Brace yourself, ladies.
The SWAT and Shakes Roadtrip is back on, and this time we’re heading off to – where else – Sin City. Why you ask? Okay, it’s not the gambling because other than the $10 in quarters that Shakes blew in the Atlantic City slot machines a gazillion years ago, she knows absolutely nothing about gambling. And SWAT got married in Vegas so she sure as hell didn’t spend the time gambling – and no, we’re not going to spend time talking about her honeymoon because this is no X-rated blog. Not yet anyway. So why else would we be going to Vegas? That whole Thunder From Down Under show was an obvious draw for obvious reasons, and being the very shallow creatures that we are, we made sure we had front row seats. Then there was that good-looking Irish dancing guy at the Tropicana which held a little appeal too. So plans were made, and we were off.
Let’s begin by talking very briefly about the journey itself. Both of us live on the east coast but hundreds of miles apart, and we have very different ideas about what constitutes proper travel procedure. SWAT loves to travel by car and finds it positively uplifting; Shakes would rather be forced to sit and watch every DWTS performance involving bright yellow costumes than ride in a car more than 20 minutes. She wanted a first-class plane trip; SWAT wanted to be on the open road, but because Shakes had laryngitis and couldn't argue, SWAT got loud and pushy, and thus won this round. Shakes refused, however, to permit any neon tutus anywhere near the puddle jumper (that would be Shakes small – and cheap - car, for those of you just tuning in).
Believe it or not, this trip passed without shamrock shakes, emergency stops at Arby’s, or either S#1 or S#2 resorting to violence. Unlike our previous road trip misadventures, we made it to our destination in one piece, without getting arrested, losing our shirts, getting lost, ending up on the beach wearing miniscule swimsuits (as in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition), or getting distracted. We did find time to swing by Arizona to see our good friend and fellow Big Mouth, Azline Dancer, who as y’all know has been very ill since the week of the DWTS finale. Big shout out to you, AD!
As soon as we saw Sin City's bright lights, we knew this trip was going to be epic. We also knew that within a few hours, we were going to not only see a bunch of half-nekked Australian guys strutting their stuff in the Thunder From Down Under show at the Excalibur, but we were also going to see Tristan at the Tropicana, and we couldn't wait. We got a moderately priced room at the Bellagio, which we strategically chose because we liked the way it made us sound sophisticated when people asked us where we were staying. It just makes you want to don a posh British accent and exclaim. “Oh, us? Well we are staying at the Belllaaaaaaagiooooo”. See what we mean?
[Shakes Disclaimer] Moderately priced, my ass. I’m a hotel snob. Big time. I travel first class or I don’t travel, so while SWAT saved a little cash by going moderately priced, I pulled out the American Express card and went for it. After all, if what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, then so should my exorbitant credit card bill, right?
Now the Bellagio is known for being one of the high end hotels and casinos in Vegas, and that includes their over-the-top buffet, but that's not the only place where two weary travelers can find some ridiculously extravagant culinary delights. We had suddenly become food snobs and were prepared to do our worst at the best buffet that we could find. Since we had been roughing it on the road for the past three days, we figured we'd splurge a little and treat ourselves to an overly elaborate mega buffet. And we found one. Sure, it cost more than our DWTSLV tickets just to eat at this place, and Shakes is a weird picky eater who doesn’t even like cake, but we wanted this evening to be magical...so why not start with an amazing meal? Amazing just might be an understatement. You heard it from us that this buffet was not your local Golden Corral. This sucker was the mother of all buffets and it had anything you could ever dream of wanting on it. Lobster, Filet Mignon, Shrimp Cocktail that we swore was on steroids, along with a whole lot of stuff we couldn't even pronounce and a bunch more that we didn't recognize. In addition to that, unlimited Mimosas kept appearing throughout the meal (....dangerous). Now you probably think we got plastered and continued our adventures in an inebriated state. Not so fast, my little chickadees.
First of all, SWAT might indulge in an occasional glass of fine wine, but the only time Shakes goes crazy is when she switches up the Poland Spring for the Dasani. Yeah, she’s a live wire, all right. However, when chocolate is involved? All bets are off. So okay, maybe that line was corny considering this Las Vegas themed discussion, but it’s true. Both of us think chocolate is delicious, sexy, and dare we say it? Orgasmic? Yeah, okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but honestly, ever since studies came out that chocolate might be healthy, both of us have started taking it literally and planning our respective futures around chocolate adventures - all in the interest of good health, of course.
Anyway, back to the deliciousness and our alleged inebriation, which wasn’t via alcohol. Not for one of us anyway.
My friends, standing before us in all of its beautiful, sweet glory stood an enormous 4 tiered chocolate fountain. Cherubs fluttered above it as the Hallelujah Chorus reverberated in the background. This sucker was the most beautiful thing we had ever laid our eyes on....and it was all ours, well kind of. To make the situation even more blissfully ridiculous, we saw that you could dip anything into it (well, technically, you shouldn't really dip the stuff directly into it but we'll take creative liberties here). When we say anything, we mean ANYTHING. Strawberries (Shakes resisted this because strawberries are fruit, and she hates fruit, and she hates the idea of anything standing between her and her chocolate), cheesecake, sponge cake, kiwi (another Shakes near meltdown), biscotti, some sort of weird shaped thing that turned out to be a hoity-toity pretzel, and then pineapple (which almost sent Shakes over the edge right into the fountain. Swat had to hold her back). We thought a really good option for chocolate fountain sampling might be Tristan MacManus- but yeah, we’re not going to go there. The point here is that this was the most extraordinary thing that we had ever come across, and this was definitely going to make our night even better. Oh yeah, and did we mention you could dip anything in that chocolate?
The one thing you can’t do, however, is ask for a giant straw and then lean forward to imbibe that way. Apparently Shakes is a chocolate purist, much as Tristan is a dance purist, and she likes her chocolate straight. One note: SWAT isn’t a chocolate purist and was willing to try it mixed with something 100 proof. She tried, as we recall, assorted liquid libations that included the following: a Black Sombrero, a Death By Chocolate Martini, and something called the Fudge Slide. Come to think of it, we’re not even sure where or when SWAT consumed these beverages. Shakes was so hyper because of the slurping of the chocolate that we still aren’t positive where we ended up.
Fast forward to the next morning when we woke up in the penthouse suite - both of us passed out in different locations of the mansion sized room and both of us ended up nursing massive headaches coupled with even more massive confusion as to how we got there or whose credit card received the damage. Neither of us could remember what had happened the night before, and that left the biggest question of all. Did we ever make it to see Thunder From Down Under? More importantly did we ever see the DWTSLV show, and see our sexy Tristan MacManus dance for us? I mean, we were positive that the only reason he was dancing in this show was because he knew we were making the trip west. Yeah, that’s probably it.
The only evidence was in the contents of both of our cell phones. So as we sat and chased about a gazillion aspirin with about 10 espressos and a basket of chocolate croissants because we never learn, we took a look at the evidence. Let's fill you in on what we consider to be the horrible truth of what happened the night before.
Behold, some of the photos from our cell phones.
*Shakes and SWAT mistaking the chocolate fountain for the fountains outside the Bellagio and deciding to go for a quick wade.
*Shakes and SWAT posing as bridesmaids for Elvis and Priscilla impersonators who were getting married. How we met this interesting couple we don't know but they sure loved us enough to ask us to stand with them at their rockabilly wedding. Wonder how the reception was.
*Shakes riding a mechanical bull in some western themed bar. SWAT was quite impressed with Shakes' bull riding prowess as she held on with only one hand as the other whirled a giant cowboy hat over her head while she whooped with reckless abandon. We’re not sure what happened to her shoes, but we're thinking the chocolate fountain is a distinct possibility.
*SWAT riding the back of a Chippendale as if he was a mechanical bull with the same cowboy hat that Shakes had in the previous picture. Man, those Chippendale guys will do just about anything for a dollar.
*Shakes sporting a tiny little tank top that said, “I Love Australia” and SWAT wearing a tube top emblazoned with lots of bling that shouted, “I LOVE AUSTRALIA MORE.” I guess that answers the 'did we or didn't we' Thunder From Down Under question.
*SWAT and Shakes standing outside of the high rollers room at Caesar's Palace fanning huge wads of cash at the camera and giving it the thumbs up, as a couple of very well-dressed men with lots of bling stood sulking in the background. (SWAT's Granny didn't raise no fool, she taught her how to play one mean hand of Texas Hold 'Em.)
*Shakes next to a slot machine, jumping as she tosses part of her jackpot coins into the air. The people around her look mighty delighted too.
*Someone's ankle with the Lucky Charm's Leprechaun freshly tattooed on it. (Shakes and SWAT simultaneously stare down at their legs....oh....we're not tellin' who actually got it. Gotta keep some mystery)
*Someone in the SI swimsuit and another someone in a neon tutu that had enough blinking lights to light up all of Las Vegas. We’re not tellin’ who wore what, but neither was pretty.
*The fountain outside the Bellagio featuring a large amount of chocolate residue
*Tristan MacManus wearing the previously mentioned cowboy hat while perched on top of the puddle jumper. Uh oh….