Finding The Silver Lining

Posted: Dec 01 2013

Last weekend, Nikki and I packed up the Prius and embarked upon our 4 hour trek out to Las Vegas {Vince calls it “lost vegas” – which I see fitting} for a couple of nights away from reality. On a side note, I promised Nikki that I wouldn’t run us out of gas in Death Valley again and would surely keep it above 1/4 tank at all times – OOPS.

This trip however was graced with pouring rain – THE WHOLE TIME. Not exactly what we’re used to when we hit up Vegas for a “break.” Soon enough however, we checked into our all time fave hotel in Vegas – Encore @ The Wynn. After years at the Bellagio, Four Seasons Mandalay, and many others {including an incredibly BORING Palms Place stay last June} we decided to never stray from the place that makes us feel at home {without screaming children}


Tower Suites – Encore Las Vegas

If you haven’t had the opportunity to stay at the Tower Suites in The Encore Las Vegas, next time….DO IT!  It’s AHHMAZING! It all starts with the service, and frankly from what I recall still the only place in Vegas where they actually open the door for you upon arrival.  If you’re driving, valet is free {yes – F R E E} and check-in is as smooth as can be.  Hotel is Contemporary Asian meets Neoclassical, but still pure American luxury. Clean, refined, light and bright – it is quite harmonious for your all your senses :)


THE BED – Encore Tower Suites, Las Vegas

But seriously – now the important stuff. The BED. The bed is…unbelievable!  Maybe its monotony, or 6am kid wake-ups, or a 100lb Jack Russel {he’s really only 18lbs but uses an easy 100lbs of sheer force} in and out of the covers all night….but the beds are pretty stinking cozy over here! In fact, generally upon our arrival we’ll cozy into this little piece of heaven and watch Steve {Wynn} give us a tour of the hotel on the in-room entertainment channel.  Keeping it real, I think we’ve watched it a few hundred times now but Steve’s voice just lulls us into vacay mode so easily.


Society Cafe – Encore Las Vegas

Now that we’re completely relaxed and the bottle of Tequila we snuck in our room {sorry Steve} is taking hold – it’s time to hit up Society Cafe for a quick bite of bliss. Hands down, and really hands down, one of the BEST meals in Vegas that won’t leave your wallet feeling raped. Definitely, definitely, definitely try the Lollipop Buffalo Wings {you’ll thank me later} as they’re TO DIE FOR. Sorry vegans.


After a fun first night of drinking, shopping, eating, and more drinking it was time to settle in {yes – before midnight} as we were going to be meeting up with some long time local friends on Saturday.

Saturday came, and as the remote-controlled blackout curtains opened up around 9am {for real} I look out the strip view window to see nothing but RAIN. What?!?! No pool time – that’s all we know! What are we to do?!?

Knowing we weren’t going to be meeting up with Mike & Roya till after 4pm we were forced to get creative. I decided to call in a favor from a friend of a friend that would get us into Pawn Stars to get a VIP tour.

We headed down to Old Town Vegas which is ghetto as hell, but really is experiencing quite the renaissance thanks to Zappos CEO and his quest to vitalize the area. We got down to GS Pawn {aka Pawn Stars} and waited for a few while they wrapped up some filming.

We met up with the manager Jeff and he toured us through the entire facility and showed us how everything works and some pretty cool stuff on display. After seeing nearly everything there is to see in jewelry in my career, not much blows my mind, so it was bound to be something musical or historical to really get me excited.

And although one of Sinatra’s original Gold records signed was pretty darn cool, I think this complete cigar box from the desk of JFK {with cigars} took the cake for a cool $250k


Nikki was on a quest to meet ChumLee and little did we know we’d find him roaming around in the warehouse with Antwaun {not causing trouble}


I have to say, after watching the show on the History Channel for a while now, I never quite imagined what actually goes into the production and running of this operation – pure organized chaos.

Good times were had by all and it was onto finish up our stay with a great night out with Mike & Roya. I guess in the end, the silver lining was the rain. As after all, without the rain we would have laid by the pool sipping {pounding} Mai Tai’s all day and would have missed out on such a memorable experience.

Thanks Jeff, ChumLee, and the Rick’s for letting us kick around for a bit!


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