The Maiden Voyage of my Video Diaries; of sorts

Ever inspired by documentaries that showcase an epic journey in someone’s life, or in the lives of many, I wanted to try my hand at a project that I hope will become a regular entry on my blog. Admittedly, I’m not the greatest cameraman, and I’m only armed with a smart phone, but my goal is to get some professional gear in the very near future….and work towards less panning. [my apologies to those with vertigo]

Music is also key in evoking emotion (just take a look at Star Wars; epic). Essentially, I chose to go with the soundtrack of my summer. Music that makes me smile, get giddy, dance around like a fool and reminds me of where I’ve been. I hope you enjoy this cliff notes version of the last month abroad. Continue reading

UK Holiday: first stop Edinburgh

If only I could recall the numerous times I’ve ran from my arriving plane to my departing connection, I’d have a good idea of how many calories I’ve burned, to shave them off my cardio routine. From La Guardia to Philly to Edinburgh Scotland, I made it just in time for coffee and a quick walk around town.

Armed with a bus map and a scan of old town Edinburgh, I was determined to muscle thru the day to adjust to the 5 hour time change. My friend Rhian lives in Leith, which is in sight distance of Edinburgh castle. She tells me that the 12 bus goes ‘to town’ on one side of Leith Walk and ‘from town’, on the other side. The only challenge now was remembering to look right then left. I find myself already stepping off curbs into oncoming traffic; oh, tourists.

We stopped for lunch at a beautiful Catalonian restaurant called Tapa, and feasted on fresh seafood and cheeses, and a magnificent table buffet of veggies. Continue reading

In the End: Go Hardcore (Vegas)

The title of this post describes it succinctly. If you only have a little over 24 hours left on the docket, don’t waste a minute. I grab a latte at the hotel and change into something nighttime appropriate. Time to hit the dance-party-scene.

Hint: ladies, wear a short dress, the bling, the hair, makeup and comfortable heels (I know, oxymoron). There’s a couple of clubs here in Vegas that actually turn away women in flats. Guys: dress to impress. Or show up in a group of hot girls dressed in the former. Do not take this advice lightly, or you might be hoofing it back to your room to change.

Our first stop might be a little livelier had we not visited it on a Monday night. The Voodoo Lounge, atop the Rio hotel, is on the 51st floor. Note to self: list “clubs with a view” for future posts.

Its perfect tonight, because on a night you encounter a packed crowd, getting the view of the strip into your camera could be lousy with the tops of people’s heads. The pictures were taken, and the exit was made. Next, we motored over to Marquee  at the Cosmo, for Industry Night. The guy at Voodoo said it was the place to be. He wasn’t kidding.


 

Carnage @marqueeLV

Carnage @marqueeLV

Look sharp, get in line or impress someone important, because later, you’re gonna be glad you did.

Rotating Dj’s, a packed crowd, sweaty bodies everywhere and countless selfies taken in every corner of this joint. The music is insane, the view is gorgeous. Beautiful men and women in every square-foot of this place. Marquee really knows how to throw a party. Even on a Monday night.

pleasantly surprised, to say the least

pleasantly surprised, to say the least

They called this night Carnage. Appropriate. We’re in for the entire lot; dancing, mingling, and the occasional belly-flopping-pool-kamikaze (which they frown upon, fyi).

light it up

light it up

marqueelv

…all the way to the bathroom


We were almost all danced out and were chasing daylight by the time we left Marquee. With an hour left before sunrise we munched down on some not-so-diet-friendly Del Taco. I’m giving myself a free pass on the last day of our trip. Breakfast tacos are like the ‘fountain of rejuvenation’ at this point.

By now the sun was just barely peeking at us, as we set a course for the Las Vegas welcome sign.

By 6am my piggies had given up all efforts to stand for my picture. Or...I was playing wilted damsel

By 6am my piggies had given up all efforts to stand for my picture. Or…I was playing wilted damsel

 

During the day and eve you’ll encounter a line and lots of folks photo-bombing your memento. So sunrise is the perfect time to capture as many poses as your heart desires. And its free, so DO it!

I make a vow to muscle thru towards pool:30, but slumber (wink) dominates the game at 7am, and I’m calling the desk to request a late check out for 12p….at 10:30.


With only 5 more weeks until I have yet another date with Sin City, I’m stacking the calendar for an even lengthier roster. And…catching up with old and new friends.

xo, M

 

Shampoo, rinse, repeat (vegas)

After slowly making my way into bed at the Flamingo Hotel (around 6am), I was awakened by the early Vegas sunrise and quickly dressed in pool attire. (Ok, I didn’t actually try out the bed yet. More so, just laid on TOP of it)

weekend digs

weekend digs

the pool is apprx 1/4 mile away

the pool is apprx 1/4 mile away

The GO pool at the Flamingo Hotel is adults-only, and unlike most beach clubs in Vegas they have hundreds of chairs available for lounging and hottie scoping. If you’re not a guest of the hotel its just $25 for entry. There’s booty-shaking contests and other adult-themed competitions around 1:30p for your ocular enjoyment. But don’t wait too long to arrive. If you wanna stake claim to a front row seat (like most pools here) you gotta roll outta bed early; like 9am. It’s tough, I know, but well worth it. Hey, you could find a shaded area and nap it off until the sun takes over the entire area of the pool, at 12pm. Do it, trust me!

Flamingo GO

Flamingo GO

this vacation hat is clocking overtime

this vacation hat is clocking overtime

From Chicago to Vegas: United Club ‘Snub’

We jump into our Uber X cab on the corner of North Racine & Kinzie and blew kisses to Chicago upon our departure. If you’ve never used Uber cab services then shame on you! Lemme rephrase that, stop getting into Yellowcab and download the Uber App. You’ll thank me.

After a couple days back home I packed up for vacation….finally! I could see the shininess of Las Vegas fast approaching. My connection was in Houston, with a looong layover.

On that note: it is painfully apparent that if you dress like a pre-drunk-arrest Justin Beiber you will have a difficult time gaining entry into the United Club lounge at Bush Intercontinental Airport.

it just screams "comfort"

it just screams “comfort”

I had a free pass, but the bulldog with a freshly frosted bob was not so quickly accepting of the fact that I did not have it on my person. I think she took one look at my scrubbed out appearance and assumed I would not come thru with the evidence to back up my claim. I have jumped thru bigger hoops for less of a prize than this! I see your bet and raise you: one neighbor who is willing to enter my home (300 miles away) to retrieve said evidence. Thanks Jerry!!

Thanks JD, for responding to my tweet

Thanks JD, for responding to my tweet

They finally granted me access and plopped down on a couch for the 2 hour layover. I only got about 3 hours of sleep last night, so delirium is nearing the surface. It’s not uncommon for me to be so excited I torture myself the night before a trip, with sleep deprivation. A million checklists are scrolling past my eyes as I sit impatiently, waiting….I hate waiting. Which is what I am doing now….waiting.