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Las Vegas According to Ninja...

The only two known true hangover cures are time and death. It’s up to you which is preferable. 

***I am so happy to have Ninja guest blogging today! Especially fitting as today is our 5th Anniversary! Happy Anniversary My Love and thank you for your honest, hilarious and flattering post on this very special day J***


Let me preface this post by saying that I am extremely honored to have been asked to guest-post on my wife’s amazing blog site – I’m not worthy. Therefore, I am in no way trying to throw her under the bus, paint her as an alcoholic or to use this space as a place to make fun of her for being hung-over during this particular day in Vegas. The references to her ill feeling is only to put context to the experience and feelings that permeated the day and add a little humor to our story.

I also checked with her what the ground rules were as far as how much I can talk about. I know she’s pretty open with all of you but I wasn’t sure about what to divulge. Do I talk about “private moments” in the evening? (If there were any, not that I’m saying there were, just “if”) Or do I write like television and say, “And that’s when we kissed....” and have the camera pan over to curtains blowing in the wind?

Anyways, suffice to say, my wife is NOT a drinker. This is a woman who can crack a beer at 4 pm and still be drinking it at quarter to nine. Seriously. So for her to consume a couple of drinks during the day, pre-dinner champagne, dinner wine, baileys and post-dinner champagne is a TON for her. It’s the equivalent of the time in college you drank so much you had to call your best friend to pick you up at noon the next day in the next town over without speaking of whose house you’re at because you don’t know their name anyways or how you got there. Yeah.

Well, that was the night before. She had cut loose Vegas style (again, for HER) and like any good husband, I know my wife and I knew the morning was going to be ugly for her so I wanted to make it as pleasant as possible. I woke up at 7 am, got out of bed, had a shower to shake out the cob-webs and got dressed. I quickly filled up some water and readied two Tylenol for her to have when she woke up. Aren’t I great? Lol

By 8 she was stirring, she rolled over with a face/body/hand as pale as the front row of a Marilyn Manson concert, and she gave me my first chip of the day. I can’t tell you how relieved I was when I saw it said “Relax”. Her plan was to go down to the hotel pools and enjoy some morning sun and a dip before getting some breakfast and that our next “event” of the day wasn’t scheduled until about noon. That should allow for some good recovery time.

We headed down to the pool area 

and quickly discovered that our giant hotel actually has four pools, each with their own unique shape, large decking areas with chairs and loungers, multiple bored female lifeguards, plus a lazy river and a splash pad/pool night club beside it. We eenie-meenie-minie-moe a pool and settle down into a couple of deck chairs.

It took some convincing to get NinjaGirl **When Ninja and I met almost 15 years ago it was through a friend. I was in an Asian Studies course and his BFF was in it as well. I once asked if Samurai Warriors were the same as Ninjas and BFF nicknamed me NinjaGirl. LOL** into the water, but after some lazy splashing and a necessary refreshing dip, NinjaGirl seemed to come around and we were ready to grab a bite at the Cabana Grill which over looked the pool area.

*Note: A tip for those planning a trip to Vegas. If you book a Hotel within the MLifegroup of hotels, you can access the pool area of any MLife Hotel (MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Luxor etc.) and for those of you into pool side resorting, there are several massive pool areas you can check out. For us, the pool is a nice feature but we’re more doers and bore quickly of just sitting around. Just sayin’.

The Cabana Grill had standard breakfast fair as well as several items with a Mexican twist, but I’m safe and boring so I ordered the typical eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast. Meanwhile, NinjaGirl’s mouth was saying scrambled egg omelets but her stomach said “just try a muffin. We’ll see how it goes.” The food was good but nothing outstanding and fairly expensive ($6 for a blueberry muffin) as is the way in Vegas. I left full and satisfied though, especially since I finished three quarters of the $6 muffin that somebody couldn’t bring themselves to eat.

Later, as we were walking back through the hotel, I started to see fear and anxiety creeping across NinjaGirl’s face worse than those times where you procrastinated studying and realized that your exam is tomorrow. This wasn’t your typical “I just don’t feel well” face. She was actually sweating and fidgety like a crack addict. So I questioned her. It was at this point in time that she handed me my next chip which read “Ride”.

“Ride?” I said.

“Uh huh. As in helicopter ride.” She swallowed hard.

“To the Grand Canyon.”

As green as her face was and as much as I knew how much she hated flying and just how much nerve it took her to offer a helicopter flight in the best of healthy situations, I couldn’t help but hide my excitement at this latest development. Just like my wife has a thing for reality based television, I’m into aviation. I grew up with an Air Force father and I spent a couple of years training to be an Air Traffic Controller and I was just thrilled to be taking to the air in an EC135 to see the Grand Canyon – a landmark that’s been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember.

And I appreciate my wife greatly for choosing to indulge my interest as both of our interests are equal.  Mine is responsible for helping to revolutionize the world as we know it by making it completely traversable, stimulating global travel, massively impacting world economics and communications, essentially paving the way for the global nation we have today. Whereas her interest causes brain hemorrhages in the sedentary public that allows them to listen to things like Fox News and Taylor Swift. You know, the same.

It was at this time then, that we realized NinjaGirl was going to need some kind of assistance in order to get up in the air. I had her grab a seat by the Rainforest Café 

while I ran across the street to a convenient store to pick up a couple of tablets of Pepto Bismol. An important note: NinjaGirl cannot stand the taste of Pepto Bismol and when she gobbles them down like they were prepared by Gordon Ramsay himself – you KNOW she’s hurting J

The Pepto kicked in and NinjaGirl’s stomach settled down and we were picked up by bus outside our hotel and driven out to Boulder City about twenty minutes outside of Vegas. There we were dropped off at the Papillion Helicopter Tours hanger. Inside we were sent in to register,  

watch a quick safety video and then get designated a pilot and group, totaling eight people including ourselves. Our pilot, Sherri, lead us out onto the tarmac and we were loaded into the chopper. Whoo hoo!

Once airborne, we were immediately taken over to the Hoover Dam which flew by a little too quickly for me, but we still got a good shot of it. 

From there we flew over Lake Mead and towards the mouth of the Grand Canyon. 

Throughout the flight Sherri passed us info and tidbits about the area while tossing in passive comments about upcoming turbulence like she was giving stock tips.

“To your left is Lake Mead where the water level has dropped several meters over the last few years due to drought. Now, we’ll head over this Black Ridge where we may start to turn sideways and drop a few feet. See if you can see any wild donkeys.” NinjaGirl loved it!

We followed the canyon for a while observing it from above before diving down between the walls and careening over the river just a few feet above it. Amazing. Then we were told to enjoy the view and that we’d be landing in just a few minutes. Wait. Landing?


It was then we could see a small jut out on the canyon floor where a few of the other Papillion choppers had already landed beside a small green tent much like that one you would see on M*A*S*H*. (If you don’t know what that is, you’re too young to read this blog)

We were allowed to walk around while our pilot set up a picnic lunch which included a sandwich, cookies, chips, fruit and water and Champagne. Lucky me I got two glasses of bubbly as someone didn’t seem to want theirs.

Following lunch we packed up and boarded again and made a beeline back to the heliport. Along the way we got a great sense of the vastness (and emptiness) that is the Mohave Desert. 

A town that was planned and then the economic crash. Only the streets were made.

We even saw the largest bank of solar panels in the world, just outside of Boulder City. Very cool.

We were thanked and efficiently bused back to our Hotel which passed by the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, 

which was perfect because we had thought we weren’t going to get a chance to see it! All in, the tour took about 5 hours of our day for those wondering how much time you need to set aside in order to do it. I highly recommend it.***Tip: This is NOT budget friendly :)***

Back on the strip we got showered and headed back down to the casino at which time I got my third chip of the day. “Really Good Food”. NinjaGirl thought really hard on that one. Really Good Food turned out to be Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill

After being sat, I was presented with a personalized menu that said ‘Happy 40th Birthday Chris’ across the top. **I was going to take the menu home with us but I forgot it L hence no picture L** I’m sure NinjaGirl has mentioned already the quality and level of service that we found in Las Vegas. It was outstanding and this occasion was no different. Our server Brayden was particularly good and attentive. Even the manager came out to check on us to make sure we were happy. I tell you, great service makes the experience just that much more enjoyable!

The food was pub style, but the pub you would imagine Wall Street business men go to. LOL We started with BBQ Steak Skewers on Slaw which melted in your mouth. **I used a MyVegas Reward for our appetizer to keep the price of dinner down. Plus, we went to Wolfgang Puck’s Pub NOT Spago. You can go eat at celebrity chef’s locations and get the great food but at a better price if you go to their less expensive restaurants J**

For dinner I ordered the Prime Rib Burger and French Fries 

and NinjaGirl got Ravioli in a Sweet Corn Sauce. 

Yum! All of that was followed up with a free Red Velvet birthday dessert which makes it taste that much better!

After dinner we wondered through the last few hotels we had yet to visit and shopped for a few gifts for the kids. We started at NY NY which was super cool. 

For starters there was the roof top rollercoaster inside of an arcade! I knew there was no way I was going to be able to convince NinjaGirl to go on it, though. The main hotel floor space was massive and had a section in it that was set up to look like the streets of Brooklyn with little pizza joints and Italian diners. We wished we had more time there to explore all it had to offer.

For the girls, we picked up SBean a “Somebody loves me and bought me this shirt in Vegas” t-shirt (I used to see other kids in school wear these shirts. Kids whose parents actually left their house to travel and I couldn’t wait to be an adult to buy one for someone when I was older and did things differently), and some chocolate casino chips. For HBear we got a Vegas snow globe (she loves kitschy stuff like that) some Vegas playing cards, a Vegas pen and chocolate casino chips.

From there we went to the Excalibur hotel which, for those that don’t know, has a very medieval castle feel to it, but was nothing special, at least to me. 

Then we hit one of my favorite hotels, the Luxor

It’s a giant pyramid that has hotel rooms all around you, running up to the peak, while you wander around the concourse below. It’s an amazing piece of architecture that enthralled me however, NinjaGirl was unimpressed. Whatev’s salad. It was cool. The Titanic exhibit was housed in there as well as the Human Body Exhibit and most importantly, the theater for my last chip of the night/vacation.

 “Racks” What?

 NinjaGirl explained to me that we were going to see the Fantasy exotic dance show.

Image result for fantasy las vegas

How can you go to Vegas and not see a burlesque style show? Wow, this really was a trip all about me! **Another MyVegas Reward! I bought 1 ticket and got the other one free!**

When we got to theater we realized that our two tickets were not seated together and thus we presented our problem to the usher. The great Vegas service came through again. After explaining our problem to the usher he had us sit down inside while he personally found a co-worker, figured out the seating arrangement and found us two seats together and in a better spot than our original tickets. Thank you Vegas!

Our show was better than I thought it would be. “Better than naked hot ladies?” you ask.

Unbelievable, but true!

I expected a bunch of strip teases and some raunchy music (which happened) and that was about it. However, the show was much more than that. It had a hostess who sang, and there wasn’t just simple sauntering across the floor but climbing of 10 foot poles, cirque du soleil style curtain acrobatics and a male comedian who has hilarious. We even met a fellow in the audience who got pulled up on stage who was recently engaged from West Kelowna! Small world!

After a long day, it was time to head back to our room and say good bye to Vegas. Of course, this is where our days’ description ends because the answer to “should I share any evening details?” was an emphatic “No!”

Of course.

I would like to say however, what a great time I had on this trip. Las Vegas was not what I thought it would be and if you do it right, which of course my wife did (if you ever need a trip planner call her, you can’t match her ability, trust me) there is so much to do and it can entertain you at every turn without having a single drink or playing a single slot machine. I cannot thank my wonderful wife or my awesome FIL enough for deciding to grant me this amazing gift, I am forever grateful. Truly this was the most memorable and special vacation I’ve ever taken. I don’t know what I did to deserve such a thoughtful gesture but I loved every minute of it. It will hold a special place in a small attic of my brain for all of my days.

Thank you NinjaGirl so much and I love you.

Ok. Now cue the blowing curtains.

****OK Anniversary update… So the plan was to order out (no cooking) and have a nice romantic dinner in the backyard after SBean was in bed. HBear and Dad always spend the Rock n’ Roll night at PeachFest together :) so it was just us. HBear was super whiny when she left and she was teary, so I knew something was up. The wind picked up. We moved dinner inside. Just as Ninja went to pick it up (they were OUT of desserts!), I talked to Dad and HBear must be coming down with whatever SBean has had this week and they came home. Her temperature was at 40 degrees and she was shaking and crying L she sniffled “Can I cuddle up in your bed for a bit?” Sure Sweetie come on up. We ended up eating cold take out in bed! DINNER FAIL LOL 

I downloaded a movie but it was corrupted, MOVIE FAIL LOL. So we ended up catching up on The Flash while drinking our favorite Laughing Stock Portfolio and eating mini Wonderbars lol As my fever started to burn by 10pm Ninja gave me a beautiful wooden gift,

and a GC for Peaches Lingerie J we laughed because it was just so US. Sometimes shit happens but we get through it and laugh about it later! L-O-V-E**** 



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