Sitting on a tan love couch situated in the centre of an empty room with nothing but a mini bar surrounded by a few white doors. The walls are white and empty, but the room is crowded with music-deaf drunk young adults; women’s stiletto heels sinking into the hotel carpet, pulling down their mini dresses over their behinds to prevent from flashing anymore skin. Males swaying holding a beer in one hand and a juul in another.
Blonde Paulina in a pink dress whispers the names of YouTubers, DJs and singers I am obviously unfamiliar with. Smiling and nodding I continue drinking as I watch the guests involved in their conversations. While assessing the events that brought us to this moment, I realize I have no idea how I actually got here.
Rewind about 3 days prior to poker party in a hotel room with a group of men surrounding a dark varnished oak table, a giant Doberman angrily sleeping on the couches parallel to the game, and a stack of jars full of bud perched up next to a $1000 German Illadelph.
I had just flown in to Beverly Hills California that afternoon from Toronto Canada to visit a friend. I had met Andrew previously at a holiday island in Greece that I had been going to since I was a child. Him recently moving from London England to Los-Angeles gave me the advantage of finding some solace after exam season.
I found myself that evening having the pleasure to meet the many eccentric characters Andrew had met in LA. Amongst one of the guests was David, a friend of Andrews and employee of his father. Having no particular plans while in LA, David offered for Andrew, my friend Paulina (who was due to arrive the following afternoon), and I to visit the house he was staying at in Vegas. He warned me that, not only would the flight tickets only cost around $100 each way, we would also be staying in the apparent second biggest home in Las-Vegas Nevada – without charge… I obviously couldn’t turn down such an offer, and we set the dates.
Fast foreword to the night before the trip. Just the day before I had met Paulina for the first time; a blue eyed, blonde haired petite girl, pale as snow and lips as pink as cotton candy. She and I had a mutual friend named Maja whom was supposed to come along with two more girls. Due to some cancellations, Paulina was the only one left of the group, and decided to join me despite not being previously acquainted.
We decided to make the best of our stay and go out, knowing we weren’t planning to take off till the next day at 2:45pm. The previous evening David gave me a call advising us that he was able to get $300 off of tickets from a Jet company called JetSuites, meaning that each of the three of us would only have to pay 75$ to get onto a Jet to Vegas. Moreover, we were told that the evening upon our arrival we would either be going to see EDM DJ Kygo or Marshmellow (Paulina was very excited – I’m more of a Rap fan myself). That night we didn’t sleep till 6am – someone at the club ended up punching BB, a friend of Andrews, in the bathroom of the club… he ended up getting stitches. Moreover, another of his friends ended up talking our ear off on what he said was white but I’m sure was speed (at the rate that he was apparently speaking in).
At 11am I woke up and proceeded with my usual routine – run, workout, and steam (I happened to also be braving a sty in my eye, probably due to the stress of the exams that took place before the trip). We had breakfast, packed, and by 2pm took off towards the JetSuite airport. After checking-in we were led to the lounge area where we were able to drink our 4/5 hour sleep away with coffee and sugared snacks.
“Attention all passengers—the 12:45 flight to Vegas will be departing in 15 min, thank you for your patience” a voice blares from the speakers.
My watch reads “2:15”, I look at Paulina who in turn looks at me.
“Did they just say the 12:15 flight?” she asks.
“Yeah I think so…” we look puzzled.
Again, “attention all passengers – both flights to Vegas will now be boarding, thank you for your patience” it blares.
We grabbed our bags from the lounge and headed over to the boarding station where we were filed into two separate lines. Groups of excited people feeling the relief, climbed the stairs and walked to their destined seats on the jet. Rows of two on the left and one on the right lined the plane’s corners. A short skinny hallway between the rows led to a bathroom. The walls of the plane were marbled and the seats mauve leather. We sat down and patiently awaited our departure.
“Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking and welcoming you on board of JetSuites”, a passive clap could be heard throughout the relieved passengers. “Unfortunately we have experienced a minor inconvenience with the door and are having issues closing it. We will attempt to fix it on the go and get you in the air as soon as possible”.
We were left to sit for 30 min in a hot condensed plane with no refreshments. A few minutes later the captain made a second announcement “Hello ladies and gentleman, this is your captain speaking. On behalf of JetSuites we apologize for the inconvenience this wait has caused anyone, but we have decided it be safer not to take off using this plane. We kindly ask you to disembark the plane and re-embark on the plane that has just recently landed”.
We proceeded to be filed off the first plane and into the second plane. My clock read 3:30pm, but who could complain, considering we basically got these tickets for free.
Aboard the second plane was the stench of the last crew’s dump that was not given the chance to air out before our arrival. Within a few minutes of us re-embarking the captain was heard for the third time, letting us know of a paper-issue they were having, and were making sure that everyone was on the correct plane before take off. After the announcement Andrew, who was sitting behind me with his black sunglasses hiding half of his upper face, poked my shoulder.
“Would it be really bad if I didn’t come to Vegas?” He says with his British accent.
“What?” I asked in shock “Why not? What’s going on?”
“I just forgot my sleeping pills and I have a dreadful fear of flying, and the whole ordeal with the door and the paper work and it smells like shit in here…. I don’t know If I can do this… would you be cool if I just left?” He chuckles nervously.
“You brave 8 hour flights to Greece and England but you can’t do 30 min to Vegas? Common! Drink up once the plane is in the air and you’ll be fine”.
The wheels started turning, and we were finally making our way down the airport Runway.
The trip was the shortest flight I have ever been on. By the time the flight attendant gave out the drink orders, he was making his way back up the aisle with a garbage bag collecting the half empty bottles he had just recently handed out. I chugged my miniature wine bottle and snacked on the pretzles. I happened to notice the group next to us; a man with died blonde hair, a red leather jacket with black-french nails, sitting next to a chubbier man with earrings up both his ears, who also happened to notice the fast-service received on the long awaited plane ride. Despite the short-lived possibility of drinking alcohol, the scenery towards Vegas was incredible.
“You were right” Andrew could be heard from behind me “The alcohol helped a lot!” I chuckled.
We finally landed and were met by David at the entrance. Due to our now 6:30pm arrival (two hours later than our original eta), we were only able to enjoy a Lunch/Dinner within one of the Casino-Malls. By the time we arrived to the Mansion (it truly was the second biggest house in Vegas), where we met home-owner Stephan and his lovely girlfriend Taylor, we had only the chance to change, apply makeup and latch on our shoes. We quickly filed out of the house in our dresses and heels, and made our way to the club.
Being my first time in Vegas, I was very careful to admire the scenery. Skipping the line outside the club, that looked at least three-hours long, we made our way upstairs into an open balcony area lined with apartment-style booth. Ours was located directly over the outdoor pool where partiers enjoyed a night swim and a clear view of the DJ stand where Kygo was meant to play. The booth had a long velvet red couch at the end of it, a TV on the left and a mini bar on the right. Dividing the roofed area between the “patio” were two red velvet heavy curtains with braided golden rims, tied open. On the patio were two vine-type fences that allowed for privacy from other booths. At the bottom were white leather couches, which we took advantage of for some Instagram shots. Female bartenders in cheetah-printed thong bikinis walked around the patio with orders to serve each booth.
Kygo wasn’t meant to play till 1am, and although we got there at around 10pm, time seemed to fly by. Upon Kygo’s arrival, Paulina, Andrew, David and I head downstairs to the dance floor in front of the DJ stand to get a better view. By the time we arrived downstairs the crowd was packed shoulder to shoulder. Me being small (and tactful), I grabbed Paulina and made my way down to the railing standing between the crowd the VIP area that surrounded the heightened stage.
“Excuse me, sorry my friends are just over there” I said to each growl I received from frustrated partiers being nudged by my tiny feminine hands. “Sorry” I said forgivingly, flashing a smile. Sometimes being Canadian comes in handy.
We finally arrived to the divider, giving us a great view of the VIP booths and Kygo.
By this point I was already pretty tipsy. Because I don’t like drinking all that much, once I get tipsy I enjoy giving myself obstacles to pass. Analyzing the VIP area, I realized there was probably little chance of Paulina and I getting in. Women in little black dresses, fake boobs, plumped lips and huge butts were dancing on the couches and tables in the area I was scouting. Despite my disinterest in EDM and ignorance of Kygo, I enjoyed projecting Paulina’s meeting with Kygo and proceeded to curling my short straight hair around my finger, slowly swaying side to side looking around the VIP area. A few feet in front of me was a tall black male in a black baseball hat and black t-shirt. I had noticed him earlier because I could smell the marijuana being steamed by his vape pen. He had caught my eye as I was gazing because he seemed to be pointing directly at where Paulina and I were standing. I quickly looked around to make sure he was truly pointing at me. I think I even pointed at myself in disbelief and mouthed the question “me?”. He nodded and told us to go around towards the entrance.
“Paulina, Paulina” I quickly turned around and shook the blonde in a mini pink dress“Lets go”.
“What?” She asked puzzled.
“The guy” I pointed at the mans location “He told us to go around to VIP! Let’s go” I said again.
I honestly was in disbelief. I was ready for the whole ordeal to blow up in my face. “Don’t want it too much”, I thought in my head. Something about wanting something too much always seems to project a sense of desperation that seems to turn the universe against me.
We reached the entrance and the security guard, a big black man three times my size both width and height, shook his head and informed us that they had reached capacity. We pleaded and pointed at the man in the booth, but the security stood his ground. The man who had invited us whispered something into the guard’s ear and we were clear to go. I was ready for that to be the blow. It seemed that the stars that night had aligned in our favour.
Could it be that we were really here? Amongst the many beautiful women in the crowd we were the two who were chosen? I was confused and baffled and ready for something to go wrong and for the night to end early.
“Look, Maya Kygo is picking girls to go up on the stage!” Paulina whispered in my ear. It was true, just on the other side girls in sparkly unitards and colourful dresses were being pulled up from the opposite direction, onto the stage with the DJ and his crew.
“Lets go then! Let’s get you up there!” I said drunkenly.
Again, although there was hope, I was also very ready to not achieve my goal, but despite all that, I enjoyed having something to do other than continuing drinking…. Something more interesting and stimulating.
I led Paulina hand-in-hand to the stairs that led to the DJ stand. Amongst us were probably close to 30 women from the VIP area only, standing around, curling their hair with their finger, and looking up drooling hoping to be the next ones called on. “Make conversation” I thought “Find connections”. My goal was honed in.
At a certain point a blonde man with a red leather jacket took the stage with a microphone and sang to Kygo’s tracks. Once he came back down and retired to his booth, I proceeded to approach him, Paulina following close behind.
“Show me your nails” I commanded.
“Excuse me?” said the blonde man, eyes outlined with a thick coat of eyeliner that popped out the blue of his eyes.
“Sorry. Show me your nails” I asked calmly reaching out to his hand.
“I knew it! We were sitting next to each other on the JetSuites plane that fucked up this afternoon” I laugh. His nails were French-manicured in black.
“Oh yeah I remember you” He said. We exchanged information and continued a short chat. Me and Paulina proceeded to dive back to the swarm of girls. Losing track of time but knowing that it must have been late for the club was emptying out, I started to lose hope. Having time to spare we continued to dance around despite Kygo retiring off stage.
“Listen, if they call you up there, don’t you dare try to get me in if it means you wont be able to okay? Because I don’t care about Kygo and, like, you do! So don’t you dare because we just wasted so much time so if you don’t go up there ill kill you okay?” I whispered into Paulina’s ear.
The truth was that out of all the people in the crowd, me and Paulina were two petite girls with small assets and innocent looking faces. We were surrounded by Instagram-model looking women, I would have been really surprised if they called on either of us, but, at least Paulina is blonde, I thought.
There was probably two more minutes before last call when someone tapped on our shoulder and gestured us to follow him up to the DJ stand.
The rest happened so fast I barely remember it. At one point I’m looking out assessing the girls in the crowd and the emptying club. The next I’m watching my steps as I walk up black stairs in stiletto heels, without assistance of a railing. Up on the DJ stand I realized it was smaller than it looked as we walked around crammed in circles making small talk with whomever was present. Flashing lights in our faces made it hard to concentrate. It definitely made me feel more drunk than I was, as I was then dragged down the stairs and through the garden of the attached hotel in a daze. There was an elevator that’s for sure, and many conversations and people talking, lights and scenery it was very much overwhelming. We finally arrived to two beige doors which opened to a hotel room. The room opened to windows that overlooked the club, two beige loveseats and a coffee table in the center, a bar on the right and a DJ table on the left. Surrounding the living area were a few white doors leading to separate bedrooms.
“Omg, Maya its Kygo” Paulina tugged on my arm and whispered into my ear through gritted teeth.
“Huh? What, where?”
“Behind the bar” She pointed with her gaze.
Honestly all I remember is a man in a baseball hat with a white oversized t-shirt. I think his hat was green. I remember him ginger…. That might be a misconstrued memory though.
Long-legged models with noses up in the air and duck lips stood around looking like Swans, posed and quiet. Men stumbling around trying to make conversation with women, people rushing in and out of the washroom and Kygo making drinks in the corner.
While assessing the events that brought us to this moment, I realize I have no idea how I actually got here.
The next morning following a measly 3-hour nap, Paulina, Andrew and I rented a car which I drove 4 hours non-stop to Beverly Hills. Surprisingly I was feeling beyond great as I admired the dessert scene being washed away by a tsunami-like rain storm. Grey clouds filled the sky, allowing for rays of sunshine to peep through occasionally.
All in all LA was a short but eventfully fun trip; I touched the Pacific Ocean for the first time in my life, I learnt not to fret about uneven eyebrows for they’re “sisters not twins” (a saying Paulina taught me), we partied with Kygo, gambled, witnessed some fights, smoked some legal ganja, took Instagram photos and vlogging content, met some kick ass people, barely slept, gained hella weight from drinking alcohol, and learnt that Vegas is in Nevada not California, despite both the ‘Las’ in the names of their cities.