Tag Archives: the mirage

The Canadian Experience (Vegas Day 2)

Day 2 in Vegas I woke up at 6am (don’t ask me why, I’m still upset about it) feeling less than wonderful. But a little room service eggs benny with a side of potatoes perked me riiiight up.

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Dawn and Emily called Lisa and I at 8 and asked if we would be in for renting a car and adventuring to the Grand Canyon for the day. It sounded like it would be an amazing time, but we declined. We were not feeling 2.5 hours in the car each way, and also, I wasn’t sure if this was the trip for that. Going into our Vegas trip I did really want to make it to the Grand Canyon one day, but once there I decided I was in this for the people we were with and I probably would not have the chance to hang out with them all together again, or at least for a very long time. I just wanted to experience the Strip with the group. It’s all good, I will go back with Evan FOR SURE, so when we do that we can have all the eating adventures (which I didn’t have very much of either, sadly), and also hit up that canyon.

Instead we went to the pool. We got there right when it opened at 10am, so that was beauty. Fun fact, apparently the Mirage is the only hotel on the strip that has an outdoor pool open in the “winter”. The main pool was closed for seasonal maintenance so we had to hang around the smaller one, but that was not too shabby at all.

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I will repeat, not too shabby at all. And it was sunny and actually warm.

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Tanning up my pale Canadian skin (but the Americans say not pale enough)

Maybe a little chilly for resident Las Vegans, but for us Canadians we thought it was beautifully balmy.

Lisa, Heather, and I ordered giant Caesars (they actually had Caesars and not just Bloody Mary’s!!!! We were so excited!) and I feel like it may have been the best decision of the day.

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Nothing like a Caesar in the morning to get you back into the swing of things (note: if you are not familiar with Caesars, believe me when I tell you they are the best and you need to get on that. You can find how to make them here).

We spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon in that beautiful pool.

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Caesars are done.

And at one point I nearly drowned because I was laughing too hard. I feel like we just laughed the entire time. My face was hurting from it. We made friends with our server Heather, who again told us we were the nicest people she had ever experienced. I didn’t see how this could be possible so I asked her if she truly could notice a difference in our group or if she was just saying that, and she said we genuinely are nicer and she knew immediately we were from Canada because we said please and thank you. Eh. It’s just ’cause we were all drunk (okay, we weren’t, but I’m trying to be funny).

In the mid afternoon Lisa and I split from the pool group to check out the Mirage buffet. In our bathing suits and cover-ups. I am a fan of the anything goes mentality in Vegas. My appetite was not up to snuff so I wasn’t able to take advantage of the all-you-can-eat (and drink!) as much as I would have liked, but it was good and I definitely got my money’s worth with the crabs legs alone.

Then, up to our room for a quick nap. I had JUST fallen asleep when I heard a knock on our door and giggling in the hallway. I assumed it was just Heather and Brent, so I got up to let them in, and 8 people paraded into our room screaming “HEYYYYYY IT’S STRIP TIME!!!!”

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So, we were up. It’s a good thing they’re fun. Lisa and I quickly changed out of our pajamas and headed outside with everyone.

We walked all the way from the Mirage to New York New York, which is a bit over a mile, but it took us about two hours. We stopped for many adventures along the way.

First stop, drinks.

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Yay, slushy drinks. My pink lemonade was delicious.

Chewbacca!

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And yes, you have to pay the characters on the strip if you take a photo with them. I learned that from this Buzzfeed article. If I ever run into dark times I might live on the Vegas strip. There seems to be a lot of ways to make money there if you can hustle and have some skills. Case in point:

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Not that this kind of activity would be an option for me… I’ll just play my flute and hand out lady caller cards.

Group photo!

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Matt, me, Corinna, Trevor, Jen, Heather, Brent, Lisa, We Dunno, Tonya bringing up the front (Tonya was making me laugh SO HARD)

If you think it looks like we’re having a good time, you are correct. That Heather sure knows how to pick her friends. They are all hilarious. I would like to point out that we do not know the man on the far right beside Lisa. None of us knew he was there. We were all yelling “HEYYYY” for the photo and Lisa said she heard this deep “heyyy.” in her ear and surprise, there was that guy. He was a nice addition.

There are so many things to look at on the strip. Everywhere I looked something was happening or one of our friends was doing something funny. It was a bit of stimulation overload, but I liked it.

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Elliot and his drink holder:

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And getting his skate shoes shined:

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We laughed at him, but his shoes did look brand new after that shining.

And looky looky what we found.

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The Grand Canyon Experience! Since Dawn and Em were at the actual Grand Canyon and probably having an amazing time, we decided to have our own Grand Canyon experience to make them jealous when they got back.

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Just like we’re actually there.

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I thought it was very well done actually…

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After that, we zig-zagged our way over to the MGM to see the MGM lion, which is no longer there (sad), so instead we all had a quick shot of Jager before heading to our final destination, New York New York. We wanted to go on the roller coaster.

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The coaster was about a hundred times more intense than I thought it was going to be. I feel like this picture sums up my terror:

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I didn’t expect it to be like a real rollercoaster. I thought it was going to be lame, but a big negative on that. It even goes upside down! My voice was messed up for about a week afterwards due to all my screaming on this thing (and probably my screaming in general).

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I loved it.

After our ride, Lisa and I split again from the group for dinner. We were meeting Dawn and Emily that evening for a show and we wanted to make sure we had dinner first. I didn’t want a repeat of the Friday night no eating. I hoped to last longer than 10:30. We went to the Italian restaurant inside New York New York, and this is where I went really crazy.

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Yeah, spaghetti. I know, right. Who goes to Vegas and orders spaghetti? I just really like it! I wanted carbs, and lots of them. So no regrets there. The spaghetti was the answer to my prayers.

After dinner we cabbed it back to the hotel, giving ourselves 37 minutes to shower and get ready for the show with the girls. We got ‘er done. I found this interesting balloon animal hat in our room…

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Thank you for leaving that with us, Brent. I’m sorry it got popped.

Dawn, Emily, Lisa and I headed to the Linq to see Divas, a drag show, which will be a story for another post as this is getting quite lengthy. For now just know that it was amazing and we all loved it.

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After the show we hit up Casino Royale (across from the Mirage) for one reason: $2 mixed drinks and $1.75 beer. One of my favourite moments of the day was when Emily spread a bunch of bills on the bar and was like “Look at all my money! I feel like I have so much money!” and the bartender was all “You have 6 dollars.” Ah, American money is so sneaky. If you are in Canada and you have 6 bills, you have at LEAST $30. Also, you guys need to change up the colour of your bills, just saying. I never knew how much money I had because everything looked the same. In Canada we have our helpful colour coding.

Canadian_bills2Just seems like common sense.

Emily had this Coors Light bucket from her beer at Divas, so we turned it into a prop. We filled it with ice, put a Loonie (Canadian $1 coin) in it, and then asked people if they wanted the Canadian Experience.

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The Canadian Experience was, you had to stick your hand in the bucket of ice and find the Loonie. People were surprisingly excited about participating. Everyone wanted the Canadian Experience.

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This man REALLY wanted the Canadian Experience and ended up dumping the entire bucket of ice on the floor in hopes of finding the Loonie (security liked it, and I am actually not being sarcastic with that, security was laughing harder than we were). This man was also wearing a Sons of Anarchy sweatshirt, a Sons of Anarchy hat, and a Sons of Anarchy ring. Do you think he likes Sons of Anarchy? We couldn’t tell.

We had some more adventures on the Strip, spent about 10 seconds in the Mirage club, 1 Oak, before deciding it was 100% not for us at all, and capped off our day with delicious grilled cheese and soup from the 24-hour restaurant Pantry in the Mirage (highly recommend).

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It was awesome.

Canucks do Vegas, Day One

As you may have seen from all my Instagram spamming, I went to Vegas for the weekend. About a year and a half ago my Bestie Lisa’s sister Heather approached all of her best friends about taking a trip somewhere for her dirty 30. Originally the idea of a cheap all-inclusive resort was tossed around, but then Vegas came up and that was that. We were going to Vegas. It ended up being quite the meeting of friends. Heather and her boyfriend Brent’s best friends, and Lisa and I talked to Dawn and Emily about it at Christmas and they were in, so suddenly it was our friends too. There ended up being 14 of us, from Ontario, Alberta, and BC. The ultimate Canadian party. I do not like to just throw this word around, but it was epic. There is really no other way to describe it. Best time ever. Do I wish I was still there? NOPE. Three days was enough time in Vegas. But it was amazing.

I had never been to Vegas before, so for my first time I really felt like I needed to do it right and this was THE trip to be on. I used to have this idea in my mind that Vegas was too fancy for me because I am not really into designer things, I don’t particularly enjoy wearing heels, and clubs are not my idea of a fun time. But it was completely the opposite of what I thought. Sure, people were fancy, it was a heel-party, and there were clubs everywhere, but it’s also very laid back. Everyone was just doing their own thing. And everyone we were with was laid back and just wanted to have fun, and that is my dream.

We left early last Friday morning, and I was delighted to find these bitches on my flight.

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Trevor and Matt, best friends of Heather’s, were coming to Vegas as well. For some reason we thought we were on different airlines, so when we found each other in the terminal we had a very excited group hug reunion and switched seats so we could be together on the plane. This was a plus because then I didn’t have to drink wine by myself!

We were talking about how we have only met a total of about three times but we consider each other kindred spirits (though the first time we did spend an entire weekend together, I was staying at their place when I [accidentally] locked Lisa’s cat in my suitcase and I just saw Matt over Christmas). They really are two of my favourite people.

Nearly five hours later (not a short flight, FYI), we landed and met Lisa, Heather, Brent, and their friend Elliot at the Vegas airport. Those four flew in together from Calgary. We decided we needed to get to our hotel in style, and that means limo, hey ya!

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Matt, Heather, Brent

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Bestie reunion!

Oh you know we cracked open that complimentary limo champagne. There may have been some Jager floating around as well, who can say for sure?

Our limo driver was wonderful, and was the first of many people who LOVED the fact that we were from Canada. I could not believe the number of people who were genuinely surprised we were Canadian. Someone actually commented that we couldn’t be from Canada because we weren’t pale enough. Okay then. Anyway, our limo driver enjoyed us quite a lot and said that we were the nicest people she had met, not the first time we heard that all weekend. Though I think we may have been extra nice to her because she made a stop at the liquor store for us.

And then…dun dun dun…we arrived at our hotel. The Mirage!

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I would highly recommend staying there. It seems to be in middle of all the action on the strip, and it is beautiful inside. And even though you can smoke everywhere in there, I actually thought it smelled good (this absolutely does not apply to the old casinos on Fremont Street, you can smell the 60 years of smoking in those).

It may have had something to do with the botanical garden.

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Just luxurious. Like a rain forest.

Lisa and I bunked together, and you will not hear either of us complaining about our room.

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I don’t know if this is standard Vegas hotel room, but we thought it was great.

We dropped off our stuff, changed out of our gross plane gear and immediately got out into that sunshine.

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The weather was gorgeous the entire time we were there. We could not have asked for better. About 20-25 degrees C and sunny. Beauty. Especially since Toronto was experiencing a snowstorm at the time. I will take it.

We found our group of peeps who had arrived so far and headed to the patio just outside the Mirage.

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Sorry for all the photos of just the three of us, I swear there were more of us on the trip…

We sat with a very friendly American couple, who again seemed to really enjoy the fact that we were from Canada. It really is inhabited here, I promise.

We did not stay on the patio very long, as we were sitting in the shade and we wanted sunshine and adventures along the strip.

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I love the all street activities that randomly broke out in front of us.

We wandered into the casino at Harrah’s, which happens to have a White Castle. We all decided we needed to eat something, so I had my very first White Castle experience. I would like to rave on about it, however it did not meet my expectations.

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And yes I blame you for that, Harold and Kumar.

Lisa and I split a meal because we didn’t think we needed four burgers each, but apparently we did because they are tiny (and taste like pâté). In hindsight, not the best idea because our dinner plans never ended up working out and, aside from my sandwich on the plane, that was all I really ate all day. Oh well, learned my lesson. When in Vegas, don’t go to White Castle. Go to a buffet!

When Dawn and Emily arrived Lis and I met them at the hotel and then we all hit up CVS where we bought cans of beer. That was an adventure on its own, again because we seemed to meet so many people. And it was weird that you could walk around drinking on the street. That is a pretty big fine here. No complaints though. Once the girls had their booze, we headed back to our rooms and got ready for a night on the town.

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Hi.

We met everyone in the lobby and then walked over to Margaritaville, conveniently located across from The Mirage.

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I couldn’t turn down the blended rum concoction.

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I was in bed by 10:30, but still no regrets (well, just about White Castle).

We made friends with people on the street. Like this young man…

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And this police officer…

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We also met two older bearded men from Texas who were both named Brian and were attending a concrete convention. They were a fun time. They enjoyed quizzing us about the ingredients in concrete. Water and sand, that’s all I know.

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One of the Brians. Dawn has pulled the ol’ glasses switch trickery.

The Flamingo was next for some general shenanigans…

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Basically just catch up time with everyone. And those are the last of my photos of the evening. Trevor escorted me home at 10pm. We were done. And I think our entire group was in bed by 11. We also walked in the total wrong direction of our hotel for a while, and I just have a tip: do not wear $2.50 pumps from Old Navy when you are going to walk 22,000 steps (according to my fitbit). I woke up with the biggest blisters of my life. And also a purse crammed with stripper cards, so, good times.

More stories to come 🙂