Back in the rooms we did what women our age need to do to transform themselves into hot Cougars from Colorado out for a night on the town in Vegas.
I’d say we did a pretty good job.
The Cougars, minus me (cause I was taking the picture).
Then I got in on the action (thanks Cindy).
Here’s Erika getting ready. See her cute cherry dress? She really likes cherries.
With the gang all ready and looking hot, we headed out to Botero.
Botero is a Fine Dining restaurant over at the Encore hotel. It was a 2011 AAA 4 diamond award recipient. It is named after Columbian artist, Fernando Botero and is known for the fine art work from this artist that decorates the restaurant.
It had very, very loud music, good food and mediocre service.
Erika gets the Vegan tasting menu that has five courses.
It started with a watermelon gazpacho.
Then there was this salad.
The next course was a lasagna.
She was getting full, but there was more to come. This was a fake chicken dish.
Last but not least, there was strawberry shortcake for dessert.
They also brought her a special birthday treat, but it wasn’t vegan, so she couldn’t eat it, even if she’d had any room left!
Erika said everything was de-lish! She sure looks happy.
The rest of us had good food as well.
I had the tasting of soups, which included the same soup Erika had as well as a corn chowder. Both were yummy. The gazpacho was spicy.
Nicole had the beet salad. She pronounced it yummy.
Kristen had the Osso Bucco, which was a special.
Cindy and Nicole both had fish. I can’t remember which ones they were though. They look yummy though and they were both happy with them.
I had the brioche crusted lamb, medium rare. It was cooked perfectly and delicious.
Erika had her dessert that came with her tasting menu. The rest of us shared the smores donuts. OMG! So good.
It had been a very good dinner and completely reasonable in price. We all had one drink (either wine or a cocktail). With tip it was just under $450. That is nothing short of amazing in Vegas for fine dining for 5 people. I can definitely recommend this restaurant if you don’t mind the ridiculously loud music.
Color us stuffed.
Our original plan had been to go back to the room to pre-game before we went to the clubs. However, we were so stuffed that no one could entertain the thought of putting anything more in our stomachs. We ditched that plan and walked over to Palazzo to the club. We passed at least one bachelorette party on our way. Our V-card passes got us right in. It had just opened up though and nothing was going on. We sat around for a while and then Erika said we should leave and go check out the Bank at Bellagio.
Off we went. We got a taxi with an absolutely crazy taxi driver. First he laid on his horn for some pedestrians that were crossing the street against the light and yelled out at them that if they got hit by a car they’d have to pay their own medical bills and then laughed and told us, “I love saying that.”
He then proceeded to launch into a complicated story about how he lost a couple million dollars, that it turned out he never had, just didn’t play the right lottery numbers. He also lost rent money at the craps table because of the “trickster” (who was his alter ego, I gathered). It was a twisted, complicated story. Erika was sitting in front, occasionally making noises like, “hmm”, and “uh huh.” When he got finished with the story she asked, “Does it rain much here?” It was the time of night that traffic crawled, so even though the Bellagio is not far away, it took awhile to get there. We were all relieved when we could get out of that taxi.
Once inside Bellagio, we went to look at the famous chocolate fountain. We drooled over the pastries and desserts at the shop there, but nobody had room for anything, so we went off in search of the club, the Bank.
We found it and it was pure chaos. While our V-cards got us in without a cover, we were just part of the mass of people who wanted to get in. There was a guy there who wanted us to stand with him and his friends to help them get in. He said they needed some women to help them get in. He was 21 and there for his bachelor party. He was marrying the mother of his 6 year old child. You do the math. Gotta give them credit for staying together when they started off so young under such challenging circumstances. They wouldn’t let him in though because he had sneakers on.
They have a very strict dress code. Uh huh.
Eventually we got in. I think I was over it before I even got in. Have I mentioned I don’t like crowds, so to put me in a disorganized crowd even before the party starts is starting behind the 8 ball.
This club was more crowded than the one the night before. They had better rum too. I can’t remember what the name of it was, it’s not one I’m familiar with. But he said it was a high-end rum. Probably not meant for mixing with coke, but after tasting it and approving it, that’s what I did. We all got our drinks and then went down to the dance floor.
Things went down hill from there for me.
There was fake snow that fell from the ceiling at one point. WTH? There was nowhere to sit. There was barely anywhere to stand. Erika, Kristen and Nicole were dancing (such as they could with the mass of people) and Cindy and I went up to the area by the bar to drink our drinks. It was too crowded for people watching.
I looked out over the sea of people. Then I looked around for an exit. What if there was a fire? What if someone threw a tear gas canister? What if people just panicked for no good reason?
I started to panic. I told Cindy I didn’t think this place met fire code. I could NOT see an exit sign. I was getting antsy and anxious.
Soon after that the others joined us. Nicole had twisted her ankle. We stood there for a bit and then Erika looked at me and said, “You look like you’re miserable.” I was and I was done. I told her I was going to leave and I would find a bar to sit at until they were done. I felt bad for bailing but once the panic set in, I knew I had to leave.
I went out the way I’d come in. You had to take the elevator down to get out. There were two very drunk girls on the elevator and one was getting married and her friend said we should try to talk her out of it. Then she said, “No, really, he’s a great guy.” Really?
I got off the elevator and made a left, looking for Fix. It was right there. I’d gotten a very good chocolate martini there when I’d been in Vegas with my husband, Zung, in May. I sat at the bar and before I knew it, I had a lovely chocolate martini in front of me and plenty of space between me and the other people there.
I exhaled a big sigh of relief.
Much, much better.
I took my time sipping it. After awhile I got a text from Nicole saying she was at the slots outside the club. I finished my martini and joined her. Her ankle was hurting too much to keep dancing and standing. We chatted and played slots until the other ladies came out and joined us. Erika had a great time dancing and said she didn’t mind at all that I left.
We headed out to the taxi stand.
Everyone committed shoeicide.
Oh wait! That’s only four pairs of feet. That’s right, everyone BUT ME! My shoes stayed where they belonged, on my feet.
Our taxi driver back to the Wynn was somewhat more sane than the one who took us to Bellagio. Not completely normal though. He said he used to be a craps dealer at the Wynn until Steve Wynn blackballed him. I haven’t heard that Steve Wynn is the nicest guy in the world, but I can’t imagine what one craps dealer, among ALL the dealers they have, must have done to get the attention of Steve Wynn enough to blackball him.
We saw a guy completely passed out in another cab. We asked our taxi driver what happens in a case like that. He said that usually they can get the person awake enough to get paid and then security will put them in a wheelchair and take them to their room. If they are totally unconscious they have to call an ambulance.
Back at the Wynn, Erika wanted her midnight french fries again. However, it was past midnight and Zoozacrackers was closed. We went into another little cafe, and although they had yummy desserts and HUGE cakes, they didn’t have french fries.
I suggested we get room service, so we went up to our rooms and got into our pj’s and gathered in Erika’s room. She ordered french fries and by the time they came and we got finished talking about vibrators, it was 3 am.
I bailed again. I went back to our room and wrote some blog notes. Kristen came back soon after and we went to sleep at 3:30 with the music still thumping.