- I can name everyone here
I honestly don’t even know where to begin. People have asked, how was Vegas? But in all honesty, amazing/one of the best weekends of my life/fantastic/incredible/magical/ etc. just doesn’t even begin to cut it. There is no way I can give justice to the weekend that was, in one word, EPIC. I can write all I want, but it will never come close to giving it or the people who attended, all the proper praise it deserves. Lets just say, I have been to Vegas a few times but never have Done Vegas. Until now.
For those of you who are new to my blog (Welcome!), don’t follow me on Twitter (slacker, follow me!), or who do follow me and saw a multitude of crazy tweets, you are probably wondering what is this epic weekend I speak of. Well, this past weekend I was in Vegas for a kick-ass blogger meet-up called Bloggers in Sin City (aka #BiSC). I say meet-up and not convention because this isn’t your typical gathering. There are no panels or seminars, just a group of mostly 20something bloggers who wanted to meet some of their online friends IRL. The weekend was filled with inside jokes, craziness, and drunkenness, bonding and being VIP for a weekend.
When I signed up back in March, I debated if I should go. Did I really want to go to a bloggers convention when I just started blogging only a couple months prior? What if I didn’t fit in? What if everyone was a lush and hard-core partygoers? (Yes, I wrongly thought everyone needed alcohol to have fun judging by the registration page). What about the fact that I knew absolutely no one going? That’s right, I traveled alone, across the country, to meet a group of 56 complete strangers from the Internet. None of whom I had ever met in real life before and only talked to minimally on Twitter. This was totally out of my comfort zone, but as they say in Vegas, there is no reward without taking some risk. When I told people I was going to BiSC, I usually got the same reaction: a squinted face of disapproval, clearly thinking, a blogger’s convention, really?? And you don’t know anyone? You must be a bigger dork than I thought. Or wow, that’s crazy and gutsy. To that I say, “this dork had a life changing weekend, bonded hard core, was a VIP for a weekend, made new friendships, and laughed so hard I literally cried. How was your weekend?”
No, this is not your ordinary group of people. This wasn’t just any old trip to Vegas and these aren’t just any old Internet friends. This was a group of 51 girls and 6 guys from all across America (and Canada too!) comprised of the warmest, welcoming, supportive, funny, and down to earth group of people there is. It is absolutely incredible that we created strong bonds and friendships that feel as if we have known each other for years; when if fact, it was only a weekend. Whereas some friendships are convenient because you live within close proximity to each other, these are relationships that because we are scattered across the country, we are choosing to continue.
When we registered, we were asked to share five things we wanted other attendees to know about us. Here is one of mine:
3. People never spell my name right or seem to remember the right name. I have been called Carly, Carolyn, Erin, Carol, Kristin, etc. just about anything but Caryn. It is the same name as Karen, just spelled different. Not pronounced Car – In. I’ve gotten used to being that girl that no one remembers her name.
Yes, I have gotten used to being that girl that no one remembers her name. Usually when I am in a large group of people, I get shy, feel invisible and not memorable because I don’t have a loud personality. All my life, I felt like something was missing and never quite felt as if I had that core group of friends that you see on Friends and Sex and the City. But this group of 56 other Bloggers made me feel as if I belonged. I never once felt invisible. People were determined to not only remember my name, but my twitter handle too! These Bloggers are no longer just names or web pages on the Internet; they are real, genuine and loving and now they’re IRL friends.
All within one weekend, we came together to mourn a loss and celebrated an impromptu Bachelorette party. I’m not going to lie; I developed some massive girl crushes, kind of like friend-love at first sight. I am afraid I am going to wake up and realize it was all a dream.I am sad that there were only two of us from Chicago because I wish I could see everyone more often. Once a year is just not going to cut it.
No, this is a special group that cannot be matched. I went to Vegas not knowing a soul when I arrived, but left with family. Nico says it best in his vlog (watch it here) “Instead of feeling people out and starting from scratch, a lot of these friendships just hit the ground running…with nerdy like minded individuals…”
So why was this weekend epic, besides for the amazing people? Thanks to Nicole who planned a flawless weekend, there was never a dull moment. Even lying at the pool, there was never a dull moment. Bob and I concluded, “On a scale of one to Ape-Shit, this is Gorilla-Shit.”
It was cheaper to come in a day early, so I arrived Wednesday. When I finally arrived at the Flamingo Hotel room, I took a deep breath before I knocked on the door. I knew that once I knocked, the weekend would begin, there would be no turning back. I had no idea just what I had gotten myself into and just how many memories and friendships were waiting on the other side of the door.
Here are some of the highlights of the Mega-Awesome-Epic-VIP-weekend: I really wish I wrote down some of the quotes people said…
- Upon check-in, we received a bag full of goodies from our Sponsors and our VIP badge. Check out Nico’s video to our sponsors.
- The hotel room at @Flamingovegas had a TV in the bathroom mirror. GENIUS!
- Mingle and meet during a VIP open bar sponsored by Sin City Brewing Company at the Flamingo Hotel where Molly (@stratejoy) hosted Blogger Bingo. We were immediately forced to get to know each other by asking crazy questions, doing crazy things like sharing our celebrity crushes, running down the hallway, and taking bathroom photos. I was really excited/anxious to meet some of my blogger heroes, (Molly, Jenny, Grace, and Doniree) as well as the people I had talked to online.
- We received VIP poolside treatment both Friday and Saturday. We got to skip the line and go straight to our four free reserved daybeds and pool chairs. Thanks to Suki and our sponsor @Clevergirlscoll we had free delicious frozen mojito drinks for all to share.
- Our own Amber attempted the limbo contest.
- Participated in some rather wild and hilarious Tweet-To-Win competitions by the pool.
- Rapper Baby Bash gave an impromptu performance at our hotel pool while Mikael shook her rump in the booty contest. (You were #1 in my book!)
- Met a Canadian guy who claimed to be a Rocket Scientist. Because this sounded more like a Barney Stintson trick, we Googled the information on his business card. It was either a lot of work to get laid or quite awesome. I admit, I do believe this guy.
- I devoured the best steak I’ve possibly ever had at Mon Ami Gabi while conversing with a group of 10 of the best and sweetest girls around.
- We were VIP at the happy hour sponsored by @TheSugarFactory Chocolate Lounge at Paris Hotel. Literally, we were kids in a candy store – with amazing fondue and drinks called Sexual Chocolate.
- Attended Absinthe at Caesars Palace. If you see anything in Vegas, see this show. This was a jaw dropping, potential heart attack inducing, mind blowing, spectacle that showcased strength, balance, rock hard abs, nipple pasties and adult humor. Here are two clips here and here of the show for your viewing pleasure. Photo below is the world’s best keg stand and yes they are all on a tight rope.
- More VIP treatment at Chateau Nightclub at Paris Hotel (@ChateauLV). We got to skip the line, pass go and collect $200. Well not really collect money, but we sure felt like we hit the jackpot. We got a table outside (do you know how valuable a table is at a Nightclub? Not only is it $500 per table but you can sit down!?!)We also got FREE bottle service with not one, but two bottles of Skyy Vodka (coincidentally one of our sponsors!) We danced the night away under the gorgeous night sky. I don’t do clubs and I had a blast. Being outside helped!
- Where else but in Vegas do you take a Stripper 101 class with three other bloggers? My group was probably the least sexy and coordinated group of girls but it was still fun!
- Enjoyed 1/2 Price Happy Hour and an impromptu Bachelorette party for Kaci. Her surprised reaction was priceless and it touched everyone immensely. We all cried a few tears out of sheer joy and love. Talk about epic parties, she had 56 people in Vegas for her Bachelorette. That is one for the record books.
- Everyone dressed up to the nines for the Black White and Gold themed party. We felt like celebrities for the night when we flashed our VIP badge and budged everyone in line at PURE Nightclub. No entrance fee, no waiting in line to enter or to get drinks, and we got to rock out on the dance floor on our own before others were let in.
- Danced the night away at PURE Nightclub while Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas deejayed until I couldn’t feel my toes. Actually, that’s a lie. I danced until my toes hurt so bad from my heels, it felt like needles were stabbing me. I nearly had to crawl home.
- Hugged friends goodbye who in a matter of days became family at the VIP Breakfast Buffet on Sunday morning.
- I taught Tiffany how to play Blackjack. Oops! I created a Blackjack Beast! At least we both walked away up!
- Laughed so hard I couldn’t stop crying and thought I might pee in my pants with Maxie, Molly, Terra and Tiffany. These ladies will forever be in my heart. Between the sneaky snake dance, the contents of Terra’s purse, the obnoxiously loud music and movie clips playing at the restaurant and all the crazy shenanigans and hilarity that ensued, I will never forget that Sunday. It could quite possibly be forever known as the funniest, most entertaining day of my life. I don’t remember the last time I laughed so hard I cried, but that day, I couldn’t stop crying.
- Left my heart and voice in Vegas – all in the name of an epic weekend.
- The great thing about BiSC is that it is TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE to sit around a table with your phones out. While we looked anti-social, more likely than not, we were on Twitter talking to other attendees anyways.
I originally wanted to change my flight to leave earlier because I was scheduled to be the last one to leave town at 530p Monday but it turned out that the extra day of playing Blackjack and lying by the pool was exactly what the Dr. ordered. I was able to relax a little after the busy weekend before heading back to reality.
I used to think that four days in Vegas way too long, and usually it is. However, after this particular weekend, it wasn’t long enough. I came home on cloud-9 and was the happiest I have been in a long time. I felt optimistic, giddy, and as if nothing could bring me down. I was genuinely glowing with happiness.
I need to thank Nicole, the girl who organized this whole thing. Without you wanting to celebrate your birthday three years ago, this wouldn’t be an event. Without you, I wouldn’t have met some of the best people in the world. Thank you for creating this amazing weekend.
And a ginormous THANK YOU to all of our amazing sponsors who helped make this weekend possible and as special as it was: the beautiful Flamingo Hotel & Casino, Shatterboxx, Absinthe, Babeland, Hair Flairs, Sprayology (this thing is a hangover miracle), SKYY Vodka, Think Geek, BuildASign.com, Vita CoCo, Swiss Maid Fudge, nuNAAT, USA Pears, Sir Richard’s Condom Company, Pop Chips, Urban Therapy Twisted Sista, David Saxe Production, and Pink Kisses.
Talking on twitter means so much more now that I know who is on the other side of the handle. And now that I know everyone, I am totally going to go stalk the original sign up list again….
I don’t think I’ll ever have this kind of VIP experience again. Things like this just don’t happen to me. But it did. And it was unforgettable.
Cheers to meeting
strangers life long friends on the Internet in Vegas!