- Shotgun: Amir
- Riders: Ding, Ming, Ren, Riss
- Hitchhikers: all our Lyft drivers, Christian the Promoter, the Patron bartender, the strippers, the Fiji water waitress
Vegas is big. Real big.
Big hotels. Big lights. Big parties. Big boobs. Real big boobs.
I know there’s a saying about Texas, but I’d argue that Vegas can claim that they have everything bigger.
I didn’t know this was the case when I decided that it was going to be the destination of Hooperpalooza 4. I mean, I knew there was gambling, parties, and hotels. I didn’t know they had all that super sized and then some more on the side.
Either way, the squad booked flights and our hotel at the Venetian. We were doing Vegas.
As soon as I got off the plane, I saw slot machines. Like right in the terminal. We were here. Amir and I gathered the troops and took our one and only taxi of the trip to the Venetian (we’d be committed to Lyfts the rest).
We busted into the room, claimed our sleeping spots, bought out tickets to *Calvin Harris?*, and then went and explored the city. Our first stop? A taco place next to a strip club and then a shoe store in a mall. Ren and I made fun of everyone playing an arcade game to win sneakers, but I realized that Vegas was more than a place with casinos. The whole city was one. It was one great big slot machine.
We tested our own luck at the casino, and took advantage of the free drinks while gambling deal. Amir requested enough patron shots to kill Shrek. It was the perfect pregame for *Calvin Harris?*, especially when we found out drinks were $20 a pop at the club. Either way, *Cal?* put on a fantastic show and despite us barely standing by the end of it, it was the perfect way to bring in my birthday.
We got nearly four hours of sleep before I began turning on lights to get people to wake up the next day. It was now the actual day of my birthday, and we weren’t going to sleep through it all in Vegas. We rallied and overcame our hangover with a fire breakfast from a mom and pop-ish place. The sixth member of our crew, Rissa, joined the party with our all-important rental car (that we would need the next day).
We hit more of the casino, the pool, and eventually Gordon (not George) Ramsey’s STK… It was fantastic and had the best macaroni…
We did more Vegas things and eventually made it to the strip club (the nicest one I’ve ever been to)… It was quite the show… I’ll leave it at that…
On the final full day, the squad split up, as three of us hopped in a rental and went off to see the Grand Canyon. We fueled up at an In and Out, pit-stopped at the Hoover Dam (what a Dam), and spent nearly 10-ish hours on the road.
I’d say that was a lot, but the mountains in the distance and the massive open fields kept the ride visually entertaining and the conversation made it feel like we were only on the road for 6 hours (except for maybe whoever was driving).
At the Grand Canyon, we slid in a nice parking spot, soaked in it’s grandness, got our insta pic and left. 9 hours for the insta.
By the time we got back, we were pooped. One more trip around the casino to lose all the money I had left, was my last Vegas hoorah. After that, it was two hours of sleeping, waking up and flying back to Florida.
Hooperpalooza 4 was a success! Not just because I was in Vegas. More so because I was exploring another great city and making memories with a group of my friends.
I like to think my birthday is more than just a celebration of me. It’s an excuse to plan extravagant trips with great people (and celebrate me).
I think I came back $40 in debt to Marissa, but memories were made and fun was had. That means success.
Here’s hoping one of my close friends get married soon and has a bachelor party in the city so I can go back.
- Hit an In and Out
- See the damn Hoover Dam
- Get all your drinks while gambling
- Buy no drinks at the bar
- Talk to promoters with girls in your group
- Don’t get Fiji water at your fancy dinner
Quotes of the Trip (so many!)
- “What happens in Vegas stays on your snapchat story for 24 hours.”
- “Another day. Another city.”
- “Where’s the cocktail waitress?”
- “Why are we the only table with Fiji water?”
- “Do we have to go to the strip club?”
- “Bitch, you thought.”
- “They finessed the fuck out of us.”
- “Where’s Ming sleeping?”
- “If I could choose to go anywhere in the world, I would choose to go back to the Hoover Dam.”
- “I love my life.”
- “I don’t think this is George Ramsey’s Restaurant.”
- “Calvin Harris was lit.”
- Lookin clean before a night out
- Fire Vegas Breakfast
- The damn Hoover Dam
- Looking out at the Grand Canyon
- Grand Canyon money shot
(got some stuff in the works though for October)
(follow along on Snapchat: @hoopertv)