okay folks, here’s the vegas blog you ordered against your will! we visited to ring in the new year with lady gaga, and it was truly an unbelievable city i will never forget. jake has been a million times because he’s a california kid, but it was my first visit ever!

we got into vegas around midnight on the 30th, and after checking into our hotel (the gorgeous park mgm, formerly the monte carlo) we schlepped down the strip to one of the only hopping spots at 2am: the taco bell cantina. although technically we have one in orlando, it’s on the UCF campus, so i have never visited because of my fear of college kids. luckily, the strip was full of just my kind of vagabonds.

i got my usual two crunchy tacos and a baja blast with TEQUILA in it. the drink cost fifteen dollars and honestly was worth it. i added an extra shot, of course.

in the morning we headed toward fremont street to check out the ~old vegas~ everyone told me about. apparently the slots are “looser” but i lost every game i played no matter where i was so they’re just not loose enough for this unlucky lady!

we found evel pie, an evel knievel themed pizza parlor with the best slice of pizza i’ve had since new york. the perfect wide slice to fold in half and let the grease run down…. heaven. i was very close to getting a second slice but resisted because i knew more food was coming!!

after visiting a few more hotels, we zoomed back to park mgm to get ready for gaga. we had several solo cup cocktails in the room while i put my face on and then went to hunt for food before the show! that’s when we found best friend, a super hip restaurant owned by roy choi!! we got some spicy noodles and a big ol’ plate of fries while jay z blasted at top volume. definitely not a place to go when you have a headache, but it was the perfect place to get turnt up for the evening!!!

i don’t even know what to say about lady gaga. y’all know she’s my fave, but her jazz and piano show is audible art. the inclusion of many gorgeous standards mixed with a few cheeky arrangements of her own songs at the piano (poker face, anyone?) made for the perfect marriage of old and new. she is truly the best entertainer i’ve ever been blessed to see. about five minutes into the show, jake turned to me and said “i think this is the happiest i’ve ever been.” so thanks, lady g.

dress by unique vintage!!!

also pictured: haus of gaga installations of THE hair bow, joanne wig and hat, met gala looks (!!!), and  an outfit from one of my favorite performances ever, applause at the 2013 vmas. she starts off getting booed and then dances through all of her different eras. she literally does half the number in a wig cap. you know what, i’m just gonna link it.

i was too nervous about the crowd so we watched the strip fireworks from our hotel window, with the music playing on the tv. i think it was the right choice, because i didn’t have to wear pants! all of the big hotels shoot off the same show, choreographed to music, so the strip is surrounded in light. being theme park folks fireworks aren’t as much of a novelty as they used to be, but it was a pretty impressive show!

we spent the next day strolling the strip. it was in the 50s and 60s the whole time we were there, so we ran in and out of hotels as much as possible to take our coats off and snack. at the cosmopolitan we found eggslut and milk bar! i couldn’t resist grabbing cookies for the road.

we wandered through so many casinos, watched folks win big and lose big, and saw so many fake blue skies. the one outside was lovely as well, thank goodness. i’m so grateful for the weather! i bought the rainbow coat specifically for this occasion.

we also visited the neon graveyard, a curated collection of old signs from remodeled or demolished hotels and casinos around the city. the real way to do this is to get a sunset time slot so you can see them at night as well, but we went during the day and still really loved them. there’s currently a tim burton exhibit alongside the standard collection, so his creatures and creations were interspersed throughout the signs. the only bummer is that they don’t allow video, which was a little disappointing re: the restored signs. still cool!!!!

a friend and boy

we took time on our last day to visit local vintage but didn’t come home with a lot, which is good, because i don’t have a real suitcase and i had already filled it with those milk bar cookies. we also did a little day drinking at frankie’s tiki bar!

to tie it all up, here are all of my favorite slot machines!

thanks for letting me share this memory with you! honestly, so much we did this trip was based off follower recommendations so i’m super grateful to all of you for knowing me so well! i can’t wait to see what else we do this year. i would love to travel to more cities in the US, and i was thinking of a road trip! any suggestions? favorite cities?? let me know!

love you! K