It’s never a good idea to start a worldly trip in Las Vegas. However, Vegas can be relatively cheap if you know how to do it right. My biggest hurdle will be finding the time to blog while I’m here. But here I am, the morning after our first full day in the city. My traveling companions Veronica, Jamie, and Chris are passed out after our previous day full of events. Three events to be exact. This is my perfect opportunity to jot this before they wake up!
Yesterday started with all of us reuniting after a day of flying and connectors. I haven’t seen Chris since last November when he left South Africa. We all met up at our accommodation, The Cosmopolitan, smack dab in the center of the strip! It took awhile to get checked in because they accidentally gave our room away. Instead, they reimbursed me with an upgraded suite! “We’ll take it!” This apartment style suite was the best I have ever stayed. I took it as a sign of more great things to come, for sure!
My friends were excited, but unfortunately we couldn’t do much on the first night. The first event required us to wake up early and to be alcohol free. By the way, Chris, Jamie, and Veronica were left in the dark about the nine events I had planned, but they were all up for anything and followed my lead. I told them to wear sneakers and comfortable clothing. The next morning, we took a cab to a McDonalds and had a quick breakfast. Afterwards, we waited there for a “special friend”. About 30 minutes later, a shuttle van pulled up and on the side it read “Sky Dive Las Vegas”!
Event #1 of 9 – Sky Dive Las Vegas
I hinted to all of them in the past that I would make them sky dive. Once the van pulled up, I saw a streak of emotions strike through Jamie and Veronica. They’ve never done anything like this before! Chris and I were the veterans here; we’ve both jumped numerous times before already. Fortunately for us vets, the rookies were prepared for the challenge!
After a brief training course of the proper form to fall and land in, we were suited and geared up! I wasn’t nervous one bit. I was more excited for Jamie and Veronica because I knew how amazing it felt to jump out of an airplane, tandem of course. As a matter of fact, I’ve jumped at this specific venue two years ago, closing out my three month trip in Africa. I had a great experience last time, and decided to bring my friends along for this one.
Before we knew it, we started to board the tiny aircraft. We flew up 15,000 feet in the air. It was about to happen! Poor Veronica sat right by the hatch, which meant she would be one of the first falling out! I would be after her with Chris and Jamie following suit.
“Open the hatch!” shouted the pilot. This is the part where I tend to get nervous! But none of us had any control as our tandem partner shimmied us to the opening and leaped out into the desert!
The feeling you get free falling in the sky is one of the best adrenaline rushes ever! We had views of the Colorado river, Hoover Dam, the Strip, and so many mountains! It was a hot day in Vegas, but the constant wind pressing against me was refreshing. I asked the guy attached to me if he ever get’s sick of this. He said he’s jumped hundreds of times and this is something that will never get old. I feel ya on that one!
We all landed safely to the bottom. Thankfully too, Veronica and Jamie’s parents would have killed me if something happened to their precious babies. I saw a surge of excitement on their faces once we landed and I asked them both “Would you ever jump out of an airplane again?” They both gave me an astounding “Yes!” For Chris and I, that’s a given (Our friends and family back home tote us as the “crazy” ones).
We returned back to the strip shortly after and enjoyed a buffet at Mandalay Bay. I hinted the others not to completely stuff themselves though, as event number two required us to be in tip-top form. They all looked at me confused and threw out all sorts of guesses as to what we were up to next. All of their guesses were wrong! But we still had time before the event to chill out at our hotel’s glorious pools.
Before each event, since they are completely clueless as to what I had up my sleeves, the others would ask me what to wear. “For this event, wear whatever you want.” I also told them that this next event would be one of the biggest challenges of my life! I think that statement just confused them even more.
Event #2 of 9 – The Treasure Chest of Serendipity!
A.K.A One of the biggest deserts in North America! We waltzed to the Serendipity restaurant in front of Caesar’s palace where the hostess was in on the surprise. We sat at a bare table with no menus. I pretended we were waiting for a friend. Thankfully none of my friends were aware of the colossal sized dessert that was about to come out! It took awhile to make, I’d say about 20 minutes. And then there it was, one of the biggest challenges of my life was presented to us on our table!
Chris and Jamie’s eyes widened. Veronica is not big on desserts and had an “Are you serious!?” grin of disbelief on her face. A heavily ginormous treasure chest made of rich milk chocolate painted with edible gold. Inside the chest were scoops upon scoops of vanilla, mint chocolate-chip, and strawberry ice cream surrounded by heaps of cakes: red-velvet cake, marble cake, fudge cake and even cheesecake topped with puffy white marshmallows. Fried Oreos and tiny cupcakes coated in a chocolate glaze, striped with milky frosting were carefully placed on top of the troves of icecream. Two waffle cones were stuck onto the sweets along with pellets of blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Top it off with colorful sprinkles and presto…this was event number two, and I needed their help to eat it!
We started right in the center of the chest. The ice cream was calling my name along with bits of that shiny chocolatey fudge cake. Veronica is lactose intolerant, so she started with all the fruits. It was up to Chris, Jamie, and I to take care of the rest. Five minutes in, we truthfully realized we weren’t going to finish this challenge, but still we pressed on.
I asked a waiter nearby how often does someone order this? He said “About once a week, but normally it’s by much larger groups.” Veronica betted Jamie to finish off the top of the chest, which was nothing but chocolate, in ten minutes. He accepted, and ten minutes later, not even half of the chocolate was finished! Jamie suffered the consequences of eating all that chocolate in such a short amount of time, when he had to leave early and find the nearest restroom! Meanwhile, we threw in the towel. There was no way! Even for a big eater like myself.
We headed back to our suite to digest, wear off our sugar coma, and relax a bit before event #3 took place. Meanwhile, my friend Ike whom I met in Vietnam, just so happened to be in Vegas. So he met us in our suite and I invited him to the next event!
Event #3 of 9 – Minus 5 Ice Bar
I led my unaware friends all the way to the Mandalay Bay resort. Here they claimed fame to a bar made completely out of ice. The chairs, the walls, the chandeliers, and even the glasses to drink out of were sculpted of ice. I warned my comrades to wear pants. I didn’t say why, but it was highly suggested. Once we got there, we were given a snow coat, gloves to keep warm, and two tickets for two icy cold drinks at the frozen bar. It was literally one of the coolest things we’ve done in Vegas!
We met a bunch of other cool people from all over who joined in on the fun in the frozen bar!
We stuck around for about 40 minutes until our hands began to get cold. The warmth of our hands melting our glasses, made our gloves wet. We decided to leave but we made sure we took full advantage of the chilly bar before we left.
We went back to the room, along with our pal Ike, and feasted on Popeye’s Chicken at the room. Thanks Ike for that! We all immediately passed out after such a long but incredibly fun day! Thats three events down…
What could I possibly have in store for us tomorrow?