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This Trip Brought to you by TripAdvisor - A TR

yourstarla
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This Trip Brought to you by TripAdvisor - A TR

This trip brought to you by TripAdvisor.

Seems like a weird title, but it’s 100% true. I spent nine lovely nights in Las Vegas, spread out amongst three hotels – Bellagio, Skylofts and Palazzo – and the main focus of my trip was spending time with my friends I’ve made on TripAdvisor. I no longer feel like I’m meeting acquaintances. I’ve met many of these people several times, talk to them every day, and the love fest spills over into real life. These people look out for one another – pass on coupons and comps and airline miles. We all try to pay it forward to one another to help make each others’ trips more fulfilling. I couldn’t have had half the trip I had if it wasn’t for my fellow TAers.

I’m going to write this day by day and you’ll all just have to forgive me for not writing it all at once. I will, however, pump it out as quickly as possible.

yourstarla
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11,241 posts
6 reviews
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1. Re: This Trip Brought to you by TripAdvisor - A TR

Day 1

My trip started bright and early. I plopped myself down on the curb outside my building armed with two suitcases, a ginormous birthday banner I had made, a backpack, a purse, a bag full of party favors, and a sign. The sign was of the cardboard variety and I held it out proudly, reading Vegas or bust, and stuck my thumb out as Cassley, my neighbor, friend, and fellow TAer, pulled over to pick me up. We loaded all my stuff into her already jammed pack car, the sun not even up yet, and I pulled our new mascot out of my bag of tricks. I had gotten Lola on Amazon. I was actually searching for a Hula dancer to slap on her dashboard, but instead found Lola, a stripper dashboard ornament. Lola would spin on her pole all the way to Vegas, and provide us with lots of entertainment and photo opportunities.

Finally on the road, our much anticipated road trip was a sing along of Vegas party tunes, lots of stops to take pictures of Lola with landmarks – she got really cozy with a certain Big Boy in Baker – and finally pulled up to the Welcome to Las Vegas sign around noon. Spinguy was ready and waiting and saw us on the earth cam, we got some great photos, and then we were off to the Bellagio. We pulled in like the Beverly Hillbillies. The car couldn’t have been more full if we had strapped stuff to the roof. We unloaded and checked our bags and we were ready to try to check in. This was my first ever stay at Bellagio (and my first ever M Life card) but Cassley is a seasoned veteran, so I piggybacked on her invited guest spot in line and we both got checked in rather quickly. I had gotten a really good deal on a Salone Suite, and I was really impressed with my room. Great use of space, and the old Bellagio colors – not the crazy blue rooms I’ve seen from the renovations – a huge bathroom with a bidet that we all took turns making jokes about, and a nice big bed. I had the coveted freeway view that everyone wants, and people came to ooh and aah at my ability to watch the cars fly by. T-Bonz was also at Bellagio and had to watch those fountains erupt over and over. Don’t be jealous – there’s only so many freeway view rooms to go around.

Cassley went to her room to unpack but I wasn’t having any of that. I headed straight down to the Baccarat Bar and hit a four of a kind in rapid fashion. That was all I hit, but it was enough to keep me playing until Cassley came down to join me. Plus we finally ran into the woman of the weekend – the amazing T-Bonz, who was having the big 40th birthday that we had all congregated to celebrate. With her was her daughter in law, J, who is a real sweetheart. Although somebody needs to tell that girl that 29 is not old! OMG! LMAO

We realized we were starving so we were about to head over to Snacks to split a sandwich when Kidkind called. From here out he’ll be referred to as B Train. That’s his Jersey Shore name. For the record, mine is G Unit. We have them for others, but we pretty much just torture each other with the Shore names. B Train is the older brother I never knew I wanted. He’s the king of the situation, always finding trouble and adventure, and we always have just a little too much fun together. We really got to bond when we hung out in February and since then he’s become my late night chat buddy. He’ll talk to me about all the idiocy my husband doesn’t want to participate in. So it works out well. Anyway, B Train was on his way over, so we met him in the B lobby and he went to Snacks with us for a sandwich. The three of us were having dinner that night so we tried not to pack it in, but we all needed a quick something and have a chance to catch up before the chaos began.

After lunch, a little gamble and a rest, and then we reconvened at Olives for dinner. I know it’s hard to believe, but I’ve never been there before. In all my trips to Vegas it had just never happened. I figured since we were staying at Bellagio I should finally see what all the hubbub was about. We started out with some drinks – Cassley had wine, I had some sort of cocktail with watermelon juice in it (yum) and B Train had a very manly bellini. Yep, very manly. They brought us some bread and olive spread that was yummy, and then our main courses were out shortly thereafter. I had a flatbread, B Train had shortrib lasagna and Cassley had scallops. I think we were all very happy with our food and we had a perfect table – right in the corner so that we weren’t in anybody else’s lap while they were eating. I’d go back. Best meal ever? Nah, but it was tasty and the company was awesome.

From there we went up to my room to retrieve the cupcakes that Cassley and I had brought in our caravan. Bhambound had won a Sprinkles cupcakes gift card but there isn’t one near her so she sent it to us and I braved the SUV drivers of Beverly Hills to get cupcakes for everyone. The plan was to bring them down to the new lounge at Bellagio, Lily, where everyone was meeting at 10.

T-Bonz had called the concierge and was told that Lily was laid back, no reservations required, and that we’d have no problem. We got there….problem. Bouncers and table service – Oh my! Good grief. We had 35 cupcakes and about that many people coming. We were kind of annoyed with the changeroo, but B Train and I just decided to make the best of it. Bring on the bottle. They said we only needed to buy one so we just jumped on it and picked up a table for the group. I had to put down those cupcakes. Optimal solution? No. But the best interest of the group prevailed. And then B Train and I created our own little situation by getting plowed. I don’t drink in Vegas usually – a little bit here and there, but typically I’m alone so I try to use some sort of modicum of common sense. But on this night I just decided to slam them back and get with the program. And then I decided to tell anyone who would listen that I was drunk. Like a broken record. LMAO But oh well. It was still fun. We had a good group. In addition to old friends like Harlem Girl, Ironicisme, Lawgirl and Dirty Ernie, Cassley, B Train, NYGreg and S, T-Bonz and others, I got to meet Bhambound, acsmacan, Chuppy and AuntMatilida. It was a blur though, and it was so loud in there. It was completely the opposite of what T-Bonz was promised. AND they turned Mr. Malvlover and Mr. VADreamer away because they had on tennis shoes. It was insane. So if you’re contemplating Lily, don’t. It’s not what you’re hoping for. Unless you’re hoping for an overpriced ultralounge where you can’t sit down or where tennis shoes. But we had fun and made the most of it. And I got a lot of frequent flier miles.

After Lily, the drunkies who were still standing made their way to the Baccarat Bar, where Cassley and I lost in our pursuit for royals, and then I wandered off into the casino to play Lord of the Rings. I left B Train with promises of more fun tomorrow, and he went off to enjoy his Cosmo balcony. I played for a few hours and then had a really brief sleep. I woke up and was ready for another day of fun, friends and a trip to the spa.

More to come.

Austin, TX
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2. Re: This Trip Brought to you by TripAdvisor - A TR

yipeee!!!!

New York City, New...
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3. Re: This Trip Brought to you by TripAdvisor - A TR

how fun! it's so interesting to read everyone's different TRs about the big birthday trip.

Calgary, AB
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4. Re: This Trip Brought to you by TripAdvisor - A TR

More! More! More!

Coral Springs...
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5. Re: This Trip Brought to you by TripAdvisor - A TR

YAY!! Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!! Eagerly looking forward to your next installment, Starla!!

yourstarla
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6. Re: This Trip Brought to you by TripAdvisor - A TR

Day 2

Breakfast in bed started my day. There probably is nothing that makes me happier. After all, my life’s goal is to make my husband’s life easier, so those days when somebody else rolls breakfast in to me on a little table are the days that recharge my batteries to be a better wife.

Post-breakfast I wandered down to the Bellagio spa where I had a treatment scheduled called Rain Drop therapy. My therapist was Laurie and she was amazing. She was such a sweetheart and it ends up she has ties to the neighborhood where Cassley and I live. So she was really fun to talk to and her energy and spirit were great. I’d definitely go back to the B spa to see her. The facilities there were pretty average, but I enjoyed her a great deal.

I met up with Cassley after my treatment and we ran into Evoni and Bham Bound. Evoni and I have been on a mission to be in the same place at the same time for what seems like forever. But we always miss each other. I just adore her reports and her photos and we like all the same things, so I was so excited to finally get to meet her in the flesh.

Everyone was sort of gambling randomly, although the real action was over at Cosmo. People were picking up their champagne bracelets and enjoying the all you can drink champagne deal. B Train had picked up his bracelet early, as had Law Girl and Dirty Ernie. I was just waiting for rdtriptaker, from here on in referred to as J, and I would get mine as well. Rdtrip and I met last Sumfest. She doesn’t post on TA much, but she has become the third member of the Lawgirl and Yourstarla super girl team. I’ve gotten to know her really well over the past few months and was really looking forward to spending time with her on this trip. Unfortunately, her dog was super ill early this year and she almost didn’t make the trip. But never fear, TA members unite – B Train got her a room at CP and I got her a ticket with frequent flier miles, and before I knew it she was giving Cassley and I hugs in the Bellagio. Yay! As a side note, I just want to say that there were a lot of TAers who were overly generous with their resources. Southern Ohio Nail Lady and Robinsrose shared a room one night, Lemonlime made it possible for Ducky to be there with a room and a ticket, B Train gave Spinguy a room for one night, VaDreamer gave me a Rue La La gift certificate she wasn’t going to use – everyone just looked out for one another. And that’s how it should be. I really am humbled by the generosity of our group. Obnoxious love fest? Maybe. But I really do believe that everything you do comes back to you. And for using my frequent flier miles on J I was completely repaid by getting to spend time with her.

So after getting her ready, we headed to Cosmo where B Train hooked me up with a champagne bracelet for Veuve – I’m spoiled – and we started drinking. Most of the group was headed to Wicked Spoon for a buffet dinner, but J and I were going to meet her Vegas friends M and C at China Poblano. OMG. OMG OMG OMG. The food at China Poblano was so good. We had the 20 vegetable fried rice, the lamb potstickers, the chilaquiles, a taco, the chicken lettuce cups and the spring rolls. And roll we did – they literally had to roll us out. I swear J and I ate enough food for twenty. We just couldn’t stop. The food was so good and we’re already trying to figure out the easiest way to get that fried rice intravenously. Insanely good. I must, I must, I must have that again.

After dinner we headed to Bond, where the whole group would meet up. We consumed a lot of champagne, reconnected with a lot of friends, B Train met some interesting ladies that may or may not have been trying to seduce him as a group – okay, yeah, they were – and then the evening tapered off with J and I hanging out on B Train’s balcony until really late. We were not trying to seduce him as a group – we just needed to sober up. LMAO It was a late night and I’m glad I got to spend some time with J and B Train. Plus the housekeeper had given B Train an insane amount of lip balm and he loaded me up. I’m really easy to please. Give me some lip balm and I’m set. Ha.

Day three coming.

Cornwall, New York
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7. Re: This Trip Brought to you by TripAdvisor - A TR

Yipppeeee, I'm so glad you decided to write a TR...Love them and can't wait to read your perspective of the week.

Wilmington, Delaware
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8. Re: This Trip Brought to you by TripAdvisor - A TR

Awesome start kiddo. Cant wait to read more. :)

las vegas
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9. Re: This Trip Brought to you by TripAdvisor - A TR

The recipe for the fried rice was in seven magazine a few months ago. You could have it anytime you want. Haven't tried it yet but now I feel I have to.

Los Angeles, CA
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10. Re: This Trip Brought to you by TripAdvisor - A TR

It was great seeing you again at Bond Yourstarla! I got the Veuve bracelet too, it's gonna tough to go back to the cheap stuff. Looking forward to rest of your report, thanks!