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.

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

 

love on the weekend | one night with john mayer

Hey Y’all…


If you listened to the Podcast yesterday about my three concerts in three nights featuring John Mayer experience you will know it left me…speechless. (If you haven’t…go LISTEN!!)

I bought my ticket to this show – no – experience on an impulse. John is someone I’ve always wanted to see, but I’d already made plans to attend two concerts on the two nights leading up to his. Three shows in three nights? Who does that?

Me. I do.

I didn’t even check to see if anyone was available/wanted to attend with me, I just bought the “best seat available” and prayed that didn’t mean I would get placed next to someone who wanted to sit down and be a bore the whole time. Spoiler alert: I got lucky in this department.

As I made my way onto the floor of TMobile Arena located in The Park behind New York, New York on Las Vegas Boulevard aka “The Strip”, I asked the usher if I was in the right section. (This was my first time attending a concert in the year-old venue, let alone stepping foot in the place.)

His eyes grew wide and replied “Ohhh no, you are allll the way up there” and points to the stage. My “best seat available” turned out to be eleven short rows back from the stage. Immediately, the most genuine smile began to appear on my face…I was not only going to witness thee one and only John Mayer, I was going to be able to actually see him during the show. I was going to be able to watch him play the guitar with all the fire and passion that can be heard on his live albums. I was going to witness a genius.

Opening for John was a band from L.A. called LANY. Before seeing them live, I had heard some of their songs and I’d also heard they sounded like bootleg The 1975. I found that they sounded pretty good and I was impressed by their musicianship. My seat mates and I did decide that the lead singer sounded very similar to the man of the evening himself, but also that, if we all weren’t at a John Mayer concert we probably would not have drawn that conclusion.

One set down, one more to enjoy.

Maker’s Ginger Ale in hand and quarter-life crisis in tow, I was ready for a man I’ve been singing along to and admiring the lyrics of for the last sixteen years (holy shit – didn’t realize the actual number prior to this). I remember only having a CD player in my car at the age of 15 and alternating “Continuum” and “Heavier Things” every time I drove.

There’s just something about “Clarity” and driving in the mountains. Spiritual…AF.

Anyway…the show…in one word? Phenomenal. Life-Changing. Magical. Inspiring. (Okay…four words were necessary.)

There are so many sides and stories to John and his music. His decision to break the show up into “Chapters” featuring him and the band, him and his acoustic guitar, and the John Mayer Trio was effective and enjoyable. The audience was able to experience a range of songs, memories and skills from the musicians in front of us. I always knew John could play the guitar, but it wasn’t until he was actually in front of me, jamming out, feeling and believing in his music that I truly understood how much of musician he really is.

There’s just something about people who are so passionate about what they do, when they truly believe in it…it’s beautiful and it makes you want to be a part of it.

His set list ranged from “Why Georgia” up to “Love on the Weekend” with plenty of guitar solos in between. I could actually close my eyes and feel like I was experiencing something magical. (Even though I didn’t want to close my eyes because HELLO JOHN MAYER WAS DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF ME.)

I barely even had a desire to look at my phone or take any photos (maybe 3?) or videos (maybe 3?) because I was too busy living in the moment. Which makes for a less than spectacular recap of it all, I realize.

So my advice to you is, go see the man live in concert – if you can. I can honestly say it was bigger than a concert and now currently sits at the number one spot on the list of the “best concerts I’ve ever been to”…seriously.

Coming out of this whole thing, I feel so inspired in my life. To chase more, to be more, to do more. And to do it all authentically. Not to mention, I think it’s time to see John Mayer again. And maybe take more pictures?

Is this the part where I become a groupie?

 

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!