Saturday, June 20, 2009

40th B-Day Recap - Saturday in Vegas - Cougarlicious!

Our fun-packed day began with the Jubilee Backstage Tour at Bally’s. Colleen and I went over early (Mom opted out, preferring to rest up for the long day/night ahead) and desperately tried to find a place where we could eat breakfast without having to wait for a million years (you can walk into any restaurant for dinner, but breakfast is a completely different story. Las Vegas must be the breakfast buffet capital of the world. Actually, it’s probably a good thing, because if any of these people are like me, as drinks hit the belly, the need for food seems to diminish greatly – and that results in one drunken night owl. Might as well get a good “base” early. Sadly, Colleen and I ended up at a convenience store in Paris. My breakfast (if you could call it that) was spicy beef jerky and a Michelob Ultra. Breakfast of Champions. We went into the Jubilee Theater for our tour and were delighted to see a recreation of the set of “The Price is Right” on the stage (they do a live version of the show during the day). We took some pictures at “Contestants Row” and couldn’t resist the temptation to sneak up on stage and get our pictures taken on the Showcase set. Being the rabble-rousers we are, other people quickly scurried onto the stage to get their pictures taken as well. This was all well and good until our tour guide came out and caught us all in the act (apparently, this was kind of a no-no.) At least our guide, Patsy, laughed it off. She is one of the dance captains of the show and mentioned the fact that we’d recognize her in the show as “the drunk lady on the Titanic” at least a million times during the one-hour tour. (I’m not kidding.) We had to sign a waiver before going on the actual tour, lest anyone wanted to recreate the infamous “pushing down the stairs” scene from “Showgirls”. The tour was cool – the theater geek in me loved seeing all of the set pieces, costumes and stage mechanisms. We were saddened to see that the stairs that led to the dressing room were curved – not the straight, steel staircase from “Showgirls.” Damn! We learned lots of “fun facts” about being a showgirl – you have to have natural boobs and be at least 5’9” (well, I’m 50% of the way there!) and you have to re-audition for your role every 6 months. That would completely suck (although it reminded me of my days back at Universal, when you’d watch all of the production crews scramble for jobs every time a Nickelodeon show wrapped.) Patsy promised us that if we waved to her during the actual show that she’d wink back. Considering we were in the cheap seats, I figured that wasn’t gonna happen.

After the tour, we grabbed Mom and made a beeline for Dick’s. My lap dance buddy was there, as well as the waiter who made Jules her hat the day before. Of course, the waiter served us. You could actually see him pondering whether or not he should be “rude” to my Mom. He started out nice – and I started to worry that we weren’t going to get the “Dick’s experience” – and then redeemed himself by saying “And we don’t serve water with lemon – EVER – so suck it, old lady!” Yay, waiter! We ambled around for a while, and then Mom and I went to mass (yeah, really!) When I got back to the room, my friend Rose (who I’ve known since I was 5) had arrived and we got ready to go see CHER (you gotta use caps when you’re talking about CHER…and TINA…and FRAMPTON)! Rose didn’t bring any cash with her and she managed to sweet talk the cab driver who drove her from the airport. She left for collateral a photo of her son (very cute collateral indeed!) and promised to call him later so he could take us to Caesars and pay him then. This cabbie, DJ, was a hoot. He was chummy and chatty and my Mom was confused. She asked if Rose actually knew the guy. DJ gave us some fun “taxi tips”, like making sure the drivers traveled down the strip on Frank Sinatra Blvd. instead of Las Vegas Blvd. (if he said it once, he said it a thousand times.) We paid him and headed into the show. As always, CHER was fabulous. Costume changes a-plenty, glitz, glam, wigs, boy dancers – you name it, she brought it. And – I didn’t fall asleep! Woo hoo!

After the show, we had reservations at Rao’s (Rao’s of the overpriced spaghetti sauce Rao’s). Caesars was a complete zoo as we exited the theater and to make matters worse, they had confiscated our cameras before the show. Our reservation was for 9:30, I think it was 9:28 when we got out of the theater. Rose and I made a mad dash to claim our table while Colleen and Mom waited to get the cameras back. We had NO idea where we were going, so we asked the doorman at the Shadow Bar. I don’t know what it was about him, but he was the most handsome man I’d seen in a while. He pointed us in the right direction and we headed off. Rose was under this guy’s spell too. She told me that she hoped I paid attention because his handsomeness was so distracting that she temporarily lost her information retention skills. We all got to the restaurant in dribs and drabs and had a delicious meal. Mom and Colleen went back to the hotel, leaving Rose and I to our own devices. Our first stop was to go back and see the “handsome man”. We asked him (since he looked to be about our age) if he knew of any age-appropriate places we could go and hang out. I know I’m still a “spring chicken” but I didn’t want to be the “old girl in the club.” The question was pretty much just an excuse to get another eyeful of him – and take a photo (the photo you see here just doesn't do him justice).

For sentimental reasons, we decided to stop by the Las Vegas Hilton, in hopes of seeing David, the craps dealer I befriended there last September and Carol, the manager who offered to comp me for breakfast after finding out I had been out of work for a few months. Sadly, they were nowhere to be found, but we did see a sign for an after party for the Monster Garage show – which piqued my interest. Monster Garage is a band made up of a bunch of your old 80s hair band faves and led by Mr. Dee Snider of Twisted Sister. We walked right into the bar and sat down, but there were no aging hair rockers to be found. What was there was the godawful house/cover band Sin City Heat. If there’s one thing that I can truly admit is a guilty pleasure is a cheesy pop cover band, and Sin City Heat is one of the cheesiest (second only to the cover bands they used to have at Disney’s Pleasure Island in the late 80s/early 90s.) We were treated to a few numbers by the band (the only one I can remember is “Crazy In Love” by Beyonce) before they packed it up. As they were ending their set, the bar started to fill up with dudes who obviously were at the Monster Garage show – and the mix of cheesy Vegas-types and middle-aged heavy metal fans was slightly unsettling. Rose and I decided to move on to another adventure and as we walked out, Dee Snider came from downstairs into the bar. What timing! I went up to him and asked for a picture, to which he gladly agreed (he’s a really nice guy.) Rose (who I forgot to mention had on heels that made her over 6’ tall) came up to him for a photo and Dee leaned into me and said “She’s a tall drink of water.” (She is actually taller than him.)

It was around 3:30am, so we went back to the Mandalay Bay and I dragged Rose to the ice bar. We only stayed for one drink because Rose hated the frosty establishment. We went down to the Rumjungle, which we had both patronized before for some late night dancing and caipirihnas. We closed down the place (I still got it!) and, as we were leaving, got chatted up by some boys. We thought we blew them off, but as we walked towards Razzles for an “early breakfast” (hash browns for Rose, a Bloody Mary for me), we found them in front of us in line. I don’t know exactly how, but we all ended up sitting together. The leader of this group, Zack, called me “Cougarlicious” and begged me to make out with him. I’m not a believer in the whole “what happens in Vegas…” thing myself, so I told him “No” in more ways than I could ever imagine there were. Zack was 30 and a lawyer and was there with his friends, one of whom was nicknamed Teabag (I’d lobby for a new moniker if I were him.) Fortunately, Zack’s friends finally dragged him out, so we could return to our room unharassed (the boys did pay the check, so that was cool.) I think it was around 5:30ish when we finally went to bed. Now that's making the most of your day! My recap of my last day (sniffle) is forthcoming...

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