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Monday, April 4, 2011


Eric has been my friend for about ten years. In those ten years, I don't think I've ever gotten him a birthday gift. I've gotten him plenty of fabulous gifts for various occasions, but when it came to his birthday, I always seemed to be unnaturally broke by the time March 24th rolled around.

So I decided to make it up to him this year, and I said that for his birthday, I would take him wherever he wanted to go. We've been discussing it for some time, but by January of this year, he'd had it set to go to Vegas for his 25th birthday. We invited a couple other friends that we don't see very often, and we left for Vegas on Thursday.

We had fun. Nothing too exciting happened, but a good time was had by all. Other than a few mishaps (like the ceiling in our hotel room at the Palms leaking water on us and a cab driver attempting to murder us with his driving), it was fun.
Me and Eric in front of the Bellagio the day we go to Vegas

Here are some of the highlights:

-The views of the city were spectacular. I'm a big sucker for city lights.

The view from our hotel room at night

The view of Vegas from the Stratosphere

-I saw Jason Bateman walking around at the Ceaser's. It was funny because I wasn't paying attention, and my friend Fifi goes, "Hey, that's a celebrity! Isn't he somebody famous?" And I turned around and it was Jason Bateman. I squeed internally, but I didn't talk to him, because I am incapable of talking to famous people. 

Jason Bateman (not from when I saw him, because I didn't photograph him)

-The Divas drag show at the Imperial Palace was phenomenal.
Lady Gaga

Eric with "Joan Rivers" a.k.a. Frank Marino

-Getting to see my friends who I really don't see that often.

My friend Fifi and a Michael Jackson impersonator

My friends Fifi & Valerie at the Stratosphere

Valerie, Eric, me, & Fifi at the Stratosphere

Valerie & her husband Greggor inside the Stratosphere

-I got to play The Dark Knight pinball machine.

-We went to the David Copperfield show, and Eric got picked to go up onstage and Copperfield made Eric disappear. After the show, Copperfield gave Eric an autographed picture and said to him, "I loved you in The Hangover."

Eric Goldman                        Zack Galifinakis in the Hangover

They had tons of the tee shirts with the baby on them from The Hangover, and I kept trying to get Eric to wear one with the some Blublockers and pretend to be Zach Galifinakas. But he refused. And that was a bummer.

Also, for some reason, Eric wouldn't let me eat at Tom Coliccho's restaraunt, even though I love Top Chef more than I love him.

(On a side note, did you guys see the Chef finale last week? I totally cried when Blais won. It was great to see him pull through).

So that was it. That was my trip to Vegas. It was fun. The city was neat. I'm bummed that Barry Manilow was off when were visiting, because I would've loved to have seen him.

But in all honesty, I don't know if I'll go back again. Vegas is a great city, but I'm definitely Midwest girl.

The last pic I took of Vegas, when I woke up in the morning to catch my plane


  1. If you ever do go back, make sure you hit Oldtown/Fremont street. WHOLE different Vegas experience.

  2. Looks like you all had a blast!Ive never been to Vegas.What a nice friend you are taking your friend for his birthday!

  3. Your celebrity sighting was cooler than mine. I saw Jon Gosselin of Jon and Kate Plus Eight. Whoo hoo?

  4. @Elias We wanted to go down to to Oldtown/Fremont, but we just never made it. We were only really there for 2.5 days, and we didn't have time to do all the things we wanted to do. :(

    @Elizabeth Eric also claims he saw Lia Michelle from Glee. But I didn't see her, so I don't know if it's true.

  5. I can't talk to famous people, either, which really sucks because sometimes you need to make those connections to get where you want to go later. But just remember, you are a "famous people" now, so you have a license to talk to them. Or at least a learners permit. :)

  6. its funny how big Zack Galifinakis has gotten but he still stays true to his roots ( he is from like 20 mins from where i live)last year he came to a local library and read to the kids and he was spottted at the movie theater here in town

  7. Hi Amanda - I have the opposite problem with celebrities because they look so familiar I always think they must be someone I know so I beam at them and engage in conversation trying to remember where I know them from... ;) x

  8. Glad to hear you enjoyed a getaway! Nice of you to do that for Eric!

  9. Sad you missed the Barry Manilow experience the show is phenomenal ! There are to my reckoning NO showgirls like the Las Vegas girls other than of course the Parisienne girls !
    Celine Dion in the Red rooms at Ceasars she was awesome ! Love VEGAS been there loads of times and never tire of its cleanliness, its people, its 24 hour open house ! I won't do business re LA if they want to do business its Vegas !

  10. That night-shot of your hotel view is awesome. With the reflection in the glass it looks like a publicity shot.

    And Galifinakas (which I gave up trying to spell and just decided to cut and paste) is one of the best names ever. (Yes I know that has nothing to do with anyone, but I thought it was worth saying.) It's just fun to say. Galifinakas. Galifinakas. Galifinakas.

    Looks like you had a great time.

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  12. Hi there,

    Yes it is true that the view from the hotel room is pretty cool.
    As for the celebrity, I am at a cross road between you and Isabelle...
    Once I find myself facing Paris Hilton, literally 1 meter (3.28 foot) from her, and she stopped and looked at me. (I had a camera around my neck and must have though that I was a paparrazzo, so has she stopped and look at me, I Iooked at her and thought, I know her, but I can't recall her name or where from? Is she an old enemy or an old friend? Should I salute nicely, or give her hugh or even a kiss?
    It lasted for a short while but long enough to start to be on the edge of uncomfortable. Then she turn away, must have think that this paparazzi was real dumb... And one of my mates that was there with me grabbed my arm and shouted to me: Man are you mad or what? You have Paris Hilton standing there just looking at you, and you stay there poker faced and don't even acknowledge?
    I didn't even know that she was in Australia at the time...
    They still make fun of me about it...

    And yes that is very kind to take your friend where ever he wanted to go, very nice present.

    Have a good day.

  13. I think its safe to say that you made up for being "broke" around his special day for the past decade. It looks and sounds like it was a great time. If they gave out best friend gold stars, you would definitely be rocking one.

  14. Glad you guys experienced Vegas and I have to say I agree with you on the 'might not make it back'.

    I've only been out there once, it was fun, but I think we're done there. :)

    Why no Tom Coliccho's?

  15. My Hubby and I have always wanted to go to Vegas! We almost did for our first anniversary, but decided not to cause I wasn't 21 yet and it probably wouldn't have been very fun lol

  16. One day soon somebody will see you then walk the other way because they can't talk to famous people. How spooky will that be? If you see it you should run after them. That could be funny, a celebrity chasing a fan. Sorry the image just popped into my head. Might see that with old Charlie Sheen if it hasn't already happened. Glad you had a good time.

  17. I've never been to Vegas, would love to go someday. Your pics look like you had a fantastic time. I think that is cool that Copperfield thought Eric was Zack! He must've loved that. Have a great week.

  18. Eric was wearing THE perfect T-shirt for Las Vegas. I'm not sure if it did any good, but every little bit helps. ;-)

  19. I truly love everything about this post. I love the friendship you & Eric have, very cool. I was thinking the other day that we need a title for the guy-girl friendship. Girls have 'girlfriends', which is understood to be non-romantic, and guys have bromance. We need something for the guy-girl friendship as well. Will ponder this seriously.

  20. HA! That's so funny, my husband gets stopped all of the time by people because they think he looks like zack galifinakis too!!

  21. "I loved you in The Hangover!" I think I peed a little!

  22. I've been to Vegas 3 times and can't get enough. Did you see the free pirate show at Treasure Island? Also the water fountain light show at the Bellagio are a sight.

    Every time I go, I buy out the Coca-Cola store. My goal is to have a room filled with Coca-Cola paraphernalia.

  23. All of the cab drivers in Vegas will try and kill you. I think they get extra points if they can commit manslaughter without hitting anything.

  24. The secret to Vegas is to go for like five days, and plan your whole trip around what shows you want to see.

    My parents go there all the time, and they've seen... I was going to say everything, but that's not true. A lot.

    It's basically like going to Broadway but with more magic and gambling.

  25. I've only stopped in Vegas for a layover, but it looks awesome. Certainly a better skyline than the IDS Center, the Capella Tower, and the Wells Fargo Center, though I do miss Minneapolis, too.

  26. Former Vegas HomeownerApril 4, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    I saw the MGM Copperfield show about 3 years ago with my sister and her kids and we all had the same reaction:


    And not a good, i.e., "magically mystified" WTF, either.

    The show barely lasted 90 minutes, and 30 minutes of that was vapid videotape (history, publicity, setting the lengthy and overblown backstory for a trick, etc.). Worst of all, however, was that the formerly charismatic Copperfield himself seemed to be sleepwalking through his entire routine.

    All this for only $100/ticket.

    Plus tip.

    Minus the personal touch with Eric/Zach, was your show experience any better?

  27. I hope David Copperfield was kidding when he referred to Eric as Zach Galifikadksiafalkasis...!

  28. Sounds like a great trip.

    FYI: My birthday's in December ...

  29. I don't think that was an MJ impersonator. Pretty sure that was the real thing reanimated. So it has begun. I must round up my siphon kit and survival pack before it's too late. I pray for you all...

    Btw, too bad no one ended up with a Mike Tyson tat on their face!

  30. *lol* I love that people spot a famous person and think 'now how/where do I know them from... school?...Work?' I'd probably just trundle on by them totally oblivious. My biggest *squee* moment was last week when Sara Rue messaged me on twitter and said she'd read my book! I run around super excited telling peoples and instead get blank looks from my family & friends..'who's Sara Rue?' .. way to kill a girl's buzz *lol*
    The Arrival, Book 1 of the BirthRight trilogy available now

  31. Amanda-First, just started reading the Trylle trilogy...totally hooked.
    Second, my husband and I got married in Vegas in October, IF you ever do go back, you MUST eat at CraftSteak. That was our wedding night dinner and it was life changing.

  32. AAAHHHH! I wish you were at Vegas earlier because I was there on Sunday-Tuesday and I could have possibly seen you there! Oh well...c'est la vie.

  33. You're a good friend. I don't usually have money to buy friends gifts either.

  34. This is way too awesome! Good for you! And good to hang out and relax with some friends. Also, I swear when you had the caption "Saw some old friends" that you were friends with a Michael Jackson impersonator.

    Which honestly would have jacked your cool points to like 11.
    Still, you are definitely hanging out at a close 9.

    Continue to rock on, and can't wait for the Carrie book.

  35. What, you were in Vegas and didn't call!!!!!

    Just kidding! Glad you had fun!


  36. you remind me of a vampire every time i see you! hahaha

    it's a good thing (:

  37. HI Amanda—I went to Las Vegas March 2010 and I couldn’t agree more with you…it’s reasonable to visit, but it’s really a mucky, gritty city now. People everywhere, pure sensory overload. To see the iconic buildings is reasonable (we stayed at the Venetian), and the shows we saw were wicked steamy fun—Beatle’s Love, Blue Man Group, Mac King Comedy, Nathan Burton Magic, and the absolute best show: Penn and Teller at Rio. But aside from the shows, I found it to be a dirty, street drinking, spring breaking hole.

    But we did fly with Joan Rivers, and she was friendly and kind to all.

    Love those candid photos of you and your friends. Gracias.

  38. P.S. You likely noticed, Konrath and Barry Eisler are basically saying you sold out when you took the traditional book deal on his blog today. But I chimed in a couple of posts on your behalf (if you can even see my posts with all the chatter on there all the time).

  39. Vegas without Manilow...Hope I never have to do that.

  40. I haven't read your books (yet!) but I think you're pretty amazing for doing what so many of us have always imagined doing - treating a good friend well when you can. You're the kind of friend that people cherish when they find them. One who shares her good fortune with those who have been there for them. Thanks for posting this Amanda - it's one of those "restoring faith in humanity" reads for me. It's good to know that financial success hasn't changed you. Kudos!

  41. great time with great friend too...
    it's really interesting to have a time to relax.

  42. Sounds like you had a really good time. I'm jealous, I've never been to Vegas (never had a reason living so close to AC). Love your pics.

  43. Smile girl, you are pretty, and I'm sure you'd be even prettier with a smile. Sorry I think this every time you post an article with a pic in it.