What Happens in Vegas Clearly Ends Up on This Blog. Sorry.

Last weekend, I participated in a time honoured rite of passage for modern women – a ladies weekend in Vegas.

I put on the heels, I squeezed into outfits too tight and my friends showed me how to do makeup properly (actually they just did my makeup for me…this man still can’t fish).

For one weekend, I transformed into “Toni with an I”. I was classy, put together and I liked to party. A lot. I learned so much about the underbelly of the Las Vegas club scene – for example, did you know that if you have breasts and know how to talk politely to strangers on the street, you can get into to all the clubs for free and also mostly drink for free too?! CRAZY, I KNOW! It all sounds very shady, but my lady friends were Grade A negotiators and knew how to make deals with the club promoters. The deal being, we show up – we get in for free. I bet you thought we’d have to do more, didn’t you? Nope. This is why I loved going with these girls – they knew the way. If I had been there alone, I would have payed full price for a “ticket to the club” like a chump, not knowing any better. (This reminds me of the time someone called in to my friend who works at TIFF and asked for “One ticket to Yorkville, please!”) Well, now I am experienced – a lady of the land, if you will. Let me take you through a brief (I’ll really try hard…) account of how I came to be such a wise and tenured Vegas soul.

On Halloween day, we arrived in beautiful Las Vegas, and we head over to our hotel, The Aria. I’ve stayed here before for work, so I feel like I’m getting to know my way around this part of the hood. We grabbed a quick bite to eat at the pizza restaurant where we did an official Vegas cheers and Monica ate a pizza with clams on it. Then we set out to the strip to stock up on necessary items for the weekend: wine, pre-mixed margaritas, hard iced tea, bottle opener, cashews and gatorade. And a toothbrush. Back at the hotel, we twerked around to hip hop and started getting ready for what would be the first of many late night excursions to “the clubs”. Halloween night, donned in our costumes (my “Sexy Pizza” dress) we went to Hakkasan at the MGM Grand where Calvin Harris was playing. We also witnessed a costume contest with a $10,000 grand prize. This was my first time in a club of this epic-ness. It was big and crazy and the lighting was awesome and there were SO many people there, I felt like I was in a sardine can full of sardines at a costume party. We danced and danced and then cried cuz our feet hurt (or was that just me…) and then we stumbled back to the hotel for sleeps. By that time, with the time difference it would have been about 6am Toronto time. It’s a miracle I’m still alive. (Also, in my mind, I’m 90 years old).

The next day, we explored the Las Vegas strip – we walked up and down, stopping in to various fancy hotels (and not so fancy hotels…Pink Flamingo) and basically just took in all the giganticness and impressiveness that is Las Vegas. I think my favourite indoor parts of the strip are The Venetian for all it’s fun indoor gondola rides, etc. and the Bellagio fall display which had a talking tree for goodness sakes. That night, we had DJ’s Taco’s for dinner – a favourite of mine from the ole working days. Consistently delicious. We then prepared our faces and feet for another amazing evening. First we went to a Cirque Du Soleil show, “O” at the Bellagio. It was awesome, but (and I feel like a terrible person saying it) I was not as impressed as I was with KA. But people tell me it’s because Ka was my first Cirque show ever. Could be true. One of the promoters we met earlier in the day, got us into a club, “Surrender” at Encore for free and also set us up with a booth, bottle service and open bar for a couple hours. It was my favourite because there was sitting (I am 90). It was my favourite though, I think because it was easier to talk to each other and have fun with each other. There was a costume contest here as well, although I think the prize was a measly $5,000. Hardly even worth it. By this time, however, we were sick of Halloween and were dressed like normal night people, not zombie night people. That night was my most memorable and my favourite of the trip – We danced, we befriended a group of 21 year old cats, we met the Spice girls, I sat on a piano while a lounge singer serenaded a room. All in all, top Vegas memories all around.

Saturday – This day was reserved for shopping. We went to the Fashion Show mall and perused the sparkly things until I found the one and only souvenir I bought for myself – a pair of Kate Spade sparkly, gold Keds. I love them. When I look at them, they cry Vegas. And my feet cry with happiness because they’re super comfy too. That night was all about STK. It’s a steakhouse at The Cosmopolitan hotel. We had read really things about it, and we were not disappointed. It has a very young vibe – a DJ was playing and everyone was kind of half sitting/half dancing at their tables. The atmosphere was great and the service was great. Especially one very attractive employee in particular who had no real reason for coming to our table so many times except to flirt with everybody and dance to N Sync. But none of that compared to the food which was heavenly. I got the beef carpaccio, skirt steak with truffle butter and a side of carrots which I could only eat 4 of because everything was GIGANTIC. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life. I definitely want to go back there again. At 10:30, the DJ announced that since it was 10:30, that meant free shots for everyone at the restaurant! The girls and I think this should be implemented at all restaurants and will now be celebrating “10:30” on a regular basis. And then it was off for our last night of rambunctiousness at Marquee at the Cosmopolitan. This club had kind of an indoor/outdoor thing going on. There were heaters outside by the pools so you could hang out there, or you could go inside to dance and generally get pushed around by all the people who are bigger than you (I stayed outside most of the evening). On our way there, a guy on the street had told us DJ Pauly D from The Jersey Shore would be at our hotel that night, so we left Marquee early to fist pump and get spray tans. The spray tans was a lie, but we did fist pump to DJ Pauly D like a true Italian American. And to be honest, I really liked the set he played – it was diverse and I had a great time there. Although, that also could have been my delusional euphoria after having removed my heels in favour of flats I hid in my purse, but who’s qualifying?

On our very last day, we took advantage of our hotels’ gorgeous spa, complete with outdoor hot tub overlooking the “common people” pools, indoor hot tubs plus a “cold dip” pool to refresh yourself. It had a steam room, a sauna, a hot stone room and a Himalayan salt room. I really have no idea what most of it’s supposed to do for you, but it doesn’t really matter – we stayed there most of the day and became utterly relaxed. Then we hopped on a red-eye to return to chilly Canadia. I slept most of the morning we returned, worked from home for a bit in the afternoon and then did what all people must do when they belatedly appear in Canada after November 1st – I went to Starbucks to order a Cranberry Bliss bar and a Peppermint Mocha in a red cup …WINTER IS COMING.

Ugly: My feet look like someone stabbed them several times and then sewed them back together only to slowly crush them in a pasta maker.

Awesome: This weekend fulfilled my annual quota for partying. It was exhausting, but it was so much fun. It was such rare treat that I could only have done with these special ladies who lead me through the looking glass to a strange world of House Beats and Body Shots. Thanks girls.

P.S. There are 4 galleries below, plus videos! Don’t accidentally get to the end of the first Gallery and stop. That would be a mistake.



I made this GIF to share my feelings:


And now, for the out of order Daytime photos!

It’s Not Delivery, It’s Delissio!

Since my last post was a literary extended journey through my hopes and dreams, I thought I’d give your eyeballs a break with this post. On the weekend, we celebrated Danica’s birthday as well as Halloween and fast food. (There were a strange number of greasy themed costumes this year).

We had a grand ole time hanging out at Danica and Chris’ place and then ventured to Queen for their friend’s Halloween party. We’ve been to this party before and it is so epic. I’ve proven my lack of photography skills with this post because the pictures below don’t do this place any justice at all, whatsoever. They plaster their walls with Halloween decorations, their bathroom is spattered with fake blood (and a torn up shower curtain complete with victim in the bathtub), and the place is always completely packed with the best costumes you’ll see all year. Unfortunately I captured 4% of this mania with my camera. I guess I was having too much fun Pizza dancing on the dance floor.

I hope that this will motivate me to take a million pictures in Vegas (where I’m going on Thursday!!!). I swear to capture as much generic and non-personally identifiable shenanigans as is allowed by “What Happens in Vegas” law.

UGLY: My photo journalism skills.

AWESOME: I get to wear my Sexy Pizza dress again in Vegas!!!

FORT FRIGHTENING TIMES OF SCARY THINGS!

When I went home for Thanksgiving last weekend, my family and I embarked on what has become a hilarious annual tradition. We attend Fort Fright at Fort Henry, where my Dad and I enjoy being mildly startled and amused and my mom practices deep breathing so as not to have a panic attack. Great fun for the whole family!

Fort Henry on a normal day is a pretty cool place where you can walk around the fort and dress up in guard’s costumes and watch the pretend soldiers re-enact the Sunset Ceremonies (where they fire rifles and cannons and march and play drums and flutes and whatnot). Educational and amusing. Good times. Anyone born in Kingston has been there at least once, most likely on a school field trip. But the BEST time of year at Fort Henry is October when they put on the best “Haunted…Fort?” I’ve ever been to. You walk around the grounds and inside the old rooms, exploring the already creepy fort, walking through scary displays with scary sounds, etc. But the scariest part is the actors walking around that stare at you or scream really loud when you walk by. Sometimes, they’ll be hiding around dark corners waiting for you so they can move in an ominous manner. For most people, this is creepy and startling and fun. For my mom, it is the worst invention of all time. She comes with us because she wants to make us happy, but truly, this is not her scene. This year, a zombie scared her so bad, she ran into a wall and lost her shoe. That is le fact.

So, if you’re looking for a super fun night time family outing, head on over to Fort Fright. And just remember: they’re not allowed to touch you.

UGLY: The clown zombie.

AWESOME: The father/daughter zombie team. She was 8. It was adorable and terrifying all at the same time.

Happy Hallo-Boo Boo.

Halloween just happened!

It was on a Wednesday and since I was in Ohio during the regular “Adult Halloween” weekend activities, I had a couple of gals over for a mellow gathering to watch “scary” movies, eat candy and dress up for fun. It was also the first Halloween since I moved to Toronto where I actually had more than 3 children come to my door trick or treating! It’s because my new neighbourhood is full of families and also because I have a real porch now which I decorated extensively. Handing out candy never worked in my old locations – I either lived in an apartment building, my “porch” looked like a business, it was on a busy road where children weren’t allowed to go, or I lived in the Potugese ghetto where children would rather smoke than go trick or treating. Now that I live in a respectable house-looking type thing, on an actual residential street sort of deal, children run rampant and I just barely had enough candy for all of them (I had bought extra for the girls I invited over- in the end, they didn’t get any…).

I had so much fun putting up more decorations (I know…) and making green slimy Halloween punch and dressing up and hanging out with fun time ladies. It almost makes me sad it was over so quickly and now it’s time to gear up for Christmas……..JUST KIDDING I LOVE CHRISTMAS WAY MORE THAN ANYTHING.

Ugly:
My “Glitzy the Gay Pageant Pig” costume from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

Awesome:
Everyone else’s costumes! Especially Celeste’s “Paula Poundstone” and Alex’s “Man”. Jasmine’s “Gonzo made from gourd” costume was ground breaking.

Home is Where the Evil Ravens Are.

It’s fall time!!

Although my posts on this blog have been sporadic, you can always count on me to blog about fall. I could write a novel about fall. In fact if you took every piece of text I’ve ever written about fall, I honestly believe it would be the size of a short novella.

But THIS year is different. Because I have a porch. And an obsession with interior decorating. So THIS year, I’m going to decorate my porch for fall the way a person obsessed with fall should. With bats. And pumpkins. And fake, Dollarama foliage. And I AM PSYCHED!

I officially began the fall-time enthusiasm this evening by decorating our hutch in the living room/kitchen area. Actually, it’s just a dresser, but since it lives in my main living space, I call it a hutch. So sue me. I’m also putting up some “before” pictures, because I’m so proud of my new found ability to look at something on Pinterest and then make it happen with mostly Dollar store and Value Village items.

So, here it is…My living room/ kitchen place. I hope you love her.

Ugly:
The unthinkable amount of things I bought from Dollarama.

Awesome:
How little I paid for the unthinkable amount of things I bought from Dollarama. Bring it on, PORCH!