When not seeking extraordinary experiences is when I seem to find them.
My amazing, talented, gorgeous little sister is a sommelier in a resort town in Colorado. This past summer she went to Las Vegas take a test to become an Advanced Sommelier. The testing for these qualifications is a week long process. It’s no easy feat. Hearing of her plans I decided to join her in the last day of the test, and be there when she found out the results. Our time together was truly spectacular.
The first night we had no idea where to eat, so we decided to stay in the hotel we were staying at and we ate at Jean Georges steak house in the Aria. We ate with two of her male colleagues who were also there taking the test. One of these gentlemen she knew ordered the wine and offered to pay for the bottle champagne he wanted to order. I cannot imagine how much it must have cost. The taste of that champagne is indescribable. Saying it was from the 1990s, had barely any bubbles and tasted so incredibly smooth, does not do it justice. The food was delicious, especially when coupled with the various wines that were ordered; dinner was an unbelievable culinary masterpiece and after all that wine, I was barely tipsy and did not even have a hangover. That astonished me considering what a lightweight I am these days. The really good wine doesn’t have all that sugar, so it all makes sense. You get what you pay for and when you pay a lot for good alcohol, you only have to pay financially the day after, not physically with a hangover.
The next night, through her connections, my sister was able to get us a great table at the Mediterranean restaurant Olives in the Bellagio. We were seated on the patio overlooking the lake with the water show. We had front row seats to a gorgeous “show” and first class food and beverages. The water fountain show happened every fifteen minutes. We saw water dancing to Michael Jackson’s, “Billie Jean” and “All That Jazz” from the musical Chicago, which coincidentally my sister has performed in many times, being a Musical Theater graduate from NYU’s prestigious Tisch Program for the Arts. It was fun hearing her sing along quietly as the water blasted. There was one time that the fountain sprayed the highest height we’d seen all night at the very end of a song and with the wave of a good drift of wind, about 10 seconds later, we were soaked. The wait staff politely brought many napkins out to all of us on the patio and we patted ourselves off and laughed about it…until the next song / water show began. I was nervous about getting soaked again during each of the rest of the shows, but none got us as wet as that super tall spray did. I wonder if the fountain people communicate with the restaurants about how the guests seated outside are faring in the misting. If not, they should talk about that, just to be sure the guests paying ridiculous amounts of money to eat on the patio are doing so, finishing their meal as dry as possible. My sister and I are not bothered by these sorts of things but I could imagine how some people would be bothered by it.
After our meal ala mist, we went to the Mirage to meet up with a friend of mine who lives in Las Vegas. She was meeting her friends in the club One Oak. We’re all in our thirties, partied plenty in our twenties so a club wasn’t too exciting to us anymore but we got a table and figured, if we were at least sitting, we could take in the sights of the madness that is a Vegas nightclub. We saw someone dressed in a chicken outfit and many women who wore dresses that didn’t cover their crotch. Typical night at a club in Vegas I guess.
About an hour into our club night, we noticed some guys standing on the edges of some of the booths. Then we noticed they had microphones. Then they started singing. After their first song, one of them announced that they were “The Wanted.” I had heard of the group but my sister hadn’t until she heard their song, “I’m Glad You Came.” One of “The Wanted” came over within a foot of us while they sang and was ravaged by some chick who did know who they were. Poor guy.
To some, these experiences would not qualify as extraordinary, but to me, because they were shared with someone I love immensely, these memories will always be magical and surreal.
Click the photo for the video footage of “The Wanted” performing at One Oak Las Vegas