So before the holiday to Hawaii actually started we were in Vegas for a conference and it wasn't all work.
I arrived on the Thursday, Al on the Friday. Determined to stay awake as soon as the flight landed it was a quick check in then I hit the shops. We were staying at the Bellagio as I'd heard amazing things but in reality it didn't compare to the Venetian / Palazzo rooms.
It was nice enough and way nicer than NYNY, Luxor and of course the Excalibur but I've been spoilt the last couple of years. It is however directly opposite the miracle mile shopping mall so time to grab myself some bargains. I picked up a few things then met a friend and enjoyed a lovely Mexican. More shopping then a walk back to the hotel and I was exhausted but I'd made it till 11pm local time which would hopefully get me onto the timezone quicker - No such luck, I got about 4hrs sleep in total.
Friday it was straight into sales school but that evening the whole team went for a nice meal at Crush in MGM then another early night with about 4hrs sleep again.
Saturday evening I had an invite to have pre drinks at the cloud one suite before going to the Hakassan to see Sunnery James and Ryan Marchiano DJ. First a bunch of us went for dinner at Cafe Bellagio which was really nice food and drinks then down to Mandalay Bay. It was nice to catch up with some of the conference crowd but sadly loads of people bailed. Chris and Jim from the ex rational team popped in but didn't stay long. Ben, Amy, Matt, Al and I were the only ones going onto the club even though others already had bought their tickets but we were ready to party. The queues were insane so really glad we bought our tickets in advance. We stopped for a drink in the bar outside first and luckily bumped into Ileana and Tom who were going to join us in the club but come in later.
The warm up DJ was really good and there was a really good vibe. Can't remember the last time I was in a proper club with good music. Only problem is that all the seats are reserved for those getting bottle service but it just meant we'd have to dance all night. Matt flaked out just before the guys we'd come to see came on which was a shame but understandable, 2 nights without much sleep I'm not sure how I'm still this awake. The guys did not disappoint they were awesome and Amy, Ben, Al and I spent a good majority of the night rocking it on the dance floor. I was surprised to bump into Tom later on who had come in with a bunch of the sellers from Europe. Ben was next to bail which left the three of us busting moves. They played a really long set and come 2.30ish my feet had given in to the heels so we called it a night. As we were leaving we bumped back into Ben who had apparently had a detour past the casino tables and got stuck. By the time we got to bed it was 3am so at least I’ll sleep past that tonight and ended up with 5 hrs that night so making progress.
Sunday we'd planned a trip to sushi samba at the Palazzo. I've been a couple of times before and it was really nice. Joshua, Al, Amy, Louisa, Dave and I were there. Mark was supposed to be joining us but it later transpired that he'd fallen asleep around 7pm and woken up next to a cold cup of coffee so sadly didn’t join us.
The food was amazing with ceviche, sushi, sashimi, beef, rice, seabass skewers and more. Only once did I fall foul of eating something too spicy, I swear it was a chilli pepper even though the rest said they were just bell peppers I must have had the rogue one :-)
There was so much food and I was full before they brought out the sushi rolls. Even as a group we didn't finish them all.
Monday Al and I decided at the last minute to get tickets to a Cirque show. People had raved about the Beatles Love show so we booked for 9pm. Sunday night I'd had around 6hrs sleep but still not enough so really tired. This did mean I found it hard to stay awake through the show. We aren't huge beatles fans but the performance was good. Sadly we were left disappointed however because it was more about the costumes and dancing with little acrobatics so I wouldn't recommend it to cirque fans unless you love the Beatles.
Tuesday night we had an invite to the infamous Prolifics party at Tryst nightclub at the Wynn. I can see why people rave about the venue, there’s a really nice outside section beside a fake lake and waterfall. We bumped into my old boss Michael so spent the night catching up then Tom and Ileana joined us. Only disappointing point was it closed too early but we ended up going back to the Prolifics suite at the MGM which was gorgeous. Sadly the UK prolifics guys weren’t there so it was a much calmer evening than the last time I met them but good none the less.
Wednesday was the big IBM event and they had booked Aerosmith to play. We were a bit concerned we wouldn’t get in because they’d been saying how the venue wouldn’t fit the number of people actually at the venue. Luckily we got into the queue early and Leif, Louisa, Al, Joshua and I plus a couple of the US team got really good seats. I actually had been given 3 tickets to go down onto the main floor with the ‘VIPs’ but actually we couldn’t be bothered to spend the concert stood the whole time just to be a few feet closer. Didn’t really know many of the songs but they put on a good show.
Thursday and after some morning meetings it was finally all over and the holiday could begin. We started with some final shopping since Vegas (and the US in general) is always so much better and cheaper then Al went out to add many more beers to the beer tracking ‘untappd’ app.
That evening a bunch of us went for a great meal in Grand Lux cafe at the Bellagio, followed by some drinks round the corner then on to the Rio to visit the Voodoo Lounge.
Clearly Thursday nights aren’t that popular in Vegas as the place was pretty empty and sadly the weather was a little cold for hanging out on the roof terrace like the last time I was here but its still a really cool place to come to get good views of the strip.
Its also much more reasonable to drink here than the other extortionate places we’d been to earlier in the week. We left when the place closed around 2am then ended up trying desperately to find somewhere to carry on. Other than massively over priced clubs it seems our options were limited so we ended up having a nightcap in the casino bar before running away from the rest of the few who were still out and looking for the epic vegas experience. Instead we went back to the Bellagio got a hot chocolate and chips and survived the Vegas experience once more.