Monday, November 03, 2008

About Vegas Part 2

All of our rooms had drinks in ice. It must be done. My sis and I LOVE champagne. Cheap. Expensive. Whatever. YUM!

We had heard that the HardRock opens their pool to the public on Sundays. So we totally wanted to check it out. Our hotel kept closing the pool because of "weather". So...we wanted drinks served and a place to swim, hell we're Canadian. Tuffy P and Mister Anchovy and Anita and Behzad ...had gone sightseeing. Again, Vegas is good because it offers a lot of different activities for a group of people. I am so into beach and pool culture...but not all my friends share the love. So, it was great for the day everyone found something to do or check out. This was all new for Stagg who hasn't really spent time swimming since he was a kid. I drag him into all our hotel pools and even the local rec centre. Look at the poor lifeguard...he has a hoodie all done up and towels wrapped around him. This was cold for Vegas residents. The first major difference with this casino compared to the one we were staying in and others we had visited...the customers were so much better looking!!! Over all. We saw Pink's ex who was there with a big biker rally raising money for autism. They had a killer live band warming up as we walked around the pool in an area roped off for their event. We could see all the bandanas and leather chaps and actual bikes in section behind the bar.

When we walked on to the pool area staff looked a little worried. Who were these people? Why would they hang out here on such a cold day? We wandered around looking for a spot to settle but then we saw these cabanas. We asked our server how much they were etc and it turns out they are $250...unless you spend $250...then they are free. Ha. Sheesh we'll drink that in a couple hours! We ordered up pina coladas with our souvenier HardRock cups, Baileys, beer, sliders, fries etc.

Our view from the cabana at the poolside of HardRock Casino. We had the best service. They took such good care of us and lots of staff came over to say hi or see if we were doing okay. Maybe they thought we were so nuts in such cold weather that we were "secret shoppers". I don't know but treat yourself to a day at the pool there sometime. Yippee!

A Canadian in summer black.

I grabbed the camera when I saw my sister redecorating. At this point S. is saying "so the whole family is stubborn huh?" She still doesn't see what is so funny about this sight but these were huge lounge chairs and she is hauling it from another part of the pool area entirely.

The big flat screen tv in the cabana was a hoot!

Okay, so we get all settled into the cabana, order up food and drinks..and then we change into our swim suits. Okay, only three of us change into our swim suits. It's just cold in the air...nevermind what the pool might feel like. But...there is a water slide.J. my daughter and I have to go on the waterslide. You saw the poor lifeguard, these folks are freezing...and apparently the pool isn't heated. At all. We're Canadian. We've swam in Lake Huron in November. Big deal. So we change. And as we walk towards the water slide...I realize no way I can do this without a quick detour. I need a rest room. It's so cold in the air I don't think I can last past the waterslide. We drop off our towels at the water slide and walk to find the rest room. The rest room is all the way around the bar. Oh No. It' appears to be near the location of the bike rally. We approach a bouncer who asks "the rest room ladies?" We say "Yes." He says" just walk past all those bikers and turn left". We move forward regressing right back to walking down the halls at high school. Only worse, we really ARE in our bathing suits. I hear my daughter say "I hate you both". I hear the bouncer say "Work it ladies, work it work it!"

Yes, those are said bikers. Trust me,. the water slide was totally freezing. And actually, for a few seconds it is pitch black and terrifying...I could hear J screaming in front of me and T screaming behind me. I was sure we would all kill each other in the freezing cold tunnel. It was scary how cold the actual pool was when landing off the slide. Ouch! But not as scary as walking past all the bikers in our bikinis.

In this picture you can see Stagg laughing and getting his drink on with his steady flow of Bailey's on ice.

After the waterslide we realized we were so damn cold we needed the hot tub. adventuring women (my sister video taped us coming out of the waterslide on her camera but hasn't found it yet) went off wrapped up warm to find the hot tub. As we approached the hot tub we see four guys with tats mohawks and dozens of beer and smokes set up around them in the hot tub, real cool looking dudes and they also had this major attitude as we appraoched. Like: "This is our hot tub we have tats and mohawks--BOO!". We say "Hi, is how is the hot tub?". One of the guys says "We've been peeing in it since 10:30 this morning, it's nice and warm." As I am stepping into the pool to join my daughter and J...I say "Oh well, that's okay, we're having our periods."

J spit out part of her drink, as the guy says to me..."oh wow...I uh...don't know what to say. I'm stunned" I am smiling. J says "I've known her for 20 years and I don't know what to say." He says "cheers, you win" and they kind of had this huge respect for us and then asked "Where you from?" I say "Canada." He says "Riiigggghhht." Anyways we landed up having a fun time in the hot tub after the real estate and ground rules were all staked out.

Who in their right mind would marry this woman? Rock on!

Back at the Sahara, we had no problem finding ways to hang out and relax. Almost all of them meant starting one's day slightly after breakfast and coffee with booze. Hence it was so diffcult to find flattering pics of us all or pics in focus etc heh heh!

One evening just before J and S had to go, we decide to find a good place for dinner. The food in Vegas is amazing. Sure, burgers at the HardRock you can have anywhere in the world...but since Vegas used to have a reputation as bad buffets at midnight in the 90's the casinos went out of their way to hire some of the best chefs in the world. You can find a nice hot sandwich for $7, a good burger at the Sahara for $8 (It was really VERY good actually) and then you can go nuts. We couldn't afford to go nuts, but when I was on the strip one night, it occured to me we might be able to find a good French restaurant. Oh I love French food! J had done some research and had written down a restaurant at the new Wynn casino. So off we went. The casino is conservative, but gorgeous. Beautiful colours and game areas, and the restaurants are quite lovely in decor. I hope I can remember what we ordered, French Onion Soup (I am addicted to French Onion Soup...been known to have it every day) a $36 burger, muscles, steak frite (freedom fries) artisanal cheeses, roasted beet salad (with cabrales blue cheese, walnuts, endives) escargots, flourless chocolate cake, pistachio ice cream. was awesome! And a couple bottles of modest red wine. Sorry forgot the was the least expensive one on the menu. We each spent $75 which I thought was extremely reasonable and fair for such a good meal. (and atmosphere!)

This is a photo for S because he loved the washroom and when I took it, I also thought of Wandering Coyote...because she teased me about taking pics of bathrooms and also of graffiti. This wonderful ladies room did not have graffiti! I was thrilled we went to Boulud's a celebrity chef because he was a guest judge on Top Chef!!! (the episode and season with Hung, Sara, Dale) (I also kept a chocolate...and some paper serviettes from the washroom to mail to S at a later date as a joke because he was so thrilled with the restrooms!)

If you weren't convinced what a nerd I am for the reality show Top Chef I am actually posting a pic of Boulud from the episode! With this gesture I may have reached new heights of geeking out. I also went to another restaurant in Chicago, with a local chef featured in the series. Help!

Rick Bayliss with Padma. He has a joint in Chicago, and I took a bunch of pictures but keep not getting around to posting them, I should...

Here we are at Daniel Boulud's French Brasserie in the Wynn Casino. How can I describe the light show? Did you ever see the opening of the France 1992 Olympics? Kind of like that married to The Prisoner. Floating balls, lights, giant frogs, giant heads, coloured lights in water crazy music. It was really actually kind of cool. The glowing ball behind our heads is part of the evolving light show...I wish my sister was still with us. We were trying to find her some places...but we really needed more time. My sister as you all know is experience in cooking and sampling Mexican, Vietnamese and many other cuisines and has been to the locations of many of her favourite foods and cooking.

After dinner in the cool foyer of the Wynn Casino outside Daniel Boulud's restaurant. Those are umbrellas kind of was really pretty. I took a pic of these guys on the escalator with a proper camera...but this cell phone one is the best I can do for now. Oh wait, yeah is a clear image of the foyer.

Okay...eventually I have found some video of this fountain dinner water show thingie at the Daniel Boulud Brasserie...see, it really is like some kind of's apparently called "Lake of Dreams".

Having decorated many nightclubs myself over the years I found myself trying to figure out how it was made. S and I have both worked on restaurants opening or some aspect of building or design with a number of new restaurants in Toronto. So we both kind of got into deconstructing the display. Balls like "Rover" in the 60's tv show The Prisoner seem to be on remote controlled "cars" with timers. I am sure many dinner guests have a similar discussion. In the "lake" occassionally a huge three dimensional head comes out which is plain white to serve as a movie screen. Then a variety of forms, faces, colours are projected. Here like the following:


Janet said...

holy crap, that sounded like SO much fun! ALL of it!!!

Candy Minx said...

And hey, Janet, this is only part 2. Part 1 is next week sometime.

X. Dell said...

You know, I went to Vegas last yaer, and it didn't look nearly as good as you make it seem with these pics.

Guess some people only see th seedy side.

Anonymous said...

I think I hate the "lake of dreams" thing.

Gardenia said...

I like the videos - a lot - loved the snake image in the lake of dreams.

What a wonderful time - this was. I laughed like crazy over your asserting yourself in the hot tub scenario - I will file that in my "comebacks" book!!!!!

Haven't been to Vegas in way too many years - sounds like its pretty fabulous. Enjoyed pics of your family!

Looking forward to the rest.....

tweetey30 said...

I havent been to Vegas since I was 15 with my parents.. My grandfather lived in Sandy Valley in the mountains about half hour away... I loved going into town at night and seeing all the lights even if I wasnt allowed into the casino itself.. MY mom usually sat with me at that point and we talked and had fun.. Anyway great photo's... Talk to you soon...

Candy Minx said...

X-Dell, well you know I'm an artist right? And a few of us have edited these photos...we took out the fuzzy ones, the ones where so-and-so looked "puffy" etc etc. she says pointing to herself. And I am weird...I'ma Buddhist so I kind of see Vegas as the manifestation of maya...the illusion. So it's all kind of beautiful to me. We saw some seedy sides of Vegas too, but I didn't have any memory left on my cell phone at the time. I also have a knack for stumbling onto the cool places in any given town.

Plus...I've been to seedy places. No...I mean seedy places.

Vegas is a lot less seedy than some of the places I've travelled or lived etc. I should do a whole post on seedy places...places that make rough downtown decrepit Las Vegas look like a newborn. Tijuna, Mexico 1976, Port Alberni B.C. (still today) Paris in the late 70's, NY lower east side 1982, Barrie, Ontario (where the nicest joint if "Hooters"), Hastings Street Vancouver (forever) (I call it "Wastings Street)", Beale Street Memphis 1980, Miami Beach 1977.

Las Vegas is not so seedy.


Tif, the Lake of Dreams reminded me of something Michael Roy would have LOVED. I kept thinking about him...and I think you would have enjoyed how bizarre it was too.

Gardenia, have always ALWAYS wanted to be one of those people who had good comebakcs and lively repartee...or the answer or joke. I have never been that guy. When someone does something weasely, or assholey...I've always thought of a good comeback like a week later. And said to myself...why didn't I think of that THEN! I was so happy that day when that surfaced. And for a moment...I thought a second about not saying it...but then went, these guys think they can bring it? Yeah, right. It was good fun and one of the half dozen times I've ever had a comeback EVER in a situation.

Tweetey, I think Vegas is really pretty too. I love all the kitch and all the lights and I adore desert climate! There is a small part of me that would love to have an art gallery there...on a weird strip of decrepit downtown warehouse area....Stagg and I saw such a place and would make a good gallery!

pjazzypar said...

I always have a ball in Vegas every time I visit. I remember going to the Hard Rock many years ago before they even had the hotel. Their collection of Rock and Roll memorabilia is incomparable. Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

Anonymous said...

I love this, hi to J & S (How the hell did you get S out there!)

Anonymous said...

Hey......Begas and Anita Cabanaed!!!
Sightsaw AND Cabanaed!!! As in life it's usually not one OR the other, the right answer is both. And in Vegas, if not any where else, you can have it all!

While we were sightseeing we saw that waterfall and pond and thought it was beautiful just as a waterfall and pond fountain thingy. I should have figured it did party tricks! How ultra-cool! And that's the spiral escalator too! I'd never seen one before! Only in Vegas!

* (asterisk) said...

Man, that's great! You guys really rocked it!