needed to.
We started to wander again and found The Beatles section of The Mirage and with no one in sight we kept moving. I remember being cold again and passing in front of Caesar’s Palace. Then I remember telling this guy on the escalator to pull his pants up. When I thought there might be a confrontation I told him I said that because it was freaking cold out, so his friend gave me his jacket to wear until we made it to the doors of Planet Hollywood – where we would be going inside and they would not. Thank you stranger for helping keep me warm and making me want to buy a fuzzy jacket.
From there, a KOI promoter walked us to the entrance of the club at the top of the escalators and at $20 each after 2:00 am we changed our minds and made our way to the room. I took off the tie that I hadn’t made blink all night, put my jacket on, and made my way downstairs to take care of the dogs. I sat in the car to make sure Sparky ate, then walked back to the room. Deanna had the TV on, but that soon became a bright spot making noise and then my face hit the pillow – Goodnight Vegas.