All Of The Lights

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Every place you vacation has something special about it. When it comes to Las Vegas no matter how many times I visit or how old I get I’m still enamored by all the lights. It makes me feel like anything can happen and is happening at every moment. It brings the same excitement I got as a child at Disneyland.

There are so many lights with a variation of colors and blinking patterns spread all around the strip and city. There are lights inside and outside the hotels along the walls, up, down, and all around. I’m a woman all about the details and the lights awaken my curiosity of how it all comes together. It may sound weird but it’s actually very sobering for me in “Sin City”.

The lights signal that things are moving and shaking whether you see it or not just like life. You may not see things that are happening but there are always things going on. I guess as a nosy journalist I’m always looking between the lines to find the hidden story. The lights do that for me. I know inside every hotel, casino, store, restaurant, and club things are happening and there is a story.

The lights and billboards are constantly moving with advertisements for the various live shows in the Entertainment Capital of the World. People are constantly flying into the city, checking into the hotels, moving, shaking and deals are being made 24/7 hours. People refer to New York City as the city that doesn’t sleep but I beg to differ, Las Vegas NEVER sleeps!

The lights bring about inspiration and beauty in its own way. A beauty created and designed by humans. It has its technicalities and equations that make it work (oh, ya’ll didn’t I was a nerd) and it all comes together for us to experience. They’re a sign of abundance and money to be made, won, or created. Driving (or walking) down the strip puts you in the middle of it all. Each hotel, casino, and light was once just somebody’s vision now made a reality.

The realist in me knows that everything that glitters isn’t gold, but the romanticist in me doesn’t care because I  choose to create my world among the city’s illuminating lights.

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What are your thoughts on the lights? What do you love about Las Vegas? Is there another city full of lights that I need to check out?

-TheJournalist25 xoxo

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Adventures of TheJournalist25: The Venetian

During a recent weekend trip to Las Vegas (Read: How To Vacation With Men) I had the amazing opportunity of staying in two hotels. One of which was The Venetian.

Two days before my scheduled trip I received my usual daily emails from Jetsetter.com when a $120/ night room deal appeared and I just couldn’t pass it up. I had already booked my room for Friday and Saturday with plans to return home on Sunday, but since I was driving I was able to extend my stay an extra day.

I’ve always wanted to stay in The Venetian since I was an adolescent girl visiting my dad during the summer. It just screamed luxury and class with the high-priced boutiques and gondola ride in the middle of the shopping area. (Yes, I’ve always been bougie.) Who could resist a faux France experience such as this. I could only imagine what the rooms were like and finally the opportunity to experience it had arrived.

That Sunday afternoon after checking out of my other hotel and having brunch with my dad I anxiously followed my GPS’ directions to The Venetian. I pulled up around 2:30 pm in my rented Toyota Yaris, sunglasses on because I was still a little hungover, and allowed valet to open my door as I got out to check-in. I was actually surprised by how many people were checking-in on a Sunday, but I rolled with it. I mean it wasn’t like I had a choice. I was beyond ready to lay my pretty little head down on those feather-down hotel pillows, but all in due time.

Once I finally got to the front of the line they couldn’t find my reservation *sigh at Jetsetter*. The lady was very helpful as she went ahead and charged my credit card for the room and gave me directions on getting the charges reversed once I got in contact with Jetsetter. Thank God I’m a baller!

It took her about 15 times of putting in my information for the check-in to be complete. I was patient and she was polite. I couldn’t hold it against her that I wasn’t quite recovered from the night before, and I knew getting an attitude wasn’t going to make things any better.

Finally, she handed over my keys *shrieks inside* tells me my room number, 18-131, and then hands me a map and shows me how to get to the elevator tower. She used a pen to point out the direction on the map to get through the casino and gave me a left right left direction just to get to the elevator. I wasn’t prepared for the walk to the elevator. It was like the universe was playing a sick joke on me for having a good time the night before. Mind you I’ve never stayed in a casino-hotel besides the Mandalay Bay and their elevators are conveniently right before the casino and shops.

The Hallway Before Getting To The Casino

As I began to walk thoughts of passing out crossed my mind, but I mustered up the energy to walk myself and roll my luggage to the elevator. Once, I got there I had to flash my key at security on post, it wasn’t like he was really paying attention anyway.

Finally on the 18th floor! I couldn’t be happier only to realize that 131 is basically at the end of the damn hall. As I rushed down the hall to my room I realized I was hungry and tired, what a combination #shrugs. I was feeling too queezy at brunch to actually eat anything other than a banana and half an omelet. At one point on the way to my room I think I just glided down the hall in my clear no grip jelly sandals. All in all I made it to the room and couldn’t have been happier.

I stepped into a Victorian style, golden, regal studio suite. Maybe five feet away from the entrance was the bathroom on the right with french doors opened. I’ll come back to the bathroom because it was an experience in itself. Directly on the left was a framed full length mirror on the wall. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love a nice mirror. Then *wallah* the rest of the room ahead of me.

On the right, the king size bed adorned in white egyptian cotton sheets (not sure what the thread count was) just how I like it with four big fluffy pillows. There was also a red chaise lounge at the foot of the bed. On both sides of the bed were nightstand type shelves joined to the wall. On the left was an iHome alarm clock and the telephone on the right side. I used the iHome to play my Rick Ross station on Pandora and charge my iPhone while I fixed my hair in the bathroom later that afternoon.

The Bed I Slept In

May I add that the electricity outlets were not the easiest to get to let alone use. That was disappointing. Sometimes its the little things.

There was a nice cherrywood dresser directly across from the bed and plasma tv hanging above it.

I couldn’t stop there, even though I wanted to so badly, but I had to check out the sunken living room. Yes! there were two little stairs to walk down. It was cute and sassy like me.

Sunken Living Room

The valour-like L-shaped sectional sofa was a bit dated from the 70s or something, but it blended well with the ambiance of the room. It didn’t look out-of-place. When I sat down on the couch that bad boy sunk in so it wasn’t very comfy for me to relax on.

Just a few feet away was the office area. It continued with the theme of the room with the wooden table and chair. I looked around some more and saw the forbidden snack bar connected to the entertainment center. I was advised during check-in that all the snacks were censored so if I picked anything up it would automatically charge $45 to my room. Whaaaaat in the hell! $45?!!!!!! Yeah so you know I stayed clear of that area.

The Roman curtains and shades were remote-controlled; too bad my window on the 18th floor was facing a wall. Very little lighting got in either way. So much for the nice view. Even with the few negatives about this room I was still enamored by it and felt luxurious. The best way to describe the way I felt is the Straight Talk Android commercial.

I finally scurried to the bathroom to potty and stuff. It was sooo fancy darlings. I’m surprised it didn’t have a bidet. In the corner there was a vanity! The vanity had a mini sewing kit on it (that I should’ve taken now that I think about it. Not that I know how to sew or anything). The floor was marble, there were double sinks and the toilet had its own room (most nice hotels have this set-up). The bath tub and shower were separate. I couldn’t figure out how to turn the flatscreen on in there. Please don’t judge me.

I finally laid down in my cozy bed and it felt good. I couldn’t sleep though because I was hungry too.*sigh* I forced myself to sleep anyway for an hour and a half before meeting up with my friends.

The time flew by while I was out looking at everyone else gamble. When I arrived back at the hotel it was bedtime. I used valet in the parking structure because its closer to the elevator tower. Much more convenient. The Grand Luxe Cafe was very accessible before heading back to my room so I stopped and got carryout even though I’m not a huge fan of their menu.

Inside The Venetian

By the time I fell asleep good my alarm was going off. It was 4:30 a.m. and time for me to get back on the road. I took a nice hot shower. It was one of the best showers I’ve ever taken actually. Got dressed, packed, and rolled out.

Overall, it was nice staying at The Venetian, but I could’ve done without it. I know from my description it sounded bomb, but all the things I described was to be expected from any 4 and 5 star hotel. The Venetian is actually a 5 star hotel, but I would rate it a 4. The main thing I felt it was missing was the personable customer relationship. I felt lost in the sea of other guest after checking in. I wanted more and expected more after the previous hotel I stayed in.

Vegas is a bright, vibrant city, but The Venetian was kind of dark with very little natural light inside the room. The environment very stale. The television was complicated to work and was set up like a wack Netflix and OnDemand mixed, just too damn complicated.  I felt like I had to force myself to relax instead of just relaxing. I’m not pressed to stay there again… at least not if I have to pay for it.

Sometimes it just be like that!

Have you ever been excited about something but wasn’t impressed afterwards? Have you ever stayed at The Venetian? What was your impression? Talk to me.

-TheJournalist25 xoxo

How To Vacation With Men

Recently, I took a trip to Las Vegas, NV because I needed to get away from Los Angeles. I needed a vacation and a change of scenery. Most of all I need my own personal space to walk around naked and use the bathroom whenever and however long I needed because this is not a luxury I have at the moment.

Privacy Please!… and Thank You

My motivation for the trip was a friend/classmate’s birthday… and they just so happened to be of the opposite sex, as in a man. Another motivation was the fact that I would be able to see my dad for a couple hours too.

So, I booked my hotel and rental car with the intentions of having a relaxing, bubble bath, great food, and sleep filled weekend. I thought I would run into my friend and his friends then go about my business for the rest of the weekend. The universe had something totally different in mind.

Let me just say I got very little sleep after Friday night, but had a blast.

The view from my room on the 39th floor at night

When I arrived in my hotel room I heard loud music and negroes next door to me. I was extremely tired from my drive, but kind of excited to know young black people were right next door. Only to find out the next day in the lobby that my friend and his friends were staying right next door to me. #theirony. We didn’t even know we were staying in the same hotel so it was crazy to realize we were neighbors.

This changed everything. By Saturday afternoon I was hanging with the fellas. Don’t get me wrong I did get in quite a bit of Me Time in too, but going on vacation with men has its advantages in comparison to being with just a group of women sometimes. Here are a few things I learned and appreciated during my trip.

1) They’re not going to babysit you

With women friends there’s always that one friend that wants to keep an eye on everyone and everything. You just want to tell that bitch to go somewhere. Being with a bunch of men I was free to do me and be me. If we departed ways I was fine being by myself. I didn’t have to run up behind them the entire trip and they damn sure didn’t check on me (like that). I’m a grown, independent woman and I didn’t need to be with someone every minute of the day. That’s why I rolled out there solo.

My personal time also helped with not getting annoyed with being around them so much. I was able to my thing as a female and vice versa.

Yummy cookies and creme gelato during my Me Time in the Bellagio

2) Liquor is Free!

Now, I was with some quality dudes and they had an abundance of top shelf dark liquor at their disposal and mine. They were never stingy when it came to pouring up a glass or two. They actually encouraged it. Let the libations flow.

Note: Know your limit. If you can drink like a man by all means, but if you can’t please don’t try to keep up with them because they are not going to babysit your drunk ass.

3) They don’t want to shop!

I hate every time I go on vacation my friends want to go shopping for hours at that. In a city like Vegas and only a weekend to enjoy myself the last thing I wanted to do is see a mall or be in the hotel room all day. I’m trying to get something poppin and explore all there is to offer. Men sleep, wake-up, get dress and leave the room. The day flows from event to event. Their main objective is… finding some bitches! lol They also just want to do crazy, dumb, hilarious stuff just because they’re on vacation.

The tomfoolery from playing the penny slots #cashedout

4) Nothing is taken personal or serious

You’re allowed to embarrass yourself. Its all fun and games at the end of the day. You’re not allowed to take yourself too seriously. Just go with the flow and have yourself a good ol time.

Some very funny and crazy things happened over the course of the weekend that still make me weak with laughter. In a normal circumstance I probably would’ve wanted to slap them or would’ve been offended, but there was no need for all that because it was really just all fun and games.

5) Don’t share a room with them

I’m so glad I had my own room to go to. Men are messy and will sleep anywhere and anyway. Not only that, but you know their main objective is to bring bitches back to the room so its best to give them the space to do so. Who’s to say you don’t want to take someone to your room for some private time anyway? Kudos to these guys for having plenty of condoms at their disposal. Whether or not they used them shall remain in Vegas. Just know they were not about to get caught slippin’.

Having my own room also allowed me to get ready without them having to see the entire process from start to finish of putting on make-up, doing my hair, and other womanly things. Oh and lets not forget being able to go number two without them knowing. Let me not forget that I could have my own #howmybootyendupintheair moment(s) with no problems also.

I definitely appreciated that when it was time to go out with these guys they were dressed to impress. I’m talking blazers, suit jackets, cuff links, button down shirts, slacks, etc. So, when I came in with my black dress looking classy yet seductive we all looked like we belonged in a crew together. Shoutout to those guys and their flyy selves. #YouGoBoys!

I enjoyed hanging with them and the moments I had by myself. I had an equal amount of time by myself doing my own womanly things as I spent with them. I do however wish I would’ve taken more bubble baths to relax while I was there. Not to mention I spent some time with my dad Sunday morning.

I’m not sure if I will ever have the opportunity to travel in this capacity again, but I sure did enjoyed myself.

Are there any other advantages to traveling with primarily the opposite sex on vacation? Have you had a similar experience? Let me know the deal in the comments.

-TheJournalist25 xoxo