Playa del Carmen, Mexico's virtual guidebook written by locals
 

Go Back   www.Playa.info > Trip Reports > Trip Reports: US and Canada
FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-22-2013   #16 (permalink)
life=playa
 
LB4Playa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Kamloops, B.C.
Posts: 822
Thanks for the warning about the fountains video, Celine makes me want to burn my ear holes.
LB4Playa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2013   #17 (permalink)
way into it
 
Matt_Toronto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 100
Day 3: Old enough to know better

I decide to start our final day with a trip to the southern Premium Outlet mall, with an eye to getting some pics of the Welcome To Las Vegas sign. I get on the SDX, see the sign as we blow past it heading south, and get off at the mall. I quickly find out that I’m not in the mood for shopping, particularly since there’re no great deals to be had.

So, to the sign!

I ask the next bus driver how to get there via bus, since the northbound SDX doesn’t stop there. He’s as friendly and helpful as all get out – he’ll never work at the Toronto Transit Commission, that guy – and I take his advice and hunker down at the bus station and wait for a local bus. It doesn’t take long for me to realize how ridiculous it all is, so I snag the next SDX up to Mandalay Bay.


Mandalay Bay

I alight (always wanted to use that word) from the bus at Mandalay Bay. Peering south I can barely make out the sign through the desert air, but determined to see it up close I set out on an approximately mile long walk (exaggerated to impress ).

I pass the Little Church of the West. Hey! What gives? The thing is brown, not white. There's a wedding on, but I don't see Elvis. Pfffffttt!


Little Church of the West

I continue with my trek and although the rest of the walk is uneventful I am soon right behind the sign. There are all kinds of people politely lining up for their opportunity to get a picture with it, with all kinds of people politely offering to take those pictures. A Russian couple hand me their iPad and I take a few snaps for them. Me, I just want some pics of the sign, I don't need myself in them, so I grab some shots and then it's about face for the return trek to Mandalay Bay.


Great moments in urban planning: wires all over the place behind the iconic Las Vegas sign

A bit more noodling around on the strip and I am done. I go back to the Bellagio and try to hit the pool, but every single seat is taken. So I haul myself over to Caesar’s Palace and console myself with a couple of Sierra Nevadas.

I get a text from the guys – their round of golf is done and so we meet back at the Bellagio for lunch. Then we try the pool again, this time with greater success.


Bellagio pool

Now tonight for dinner the original plans were to go to Tao at The Venetian but a mutiny occurs and the guys decide on pizza instead of a more formal dinner. Someone picks out Five50 at the Aria, and we troop down there on foot. It's Saturday night and the Bellagio, the Strip, everywhere is just teeming with humanity.

We entered some building - The Shops at Crystals? - and did a lot of walking through a number of different buildings before we entered Aria and found Five50. Which in the end was a good thing because my friend's brother spyed Gus Hansen and Phil Ivey playing poker and we got to spend a few minutes after dinner watching the two poker greats do their thing.

Once in Five50, one of the guys ordered a charcuterie plate and said under no circumstances should it come out with blue cheese on it. He was adamant: no blue cheese!

So wouldn't you know that it came out with . . . blue cheese, and damn fine blue cheese it was. As was the meat that accompanied it.

I ordered a Lagunita's IPA and shared a Gotham (pepperoni, sausage, salami) and Bianco (ricotta, white cheddar, olive oil) pizza with the guys sitting near me. The Gotham was fantastic. The IPA too.

And then one of the guys picks up the tab, claiming his wife was paying for it. Great bunch!

So now, it being 10:30 or so, one of the guys has arranged for us to get into a club called the Foundation Room at the Mandalay Bay.

Dread fills my soul upon hearing this. It's been about 20 years since I've been to one – in fact it wasn't called “clubbing” back then, it was called "bellying up to the bar" - and I'm fully aware that I'm well past my best before date.

But someone had kindly made these arrangements and had been generous enough to include me, so off we went. The line-up for cabs is long but moving, unlike Las Vegas Ave. But we finally arrive at Mandalay Bay and disembark.

The Foundation Room is on the top floor of the Mandalay Bay. To get to it, you are confronted with velvet ropes and if you get by them you enter an elevator that takes you to the top. When the doors open . . .

Well I don't know how to fully describe it. The elevator doors open and we step out into a brooding black foyer, with low ceiling and encroaching walls. The music is hip hop/house and is just pumping, with the feeling of 25,000 volts surging through my body with each downbeat, senses put on hold for the duration.

We enter a room that has a long bar to the left, a DJ to the immediate right, and a roped off area to the further right where there are couches around coffee tables, where one can spend a lot of money to have a pretty girl pour a drink from an expensive bottle of booze.

In the center of the room, next to the two pillars, are pretty and pretty curvy go-go girls on pedestals. Me likey.

We "cool" our way through the room as only out-of-place middle age men can


Foxes!

and go out onto the balcony overlooking the Strip.

There are hipsters out there making the scene. It's a beautiful view of the nighttime Strip.

I have my camera with me and consider taking some pictures, but that wouldn't be cool, would it?

Then I start laughing at myself: it's not as if I'm delicately balanced on the divide between cool and uncool, with picture taking putting me over the edge into the land of uncool. I am so far into the uncool zone, born and bred in Dorksville, so to speak, that it doesn't matter what I do, so I start taking some pics.


Mandalay Bay sign from the Foundation Room


The Las Vegas strip from the Foundation Room


The Las Vegas strip from the Foundation Room

We troop back inside and establish position by the bar. My friend's brother comes in, doesn't say a word, and instead with a massive frown just shakes his head and makes a beeline for the elevators back down to street level and relative sanity. Why I didn't tag along with him I can't fathom, but I didn't.

So there we are just standing around while the music pumps and the groovesters groove. Someone offers to beer me a beer; I decline because a beer is only going to keep me there longer.

I wonder what to do with my hands: do I keep them at my side, do I fold my arms in from of me, do I put them in my pockets . . . and I start laughing again because it really doesn't matter what I do.

I need to go to the bathroom but I don't know where it is. I ask the two extremely pretty hostesses, and for some reason they don't respond with "how the hell did YOU get in here"? Instead they direct me to where I need to go. Above each urinal is a sign that says something like "the Foundation Room does not approve the shooting up of drugs in here," or something like that. Lovely.

Back in the club, it's painful. Most of the guys aren't saying anything. Finally one says "You know, this isn't my scene at all." Encouraged, the 57 year old doctor says "What were these guys thinking bringing us here - we're too old for this place." But it still takes 20 minutes before we collectively get the courage to slink out. A couple of the guys apparently thought they could make the scene - they really couldn't - and stayed behind.

I blame the Mandalay Bay and the Foundation Room. They have velvet ropes in front of the elevators. They should have looked at me and said "You! You're too old/unhip/uncool/fat/dressed funny to be here. You can't be serious! Go back to Dorksville!" But they didn't.

I went back to the Bellagio, jumped in the shower to wash of all the smoke, hopped in bed for a good night's rest, and early the next morning we were on our flight back home.


The Bellagio at night


Last edited by Matt_Toronto; 10-23-2013 at 08:02 PM..
Matt_Toronto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2013   #18 (permalink)
añejo
 
SharonD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,769
Your trip report and your honesty are, simply, ADORABLE!! I would bet you're not too old/unhip/uncool...whatever. You're obviously very cool and hip!! So age, clothes and body aren't important, are they? What a great TR, thanks!!! Loved it!!!
SharonD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2013   #19 (permalink)
añejo
 
Brent & Kim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Rockton Illinois
Posts: 10,493
Please tell me you made it to Spearmint Rhino???
Brent & Kim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2013   #20 (permalink)
Canada Dry
 
Rissask's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 56,330
Thanks for the report- I loved reading it!

I really was surprised how much I liked Vegas....I don't like crowds or noise so I didn't think I would- but it was a blast! We will definitely go back.

For my husband's 50th birthday we went up to the rooftop bar at the Rio hotel, the Voodoo Lounge- it was all ages there! We had a GREAT time. It is a block off the strip and has a similar drop-dead view.
Rissask is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2013   #21 (permalink)
way into it
 
Matt_Toronto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 100
Thanks everyone for the kind words; I'm glad you enjoyed my report.
Matt_Toronto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2013   #22 (permalink)
Jersey Boy
 
Route307's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 853
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rissask View Post
Thanks for the report- I loved reading it!

I really was surprised how much I liked Vegas....I don't like crowds or noise so I didn't think I would- but it was a blast! We will definitely go back.

For my husband's 50th birthday we went up to the rooftop bar at the Rio hotel, the Voodoo Lounge- it was all ages there! We had a GREAT time. It is a block off the strip and has a similar drop-dead view.
Great report!

I too, love Vegas. The feeling/atmosphere is just amazing no matter how old/young cool/uncool you are.

We had a pre-wedding cocktail party in a huge suite at Caesars. I had Caesar and Cleo show up for a few hours during the party which was fun. The next day, we got married in the Garden of the gods, caesar's palace, and preceded to the top of the world at VooDoo Lounge for our reception. Left Vegas for a honeymoon in Playa.
Route307 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2013   #23 (permalink)
life=playa
 
Y2YTraveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 724
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_Toronto View Post
Thanks everyone for the kind words; I'm glad you enjoyed my report.
Great photography and entertaining narrative. Excellent report
Y2YTraveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:50 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.