When You Wake Up in Vegas

So I’ve been to Vegas twice this year. Does this make me an expert on the town? Obviously not. But I still enjoy giving out tid bits of information that I think will help any other poor souls survive the streets of Sin City…

1. Don’t book a flight that requires you to get up at 3:15 in the morning. Especially if you don’t sleep well on planes. If you haven’t slept on a plane the last few times you’ve flown- it’s not happening this time. When I arrived in Vegas at 9:00 that morning (their time- 11:00 Chicago time) I was exhausted, but others were already there when I got in, so I was “on the go” from the first few minutes of walking into MGM (our hotel). Because of the time change, this resulted in me being up for a total of 28 hours straight. NOT recommended. It causes wrinkles. I swear.

2. If you’re already being semi-cliche by going to Vegas to do a bachelor/bachelorette (because who wouldn’t want to?), try to be original on the festivities. Enter our Katy Perry-themed night:Sure- everyone loves a good pink feather boa and condom veil (well- maybe not everyone). But we were set at a table next to another bachelorette that did that. And who had more guys come up to talk to us and offer drinks?

Imagine me and 9 other girls in my group pointing thumbs towards ourselves. THESE GIRLS!

Plus, if you do anything stupid, not one soul in that hotel is going to recognize you the next day. Not that any of us would know about this…

3. The buddy system is an awesome idea in theory. But not always easily practiced. Especially in such a huge club like the Marquee in the Cosmopoliton. One girl ended up at Planet Hollywood afterwards because she thought that’s where everyone else was heading. Two girls ended up on a service elevator and walking through the kitchen. And that must be how I ended up walking home solo on Friday night (I was fine!) and stuck sitting in front of my hotel door for who knows how long because I did not possess one of the 2 keys we had (whoopsies). Security does not like this. And it’s also very had to have a serious debate when you’re wearing a pink wig at 4:30 in the morning.

4. Red Bull is gross. As is McDonald’s breakfast. But both are a perfect way to start your morning (separately, not together) before heading to Wet Republic- a pool bar at MGM where we knew some peeps with a cabana.5. Hanging out in a cabana the entire time will deprive you of that fabulous Vegas tan you were hoping for. FAIL. However, after all this 60-degree weather Chicago is dealing me, I loved every second of chillin’ in the 90-degree shade.

6. Biggest douchebag awards will always go to the dude with Jersey Shore haircut making it rain dollar bills into the pool. So, um, don’t do that. Although a few swifty-taken chlorine-soaked dollar bills went towards my second round of McDonald’s breakfast the next day…

7. Pool toys are fun:There’s actually a story behind the masks- I’m not sure how we acquired them the year some of us lived together, but they were often broken out to scare people who were at an afterbar at our house for the first time. It was like a hazing process.

8. Dancing is fun. Dancing to live performances is even more fun:IYAZ came and hung out when we were at Vanity in the  Hard Rock Hotel. Randomly awesome.

9. The perfect way to end your vacation/start your detox is gelato.After my fiasco of having to go to the airport, get my flight cancelled, and having to go back to the hotel (about half the girls were staying an extra night), I was done-zo. As was one of the others. The idea of putting any more vodka in our systems was a no-go, so we went with gelato instead.

White chocolate was a good choice.

10. Being organized is a good idea.However, we could have used about 3 or 4 entire bottles of alcohol less. Because you can’t pack them back into your bag when you’re only flying with carry-on. I guess we were just really excited. Oh well. I just wish we had saved the extra cash. So we could do something with it. Like make it rain at the pool?

All in all, it was a good bonding experience for the girls. Can’t wait for Miss Mary’s wedding reception…I heart this girl!  :)

Oh and here’s a freebie foodie tip for ya…

It’s not really a secret that I’m not a fan of Starbuck’s. I think it’s bitter coffee that is horrifically overpriced. And they have lackluster food (I heart you, Panera!). So on my last day, when I couldn’t do another McSkillet or McGriddle or other McCalorie-fest, I chose to try Starbuck’s “perfect oatmeal” for the first time.Yes. I totally stood with my McDonald’s coffee in the line for Starbucks. I think the girl in the logo shed a tear when I did it. And you wanna know how much they charged me for that “perfect oatmeal” in the MGM Grand hotel? $4. $4! I paid $4 for what I could have made at home for a quarter.

And I sat and ate my oatmeal that should have had gold flakes sprinkled on top. What did I think? It was ok.

But I totally make it better.

The End.

100 Words Saturday- Anti-Social Edition

Happy Weekend! I hope your Saturday morning is going well!

I’m about to go climb some stairwells with Megan to prepare for Hustle Up the Hancock (oh yeah- remember that stair climb I’m gonna do? I almost forgot, too.).

Last night it snowed.

It was Mon and my justification for being anti-social. And watching a crappy movie.Knight and Day. We knew it wouldn’t be the greatest going into it. 

We were so right.

After a couple of vodka clubs, we didn’t even pay attention.

And gossiped instead. Sounds about right.

What’s the last bad movie you’ve seen?

Mardi Gras Weekend 2010

Sigh.  I think I just caught up on sleep.  Almost 11 hours last night.  Thank goodness I have today off- it was a life saver.  St. Louis was a lot of fun, but the fact of the matter is I didn’t get proper rest one night while I was there.  A small price to pay…

We made good time to get there (always better than when I drive- I still have a ticket or so on my record that I’m waiting to drop off and my insurance doesn’t need to get any higher).  My parents picked me up pretty much as soon as we pulled up.  So I had said a quick hi to Adam, threw the cupcakes in his general direction, and off I went again.  Like I said, my parents love the gambling and so we stayed at Harrah’s.  All the sudden, my brother and I found ourselves standing alone in the casino entrance feeling like we just got sucked into Vegas Vacation.  Our parents had already bolted toward their favorite games.  I stayed for a while, but was tired from the trip and knew I had a long couple days ahead of me, so I snuck into bed earlier than most.

Apparently, Sammy Hagar was making his way to the casino.  So I got to “meet” him.

So Saturday… when the shenanigans begin…

Laura, Mary, and I met up and made our way to Soulard around 11:00.  Traffic was a mess, but we parked about a mile away from the action (not bad).  Mary had her trusty watter bottle of vodka, so we carried our bottles of vodka sprite and started our day (hey, it’s 5:00 somewhere).  We realized once we got to the gates, that they weren’t allowing us to bring anything like that in (something forgotten from years before), so we had two options.  Throw it away, or drink it before we go in.  Something to note for next year- THROW IT AWAY.  Instead, we hung out and drank it:

After meeting up with some of the guys, we went to McGurk’s for a few hours.  Luckily, they let me bring in my beer I had only gotten 10 minutes earlier (maybe not so luckily?).

Things escalated quickly.  At some point (I lost track of time), I wandered back out into the street to meet up with a few other people.  Something to note- never ever walk by yourself at Mardi Gras when you’ve been drinking.  That was stupid and I realize this now.  But luckily, I found everyone again.  I ended up just spending the rest of the day with the boys- Laura and Mary went to a house party after the bar. 

The streets were packed.  I think even more so than last year (last year was obnoxiously cold and windy).  I didn’t see the parade this year.  Oh well.  But I still saw plenty of costumes, debauchery and bad decisions being made.  So I doubt I missed much.

Another thing to remember for next year?  EAT something while you’re there.  I had toast at Laura’s, and a Cliff bar on the way there.  Ten hours later, I needed some food.  And anyone who knows me, would be shocked I let this happen.  Because I don’t.  Ever.  I let the beer and vodka (and the shot or two we took at the bar) get away from me.  Someone mentioned pizza.  Being as how I live in Chicago and have found myself becoming quite the pizza snob (for the record, there were three other boys there who were the same), we finally settled on Pizza Hut.  Who knew we could have a heated argument about pizza?  I actually love Pizza Hut, though- it reminds me of when I was little.  My parents would bring it home as a surprise for when they went to Jefferson City to go grocery shopping (obviously, in my small town, the local convenience store was really all we had for basic necessities- not ideal).  So three pieces of pizza later, I was feeling back to my old self.

Yes, I'm embarrassed, but I did drink that Busch Beer in the corner. Gross...

Another couple hours of hanging out there, our friend Adam picked us up to hang out at his house for a while.  Soon it’s 4:00 in the morning, we’re all struggling to stay awake, and a taxi FINALLY makes it there so we can go back to Jeff’s house to sleep.  Adam already had two other people there who had claimed the couches.  And I was not about to share the hardwood floor in Adam’s “bachelor pad”.  Jeff at least had extra bedrooms and couches.  So if you’re keeping track, I didn’t make it back to Laura’s, but she was already very much asleep and it would have been quite the ordeal for me to try and make it there.  Apparently, I slept around all weekend…

That’s what she said.

And just to be clear, that’s a joke…

Seriously, let’s make sure that’s clear.

The next morning, Laura picked me up and we went to a breakfast spot called Gingham’s in South County.  My one complaint?  We got seated in the smoking section.  Not that it really mattered- it was just one big open restaurant.  And it’s like this in most bars/restaurants in St. Louis.  It’s rough to be hungover and enjoy your omelette and pancakes (see below!  mmmm) when you’re secondhand smoking a pack of cigarettes while you’re there.  And yes, I smoked.  And yes, I do occasionally partake in enjoying one with a good cocktail.  But even when I smoked on a regular basis (in my crazy college days), I would prefer to happily go outside to do so.  I absolutely hate having to wash my hair and clothes twice the next day to get the smell out.  Especially when I’m not the one smoking.  Thank goodness for the smoke-free cities becoming a much more regular thing. 

I was downing the liquids at this point.  But it wasn’t enough.  Dehydration was an issue for us all.  We’re not in college anymore.  This is always a rough realization for us all- that we generally tend to ignore.

Laura and I bummed it out at her house while we waited for my departure time to arrive.  She was treating an injured foot.  Hopefully it’s just a sprain.  House party injury.  Happens to the best of us.

We arrived back in the lovely ‘burbs around 8:15.  The entire drive back was a struggle.  Drivers got switched up because the fatigue was really setting in for everyone.  Dinner wasn’t Wendy’s (like I had predicted), but Taco Bell.  So… uh… a step up or down- not sure, you decide.  My chicken quesadilla was surprisingly yummy.  But I’m pretty sure my foot may have been just as tasty at that point.  So far, no “Taco Hell” incidents to report.  I think I’m in the clear.  I stayed away from the burritos.

All in all, a successful trip.  I got in family time, girl time, friend time, drinking, gambling, good eats (and bad), shopping, and other little bits of trouble here and there…  no wonder I didn’t have time for sleeping.

Now, all I have to say is, “thank goodness we got today’s holiday off.”  That was seriously CLUTCH!  Well, that and I am glad I stayed away from the Hurricanes this year.  No one needs to be drinking those…  I’m going to be a lazy bum for a little while longer, then make my way to the gym.  And Monica and I have plans to catch up about our weekends.  Happy Monday!

Mardi Gras Weekend

Hey kids.  Since I’m not around to post, I thought I’d show you the standards as to what I’m holding this weekend up to.  This was last year’s random weekend of shenanigans…

We brought my friend Chuck’s dog along on the five-hour drive.  He fit quite nicely in the back of my car:

No worries.  Mason kept his drool to a minimum.  I’ll have to report back on if this equate to what sharing a car with three boys was like.  Only problem with Mason was he needed more bathroom breaks than me and my tiny bladder did. 

We made it to the parade by about 11:00 in the morning last year.  As we walked towards it, we saw a lot of people who were already struggling… Obviously amateurs.  But we enjoyed the sights nonetheless.  I think this year we plan to get there a little later.  It became a very very long day, and we were struggling by the end of it.  I believe I was in bed by midnight.

I got to party with the Captain.  He used to be my old drinking buddy in college until I decided to attempt to become Russian and stick with the vodka.  Apparently he also likes Bud Light. Here’s to old friends!

It was a bit chilly.  So my friend Laura and I ducked into a little bar to warm up a little and uh… rehydrate before figuring out the gameplan for the rest of the day.

After that, we met up with all the boys and partied on the streets until we couldn’t feel our hands anymore.  Seriously.  My hands were so cold, that I couldn’t zip up my pants after taking a much needed potty break in a port-a-potty.  My friend Rachel is an awesome friend.  Enough said.  Note for this year- bring two pairs of gloves.

So right now, I should be heading to or already am somewhere in Soulard.  Wish me luck.  The bitter cold is gonna make it rough.  Eek!

The Core + Plyo Challenge

Kloe‘s gonna kill us all.

She’s hosting another Core Challenge on her blog if anyone is interested in joining up!  This next one (starting today) is a killer… so good luck!

Happy Friday everyone!  My friend Mon and I will be navigating the ‘burbs tonight one vodka club at a time!  Also- we’ve made a pact to attempt a “Healthy February”.  We’re still going to work out the details on that one…  I have a pretty big Mardi Gras weekend planned in St.  Louis to visit the Mizzou crowd- so uh… that’s one very large hurdle I would have to get over.  Either way, I want to start getting in better running shape, and she’s got this crazy stair climb up the John Hancock Building she’s doing the last weekend of the month- so we’re working on a game plan.  Good stuff…

And before all this happens, I’m off to get my run on.  I bet all those characters at the gym (aka cell phone dude and heavy breather guy) are THRILLED to start seeing me again on a regular basis.  Or at least until it’s not below double digits in the morning.  I want to start mapping out outdoor runs soon- because, quite frankly, I don’t like them either.

The Perfect Fit

Yesterday was lazy.  Very lazy.  I did hit the gym to do weights, and worked on my Core Challenge.  But I also spent an unusaul amount of time on the couch.  Have you ever had one of those days where you moved around even slower than usual because you got way too much sleep?  That was me yesterday.  I blame my crazy Friday night.  I fell asleep on my college couch.  Somewhere during the Conan show.  Woke up completely thrown off as to where I was at 1:00 in the morning, walked myself to bed, and then fell asleep for another 8ish hours.  Ahhhhh….

I did have things to do, though.  Annie and I had a date to hit the mall after she got off of work.  She enlisted me as her second opinion while searching for a good pair of jeans.  I have never met someone who likes to go out and buy jeans.  Buying jeans just REALLY sucks actually.  So it’s nice to have someone to go with you for several reasons: to entertain, to help carry, and to (most importantly) tell you if you look like you’re shoving your ass into a pair and have the muffin top exploding out or not.  You just have to.  Those mirrors LIE.  Plus, she was looking for a new pair of shoes.  And I heart shoes.  Even if I’m not allowed to buy any for myself right now.

It didn’t take nearly as long as we thought.  I believe she fell in love with the third pair she tried on.  They were some Joe’s jeans that made her ass look perfect.  I really think I need to start putting a little more investment in my jeans- because these were so well made.  And Annie made a good point- it’s not like we wear them as much as we used to.  I haven’t bought a pair in two years actually.  So I’m pretty sure if I’m only buying a pair every few years, I could splurge and not feel too bad about it.  Thinking that one through still…  And shoe shopping only took 30 minutes- and that was with a busy store.  Success!  We also snagged her a top and some jewelry to wear out that night.  I didn’t find anything for myself.  I wasn’t even seriously looking- just going as her personal shopper.  What can I say?  I’m that good.  I should probably have some business cards made…  I could use the extra $$$.

We grabbed a really late meal at Panera (I still Call it St. Louis Bread Co- gotta stick to those Missouri roots- holla’).  I ate half the sandwich (Turkey Bravo) because I knew how much I’d looooove having the other half after a night out.  Annie and I had plans to meet up with a lot of my guy friends down in Lincoln Square at a bar called The Rail.  Apparently it’s become a nice regular spot for my friends who moved to that area of the city.  And I don’t blame them- $4 calls and $2 domestic drafts is not bad for a Saturday night…

Being as how we were with a bunch of twenty-something guys, the night was full of beer, sports, and Jersey Shore references.  Yep.  Of course, none of my guy friends look a damn thing like Paulie or The Situation, but they’ll sure as hell try to dance like them.  Yep…  Needless to say, we  had a fun night!  I stuck to vodka clubs- and only two throughout the night.  I played the part of sober driver because I wasn’t wanting to overdo the drinking (like I seemed to do the last couple weekends) and wanted to be somewhat productive today.  I don’t know about the productivity thing, but I didn’t feel like crap when I woke up.  So that’s something!

I did not get nearly as much sleep last night (the 4:30 bed time didn’t help).  So today will make for an interesting day.  And unfortunately, today is just one of those days when my body required mass amounts of chocolate (where my girls at?!?!).  So instead of regular oatmeal, I pretty much had dessert for breakfast.  It included much more peanut butter than usual and a pouring of chocolate chips.  I wish I would have slowed down and thought about it a little more… I could have made chocolate chip pancakes.  Daaaammmnnnnn… 

Well, there’s always the possibility of pancakes for dinner.  I guess it depends how my stomach feels after it processes the current overload of peanut butter and chocolate.

Yoga today.  And Pilates if I’m up to it.  But a nap might trump Pilates if I’m being completely honest with myself.

Core Challenge Updates:

Friday- 125                 Saturday- 180

And Thursday’s sneaking up!  We’re in the home stretch- fingers crossed, people.  FINGERS CROSSED!

How do you survive a snow storm?

Lots of liquor.

Or that’s what we came up with…  And did.  I don’t think we got a foot of snow- but it felt like it.  When I went to work on Friday morning, I had to wade my way through the snow on my sidewalk and to my car.  My snow boots sure did a lot of good- in my car.  I will never forget to take them out of the car again!  Ironically, even with it still snowing like crazy, I made it to and from work in about the same time as normal- pretty fast, actually.  I credit that to the fact that all the smart and reasonable people stayed home because it was too hazardous.  I am not one of those people.

I don't have much of a reason to go on my balcony right now, but if I did, I would fear death...

Mon and I made it to Big Shot in downtown Arlington Heights to start out last night’s shenanigans.  My guy friends tend to not make it out until after midnight- so we had some time to kill before we ended the night at Gatsby’s.  Sadly, I don’t make it down to that area (downtown) of Arlington Heights very often.  So I was happy to find someone who wanted to.

I was also happy to find someone who wanted to indulge in a liquid dessert.  I ate dinner accordingly to prepare for it.  Won’t lie- I was that nerd to look up their drink list online before I went.  I knew I wanted that Snickers martini.  Bailey’s, vanilla vodka, kahlua, frangelico, and amaretto- magical!  We only had the one there- I think that annoyed the waiter.  But seriously- those martinis are sooo filling.  And strong!

The guys actually started calling to see where we were- I can’t believe they were actually waiting on us to show up at Gatsby’s.  That never happens.  We got there and the bartender waved and asked how we were doing and what we wanted to drink.  Yep… we’re officially regulars.  Not sure if I feel a sense of accomplishment on that one yet or not.

Playing with my camera settings- they should just label this one "drunk vision" because I believe it simulates exactly what we were seeing...

My drinks at Gatsby’s were no Snickers martini, but they were vodka infused and just what I needed after a long work week.  It was my first full five-day week since the beginning of December!  I already miss the holidays…  I know I did not just say that!

Today I need to be semi-productive.  I say this and it’s already noon and I’m still in my pj’s…  Crap.  I have to do some returns, grocery shop, hit a sale at the mall (what?  I have a gift card!), hit the gym (wooo hoo for sexy arms!) and I’m going to try and drag my friend Scott to Jason’s Deli because he’s still never been (and I’m still very much obsessed with that place). 

Ok, I’m off!  Where’s my advil???

Enjoy your Saturday!

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