A Weekend of Pools & Partying in Las Vegas

The Paris Hotel and New York New York Hotel in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas: where Paris and New York City are down the street from each other.

New York City may be the city where dreams can come true, but Las Vegas is the place where fantasies become reality.  Anything anyone could ever desire is available in Las Vegas, right at the edge of your fingertips, enticing you to come play even for a moment.

Las Vegas has a remedy for every desire imaginable, with a little luck and willingness to pay a price.  Fortune and fast cars are at your disposal to win, naked women and sexy men are available to ogle at (and more), there is unlimited alcohol and endless food everywhere you turn, there’s a concert for every type of musical taste, and even magic shows exist.  All your desires are right here, within reach in Las Vegas.  Hell, you can even travel the world without ever leaving The Strip.  Dreaming of visiting Paris?  Egypt?  New York City?  There’s a hotel for that.

The Paris Hotel and New York New York Hotel in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas: where Paris and New York City are down the street from each other.

All this and more makes Las Vegas an exciting destination for many people.  But for me, the city is a facade of masks, from the mesmerizing fountains at the Bellagio distracting from the fact that you’re in the middle of a desert, to the facsimile of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe that look like cheesy knock-offs of the real thing, to the crowds of people throwing around money in an attempt to prove that they have some.

The stage performance at Club Light at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Inspired by Cirque du Soleil, Club Light in the Mandalay Bay has dancers performing on large screens in the club.

Las Vegas is unique in that it’s packed with thousands of people all the time—all of whom are tourists.  Because of that, it feels like being in a giant commercial with bright lights constantly begging for your attention (and most importantly, money).   Everything in the city is an arm’s race to draw attention: “This is the best in Vegas!” “This is the biggest in the city!”  Needless to say, it’s exhausting.

The Chandelier Bar in the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
The Chandelier Bar in the Cosmopolitan.

But try as I may to avoid it, Las Vegas is sometimes necessary.  Like when you want a non-stop party of never-ending alcohol around the clock and a parade of scantily-clad men at your disposal.  Of course I’m talking about a bachelorette party: the one and only time Las Vegas is imperative (in my opinion).

Scotch break at Craftsteak in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
A quick scotch break at Craftsteak in the MGM Grand.

For a brief weekend (which is all that I can handle), I ventured down to Vegas with 12 girls for a weekend of poolside drinking, late-night clubbing, and, of course, a foray at a strip club to celebrate my friend before she ties the knot in the Dominican Republic next month.

The tower of chicken and waffles at Hash House a Go Go in the Rio.
The tower of chicken and waffles at Hash House a Go Go in the Rio.

We ate, we drank, we danced; we spent most of our days at the pool in search of relief from the 100+ degree heat that is Las Vegas, then we drank some more.  Our days filled a similar routine of a carb-filled breakfast (calories be damned, we’re on vacation!), a day lounging in the sunshine at the pool, following by an alcohol-fueled vanity-session complete with girls running from room to room requesting group opinions on outfits, followed by heavy dinners capped with even heavier drinking episodes late into the night.  You know, the typical Las Vegas vacation.

Kelli Nakagama traveling in Las Vegas.
With the Bride-to-Be before our night out on the town.

As much as I hate the city, I enjoyed my time with all my friends (some old, some new) and appreciated the fact that we were away from home, which is a luxury in itself. Unfortunately I can’t share all of my trip—after all, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas—but stay tuned for a few Vegas-themed posts ahead.

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