Observegastions

Wow, my first Paymevegas.com blog post actually being typed and posted from Las Vegas itself.  Seems like a long journey.  How did I ever think I could do a blog about another city without going there to do more research?  Life gets in the way of Vegas sometimes.

Today I wanted to do a post that would be universal enough that I might be able to post it in thoughtsandrantsinjoggingpants.com as well.  Kind of a lazy move that I don’t usually like to do, but as I’m typing this, I’m sitting in a hotel room at the Cosmopolitan hotel, fully equipped with a bottle of Blue Moon that I got for free while gambling (free my ass, it turned out to be the most expensive bottle of beer ever purchased, if you’re counting the money I was losing while waiting for it to arrive), a day old bag of Garrett’s popcorn (which is supposed to be consumed the day of, but tastes better a day old than all other popcorn no matter what day), and I’m watching a TV station called Palladia which seems to be nothing other than classic rock concerts (I’m watching Queen live from Montreal in 1981), so I won’t be writing two separate blogs!!!  My wife took her mother and aunt to see Human Nature at the Venetian, so I’m on babysitting duties as my son is fast asleep in the other room.  This will allow me to blog and slow the rate of me losing money in the casino.

Here are some Vegas observations from things I’ve noticed the last couple of days.

– If you travel to Vegas with a baby who is sleep trained to go to bed for the night at 6:30 pm Eastern Standard time, and you decide to bring this baby to a place like Las Vegas, or any other place that’s on Pacific Time, you have to be prepared for this baby to want to go to sleep for the night at 3:30 pm, and want to wake up for the day at approximately 3:30 am.  Obviously as the days go by, you can inch him closer to a respectable time, but we’re only here for 4 nights.  He has yet to sleep in past 4:30 am.  My wife tries to let me sleep until 6 am.  I love her for that, but these are not the Vegas vacations of old.  That said, it’s still far better than being at home where people are sweating icicles.

– Anytime you’re in Vegas with a first timer (my mother in law), you usually want to take them for a walk up and down the strip and into all of the famous hotel properties.  As we passed through Belllagio and Caesar’s Palace, I couldn’t help but notice how many high-end jewelry stores there are.  So you can walk right out of a casino, and right into a jewelry store.  I’ll probably never know what it’s like to have the disposable income where you can blow a ton of money in the casino, and still have money left to buy jewelry, artwork, or a car.  Oh to be a high roller…. I wonder if this is a way for the hotel to get back any money won from their casino……’yeah you hit the jackpot alright, but if you buy a diamond necklace that money’s staying right here’.  Or perhaps it’s a ‘hey buddy, feeling guilty about all the debauchery???  Why don’t you get something for your wife that says sorry I was at a strip club on our anniversary, honey’.  Either way, I give Vegas full marks for ALWAYS thinking of everything.  There is no indulgence that isn’t right at your fingertips here.

– I’ve seen a bunch of movies with Las Vegas as the backdrop.  I really like watching them now so I can see what hotel something was shot in, or see a scene from somewhere I’ve been recently.  There’s no movie that Vegas has capitalized off more than The Hangover.  In that movie they stayed at Caesar’s Palace, and the gift shop there has close to 10 different shirts with Zach Galifinakis on the front with a quote from the movie.  I even saw a look-alike out on the strip with a fake baby strapped to him taking photographs with tourists for tips.  If you never saw the movie, I’m really not sure it needed to be a trilogy, but the first one was brilliant.  Great laughs, awesome Vegas shots for the enthusiast.

Well that about covers it.  Freddie Mercury has done a costume change near the end of this concert I’m watching.  His outfit is fruity by the fruitiest of standards.  Not that I want to see it, but I’m morbidly curious to know if his balls are going to fall out of these shorts or not.  That said, he was awesome, and the rest of the band doesn’t get enough credit.  They were sensational.  Got a bit more gambling to do tonight.  Gotta remember to take some pictures to use in future blogs tomorrow.  Hope Thoughts and Rants fans enjoyed my Vegas post.  🙂

Back On Track!

This Vegas blog has had one HUGE fundamental problem.  An author who hasn’t been to Las Vegas since the blog started.  That’s unacceptable!!  I need to get this blog back on track.  Not because it’s a New Year’s resolution, but because it’s the right thing to do.  The only way to do that my friends, is to sacrifice my time in the comforts of my own home, and a bit of precious vacation time from work to take a trip to Las Vegas.  I’m willing to make those sacrifices for you, the reader!

I am booked for later in the month, and on a mission to see things I haven’t seen, do things I haven’t done, and eat at places I haven’t eaten at.  All while doing all the same things I’ve always done, going to the same places I always go, and eating the same things I always eat.  How is that possible?  It’s not, but I’m gonna push myself harder than I’ve ever pushed myself to experience as much of Vegas as I can, so I can share those memories (and most importantly pictures…. otherwise I’m going to have to keep posting pictures of the Bellagio fountains like this one) with you.

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I’m going for 4 days and I’ll be staying at the Cosmopolitan.  It will be my second time staying there, and third if you count the time that I had friends staying there, and I hung out in their suite all the time before retiring back to my modest headquarters of the moment which was The Carriage House.  I like a January trip to Vegas because it’s pretty much the cheapest time to go.  The weather isn’t hot, but more of a spring type of temperature during the day.  It gets a bit chilly at night.  That said, for those who don’t know me, I am Canadian!  Therefore Vegas in January is a welcome relief from Toronto in January which is quite a bit colder.  The swimming pools aren’t open this time of year, but I’m not much of a swimming pool kind of guy.  I would probably go once per trip if it was open, but I won’t miss it if it’s not.  I absolutely love the Cosmo.  I had to pony up a bit extra to stay there instead of many of the other hotels on the strip, but I did get a package that came with free buffet breakfast every day.  As I’ve explained in a previous post, I love Vegas Buffets, and the Wicked Spoon is my fave!  I’ve also signed up for their rewards program, so I’m trying to get my comps up.  I’ll probably dedicate a whole post to the Cosmopolitan at some point, but I’ll wait until I’ve stayed there again, and can get some more pictures.

The last time I was in Vegas which was about a year ago, I fell in love with Garrett’s Popcorn.  This is an outfit from Chicago, and they make the most incredible popcorn I’ve ever had, and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since.  I’ve tried every brand that seems to be coming out with a knock off ‘Chicago Mix’, but nothing has compared.  I haven’t been to Chicago since the 90’s and it isn’t a regular stop for me, so I go to the Garrett’s in the Miracle Mile shops at the Planet Hollywood Hotel.  I’m told that Oprah attributed some of her weight problems to Garrett’s, and I definitely understand why.  The key is not to pig out on Garrett’s all day because there are restaurants I need to check out, and I don’t want to spoil my appetite.  I don’t want to hit that vacation wall I sometimes hit, where I just lose my appetite completely and start ordering salads.

Wish me luck!  If nothing else, I’m sure I’ll have a lot more pictures to share with you, and hopefully some stories and recommendations.  Can’t wait!!