So, would you have guessed this photo was taken just last month in Las Vegas – when temperatures were touching 110 degrees?
This was one of the coolest (coolest, get it?) things I’ve experienced in Vegas. Anil, Jeff and I went to a bar called Minus5 Ice Lounge, located in Mandalay Bay. Everything inside the bar is made of ice, and the temperature is, you guessed it, -5 degrees C (27 F).
After having spent a week and a half in scorching 100+ heat (mostly hovering around 107 or 108), I was all over this experience. As you see in the photo, we were given coats, gloves, and I got boots (I was wearing heels; the guys weren’t.) The package we got included two drinks, which were served in glasses made of ice. My margarita couldn’t have salt on the rim because it would have melted my glass! The bar was made of ice; there was an ice sculpture (haven’t seen one of those since college, and this one was shaped like a woman …)
We didn’t stay long; too many other fun things to see and do, but this is definitely a place I’d come back to. We already decided that next time we were gonna wear bathing suits under the coats just to pose for some “cool” pictures!
Much later in the evening, we wondered why all the bars were closing so early. Then we realized it was 3 a.m. Anil asked the bartender for a recommendation for a place that was still open, and the bartender named a place called Deja Vu. Anil started laughing. “What’s so funny?” I asked.
“It’s a strip club,” he said.
“Who cares?” I said. “They’re open, right?” (Ok, so I probably didn’t say “Who cares?” I probably actually said something like “Ooh, fun!”)
As you may remember, I’ve only had one strip club experience prior, and I don’t think that really counts as a strip club experience. What better place to really experience a strip club than Las Vegas? So off we went.
The lovely man at the door informed us it was a $20 cover. Each. Toto, I don’t think we’re in Charlotte anymore … (ok, I say that, but truthfully I don’t have any clue what the strip clubs in Charlotte cost to enter). So, we paid the cover and were getting ready to go inside when all of a sudden these two guys came storming out.
“The strippers aren’t even taking their clothes off!” one of them said angrily to the bouncer. “We want our money back!” Then he turned to us and said “Don’t waste your money, guys!”
Anil sprung into negotiating action. “Hey, can we get our money back?” he asked.
I almost wanted to laugh at the whole thing – the poor bouncer is getting it from all sides now. One the one hand, I was thinking, “Who cares if they aren’t stripping; it’s a place to go and it’s open …” and on the other hand, I’m thinking, “We just paid $20 apiece … for what, exactly?”
Well, the bouncer had some harsh words for the angry clients who were now causing him to lose business. And then he informed us that he couldn’t give us our money back but he could offer some buy-one-get-one-free drink coupons. (He didn’t mention that those coupons were only for beers like Bud Light and that beers like Bud Light cost $10 apiece at this club. Yes, $10. For Bud Light.)
But free drinks seemed pretty cool at the time so we headed inside. And the strippers were indeed, clothed. They were dancing on poles in bikini-type outfits. For the record, the reason they were not topless was because apparently sometime around 4 a.m., this strip club turns into an “after-hours” club. We sat at the bar and a very nice woman started talking to me. She was complaining about how much she hated this place, and how she hated being here day in and day out. I was having a hard time figuring out why she would go to a bar she hated, until Anil informed me she was a stripper. Oh, she works here!
The other thing to note about this place was the bathroom. Note I said bathroom and not bathrooms. Yep, we’re talking Ally McBeal style here. Ally McBeal style if they had hired Steve Buscemi to play the role of bathroom attendant. I’m not kidding. Steve’s long-lost twin greeted me at the entrance to the bathroom, and he was wearing a too-big sports coat and a pencil-thin moustache. He escorted me to the bathroom stall. I was more than a little creeped out, especially when I saw the stall doors were made of see-through glass. And the toilets were illuminated with red lights. If my phone battery hadn’t been dead I would have taken a photo because I’m certain you don’t believe me right now. Apparently the doors are supposed to frost over once you lock them, but either my lock didn’t work or my eyes didn’t work because it did not seem to frost over. I peed as fast as I could and got the hell outta there.
Later I actually had to go again and, sadly, Steve was gone for the evening. I did find two guys wandering around the stalls, confused. I was confused, too – didn’t realize yet that these bathrooms were unisex. “Which bathroom is the guy’s bathroom?” they asked me.
“Do you see urinals?” I asked. No … “Then this must not be your bathroom!” I sent them away, and it wasn’t until later I realized that we had all been right in thinking it was our gender’s bathroom …
Finally it got to a point where I could barely keep my eyes open. I felt so lame, not being able to hang, but I asked Anil if he would mind if we headed back. He was tired, too, so that worked out. We opened the front door of the club – and we were greeted by sunlight. No wonder we were so tired! I no longer felt lame. Took a cab back to the hotel, and as we’re about to head back to our rooms, he suggested breakfast. I was actually hungry, but tired was winning over hungry, so I rainchecked for after a siesta.
In all the time I spent in Vegas, this was the first time I actually felt I had the “Vegas experience.” Cool bars (I didn’t even mention EyeCandy, Raffles, Red Square, EyeCandy again …), hanging out in a winter coat, non-strippers, and back to the hotel at breakfast time. Vegas rocks!