nye on the strip AKA DON’T DO IT

Hi, hey, hello there!

If you’re reading this post you are either:

a) interested in visiting the Las Vegas Strip for New Year’s

b) already planning on visiting the Las Vegas Strip for New Year’s

or

c) are staying far away from The Strip and want to laugh at my mishaps

Either way… Enjoy my chaotic adventures from the ONE and ONLY time I ventured out to The Strip on New Year’s Eve.

If you know me, you know I’m the type of person who has no fear of doing things by myself. Concerts, movies, you name it. If I want to go, I am GOING.

Apparently New Year’s Eve is no different and if I get an idea in my head, I execute. So after some (a lot) of wine, I decided I wanted to go down to The Strip for the festivities. Never mind the fact that all of the people I knew in Vegas at that point were opting to stay home. “I’ll just make some friends!” I thought. Ten minutes later I’m in an Uber and en route.

New Year’s Eve is one of two occasions when The Strip is completely shut down to traffic during the calendar year. The other being the Rock N Roll Marathon and on that night The Strip manages to reopen by 10pm.

By the time my excursion had begun, The Strip was already closed and I had to be dropped off behind The LINQ Promenade. Which was no problem because this is where I made my first “friends” of the night. Since I had no idea where I was going or what I was going to do with my night I just followed all the fish in the stream toward the shut-down road.

Originally I played around with the idea of going to see Calvin (and then gf TSwizzle) at OMNIA. But let’s be real here…who really wants to/should go to a club by themselves? I decided I wasn’t going to be “that girl” on this night and a few months later I was so glad.

(Side Note: Liv and I went to see Calvin a few months later and we met a girl who had come to the club alone. She was in town for a month coordinating an event on contract. We hung out for half the night until she started hissing and meowing at all the boys that approached. We PROMPTLY ditched.)

Anyway, in the stream of fish in the sea that was this crowd, I met these two very nice kids walking around with water bottles full of vodka in a drawstring backpack. Because they were 18. We bonded because I also look like a child. And because one of the first five questions I’m always asked after “Do you live in Vegas?” is “Do you go to EDC?”

With EDC as our common denominator, we pondered what we could do with our night besides walking around and making fun of people. We made our way into Caesars Palace for a beverage because I was not about to drink illegal, plastic alcohol if it wasn’t necessary.

I hate to make generalizations, but most of the 18-20 year olds I encounter out usually want me to buy them alcohol. As stupid as I find the drinking age to be, I’m not about to put my ass on the line for some random dudes I just met. Nope, sorry, bye. And these dudes were no different, so naturally they suggested I pick them up a little something at the bar along with mine and we would “meet back at the spot.”

What is this? Neighborhood capture the flag? Again, no thanks.

I selected a spot at the bar farthest away from “the spot”, placed my order and proceeded to make my next “friends”. They were some young, hotshot, high roller tech guys from Silicon Valley in Vegas for the party. At least they were all of legal age.

We started conversing and they invited me to hang out in the High Roller buffet room. This is totally a thing and it is awesome. Especially because at this point I was starving.

Honestly I don’t remember much of our time together because they were so boring. No impression left whatsoever.

Finally it was time to go outside and watch the fireworks. They looked like fireworks and it was officially 2016. Whoo. My tech friends were staying at the Rio and they were going to walk back to their room and they invited me to “hang out.” Yeah no thanks. I lied at said I had parked at Caesars and I was going to go home. Ditch #2 complete.

This is the time when I learned how insane NYE on The Strip can be. Everyone who had been watching the fireworks from the front of Caesars tried to go back into the hotel. However, unless you had a room key (or in my case an employee ID) you were not allowed back in.

And that sucked for everyone not staying there because my next surprise: it was FREEZING. Honest to Jesus it was in the low 40s. Again, lucky for me I had my employee ID on me – and a jacket!

I also needed to get back inside to get a burger because it was absolutely necessary at that point. I figured if I took 30 minutes to find, acquire and consume said burger, The Strip would be back open to traffic.

I. WAS. WRONG.

I spent about 45 minutes acquiring and eating the burger while also having a nice conversation with Caesars Palace employee from Massachusetts (surprise, surprise ha!) By the time my burger was done and he was leaving to go home, I thought I had convinced him to offer me a ride home.

Spoiler Alert: he did not.

I ventured back out into the frigid night and to my horror I saw the Caesars valet line. It was RIDICULOUS. I was NOT going to wait in that line. Plus, The Strip was STILL closed.

By this point in the evening, I reached that mood you get when you’ve been drinking and are so sick of being out that all you want is for everyone to leave you alone so you can go home. Aka I was grumpy. In my head it made total sense to walk across the street to The Cromwell to catch a cab. (The location has easier access to off-Strip roads.)

Guess what? THE CAB LINE WAS JUST AS RIDICULOUS. Nicki Minaj made an appearance at Drai’s (the club in The Cromwell) for NYE and everyone was leaving. I decide to go sit in a bathroom stall to stay warm and take a social break while waiting out the cab line. Unfortunately, Vegas bathrooms are watched by the staff like crazy so my “adult time out” was very short-lived.

This is the point in the evening that I broke down and just went to stand in the damn cab line. Luckily, the girl in front of me was a friendly stripper from Texas. She told me how she had gone to Drai’s with her sister, but her sister couldn’t handle her alcohol and ditched. I told her my saga in return and we huddled for warmth in the cab line for TWO AND A HALF hours. Finally around 2:3oam, The Strip re-opened, but we didn’t get a cab until 3:30am. The Texan Stripper was nice enough to share a cab with me. We dropped her off at The Wynn and then the cab driver took me home. I texted her when I got home to let her know I was safe, but of course forgot to include my name in the text so we fell out of touch. I hope she goes the Cardi B route TBH.

Of course, the minute I stepped foot in the heated cab I thought “Wow this was a fun and adventurous night! Let’s do it again next year!” I get over things, usually, super fast. Even when it causes me to get home at 4am.

Looking back, however, this experience was necessary for a couple of reasons. First of all, I think I needed to be initiated as a Vegas Local and being stupid enough to venture to The Strip for New Year’s was what worked. Second, it has given me the opportunity to raise my standards for New Year’s, especially on The Strip.

And even though I loathe the “holiday” itself, I would most definitely reconsider if someone took me to see Bruno for NYE this year. JUST SAYIN!

In short, here are my tips for NYE on The Strip:

  1. Get a room on The Strip – you do NOT want to try to get transportation to and from.
  2. Attend a show or go to a club. Basically, have a game plan. It’s a lot more fun than running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
  3. Prepare for it to be in the 60s or in the 30s – the weather here has a mind of its own.

Happy Blogmas! Stay tuned I’m attempting to blog everyday this month! Whee!

17 thoughts locals have on the strip

Once again, we find ourselves at the end of a beautiful day called Thursday. And once again, I have some snarky, Las Vegas experiences to share with y’all.

Today I present to you, some thoughts locals have on The Strip. Because we don’t all experience utter joy when a rather large, foreign tour group with a flag engulfs us while on our way to sushi.

1- Could you walk ANY. SLOWER???

2- Could you please put the selfie stick back inside of your car and actually drive to the hotel before trying to film every single inch of The Strip?? I don’t want to be a victim of your unintentional off-roading as you attempt to capture the majesty of The Bellagio Fountains.

3- I could so easily steal that wallet sticking out of your pocket and/or open purse.

4- Do you NEED to STAND in the middle of a WALKway to take that photo?

5- The Fountains erupt every 15 minutes. Please calm down. I’m not trying to block you from this rare opportunity.

6- I hope you and your obnoxious child know that cockroaches reside in the bushes in front of said fountains. (This is true, I’ve witnessed.)

7- Contrary to what your overpriced well vodka is telling you, she’s waayyy out of your league, bro.

8- Don’t even waste your time politely telling the stripper card people you don’t want one. Sometimes you cannot be polite to strangers. It’s not rude, it’s self-preservation. This isn’t Nebraska anymore.

9- Oh no, do not speak to that dirty, life-size Spongebob.

10- Well look at your dumb (drunk) ass stopping to talk to the poorly dressed showgirl and/or dirty cartoon character lurking nearby. Now you will get finagled into taking a $50 photo.

11- Yep there goes that next round of drinks.

12- GIRL. PUT YOUR SHOES BACK ON. At least make that married guy you met two hours ago in the club carry you back to his hotel room.

13- Oh honey, do not get into that limo.

14- Why do people even come to The Strip? This isn’t that cool.

15- Dammit…I live here.

16- This is fucking awesome.

17- Awee yeaahhh. I live here.

donut bar aka the best donuts in the world | where to eat in vegas

Let me tell you something… I am SO GLAD gourmet donuts are trendy right now because they are my absolute favorite dessert. I don’t need a pie or a cake or a cupcake. Just give me the damn donut and no one gets hurt. Kidding…kind of.

Now, allow me to introduce y’all to one of my favorite donut spots in Las Vegas: Donut Bar! Located in Downtown Las Vegas.

I don’t really know how or when I discovered this place, but I can tell you it’s been my go-to donut spot for the last two years. That is, as long as I wake up in time because they go FAST. Yes, they are that good.

The shop itself is small and features the donut counter, an espresso bar, a cute little fish tank with fake donuts inside and a small counter area that offers seating. Head out back and you will find a courtyard shared with a few other downtown businesses where you can sit and enjoy your selection. 

the courtyard is shared by donut bar, a tattoo shop, a restaurant and a yoga studio

Ok, let’s get to the actual donuts. Donut Bar has been featured on Thrillist, USA Today, Ellen and is on the list of the Best Donut Shops in America. Clearly, these guys are legit. Not surprisingly, they tend to sell out fast – usually around noon or 1pm, so make this place a priority regardless of the hangover.

Real talk, these are the largest donuts I’ve ever seen. Most are as big as my hand and will leave you full for an entire morning. Maybe longer. Mmmm carbs! But worth it…so very worth it.

Since I frequent this shop quite a bit, I decided to ask the staff for a recommendation on my most recent visit. I should mention here, the Donut Bar staff is super friendly and nice. They have always been willing to answer questions and are ready to give a suggestion when needed. They are also super patient when you’re ordering which is a nice touch since they are a plethora of donut varieties from which to choose.

These are the two they recommended for me:

#1 – Blueberry with Meyer Lemon

First, you must know that I am NOT a fan of blueberries, unless they reside in my pancakes. When this donut was recommended to me I was hesitant, but willing to give it a chance. The cake donut turned out to be very tasty and the lemon frosting added a complimentary, tart flavor that really balanced the donut. I definitely recommend if you want something less sweet.

#2 – Chocolate Vegan

A vegan take on a classic donut. This cake donut does not seem vegan at all (for all those not into the vegan thang.) It’s not too sweet and it satisfies that chocolate craving.

Here are some of my other recs:

Homer’s Donut

Oh My Birthday Cake Oreo

Maple Bacon

Chocolate Bacon

In conclusion, the donuts here are big and sweet and provide an amazing amount of flavor. You probably won’t need another meal until dinner and/or your pregame snack for the evening. Probably. The varieties are unique and change everyday, so there is always something new to try.

This is my favorite donut place in Vegas and I highly recommend you go!

——————————————————–

Prices range from $1-$4

Address: 124 S 6th Street, Downtown Las Vegas

Hours:

Monday – Friday: 7am – the donuts are gone

Saturday – Sunday: 8am – the donuts are gone

Website: https://www.donutbar.com/

11 things you should never assume in las vegas

There can be quite a few misconceptions about Las Vegas and I’m sure I haven’t even heard them all. I thought I would provide y’all with a handy little guide of things that you should never assume while in Las Vegas. You know, just to help you out before you get here.

1. The girl you’re talking to is a tourist. Some of us local chicks can and do frequent The Strip.

 

2. The local girl you’re talking to is a prostitute or a stripper. Believe it or not, those aren’t the only two occupations for women in Las Vegas.

 

 

3. The dude buying you a drink at the bar, whether local or tourist, is single. Hahaha. It’s not funny. But it does happen.

 

 

4. The guy you’re buying coke from isn’t a cop.

 

 

5. The coke you’re buying from that guy is actually coke. (I think we all remember The Hangover??)

 

 

6. The cop you just walked by isn’t a drug dealer.

 

 

7. You’ve consumed enough water. Trust me…you have not.

 

 

8. You’re going to have a “mellow night out.” Again, hahahaha.

 

 

9. You don’t need to be on time for shows, clubs, reservations, etc. Just because “it’s Vegas” does not mean you can show up whenever you please. Failing to show up on time when it’s scheduled or reserved is not only rude, but I’ve seen people lose dinner reservations and club tables due to tardiness. Not to mention, if you’re on a guest list at a club and you show up too late, you won’t be getting in for free, if at all. Which brings me to…

 

 

10. You’re going to get into a club wearing jeans. Trust me you will not. As “trashy” as some people proclaim Vegas to be, a dress code is very much alive and well here. Please try to look like you didn’t just chug beer and cheap margs at the pool all day. Don’t be the one in the couple who shows up as a hot mess while the other is dressed to the nines. HUGE pet peeve of mine to see while out. Also guys…don’t wear white shoes to clubs. You won’t get in, I swear. Plus, dressing up is fun and the people who get all the attention are the ones who look the most presentable. Or have the biggest hair.

 

11. You will pay less than $15 for a drink most places on The Strip. Yeah you read that correctly, the average starting price is $15. The mixed drinks I end up purchasing usually hover in the $18-$20 range. Two years ago I found this absolutely ridiculous. Today, I’ve learned the importance of the pregame.

I hope you enjoyed some of the observations I’ve made on a fairly consistent basis. If I’ve provided a lesson, good. If I’ve provided a laugh, even better!

my favorite vegas brunch on the strip | mon ami gabi

view from across the street at the bellagio fountains – look at that, no cars! it takes skills people

Sunday mornings in Vegas are made for hangovers, lazy days by the pool and Bloody Mary’s – all after stumbling back to your room as the sun’s coming up after the club. Classy.

But there’s a different world that exists on Sunday mornings – an early morning brunch on the porch of Mon Ami Gabi, located at the Paris Las Vegas.

If you’re wondering how I feel about this restaurant, let me put it this way – I’ve eaten brunch here three times in the last two months. Yup, I’m officially obsessed.

*Best Trick – Breakfast ends at 11am. Sharp. Make your reservations for no later than 10:40am. You’re required to get there about 15 min prior to reservation time so GET. THERE.

If you want to sit outside (and I highly suggest you do) make sure to mention it when checking in for your reservation. Remember to be super nice and friendly. The hostesses, in my experience, are super stressed and deal with a ton of assholes…don’t be another asshole and they will probably help you out. At the very least, you won’t be that tourist.

If you’re looking for something sweet and fruity I recommend the Caramelized Apple Skinny Crepe Pancake served with fresh whipped cream and REAL, actual caramelized apples.

The Skinny Crepes also come topped with Cinnamon or Lemon with Lemon Marmalade. We haven’t tried the Lemon, but we can absolutely recommend the Cinnamon (also served with the homemade whipped cream.)

The sweetness was the perfect partner to my slightly spicy Bloody Mary and the combo left me full ALL day. When I order something sweet, I always get a side of the Crispy Date-Glazed Bacon. The bacon is a thick cut and the glaze gives it an interesting flavor that compliments it nicely.

My mom went for the Blueberry Waffles with warm blueberry syrup. Presented as four mini waffles, topped with mini blueberries and syrup on the side. Another excellent choice.

Maybe the sweet highway is not for you? Never fear, we have some not-so-sweet recs for you!

You can’t go wrong with Three Eggs your way which comes with the bacon, hash browns and Rustic Toast. I chose scrambled eggs and they were soft, fluffy and absolutely tasty. Now let’s talk about the Rustic Toast. DEAD. It’s so crunchy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside. Plus it comes with butter and a fantastic jelly. At the very least get it as a side dish.

Finally, I have to mention the Ham & Cheese Omelette with Gruyere cheese. I’m not much of a cheese person (I honestly cannot stand cheese) but Momma Bear said this was BOMB. And I believe her.

The vibe of Mon Ami is so authentic it instantly transports you to an intimate cafe in Paris, France. If you choose to sit inside, you will either be in the dining room which is dark, intimate and features an art deco style. Continue further into the restaurant and you will find yourself in a room with a glass ceiling and big glass windows looking out onto The Strip. It’s like being in a French garden sunroom.

However, if the weather is nice, I highly recommend sitting on the patio (yes, I’m saying it again because it’s the best decision). French bistro style tables and chairs fill the area which features views of the whole Strip. To the West of the Patio sits the Bellagio and those famous Fountains. The best accompaniment to a Sunday Brunch as this is the day they start the earliest at 11am. (Saturday at noon and Monday-Friday at 3pm.)

In a sentence – Mon Ami Gabi is my go-to brunch spot. The atmosphere, energy, dishes and service are all fantastic and keeps me coming back.

Definitely a must-visit when in Vegas!


Breakfast menu can be found – here

Main Website – here

Hours: 

*Sunday – Thursday: 7am – 11pm

*Friday & Saturday: 7am – Midnight 

For Reservations Call: 702 – 944 – 4224

 

getting judged by vegas locals aka vegas initiation | #tbt

Today, I’m sharing a vintage Vegas story because this is “The Notorious Neon” now and I have, like, one story about Vegas posted. Or two.

Anyway…

Let’s take a journey back to Halloween 2015 and my first experience with douchebag Las Vegas Locals…


If you’ve listened to music this year [EDITOR’S NOTE: “this year” = 2015…proceed], you have surely heard “These Walls” by Kendrick Lamar. I actually think about the phrase “if these walls could talk” a lot, because, you never really know who you are talking to or who could be lurking around the corner.

Friday night, the night before Halloween [October 30, 2015], I was headed to The Strip to meet up with a friend from college who was in town celebrating his birthday. The group was going to the High Roller at The LINQ Hotel & Casino aka the tallest Ferris wheel in the world that also happens to resemble the London Eye.

inside the lobby of the High Roller. decor goals much?
vegas views 👌🏻✨

I was keeping it a mellow, sober night because I had a meeting early the next morning (who schedules something like that during HALLOWEEKEND, I mean COME ON!]. Anyway…

I parked at The LINQ and made my way to the elevator in the parking garage. While I, along with a girl my age and a couple who were in their mid-50s, waited for the elevator, I felt some weird being looks thrown at me. The lady in this fifty and fabulous duo (let’s call her Fun Sponge) was NOT having any of my shit.

What was I doing you may wonder? Nothing crazy except for dressing in all black with cat ears and a full-on cat face? Because, Halloweekend, of course.

costume in question.

Lady, it’s called “HalloWEEKEND” for a reason. You are supposed to celebrate ALL weekend. Ok? Ok.

Small talk ensued which basically led to the Fun Sponge saying quite condescendingly that “people that look like you are the reason we even go to The Strip.”

To that I promptly responded with, “Yeah you see all kinds of crazy shit when you live here.”

As soon as I mentioned that I was, in fact, a local and not a tourist whom she so obviously despised, Fun Sponge could not have looked more disgusted with me. At first I was offended because I was still trying to figure out how Vegas people operate. (I had only been here two months at this point).

I didn’t care, however, because I was a cat and I was loving my life. And how could you not laugh at Fun Sponge? It was absolutely hilarious.


A small, silly reminder that you never know who you are talking to, especially in Vegas. You can never predict when you’re going to meet a DJ or a reality star or a local! (And I’ve met all three so let me know if you want more stories!)

What you say can and, most likely will, get back to you. When it does, you better be prepared to own up to the things you said. This can go for talking positively or talking absolute shit behind someone’s back.

Like I’ve always said, “You can talk shit about people, but you sure as hell better be prepared to say it to their face when it gets back to them.” Notice how I said “when”. Might have some experience with that. Maybe.

So yes, I may still be the local that makes the other locals cringe because I actually enjoy the occasional night out on The Strip with the pleasant bonus of psycho tourist watching. But I am a firm believer in the fact that life is too short to not be doing absolutely everything you want regardless of the circumstance.

And I’m genuinely in love with Vegas so why not promote and support the city?

views from the top of the High Roller.

This place is SO cool and magical and full of weird, wonderful, wacky people and the best thing to do here is embrace it!

With Love From VEGAS!

the STARBUCKS HACKING | it’s not what happens, it’s how you handle it

snapchat art from last red cup season (@jessicalynnn12)
my friend derek took this picture of me in my natural habitat with a starbucks in one hand and a sugarfree red bull in the other before the worst final i ever took in college. we both passed tho

 

This morning was so amazing that I was PUMPED to see what the rest of the day had in store for me. I popped right out of bed at 5am to go to Hot Pilates with my fave instructor. The class was BOMB and after showering and getting ready, I even made it into work early.

As I sat down to begin chipping away at my pile of things to get done, I looked at my phone to see not one, but two emails from Starbucks. Starbucks wanted to thank me for reloading my Gold Card twice, for $100 each. Initially I thought my Merm (mother – no I can’t make things simple) was being really nice and was missing me. I called her and quickly learned that she misses me, but not THAT much.

ENGAGE FREAK OUT! EVERYBODY PANIC! (Ashley I miss you)

So I called the bank and talked to three people for 30 minutes and to spare y’all the details, they cancelled my card, blocked the fraudulent charges from being processed, and are sending me a new card within 7 – 10 business days. Cool. Thanks US BANK!

*I kept my debit card info in the app so I could reload my card quickly and easily. I now see how big of an issue that is*

Then I called Starbucks – and was fully prepared to tell them exactly how shitty I found their product and that if I ever saw a green mermaid again I would violently vomit my protein shake from post-pilates. Graphic.

But you guys, the lady was SO NICE, so SWEET, and even admitted that the Starbucks Mobile App is fucked. She quickly removed all of my banking card info from the app, helped me change my password, and promised a full refund from Starbucks. Ok, ok, I see you Starbucks.

Then she told me (and this is where EVERYONE NEEDS TO PAY ATTENTION):

“I ALWAYS reload my card in store. ALWAYS. This is the time of year when the app gets hacked the most.”

So we heard it from the source itself. THE STARBUCKS APP WILL GET HACKED SO DON’T VOLUNTARILY GIVE IT YOUR BANKING INFO.

my fave downtown lv coffee shop: the beat ❤

The Lesson in all this….

It’s not WHAT happens to you, it’s how YOU HANDLE it.

Thanks Patricio (my dad – no I don’t make nicknames simple)

I could have handled this by crying (I was about to), screaming (I really wanted to), and telling everyone I came across all about this really shitty thing that ruined my really good Friday.

But I didn’t. I remained zen, calmly gave all parties the info they needed to help me solve the problem, and am now able to tell all my friends this story so you can go remove your banking info from the Starbucks app so you don’t get stolen from!

And thing is…all of these people: at US Bank, at Starbucks, my boss who found me in a frantic state – wanted to help ME. Granted the majority of these people make their living by helping people like me, but still they were all SO NICE AND HELPFUL! I also didn’t want to ruin their days by being the random bitch from Vegas who got her card info stolen and was now screaming at them like it was their fault, because it wasn’t.

So now I’ve learned three things since 8:22am:

  1. Don’t trust the Starbucks App with your banking info (or probably any app)
  2. Make all your passwords difficult to decipher and different from each other (NOT “ilovethechainsmokers123”)
  3. Today is still going to be a really good day (FRIDAY!!!)

Cue Bob Marley cuz every little ting is gonna be alright! MON!

Happy Friday! Enjoy this picture of me caressing a pumpkin at a pumpkin patch last night (as seen on insta:: @jessica_oneida)

PUMPKINS! FALL! BYE!