Well, it’s time for one of my infrequent departures from race reporting to bring you a slice of my life outside of the ActiveSteve personna. As the title implies, and as most of you are no doubt aware, I’m engaged to be wed later this year. As a result, my good friends were of course keen to have a bachelor party for me. Given my rather hectic race and training schedules in the summer, I had requested this happen on my ‘off-season’, which is really only a few weeks in March/April :-). Luckily, this timing worked for everyone else as well, and plans were hatched to fly down to Las Vegas for an extended weekend in Sin City. Yes, I know what they say, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but who actually believes that any more? I will obviously gloss over the gory details, but will give you an idea of how it all unrolled. And yes, there *are* pictures to check out. Now read on for the Reader’s Digest version of the extended party.
Some of the ‘Shareable’ Pics
There are some advantages to getting married a little later in life. The bachelor party options are probably one of those. Given everyone’s status in life, people tend to be a little more comfortable in spending a bit of money to head out of town. Although I would have been completely happy to stay in town and have a single crazy night, the consensus from the guys was that they wanted to leave town. With growing families and responsibilities, everyone seemed quite keen to just get away for a few days. Our original thought had been either Austin or New Orleans, but after some digging and pricing, we decided Vegas was probably the easiest solution. It also helped that one of our good buddies from years gone by lives there now!
Once the venue was selected, we did our best to get as many people onboard as we could. In the end, there were 9 of us, and I can assure you that things would have only gotten more complicated with more than that. Even at 9 people, there was a lot of ‘kitten herding’ going on. After all, everyone was at different levels of sobriety and had different ideas of what we should be doing at any given time. Eating, gambling, hanging poolside, drinking, catching a show, or just wandering the strip aimlessly were all viable options 24/7 while down there!
Ironically, much like a race, just getting there proved to be a bit of a challenge for some. Ontario was hit by a very late-season snowstorm, which looked like it may wreak havoc on some of the flight routings through Toronto. Three of us were booked on a 9am direct flight from Ottawa, which was not impacted at all. We also convinced Kev to re-book his afternoon flight (which was supposed to go through Toronto) to join us, just to be safe. 2 others were already in town for a conference / poker tournament, and of course Troy lives in Vegas. That left only my best man Matt, and Dave. Matt made it unscathed on Thursday night late. Sadly, poor Dave spent a VERY long day Friday making his way to join us! Luckily he made up for it by partying hard on Saturday 😉
As far as activities go, we had no real plan going into the weekend. As you can imagine, most of the time was spent just wandering around, hitting some casinos, enjoying bad food and tasty drinks. Probably the best part of the whole weekend was the fact that we were able to both start and end the weekend away from the madness of the strip at our buddy Troy’s house. There, he has a great pool and hot tub in his backyard, the perfect place to relax with a beer in hand and enjoy the warm southern sun. And boy, was it sunny! We had 4 days of perfect weather. Sunny skies and temperatures between 24 and 30 degrees Celsius. I had great intentions of running every day, but ended up only making it out once for a run and to hit the gym. An extended bachelor party simply isn’t conducive to training! Kev can further attest to this.
As far as lodgings on the strip, we split into two different resorts. We had a giant suite at the Elara (behind Planet Hollywood), which was perfect for congregating. We also had a room booked at the MGM Grand, so that we’d have access to the amazing pool there. We spent two of our afternoons just hanging out by the lazy river and watching the world go by as a group. It was awesome. We also managed a couple good meals out as a group too. Once to the fun Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas, where it’s Oktoberfest all year! That same night, we also made it to the Double Down Saloon, a place I’ve always wanted to check out. Another night, we headed out for a carnivore’s delight at the Samba Brazilian Steakhouse at the Mirage. All the meat you can eat, served non-stop on giant skewers! Awesome!
I’d like to thank all the guys once again for making it out to Vegas with me to celebrate the end of my ‘bachelor life’. As Deanna knows, I have no reservations about this life change! Truth be told, I’m pretty sure I’ve been bachelor’d out for quite some time, but who doesn’t like an excuse to party with no regrets for 4 days? I kept up my end of the bargain by having a beer in hand pretty much the moment we landed (headed straight to airport bar), to the moment we left (I had a beer in a paper cup at the gate while waiting to board!). However, I’m also happy to report that thanks to our collective ‘maturity’ I was never forced to endure embarrassing bachelor party traditions, but instead just encouraged to have a good time. That’s not to say I didn’t sleep with 1 eye open just in case though! And of course, thanks for the good memories that I’ll keep to myself for years to come 😉 I definitely have the best friends in the world, and consider them all part of my family.
With that out of the way, it’s time to focus on the race season now. The season officially starts this coming weekend, May 5th, in Huntsville, at the 8 hour Frontier Adventure Challenge, which I’ll be racing solo and reporting on. Let the fun continue…