Meeting strangers in Vegas

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Bloggers in Sin City, Day 1

Upon my arrival at The Flamingo, I proceeded to spend the remainder of the day meeting more people and drinking.  Because those two things go hand in hand, do they not?  This was probably the first time I have ever hung out with a large group of people, none of whom I knew previously, and actually felt comfortable.  We talked as if we were old friends.  I’m not saying that I wasn’t awkward, because it’s safe to say that I probably definitely was.  But I’m always awkward so that’s nothing new.  I was already friends with a lot of them on Facebook, and some of them recognized me from updating my status all the time everyday.  But since they’re all social media fanatics as well, no one was judging me for it.  A couple people also recognized me as the girl who loved shoes.  Apparently when I posted about Army & Navy, some of them thought I was actually buying army boots at some sort of military store.  I had to clarify and explain what Army & Navy really was.

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Carlo & Charlie’s

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Mango margaritas

It was happy hour at Carlos and Charlie’s when I arrived, so perfect timing.  New friendships were made and margaritas were drank.  Larissa pretended it was Tom‘s birthday so that the waitress with the big boobs would come over and pour shots in his mouth.  And she did.  And it was awesome.

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New friends

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Happy hour

When it was time to check in, I met Megan, who I would be rooming with for the first and last day of our stay.  Being the awesome person that I am, I used my Total Rewards card in order to get ahead in line.  We went back down to Carlos & Charlie’s and had some awesome quesadillas.

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Quesadilla Charlie’s

At one point, we all seemed very depleted and worn out and we weren’t sure why.  We were also all very on edge and upset about the fact that our phones were all dying.  It would appear that when you’re a social media buff and your phone battery is drained, your energy level may also become drained.  The solution?  A phone charging party, naturally.  And so a bunch of us got together in the hotel room to charge our phones, and as we did, we too slowly regained our energy.

My original plan was to go see strippers that night.  Because why would I not go see strippers that night?  But I wasn’t feeling it.  Shocking, I know.  There were only a few people who had originally wanted to go and the strippers we wanted to see were all the way on the opposite side of the strip.  I mean maybe if I had more energy at the time I would have been all for it, but I decided my first night would be better spent wandering around our side of the strip and meeting more awesome new people.  Besides, I had already seen Thunder From Down Under last year in Vegas and again this year in Vancouver.  I’m thinking once a year should be what I aim for.

Instead, a few of us wandered around the strip and walked down to The Venetian where we contemplated taking a gondola ride but decided against it.  We walked past Madame Tusseauds wax museum, where we took pictures with The Rock and Justin Timberlake.  Next time I’m in Vegas, I want to actually go inside and take pictures with all the celebrities.

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The Venetian

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The Rock

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Group shot with JT

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Obviously I needed a solo shot too

We later met up with others at Centre Cut Steakhouse in the Flamingo for martinis and bacon.  Because who doesn’t love martinis and bacon?  Especially when there’s three different kinds of bacon.

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Pomegranate lemon martini

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Trio Bacon Satay

More people showed up as the hours went by.  The group from DC took a limo from the airport, which somehow may have ended up being cheaper than the shuttle I took.  I was jealous.  Eventually I met Kitty and another Megan, who were my other roommates for the night.  I think I ended my night watching TV and eagerly anticipating what the rest of the trip had in store for me.

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Bloggers in Sin City 2013

Last year, I came across a post on Laura’s blog Red Lips and Academics.  I had never met Laura, but I enjoyed reading her blog.  In this particular post, she had mentioned going to Vegas for a blogging conference.  I thought that sounded pretty cool, so I decided to look into it further.  And then I forgot about it.  And then months went by and I saw stuff about it again popping up on my Twitter feed.  And I began to debate as to whether or not I should sign up.

The event was called Bloggers in Sin City.  Essentially, 68 strangers meet up in Vegas for three days.  Did I want to be one of them?  I did.  I really did.  But then I thought about my finances and whether or not it was for me.  I’ve never been the type of person to be all social and join things.  I hate being forced to bond with people.  Whenever it happens, I always tend to rebel.  But this would be different.  No one was forcing me to go.  If I decided to go, it would be my own decision.  I looked through the registration page to see who the attendees were.  And they all seemed pretty cool. They blogged, they loved social media, they seemed to share my sense of humour, and they just all sounded like really nice people.  Why would I not go?  I love Vegas, so why not?

badge-2013And so I registered.  Well, I tried to register.  And somehow failed.  So I emailed Nicole, who’s been organizing the event for five years, and we figured out my payment method and it was done.  I wrote up my bio, looked through the itinerary, and then spent several months in eager anticipation.  And then freaked out trying to figure out my flight and all those fun details.  This was my first time trip traveling alone.  As an adult, anyway.  When I was like 11 or something, I went to visit my aunt and uncle in Halifax, and I had to wear a sign around my neck that said “unaccompanied minor” so that people would help me out.  But this time, I was going it alone.

It was a mix of excitement and confusion when I told people that I was going.  Some people would be like “Wow, that’s so brave of you to go to this on your own.” and others would be like “Wait, you don’t know anyone there?  Why are you going?”  I don’t really expect most people to understand.  And that’s okay.  It’s not like I went because I’m so Vegas obsessed and couldn’t find anyone to go with me.  There are people I could have gone with.  But this was more than just a Vegas trip.  It was an experience and I got to meet a bunch of cool people who I wouldn’t otherwise know existed.  And I’m really glad I did.

vegaI spent five nights in Vegas on this trip.  Which seems like a lot.  For Vegas.  I mean I suppose there’s only so much day drinking, overeating, and partying that a person can take.  But the time just went by and I enjoyed every minute of it.  It was filled with all sorts of epic things that I will never forget.  We spent the first day drinking at the Flamingo and meeting people as they arrived.  The next day, we got VIP bags and lanyards and played an awesome game of Cards Against Humanity.  We had a welcome mixer at Serendipity 3, complete with food, drinks, 8 second hugs, and the most intense staring contest I have ever participated in.  We drank and danced at Margaritaville to a band playing 80’s music.  One of the best Thursday nights I’ve had.

On Friday, we had a pool party at the Flamingo.  I don’t even know how to describe it other than it was awesome.  For dinner, we went to the Spice Market Buffet at Planet Hollywood, where there was so much food I could hardly contain myself.  Then we went to see “O” by Cirque du Soleil, which had a lot of crazy diving stunts by amazingly talented performers.  After that, some of us went out and danced at a shitty club but at least it was a shitty club in Vegas.

viewOn Saturday, we had a breakfast buffet at the Flamingo, and then I went to Minus 5 Ice Bar at the Monte Carlo.  We had another buffet that night at Paris and the night ended with a rooftop party on top of Pure nightclub.  Actually the night didn’t end there, it ended after following that up with clubbing at Act at the Venetian, and then getting lost trying to find our way out of the Venetian.

On Sunday, we had our fourth and final buffet and started saying our goodbyes.  There were strong bonds and friendships made that weekend and no one wanted it to end.  I went to In-N-Out Burger for the first time.  I had a cheese plate at Otto at the Venetian.  That day was filled with a lot of food and a lot of feelings.

wigsI’m really glad I went and that I got to meet so many great people.  This was the fifth and final year of the event, which I’m really sad about.  I should have found out about it sooner.  But some of us were talking about how there’s no reason we can’t just all end up in Vegas together at the same time next year, even if it’s not officially for Bloggers in Sin City.  I will post more later about specific things that happened in Vegas.  Because I can.  Because I want to relive them.  Because what happens in Vegas ends up getting blogged about.  And now I’m sitting here in my post-Vegas depression.  I’m not sure how long it will last but I’m beginning to think that the only cure is to go back to Vegas.

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