We had a really great quick weekend trip in March thanks to a fare sale on JetBlue and using 7k points on Southwest to fly both of us back home with my Southwest Companion Pass.
Bellagio Chinese New Year
This was my fourth trip as an adult and fifth trip in my lifetime, but my first using American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts. If you have an American Express Platinum and don’t have any casino comps from being a frequent player, this is hands down the best way to book your standards rooms at the Bellagio and Wynn or suites at Aria (do quick research on this). I’ve found after researching pricing for different weekends that this option is not only cheaper but also gives you $100 credit per stay for either the spa (Wynn) or food and drink (Bellagio). For sanity checks before paying any premiums for the Amex FHR thinking you will turn out ahead, see if it is cheaper when you book directly through the hotel’s sight and whether or not they have any property credit promotions.
The Bed at the Bellagio
We took full advantage of the offers. Our first night we stayed at the Bellagio and gambled a bit in the casino at some of Vegas’ best Texas hold ‘em tables with some pretty animated characters. We had a really luxe breakfast and killed our $100 credit (without wasting food mind you!). Don’t forget that you can take things to go and count it against your credit–we took some bottled water.
David Guetta at XS
Our second day we checked into the Wynn, hung out at Encore Beach Club (my favorite pool party and favorite day party) with some pitchers of margaritas, spent our $100 at the spa, took a nap, then partied at XS with David Guetta. This was my first time trying to get into a party with a man so we pre-purchased entry tickets to prevent any problems. For general lists and parties without the big DJs I recommend you find a promoter who will get you in before a certain time.
At the Wynn
If you are looking for bottles or table service reach out to my friend Paolo and he will hook it up!
Names have been changed to protect those in the story
Okay so the story goes…
Save went to the bathroom and the rest of us “disappeared”. Then he went looking for us. The looking led Save to a string of buses. Behind the tinted glass of the first bus was a family waving at Save…so what does he do? He catches the next bus assuming WE were that family. hahahhahaha.
He goes all the way to the Magic Kingdom (with a huge rush of people on the buses AND there) because he knew thats where my parents wanted to go.
Mind you this is all without a cell phone because Save dropped his phone into the water while getting onto the rapids ride.
FYI If Save was a real person, this is what he would look like before he dropped his phone
….and this is what he would look like after .
So everyone was waiting around in the lobby waiting for Save to get out of the bathroom with no word from him (we thought he was taking a poo). Eventually we get a call from his brother saying that Save left a message on his voicemail saying he would wait for us at Magic Kingdom’s front gate. Save had called him from a stranger’s phone.
Finally, Save figures out that he should call my parents hotel room to see if they are there, and in fact they were. HAHAHAHA. NOT AT MAGIC KINGDOM.
Moral of the story: The Baptistas won’t leave you behind, LOL…and you shouldn’t get on random buses even if you think they have gotten onto the one before it.
Oh yeah, did I mention that we were only around the corner from where we were sitting? Also, that Save did not check the hotel room first…nor the other parts of the lobby…hahahahhaha.
My parents ALMOST missed the fireworks that night. :-)…but they didn’t and we all went to see the parade.
And then we all got sick on the teacups!
Good times. Good times. I hope I was discreet enough.
Before coming to Berlin, I had mixed ideas of what I thought Germany was. The first time I came to Germany, I passed through in a car from France to Italy, stopping only in Cologne to see a “Dom” that was heavily under construction, and beer with sauerkraut and pork knuckles. I was thoroughly unimpressed as a 13 year old. The second time I visited Germany I had only seen the sites around Dresden and Munich, and even then my sole purpose for coming to Germany was to see the “Sistine Madonna” in Dresden, while my father wanted to see the beer halls, or the many “Bierpalast” in Munich. So essentially, when I pictured Germany, what did I see? Neuschwanstein Castle, beer, rundown cathedrals, and Sistine Madonna.
Initially my plans to study abroad were in Florence, as the NYU curriculum there included many of my required business courses, only to have my visa application rejected because of a missing form and horrible Italian bureaucracy. Two weeks before the start of the program—I switched in, and so, I did not prepare for Germany like the other students did; I did not brush up on my German history, nor did I start learning German. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, until on September 1, 2009 I arrived to a dark rainy Berlin not knowing what to expect. I had high hopes for some delicious salty pretzels and perhaps some goulash like they had in Munich, but to my dismay, I eventually learned that Berlin was in the state of Brandenburg—not Bavaria.
As for my political thoughts of Germany, I had always severely isolated what I had learned in History classes from what I had thought of the people today. Perhaps I was simply just ignorant of what culture and humanity is—a development of what was given to us by our ancestors, into something we will pass down to future generations. Yes, I had learned about the Holocaust and read many books like Anne Frank’s Diary and Night, but as a youth I never really put anything together. I had knowledge of the concentration camps and Hitler, but I always naturally gave the world the benefit of the doubt that things had changed, and that the Germany of today is unrelated to the Germany of the past.