COURTESY LAS VEGAS NEWS BUREAU
View of the Las Vegas Strip, attractive arctic from the Foundation Allowance aloft Mandalay Bay Auberge & Bank in Las Vegas.
LAS VEGAS >> Jewel Nightclub at Aria is beating in the wee morning hours. So are my feet, which added than nine hours beforehand acquainted acceptable in these covering boots.
I’m actuality jostled aback and alternating like a pinball amid packs of 20-somethings with no faculty of claimed space, aggravating not to footfall on cocktail glasses (yes, GLASSES) on the ball floor. I booty a stiletto heel to one of my boots. That’s activity to leave a mark.
It’s bright, loud and alive in here, with bedfellow DJ Lil Jon cutting aphotic shades and headphones and bobbing his arch to mixes that run the gamut, from the Backstreet Boys to 2 Chainz. Colorful cartoon morph on the big awning abaft him. He sends out trays of shots. Intermittent blasts of algid air, which attending like smoke funnels, afford from the ceiling.
I’m accepting a little annoyed but am bent to see Lil Jon accomplish “Turn Bottomward for What.” The club goes agrarian aback he does. Continuing onstage, he passes a canteen of Champagne to addition in the army and keeps one for himself. They agitate the bottles in bike and afterwards an absolute “Turn bottomward for what!” aerated sprays all over. He moves to the added ancillary and repeats the sequence.
IF YOU GO: LAS VEGAS
>> Be alert: I acquainted safe as I catholic up and bottomward the Strip, but I encountered actual few people, apparently because of the time of year (December). I did apprehension beefed-up aegis measures forth the Strip, including waist-high metal poles that appeared to accept been afresh installed on the sidewalks at abounding intersections.>> Wear adequate shoes: This agency shoes that will still be adequate afterwards you’ve been in them for, oh, a dozen or so hours.>> Analysis the weather: Dress appropriately for conditions. It’s no fun actuality too algid or hot, and it’s alike added of a annoyance aback your anxiety hurt.>> Leave your accoutrements behind: Analysis it in at a auberge alarm desk. I abandoned my bag off at New York-New York, area I’d be staying.>> See the sights: You won’t t a Bellagio bubbler appearance at 3 or 4 a.m., but the hotel-casinos are accessible about the clock. Spend some time admiring their interiors (the ball and horses fabricated of flowers at the Wynn, for example) and exteriors — and all those lights. And booty affluence of pictures.
After Lil Jon wraps up about 3, I amble on the ball floor. Afterwards actuality head-ed — from behind, no beneath — I adjudge I’m done.
Outside, Las Vegas is quiet. Gamblers are still action central the casinos, but the acclaimed Strip is, to my surprise, about desolate.
What am I accomplishing out? Experiencing Vegas afterwards aphotic — way afterwards dark.
I’ve visited this burghal added times than I can recall, but I’ve never backward up all night. There’s a aboriginal time for everything, and I’m all in.
I am fueled by avarice and curiosity, acquisitive to see what happens in Vegas afterwards hours and whether it should break in Vegas.
This is one of those cities that never sleeps, right?
That was my anticipation aback I autonomous to abandon a auberge room, aback I’d be landing on a Saturday aloof afore midnight. (Heck, Elvis Presley alike sang that he wouldn’t beddy-bye a minute abroad in Vegas.) My added thought: I’m not advantageous added for a auberge allowance than I paid for round-trip airfare ($69). My plan wasn’t absolutely crazy. I did accept a (free) auberge allowance at New York-New York lined up for Sunday night.
“Bright ablaze city,” as Elvis declared it in “Viva Las Vegas,” isn’t absolutely ambience my body on blaze aback the cabdriver takes me to the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” assurance aloof afore 12:30 a.m.
Aside from the two guys continuing about advance hawkeye and abating themselves abaft their amplitude SUV limo, there’s hardly anyone here. Visions of a Las Vegas Strip abundant with frolicking bodies who accept overindulged are bound fading. I booty pictures (of the sign!) and babble briefly with the abandoned added being there, a woman bribery with her cellphone.
I appointment actual few bodies on the sidewalks and trams as I biking arctic to Mandalay Bay and eventually to NY-NY, depositing $20 bills in machines at several auberge casinos forth the way. Unfettered afterwards bottomward off my small, admitting heavy, bag at the alarm desk, I arch to Jewel Nightclub to see Lil Jon afore authoritative my way to the Bellagio.
Want to apperceive aback the Bellagio Conservatory, a photogenic “14,000-square-foot floral playground” with showstopping displays, isn’t awash with array and array of bodies from about the world?
It’s 3:45 a.m.
I accept the winter wonderland to myself. It’s spectacular, with arctic bears fabricated from carnations; an 18-foot “Ice Princess” fabricated out of burnt sun approach fans, roses, approach leaves, hydrangeas and phalaenopsis; a Christmas timberline that stands several belief aerial with a miniature alternation that circles it; and abundant more. I attending at aggregate several times, demography photos and account at what a amusement it is to be actuality alone.
On my way to the Bellagio casino, I access the lobby, which is additionally empty. I could actually recline on the daybed beneath the admirable Chihuly bottle flowers and booty photos to my heart’s agreeable — until aegis shows up.
At 4:46, alike the Bellagio poker allowance is appealing barren. Aloof a few tables are active. I ask a man adjacent if he has apparent any big names. He credibility out Gus Hansen, who’s arena in a high-stakes room. (It absolutely looks like Hansen, admitting the usually baldheaded Dane has a lot of facial hair.)
I sit bottomward at a aperture apparatus to blow my achy feet. I charge attending rough, or suspect, or both. An agent asks: “Are you OK, ma’am?”
I accept the Bellagio frowns on loitering, so I move along. Outside, I booty a few photos and apprehension that added than a aegis guy and me, there’s cipher around. The lake, generally lined with hundreds of bodies during the bubbler shows, is still. Two ducks paddle by.
I cantankerous the artery and constrict in to Bally’s to balmy up (it’s in the 40s), acquainted as I access at 5:15 to Kelly Clarkson “leaving aisle all over town” and “keeping acceptance afterlife comes around” that the big casinos all assume to comedy music alfresco about the clock, and sometimes what’s arena alfresco is altered from what’s arena inside.
I accelerate $20 into a aperture apparatus and Google “When does the sun acceleration in Las Vegas?” 6:41. Once it’s daylight, I reason, a bit slap-happy, I’ll be re-energized.
Wandering in and out of auberge casinos and perusing the absorbing gift alternative at the actual ample and actual ablaze 24-hour CVS advice canyon the time. About 7, the sun is low but bright. Traffic is boring acrimonious up on Las Vegas Boulevard, and runners, dressed in layers, are starting their workouts.
I activate the final amplitude and airing to NY-NY. On a lark, I bead by the anxiety board to ask if I can analysis in to my allowance early, as in seven hours afore the accepted 3 p.m. check-in time. The woman tells me there is a allowance with a baron bed, which I had listed as my preference, but it’s on the fourth floor, and there’s no view. Tired, but not too annoyed to still be picky, I ask aback a allowance with a appearance ability be available. She suggests I appear aback at 11. I ask if there are any added options. She does accept one allowance on a aerial attic accessible now, she says, but it doesn’t accept a baron bed, aloof two queens.
By 8:15, I’m in my 28th-floor allowance admiring the admirable Nevada mountains from one of my two queen beds, accessible for some sleep.
Awakening midafternoon to ablaze sunlight alive into my room, I reflect on the accomplished I-don’t-even-know-how-many hours. Would I abandon a auberge allowance again, alike admitting Vegas afterwards aphotic wasn’t about as agitative as I had imagined?
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