Happy reading everyone!
Las Vegas is one of my favorite cities to visit despite it being in the desert. I love the atmosphere of the big hotels, casinos, and endless selections of entertainment. After the 2011 Backstreet Boys Cruise I didn't know when I'd be able to see any of them again. I was so used to having an event to look forward to.
I didn't realize so soon after the cruise that it wouldn't be long till my next Backstreet Boys related event. Nick Carter's official website had listed some of his solo tour dates. One of them was in Las Vegas on January 28th, 2012. There weren't much details other than it was labeled as a "private Hang With The Band" event.
A fan on Nick's website had called to inquire about the event and was told it wasn't an official show. I was a bit disappointed because I really wanted to see Nick's solo show. A few days later the exact details of the show were revealed through hangwiththeband.com. The event with Nick would only be for 22 fans who bid a minimum of $1,501.00 for a spot.
I immediately objected the thought of bidding such a high amount on Nick. For that much money I thought he better give me a "happy ending" at the end of the event. However, the thought of wanting to see him solo nagged in my mind. It was the only west coast related date. The rest of his tour was focused on the east coast and midwest.
For a few days I thought long and hard about attending Nick's birthday event. What helped me decide to bid was that there were only 22 fans who would participate. I liked the idea of being part of a small group seeing Nick.
Plus the price included hotel, transportation between events, food, meeting Nick, an acoustic show, and VIP access to Nick's party at Vanity night club. I figured I'd bid and if I was in the top 22 great and if I wasn't then it wouldn't be a big deal.
When bidding opened, I placed my bid. My initial rank was #6 but I eventually fell down to #15. I honestly could have bid more but I gave myself a bid limit and stuck to it. I do kind of regret not trying to bid a wee bit higher because the top 12 got the bonus of having lunch with Nick. Since I was ranked #15 I didn't get that.
I would share exactly what I bid but I found out later that in the contract I agreed to that I'm not supposed to disclose the amount I paid. I don't want to get in trouble. I would like to point out my bid was the least out of everyone since I was #15. Even though there were 17 fans total the 2 fans who were #16 and #17 paid a fixed price that was higher than my bid.
Hang With The Band is a new company and Nick is the first celebrity to participate. I knew the other fans and I would serve as guinea pigs and establish a foundation for future events.
Through Twitter I met fellow bidder Jenny from Detroit. She was the only fan on my Twitter timeline who reached out to me to let me know she also bid for a spot in Vegas. It seemed not many other fans were attempting to bid which I honestly preferred because I didn't want much competition during bidding.
I flew with Southwest airlines because they offered the cheapest airfare. I also had a $10 off coupon for a round trip booking which I used. On the plane ride to Vegas I sat next to a woman who wasn't a fan of flying. She eventually tells me that she's going to Vegas to get married later that day. I thought her story was interesting and it gave me hope that I will eventually find love.
She was already in her early 40's and she had been married before but got a divorce 4 months after being married. She said 2 weeks before on Facebook her ex-boyfriend from around her high school days contacted her. They began talking online and they met in person and there was still a spark. She said he was her first everything. She said he was her first love.
He proposed to her and they decided to get married in Vegas. She had said her first wedding cost over $10,000 and even had a horse and carriage. For this marriage she and her fiance wanted to stay low key. I had a hunch they were eloping since they were doing everything fast and in Vegas.
She just seemed so gushy and in love at 40+. It gave me hope that I still have time to fall in love since I'm still 26.
I waited for Jenny at the Las Vegas airport. It was around noon when I arrived. I wasn't in a rush to go to the hotel since our scheduled orientation was for around 5:00 PM. I killed some time eating at the airport's Burger King. I saw an important looking business man eating a salad from Burger King and he looked like he was enjoying it. I decided to order a salad too and it was good!
After I ate, I went to baggage claim to hopefully find Jenny. I was very impressed that from far away she spotted me and we had never met in person before. She was with two other fans Brandy and Adrienne. The four of us took a taxi to the Hard Rock Hotel which is off the Las Vegas strip.
The line to get a taxi was insane! It was like a labyrinth. It felt longer than a line for a ride at Disneyland. The line moved steadily though but I could not believe how many times we had to loop around. It was definitely a work out having to walk through the line while dragging luggage.
Upon entering the hotel I immediately spot a huge cardboard poster advertising Nick's birthday party at Vanity night club.
I jokingly say out loud, "Look there's Nick."
Jenny says, "Where?!" I point to the huge cardboard poster and she says to me, "You scared me!"
We both proceed to check-in to our rooms. Once I gave my name to the employee she walked away and retrieved an envelope with my name on it. I thought, ooooh fancy.
The employee does some typing and clicking on her computer. I was supposed to get a room with a king bed but she told me the room wouldn't be ready until 3:00 PM. I was okay with waiting. Jenny was next to me checking in with another employee. She didn't have to wait for her room so I asked her where her room was. The two employees then asked us if we wanted to be near each other and I said yes.
I thought it would be easier if we were near each other since we were going to the same events anyway and I wouldn't have to walk alone. The employee asked me if I was okay with having a double queen room. I didn't mind since I wouldn't be spending much time in my room anyway.
Before Jenny and I went up to our rooms we stopped by the Nick cardboard to take pictures of it and with it. I took a serious picture and then one where I kissed it. I would have done a dirty pose like I did on the cruise cardboard cut out BUT Nick's crotch wasn't there lol It was just black so I stayed tame and kissed it. I thought it would have been hilarious if while I was kissing 2D that 3D would walk by. He didn't though.
Jenny and I weren't familiar with the hotel's layout so we walked to the first set of elevators we saw. As we waited for the elevators Jenny discretely lets me know that Nick's bodyguard Mike has just arrived and is waiting for the elevators too. From what I've learned from attending numerous Backstreet related events, if a bodyguard was present it means not too far away was a Backstreet Boy.
Once the elevator doors dinged open Mike places his hand on the elevator door and like a gentleman he gestures to Jenny and me to enter. I suddenly get self-conscious about the Backstreet Boys 2011 Cruise Hoodie I'm wearing. I didn't want to stand out as a fan in front of him.
As the elevator makes it ascent Jenny greets Mike and they have a small talk until we hit the floor he is on. He then gets on his cell phone and tells the person on the other end that he had problems with his room key. (Could that have been Nick? lol)
We didn't see Nick at all during our elevator trip but it was reassuring to know that at least his bodyguard was in the hotel already. Once the elevator dinged on the floor we selected we exit. We walk to what we thought was our rooms until we try our key cards. None of our cards were working. (Haha we had a similar problem to Mike's.)
Jenny then suspects that we are in the wrong tower so we go back to the elevators. Apparently there are 3 towers in the hotel: Casino Tower, HRH All Suite Tower, and the Paradise Tower. The elevators we were in were the HRH All Suit Tower. We eventually find the right tower where our rooms are in which is Paradise and go to our own rooms.
The interior of my room:
The view from my hotel window:
There was a poster of Elvis hanging on the wall:
Upon entering my room I immediately noticed there was a copy of Las Vegas magazine on a counter near the closets. I remembered seeing on Twitter that Nick had done an interview for the magazine. I immediately flipped through it and found the interview along with a picture of Nick.
I was happy to see him in the magazine and I made a mental note to take it home with me. I also saw an upcoming events flier on the nightstand that had a picture of Nick and was promoting his birthday party at Vanity. I loved that there were so many Nick Carter related things in my room.
I then opened the note that I had received from the front desk. I thought it was funny it asked, "Are you ready for Nick Carter?" I think the question should have been more like "Is Nick Carter ready for me?" The note welcomed me and thanked for me coming to Vegas. It also included the itinerary for the weekend.
Since I'm addicted to being online I connected to the hotel's wifi on my iPod touch. I wasted some time on Twitter and Facebook. Then I tried to nap and rest my eyes for an hour until I got ready for the Friday night events.
About 45 minutes before our scheduled meeting time, I started to get ready. I like to have background noise as I fix myself up so I turned on the plasma TV and set it on Kourtney and Kim Take New York.
Once I'm done, I sent Jenny a text, and when she was done getting ready we both walked down to the hotel lobby. Apparently we were the last two fans to show up. I quickly do a scan of all the fans present. I tried to count in my head the number of fans present and I noticed that there weren't 22 fans. There were 17. I was actually glad the number of fans was less than 22.
Two men in suits, Darren and John introduced themselves. A beautiful young woman named Rosalee introduced herself. I found out later she is married to Darren. They are all involved with Hang With The Band. They quickly take attendance and give us a brief rundown of what was going to happen that night.
We then exit the hotel and enter a party bus that would provide us transportation to and from events. Backstreet Boys' Chapter 1 The Hits CD was playing. The bus pulls into Las Vegas traffic and we all sing along happily to songs like "Shape of my Heart," "Quit Playing Games With My Heart," etc. There was a camera man who was on board with us. There was also a photographer but he had to drive himself to the restaurant.
We arrived at Marrakech Restaurant. It's a Morrocan restaurant. I've never had Morrocan food before so I was looking forward to tasting it. The restaurant was smaller than I imagined. Since we were a large group we almost occupied one half of the place. The lighting was very dark despite the picture below showing the opposite and extremely loud (what I assume) Moroccan music was playing.
According to the restaurant's website it cost $39.95 per person to eat there. Darren and John tell us that we're all entitled to one soda or ice tea. Alcohol was not included with what we paid. I ordered a diet pepsi that came in a cute 16 oz bottle.
Before any food came out, our server came to each of our tables and had us wash our hands in rose water which smelled so good.
The dinner was 6 courses. A majority of the food was to be eaten by hand. For dessert we were each given a fork to use for the pastry.
This is what we were served. I just copied and pasted it from their website http://www.marrakechvegas.com/
-Moroccan Style Shrimp Scampi Sauteed in lemon, wine and garlic
-Harira Soup Lentil, rice lemon and spices (This tasted like salsa to me.)
-Marrakech SamplerHummus (Garbanzo/Tahini Dip)Zaáluk (Eggplant/Tomato Dip)
Moroccan style olives, cucumbers, beets & carrots
-Beef Brochette (Kabob) Tender beef marinated & grilled to perfection (I love meat on a stick :p)
-Royal moroccan Couscous Platter with Djaj (Chicken) Served the traditional way, with heaps of assorted vegetables including butternut squash & cabbage
-B'Stilla Our version of the classic Moroccan pastry stuffed with the fruits & nuts, topped with the heaps of powdered sugar, Cinnamon and served with traditional mint tea
The tea served with the dessert was the best hot tea I have ever tasted in my life. I typically don't like tea but this was so good! I chugged it down quick.
During dinner Darren asks if he can ask if I'm Filipino. I say that I am Filipino. He tells me that his wife, Rosalee, is Filipino. I immediately thought she had to be a mestiza because when I first looked at her she didn't give me a Filipino vibe. We have small talk about Filipino food. He asks if I like balut and I do.
Throughout dinner 2 different belly dancers entertained the whole restaurant. Their hips don't lie but I think their boobs do? lol They both had such huge boobies that looked very fake. Don't take that as a hater statement. I would love to be able to move my body the way they do.
Some of the fans in our group danced with them since Darren and John gave them money to give to the belly dancers for tips.
After dinner, we all get back on the party bus. Then we are taken to the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign near the Mandalay Bay Hotel/Casino so that we can get a group picture in front of it. I've always wanted to take a picture with the sign so I was glad to have the chance to.
When we got out of the bus to take the picture, I was immediately slammed with cold air! I thought we were in the desert. Why was I shivering? :p
We did a serious pose and a funny pose. I personally like how the funny pose came out.
We then get back on the bus which takes us to the Mirage Hotel/Casino. Someone had changed the Chapter 1: The Hits CD that Hang With The Band put in the bus' CD player and replaced it with Nick's "I'm Taking Off" solo album. The first song that played was "Burning Up." It was so fun listening to Nick's album at full volume with people who actually love the album too! I'm used to jamming to his album by myself in my car so it was a nice change to dance and sing along with other fans.
The Mirage Hotel/Casino is home to the Beatles Love Cirque Du Soliel show. Although the distance between Mandalay Bay and Mirage isn't very far, the drive took a long time because of traffic. I was very surprised that Vegas was so crowded in January. I thought Vegas was only busy in the summertime.
There was a sea of people in the hotel's lobby and casino area. As our group walked to the Beatles Love venue I felt like I was trying to weave through a general admission crowd at a concert.
Once we reach the venue I was so glad to see it was near a bathroom. Jenny, Brandy, Adrienne & I do our business and when we exited the bathroom we see Darren and John near the box office area. John asks us if we want to sit together so we reply yes. He gives us our tickets and we get in a huge line to get inside the venue. Getting to the end of the line was like a journey. I didn't think we would find it.
The line moves steadily. Once we reach the entrance of the venue I see that the people scanning tickets are wearing sort of retro British Military uniforms. The show was set to start in 15 minutes. We got in line to buy drinks but the line was moving so slow. Apparently once the doors shut to the theatre they wouldn't open up for late comers. We decided to play it safe and enter the venue.
Darren and John had told us they had both seen the show multiple times so they picked the seats that they thought would have the best view for us. My seat was in section 304 row BB seat 4. According to the Ticketmaster website the approximate value of the tickets we each got is $136.30.
My knowledge of Beatles songs is limited. I know a few of their hits like "Yesterday" and "Help." My dad would have appreciated seeing the show more than I did. The colors and special effects were aesthetically pleasing. I remember one part where all of a sudden a spacesuit costume slid by a railing that was near me. I immediately made a connection between the spacesuit and Nick's song "I'm Taking Off." Even Jenny leaned over and joked to me, "Is that Nick?"
The show was done in the round so everyone had a decent view of the stage. There was a lot going on so it was a bit difficult to know exactly where to focus my attention at. If there was supposed to be some sort of story or plot it was lost on me. It was pretty much acrobat routines done to Beatles music.
The stage was very cool. I liked how it seamlessly changed between different sets. At the end when footage of the Beatles was playing, I felt a little emotional because I was reminded of how John Lennon was shot and killed. I thought it was unfair that such a talented songwriter/singer didn't get to live a long life.
When the show was over we all made our way back to the hotel lobby so we could board our party bus. On the way out, I saw a long line outside 1 OAK night club. Apparently Katy Perry was making an appearance there.
I think it was on the ride back to the Hard Rock Hotel where I had small talk with Rosalee and we bonded over Filipino people things. She asked me a similar question Darren did about balut. She said she didn't like it. She told me that her mom is Filipino and her dad is a hillbilly lol She also said that she had just learned how to make lumpia. That inspired me to learn. My mom makes really good lumpia so I need to practice making it myself.
It was around midnight by the time we got back to the Hard Rock Hotel. Most of the group went back to their rooms. I was still full of energy and so was Jenny, Adrienne, and Brandy. We lingered around the casino trying to find some slot machines to gamble at. Before we went to find slot machines, Jenny, Adrienne, and Brandy wanted to get a drink at the bar. I didn't want to buy a drink but I went with them anyway to the bar.
As we walked to the bar, out of the corner of my eye I spot a man in a grey t-shirt with a mop of blonde hair and very veiny hands sitting at what I think is a poker table. (I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to table gambling so I'm not 100% sure if it was a poker table.) The man's hands looked so familiar and very sexy. The man's back is facing me and my instinct is yelling at me, "THAT'S NICK!"
I tried to send telepathic messages to the man to turn his head to the side so I could identify if he was Nick or not. My messages weren't received and I decided to conclude that he wasn't Nick. I wanted to say something to Jenny, Adrienne, and Brandy about the man but I remembered on the Backstreet Boys cruise I had misidentified 3 people there so kept my mouth shut since I didn't want to be wrong again.
Adrienne, Jenny, and Brandy order pineapple vodka's at the bar. I didn't even know you could drink pineapple juice with vodka. (Yes, I'm that innocent lol) After they get their drinks we go into the casino area.
We approach the section where that man in the grey shirt with blonde hair and veiny hands is sitting. Practically at the same time we all realize that man is indeed Nick and my original instinct was correct.
Near where Nick was gambling were a set of slot machines so Adrienne, Brandy, Jenny, and I try our luck on them. I personally hoped having a rich man nearby would help me win on the slot machines... it did not lol I lost like $7 and I was like no more. I'm done.
There was one point where Brandy laughed out loud and told me that she can see Nick's butt crack. I looked over at Nick and indeed his butt crack was out in the open for the whole casino to see. I don't know if he knew about it and didn't care or he was so invested in gambling that he didn't notice?
I also remember one point when I got on my iPod touch and opened my web browser. I was amused when my iPod's browser immediately went to my Nick Carter fan fiction website http://www.
The casino was playing music. I remember two songs that played. One was "Do You Wanna Touch Me?" the Joan Jett version. I thought, "Yes I do wanna touch you there Nick." The other song was "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)" by Beastie Boys. I remember seeing Nick singing along to the chorus.
I couldn't resist tweeting "Say no to crack @nickcarter."
Lauren was also in the casino area. She didn't stick around by Nick's side too much though. She would pop up, go off somewhere, pop up, go off somewhere, and so on. While she was near Nick I noticed her bag. I am a self-proclaimed bag watcher so I always have an eye out on women and their purses and bags.
Lauren was wearing a red dress and carrying a Chanel mini-flap with gold hardware. I happened to be carrying my Chanel jumbo flap with gold hardware. The classic Chanel flaps come in 4 different sizes. The mini is the smallest, next is the medium/large, then the jumbo which what I have, and the biggest is the maxi which is almost the cost of 3 Backstreet Boys cruises.
I couldn't help thinking, "Ha, my Chanel is bigger than yours." I do wish I had a chance to say something to her about her Chanel and that we could have bonded and become BFF's over our Chanels :p
We saw a group of fans approach Nick and he took pictures with them. I kind of wish I had the guts to approach him but I felt awkward about it since he was gambling. Nick eventually leaves the table and I don't know whether he left or went somewhere else to gamble.
Adrienne, Brand, Jenny, and I agreed that we should go back to our rooms to get some sleep since Saturday would be a long day. I think it was almost 2 AM by the time I got to my room. My body was tired but my brain was still very active.
I debated with myself on whether I should try to sleep so I could wake up early to take a shower or take a shower before I go to sleep. I ended up taking a shower before I went to sleep so that I could go to sleep feeling fresh and clean. It was around 3:30 AM when I finally turned the lights out.
The original plan was for the group to meet up at 11:00 AM in the lobby so that we could be taken to the location where we would "hang" with Nick. At the last minute Darren and John informed us that the time had to be changed to 10:30 AM. We all groaned at the thought since we just wanted to sleep in. I set my alarm for around 9:15 AM.
I slept good. I didn't even need the alarm because my body chose to wake itself up at around 8:30 AM. Once I woke up at that time I couldn't fall back asleep. I got myself ready for my day with Nick Carter. I put on my dress and slapped on some make up. Then I went through debating on whether I should keep my hair up in a ponytail or down. I went with a ponytail since it's what I'm most comfortable with.
My mom had paid for a dress I chose at Macy's. I had no intention of wearing a dress. When I went to Macy's I saw what I thought was a nice looking top. When I went to the fitting room and put it on I was surprised when the top turned out to be a dress. I liked how it fit on me so I got it. Plus I liked that it had the color green which I hoped would helped bring me a lot of good luck and money in Vegas.
Once I was done getting ready I waited for Jenny. When she was ready we power walked to the hotel lobby. Once again we were the last two people to show up and board the bus. Nick's song "Addicted" was playing.
When it was done playing... it started to play again. I remember a fan named Ashley groaning that it was playing again. Apparently while the group was waiting for us, "Addicted" had been playing over and over on repeat lol Once the bus started moving the front of the bus communicated to the back of the bus to change the song so that "Addicted" wouldn't play again.
We had no idea where the bus was taking us. No one from Hang With The Band was with us. Hell, they could have been kidnapping us or taking us hostage. At first I thought we would just be going to another hotel/casino on the Vegas Strip. Those thoughts were immediately debunked when the bus entered the I-15 freeway and drove away from the Vegas Strip.
Then I thought maybe that's why Hang With The Band moved the meeting time 30 minutes earlier to accommodate the drive to secret location. The drive felt like it took 30 minutes. When the bus exited the freeway, it approached this beautiful area of Las Vegas that I've never seen before. There was a golf course on one side of the street and luxury condos on the other side.
The bus drives into the luxury condos area which had security posted at the entrance. While we waited for clearance to enter, I noticed that the cars leaving the luxury condos parking lot were all shiny expensive cars like Mercedes Benz. After the bus is cleared to enter it pulls up to the entrance of the luxury condos. The bus passes by more luxury vehicles like Range Rovers, Lexus', etc.
We then spot the videographer and photographer posted by the doors to the luxury condos along with more security. We disembark the bus while the videographer filmed us and the photographer snapped pictures of us. Then we go inside a lobby area. I was in complete awe of the interior. There was more security inside and I got the feeling that not anyone can just be in this building.
The atmosphere just screamed, "RICH!" Darren and John then led us to a room where we would wait. We were also assigned our own security. One female and one male. I thought it was pretty cool we had our own security. Someone had joked to that they need to make sure that the paparazzi stay away from us lol Later we found out that the female security guard is a fan of Nick's too. How lucky for her that she gets to work AND meet Nick at the same time!
The room was playing a shuffled mix of Nick's first solo album "Now or Never" and "I'm Taking Off." I remember hearing mostly "Now or Never" songs though like "Girls In The USA," "Is It Saturday Yet?", and "Miss America." Some fans joked when "Is It Saturday Yet?" played that it indeed was Saturday already.
Apparently I heard through the grapevine that the starting price to live in the luxury condo was $1 million. I thought, Damn, where's my $1 million dollars? I know it's in the middle of the desert but it just felt so relaxing to be in that kind of environment.
Before we would meet Nick, we had to go through a wine tasting with a French guy named Andre. If you read my Napa review then you'd know that wine and I don't have a great relationship. I also thought it was funny that they had us taste wine before seeing Nick. It was like Hang With The Band needed us to get a little bit buzzed or loose before seeing him.
Andre had a heavy French accent. He was a tall man that wore thick framed glasses. He told us we would be tasting 3 different red wines from Africa. We tasted wine from the eastern region, middle region, and western region. I don't remember the order of what we tasted.
With the first wine we tasted he had us keep the glass on the table counter. We'd hold it by the base of the glass and swirl it. I feared the worst while I swirled my wine. I thought what if I swirl too hard and spill wine all over my dress? Thankfully my swirling did not lead to a crisis.
After we swirled, then we'd bring the glass to our nose to sniff the wine, then we'd stretch our arm out for 1 second, then we'd bring the glass to our lips and taste the wine. He told us to do that while tasting the wine because the first taste is not the same as the second taste. I noticed there was a difference. The wine went down smoother on my second taste. However, I still don't really like wine.
We continued to taste the other 2 wines. I do remember that as we tasted the wines got a bit older. I think the wines we tasted were from 2005 and 2006.
Look at me chugging wine like I love it :p
I felt the wine begin to burn my stomach so I stopped drinking after tasting the 3rd wine. I didn't want to vomit before meeting Nick like what happened in Napa.
When the wine tasting was over, we were all led back to the room we waited in. I could feel the anxiety and anticipation begin to take over. I know you're thinking, Jocelyn you've met Nick a million times. Why are you nervous girl?
Nick still makes me ultra nervous and he has the ability to render my brain useless. While we waited, I wondered what I should have Nick autograph. We were all entitled to one autograph from him.
Before I left for Vegas, it wasn't clear from Hang With The Band on whether or not if we should bring something for Nick to sign or a promotional item would be provided to us for him to sign. I decided to bring something just in case. I looked through some of my Nick things and I took my "Do I Have To Cry For You" single cover and a picture of Nick I took in Marysville, Ca in 2005.
At first I wanted Nick to sign the picture I took of him from Marysville, Ca in 2005. However Jenny and Adrienne both advised me that since the background of the picture was dark that his signature might not show up if he used a black sharpie. So then I decided to go with the "Do I Have To Cry For You" single cover.
I asked Jenny what she would have Nick sign and she said she'd have him sign the postcard flier that promoted Nick's birthday party that was spread around the Hard Rock Hotel/Casino. She pointed out that she liked that it had the date of January 28th, 2012 on it. I happened to bring the postcard flier of Nick too and because of the date being on the postcard I finalized my decision to have him sign that.
While we waited a majority of us were on Twitter/Facebook. I was happy that the place had free wi-fi I would bum off of. The wait was agnozing. I wondered when Nick would show up. A few minutes after I thought that he tweeted:
Nick Carter @nickcarter
About to hang with some friends at hang with the band for my birthday! #hangwiththeband say.ly/Cif1kFt
Muahaha I love that he tweeted "friends." Does this mean I am Nick Carter's friend? *sigh* Wishful thinking.
Darren then walked into the room and he excitedly told us that Nick Carter was in the building. We all laugh at him because we already knew Nick was there because we had seen his tweet. Then Darren joked back to us that since we know what's going on that we should fill him in since he seems to be the last to know everything.
After Darren and John coordinate with each other, the moment we've all been waiting for has arrived. It was time to meet Nick. I'm used to Backstreet's way of meet and greets where all the fans are in the same room and we each wait for our turn for a quick hi/picture/bye while a bodyguard yelled at you to hurry and leave.
The order of meet and greets was done in the order of our bidding ranks with #1 going first. I was #15 but I was actually #13 to meet Nick. #13 & #14, Ashley and Meaghan, went last since Meaghan needed wheelchair access.
What added to my nervousness was not having the support of other fans there while meeting Nick. The butterflies multiplied in my stomach as I waited for my turn. When the time came, I made my way to Darren, John, and the videographer who were posted at the bottom of the stairs. It didn't help that we had to walk down stairs to get to the room where Nick was in. I had to be extra careful when I walked down those stairs.
John asked me a couple of questions like if I was excited to meet Nick which was filmed. I was a blubbering mess as I answered. Then the camera shut off and Darren tried to help me ease my anxiety by having me chant something like "umboosa." (I'm not completely sure.) He said he learned from doing some meditation. When I pronounced what he told me to say, I could feel the butterflies temporary go away. I repeated it a couple of times. I then told Darren that even though I've met Nick before he still makes me feel nervous and he reassured me that I was going to be fine.
I finally get the green light to walk into the room where Nick is in. Nick is standing in front of a coffee table/couch area in the corner of the room. Out of the corner of my eye I see Bodyguard Mike standing off to the side with some other people who I didn't bother to identify.
Nick looks down at me and greets me with a friendly smile. I look up at him and I am just so in awe of his tallness. I'm 5'2" and even though I was wearing about 2 inch heels I'm still way shorter than him. I'm also used to being around short people so looking up to have eye contact with a person is something I'm not used to.
I said, "Hi Nick." He said "hey" and opened his arms wide and I took that as an open invitation to hug him. Our bodies connected for 2 seconds while the side of my face came into contact with his chest. Oh, why couldn't I have stayed in that position for a few more minutes?
When we broke apart I told him, "Happy Birthday Nick" and he told me "Thank you."
I asked him, "How does it feel to be 32?"
He gave me a devilish smile. Then he started to walk toward the couch at the corner of the room. I followed him.
He replied in a playful tone, "I'm not 32."
I automatically exclaimed, "What?!?!"
His reply to my question threw me off course because I didn't expect him to answer like that. I expected him to say something like "Great" and nothing else. (In the past when I've met Nick, when I tried to talk to him he'd either give me brief one word answers or not answer at all.)
He laughed and said something like, "I'm actually 23. They got it all wrong." (Who's they? lol)
My mind was scrambling to think of a clever comeback but I came up empty. I tried to quickly do some math in my head so that I could reply that if he was 23 then I was like 17 and not 26 but I failed.
I ended up saying something like, "Ooookay. If ya say so."
I was amused that he was jokingly in denial of his age. He was standing in front of the couch so before I went to join him, I made sure to remove my Chanel so that I wouldn't be carrying it while I "hung" out with him. He gestured to me to look in front of us at the photographer. I personally wasn't ready for a picture but I looked at the camera and hoped for the best. Near the photographer was the videographer too and after the picture was taken I was so paranoid that I looked into the wrong camera. My picture came out great though.
He asked me, "Do you have something I can sign?"
I handed him the birthday party flier postcard. Then he asked me, "What's your name?" At this point a sharpie magically appeared in his right hand. He should probably invest in Sharpie stock since Sharpie pens are a crucial part to his career.
I told him, "Jocelyn" and I started to spell it. I noticed him absorbing the letters to my name since he didn't scribble them right away. It was like he had to think about it first. I would have loved to crawl inside his mind at that brief moment to find out what he was thinking about. It had me wondering if my name rang a bell with him.
I thought I had to repeat my spelling of my name but to my surprise he spelled it right with me just spelling it out loud once. (In my 2010 Fresno VIP pass he spelled my name wrong: Joeelyn.)
From what I remember there was silence as he signed my postcard. However, this picture dictates otherwise:
I have no idea what I said to him but I'm glad the moment is documented.
Also, while he signed my postcard my eyes were captivated by his left wrist since it was facing upward while his left hand held it. His left wrist is home to his "Old Habits Die Hard" tattoo. I had never seen it up close before. It was partially covered since he was wearing his watch but I didn't mind since I have a fetish for hot guys that wear watches.
My mind was struggling to find something to say to fill the silence. My mind was so blank so I went with the first thought that popped up. I patted his right bicep and I whispered, "I think it's brave of you to spend your birthday with fans."
I don't know why I whispered? lol
His chin touches his neck and he laughs. He finishes off autographing my postcard, which now I realize, kind of took him a long time to sign.
As he hands me back my postcard he asks me, "Are you going to the party tonight?"
Once again I had the opportunity to say something playful and flirtatious but I didn't. I replied with an honest, "Yes." (It was only afterward that I realized I should have said "No" and try to jokingly flirt with him. Gah. You'd think that I own a website called Flirting With Obscene that I'd know how to flirt but I don't lol)
Then he kind of had a "duh" blonde kind of moment and answered his own question with something like "Yeah of course you're going" when he saw that he had signed the postcard advertising his birthday party which meant I knew about it and was going.
Nick asking me if I was going to the party was the first time in all the times I've encountered him that he made an effort to small talk with me. I'm used to quiet/indifferent Nick so I was thrown off by this I'm going to say more than one word to you Nick. We stood there for an awkward second and my mind couldn't think of anything clever to say. At that point I kind of wished I had brought him a birthday gift to serve as some sort of conversation starter.
Since I was at a loss for words Nick wrapped up the meet and greet. He flashed me his multi-million dollar smile and told me, "It was nice to meet you sweetheart."
I blinked and then I inwardly freaked out inside as my ears processed what he had just said to me. He had just called ME "sweetheart." I was even more of a blubbering mess than at the start of the meet and greet. I kind of wanted to run outside and just scream like a teenage teenybopper.
Nick opened up his arms and gave me another open invitation to hug him again. I couldn't believe he was down for hugging 2 times. I hugged him, then I grabbed my purse, and awkwardly exited the room. His voice and him saying "It was nice to meet you sweetheart" looped in my head.
Once I got back up to where the other fans were waiting, my nerves had calmed down and my body was bursting with adrenaline from meeting Nick. I had so much energy that I probably could have ran two laps around the luxury condo. While we all waited for the rest of the group to meet Nick, I looked down at the postcard Nick had signed. He surprised me yet again.
He had written, "To Jocelyn: Love Always, Nick Carter."
"Love Always" ?!?!?!
Damn. My mind was reeling. First he called me "Sweetheart" and now he wrote "Love Always"? *sigh*
That's probably it took him a bit long to sign my postcard. He was busy scribbling "Love Always."
I did think, pffft he wrote "Love Always" on everyone elses autographs but I saw 2 of the things he signed for the other fans and he didn't write that for them.
The meet and greet experience reminded me of being like on dating reality show like "The Bachelor," "Flavor of Love," and "Rock of Love." We were a bunch of girls and 1 guy all lined up to meet Nick Carter one by one.
Once everyone is done with their meet and greets, Rosalee comes to our group and reads off some names. One of the names is mine. It's time for lunch and since I'm not part of the top 12, the other non-top 12'ers and I follow Rosalee to a separate eating area which turns out to the be the same room we were waiting in earlier.
I was bummed that even though I paid a lot of money that I didn't get to eat lunch with Nick. However, when I really think about it, I have no idea how much the top 12 people paid exactly. I'm totally assuming but they could have easily paid 5x times what I bid so they deserve it more.
A large square table is set up with plates and sodas. We have place cards that told us where to sit. Next to our plate was the menu. The other fans I ate with were Maria, Dina, Meaghan, and Ashley. We all have some good girl chat as we ate. We talked about the cruise. Thanks to the photographer who was there watching us eat, the topic somehow turned to Paris Hilton, Criss Angel, and Michael Phelps. (Interesting set of people for a Nick Carter related event, eh? lol)
Also our security gal, Shannon, had gushed to us about her experience meeting Nick. I'm so happy she got to meet Nick. She said that he looked so good and had good teeth. (Keep this in mind because I had no idea that later on Nick's teeth would be a big deal lol)
A few days earlier Hang With The Band had sent an e-mail asking if I preferred chicken or fish. I chose fish since I'm a sucker for sea food.
Our lunch is 3 courses. The first course is salad with a piece of bread. The salad was all right. I've had better. The piece of bread was horrible. It was like biting into a round rock. I tried to bite it twice and then I quit because I like having teeth.
The main course was salmon with vegtables. Before I had my first bite of salmon, Darren walked in to the room to check on us non-Nick lunchers. He then told us that the chef has cooked for three US presidents. After he said that, I took my first bite of salmon.
My taste buds went nuts. That was the best salmon I had ever tasted in my life. I frequently eat salmon because my mom loves to buy it at Costco. While the salmon at Costco is good, the salmon this fancy smancy chef prepared was perfect. It wasn't dry. It was very flavorful. I cleared my plate pretty quick.
The menu said dessert would have coconut in it. We all pretty much agreed that we weren't fans of coconut. I personally don't like anything with coconut flakes. I expected dessert to have coconut flakes but it wasn't. The dessert was too sweet for me.
During dessert, Darren came back again and without verbally telling us he told us to hurry up to eat so that we could go into another room for Nick's acoustic show. He told us to take our time but that they were running behind. We took the hint and stuffed huge spoonfuls of dessert into our mouths.
Then we walk to another room so that we can watch Nick perform an acoustic set. The top 12 Nick lunchers were already in their chairs. My chair was in the 3rd row. I knew where I sat because there was a place card on my seat. The seat was big and comfy and we had a bottle of Fiji Water in the arm. I've never had Fiji water before so I made sure to remember to take the bottle with me so I could taste it later.
About five minutes later Nick and his friend Jen enter the room. I was glad to see Jen because I remembered seeing her perform with Nick in 2007 during his Cat Cause event in Costa Mesa. I even wondered a few weeks before the event if he even was still in contact with her. It's good to know they're still friends.
Before Nick began his set, he remarks to us and says something like, "You thought you were going to watch a movie but you're not."
That's when it clicked in my head that we were sitting an a mini-movie theater where you can watch a movie. I then noticed the screen behind him. I just thought we were in a room with chairs lol I guess that's one way you can tell Nick's a rich guy because he probably has a mini-movie theater in his home.
The first song he sings is "Just One Kiss." I'm not a fan of the song but it was nice getting to hear it sung acoustically. The environment was so chill with just 17 fans absorbing his performance. I liked that no one was screaming obnoxiously or chatting. We all were tuned in to his voice.
I felt awkward taking pictures since it was so quiet and the lighting in the room was very low. I ended taking only five pictures. I also wanted to just focus on Nick and his voice and not be so caught up on pictures.
The second song he sang was "The Great Divide." I'm also not a fan of this song but like "Just One Kiss" it was nice to hear it acoustically.
The third song he sang was "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty. Before he sang it he said something like he thought Tom Petty was an unfortunate looking fella and inferred he thought Tom was ugly. Either Nick was joking or he's a mean girl deep down inside.
Everyone laughed when he did a tiny adjustment to the lyrics, "She's a good girl, she's crazy about Nick Carter."
I also remember while he sang, "All the good boys are standing in the shadows" he looked over to his left and pointed at a man with a camera. I assumed that man was part of his entourage.
The lyrics do apply so much to me though. I am a good girl and I am crazy about Nick Carter.
There was also one moment where after he sang a song he said, "So anyone got any questions?" Before my mind could process a question he said, "Just kidding" and said something like this isn't that kind of event. I was kind of bummed he thought that way. I think it would've been fun if he let us ask him questions for 2 minutes.
For the fourth song Nick sang "More Than That" which is one of my favorite Backstreet Boys songs from the Black and Blue album.
Before he sang the fifth song which was "Special" he said that it would be the last song. I didn't want it to be the last song! It was going way too fast! He said that Jen helped him co-write the song.
I remember he also asked who was going to see him on tour? Almost everyone raises their hand. I pouted and didn't raise my hand. He then said, "Sorry I can't go to all the places." Hmmph. I wanted to heckle him and bitch to him about dissing the west coast on his tour but I kept my mouth shut.
Nick either has a short memory or he was joking about "Special" being the last song because then he says he wants to "end it off with a bang." Before he sings he says, "Here's one of your favorites."
I thought, yes, he's going to sing either "Falling Down" or "Burning Up." My psychicness was not working because Jen starts to play "I Want It That Way" on her guitar. It's a great song BUT I wish he would have sang more of his solo songs. I really wanted to hear "Falling Down."
At the beginning of "I Want It That Way," Nick inserted some color commentary in between lyrics.
My lips are chapped... you are... it's the dessert... my fire, the one... cause I played golf yesterday... desire, believe... I can talk.... when I say I want it that way...
During AJ's verse:
am I your fire... your one desire... yes I know... sorry I don't look like AJ... it's too late but I want it that way... that might be good... tell me why...
I wonder what prompted him to say that he doesn't look like AJ and that might be good? lol
I Want It That Way
After he's finished singing he thanks us for coming and that he'll see us all at the party tonight. Before he leaves John walks into the room holding a big birthday cake.
We all sang "Happy Birthday" to him. He stuck his finger in the cake. Then he licked the icing off. He said, "That's good cake!"
He blew out the candles and started to babble about his age, "I don't agree with it. I call it the Benjamin Button Effect. Okay. I'm 23. Gettin' younger."
Nick thanks us again and then he exits the room. What a party pooper. He didn't even stay and eat a slice of his own birthday cake. I know he's hardcore about being healthy but come on dude, it's your birthday. Eat some damn cake!
I had the urge to go to the bathroom so I go with Dina. The bathroom was so fancy. I love it when bathrooms are so clean and well decorated. After I went to the bathroom, our security Shannon asked me about the show. She couldn't watch because she was posted outside the door. I told her it was good. I think she is the nicest security guard I've ever met in my life. The security guards I've encountered in the past are usually full of themselves and think they're hot shit.
When I got back into the room, slices of cake are being passed out. I ate some cake as John went around the room with the videographer and interviewed some of us. I didn't get interviewed.
The cake didn't really taste that good so I guess I can forgive Nick for not eating it since he wasn't missing anything spectacular. It was time to go so we all go back to the bus. On the ride back to the hotel I started to feel nauseous. I think the combination of being in a moving vehicle and the wine I drank earlier was hitting me.
When we get back to the hotel we all go back to our rooms. I tried to rest for a while since it's going to be a long night. After I went to the bathroom I discovered that my period came! (Yes I'm aware that's TMI.) That was probably why I started to feel nauseous in the bus. Now I'll always remember January 28th, 2012 as the day my period started.
I got ready for dinner and the party. I thought it would be easier to just go to dinner in the same dress I was wearing to the club. Dinner was at a restaurant called Johnny Smalls. I remembered seeing an advertisement for Johnny Smalls in the hotel that said they served sushi. Unfortunately, sushi was not part of our deal. Apparently Hang With The Band pre-selected the food we were going to eat.
Dinner was like all-you-can eat appetizers. We were served mini-salad plates, fish tacos, french fries, and chicken skewers. The fish tacos and french fries were good. Although I would have preferred to have a meal/entree versus unlimited appetizers type food. I ordered lemonade but their lemonade machine was broken. I had to go without a drink for a long while until I got the attention of the server who brought me a soda.
After dinner, Jenny & I made a quick trip back to our hotel rooms, and then we made our way to the front area of the club. A few members of our Hang With The Band group were there standing in front of roped off area. There was a bouncer standing post at the ropes.
Darren and John had told us that we needed to meet on the second level of the club. However, we couldn't reach the second level since it was roped off. Jenny tried to explain to the bouncer that we needed to get up to the second level. The bouncer was clueless in what Jenny was talking about and he had no idea what "Hang With The Band" was. While this was happening, in the back of my mind I wondered where the red carpet was because I knew Nick was going to walk the red carpet. Also, I knew that there were some contest winners from Twitter who had won a chance to meet Nick on the red carpet. I wondered if Hang With The Band attendees would be part of that too.
Jenny kept talking to the bouncer until somehow she says "Nick Carter." Once she said, "Nick Carter" that seemed to be the key into getting pass the ropes because the bouncer opens up the rope for us and lets us through. Who knew "Nick Carter" were the magic words?
When we pass the ropes the bouncer jokes to us and says that it's not him who let us through the ropes. Jenny and I then briskly walk toward the escalator to go up to the second level. We're about five steps away from getting on the escalator to go up when we immediately notice Nick, Lauren, and Bodyguard Mike on the escalator going down. We slow down our steps and we all kind of just awkwardly acknowledge each other. Nick gives a little wave and head nod toward us.
Lauren recognized Jenny from Twitter so they converse for a bit while Nick and Bodyguard Mike sort of slowly continue walking away. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so shy because I knew I could have easily cornered Nick and conversed with him too since his woman was occupied with Jenny.
I also noticed that Lauren was wearing red again. I remember when I saw NKOTBSB in Vegas in July she wore a red dress. Then Friday night in the casino I saw her wear a red dress and then for Nick's party she wore another red dress again. She sure loves to wear red in Vegas.
Once Jenny and Lauren are done talking we got on the escalator to go up to the 2nd level. Once we reached the second level I immediately saw the club's "red carpet." I use the term "red carpet" loosely because it's just a tiny red carpet with a backdrop advertising the club's name. I spotted 3 fans excitedly looking at their cameras and I knew they were the Twitter winners who won a chance to meet Nick on the "red carpet."
I knew that if Jenny and I were just 5 minutes earlier in passing the ropes we would have gotten the opportunity to take pictures with Nick on the red carpet too! Blah, oh well. It wasn't meant to be. I'm sure some of you have seen the "red carpet" pictures already but in case you didn't here's a sample:
There was so confusion about the meeting place for the rest of our group. It seems that the bouncer guy we encountered earlier wasn't being lenient anymore. Some of them were able to access the second floor another way through the elevators so we had to communicate to them to take the elevators too instead of the way through the bouncer.
Once we're all together, we all get our wrists stamped to designate ourselves as VIP. John then tells us that he got a text from Bodyguard Mike who said something like Nick had a great time with our group earlier. John said he asked Bodyguard Mike if it was okay with Nick if we got one last group picture with Nick for the night in the club. Bodyguard Mike said yes... but it never happened. *cue sad "woe is me" music*
John was accompanied by his wife. I never got her name but I immediately noticed that she was carrying a black Chanel Reissue Flap. It seemed a lot of ladies like to carry their Chanel's in Las Vegas. She approached me and told me, "I like your bag." I told her that I noticed her Chanel too and that I liked her bag too. Then I asked her if she had a collection of Chanel's. She told me that she had a few (what a lucky lady to have a rich hubby lol) but that she knew some people who had tons of Chanel's.
John then makes a suggestion to our group to take pictures on the "red carpet" so we all gather around and strike a few poses.
When my glass was empty I wanted more! Errr... :-\ lol
A waitress then came by with a bottle of champagne and poured all the ladies a glass. Nick's party was advertised as all the ladies get free champagne before midnight. I was hoping I would have a similar reaction to the champagne like I did with the shot but I didn't. The champagne was all right but it wasn't anything like that shot!
Another waitress came by with a little plate of fruit and she went to all of us. I think it was strawberries on the plate. I could be wrong though.
I've never had VIP in the club before so I'm guessing it's standard procedure to get more than one round of shots? A waitress came by again with shots and I did not hesitate in getting another one. I quickly gulp my second shot down and my mind is blown again over the deliciousness of it. I've never tasted anything like it before.
Somehow someone found out which VIP table Nick would be in. While we were on the same side as his table was designated we weren't directly next to it. I think John/Darren did some negotiating with the club's people because we were then relocated to the table area next to where Nick would be.
There wasn't enough space for all of to sit down so a few of us and I awkwardly stood around. Then a waitress came by our are and showed us that we could sit on the second level. Some of the group moved up and I took a seat.
Before we moved tables I noticed an unattended shot looking so lonely at our first table. I asked if it was anyone's shot and Adrienne told me that I could have it. I took the shot with me to our new table.
I savored my third shot of liquid heaven. I really wanted to know what I was drinking. I'm too shy to ask and from following the other Vegas girls on Twitter/Facebook they did try to ask the waitresses what was in the shot but no one seemed to know its exact contents. I think the alcohol that was in it was vodka but it's a mystery what was mixed with it.
If anyone knows what it is please leave me a comment:
Three shots wasn't enough. A waitress came by again with a tray of those delicious shots and I had to have one more. I might as well get my moneys worth! I knocked it back and I was feeling good. I told myself that would be my last shot because I didn't want to find out what would happen if I had 10 shots :-P
Nick and his huge entourage of like gazillion people enter the club. (I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't even know some of the people there with him.) Nick immediately hops on the seating in his area and points and waves to everyone. Then he hops down and as everyone in his group squeezes themselves in their table area.
I remember seeing some of the people in his entourage bust our their cameras and they all start taking a million pictures of Nick and with Nick. We'll probably never see those pictures. Then Nick sits down with Lauren and I see her with her iPhone and they take a picture with each other. It was pretty obvious she was going to send that picture to Twitter.
Although we were so close to Nick's area, Nick didn't really give us any attention. He spent most of his time drinking and talking to this one guy in a hat. I have no idea who he is but Nick spent so much time taking to him. As I've mentioned in previous reviews, I wish I had the ability to read lips because I would love to know what Nick and that guy talked about. It seemed like he talked to that guy more than Lauren that night.
At one point I had to go to the bathroom. Ya know it's a girl thing to go to the bathroom in groups so some of the girls and me went to the bathroom together. I had heard that the bathroom in the club was gorgeous so I also wanted to see what the hype was about.
When I entered the bathroom the first thing I saw was my reflection because there's a mirror right in front of the door lol It was kind of confusing to navigate but we eventually walk around the mirrors and see the stalls. The bathroom was bright and there are mirrors everywhere. On one side are counters that are filled with "vanity" type items like lotion which I thought was a nice touch. The other side are sinks. There's seating areas which are all occupied by girls. The stalls were very nice and clean.
When I washed my hands there was a girl, probably a few years younger than me, ready to hand me a paper towel. That just blew me away that there was a girl in there just handing paper towels to club go'ers.
I actually Google'd Vanity's bathroom and I found out that it's one of Las Vegas' top five nightclub bathrooms. You can see some pictures here:
I immediately think this is the kind of bathroom I envisioned in that one scene from my story Fantasy/Reality where Viola is on a date with Aaron and sees Nick kissing another girl.
We go back to our table area and we all sit and socialize while frequently looking over at the other table where Nick is spending time with his entourage. I kind of wish he acknowledged us Hang With The Band attendees more. Even a quick "hi" to our table would have sufficed.
Lauren did come to the border between Nick's table area and our table area and talked to some of the people in our group. Also his manager Jason socialized a bit with some of the girls but I personally feel Nick could have given us some more attention... especially for the price we paid.
Nick got on the mic for a few minutes as he tried to hype the crowd up. As I looked at the crowd he was trying to hype I was a bit surprised that the club wasn't completely packed. I expected it to be filled with fans. He tried to get the crowd dancing and I remember him saying something like, "Come on my girlfriend is the only one dancing."
I don't think the crowd listened to his hyping and instructions to dance because a few minutes later he gets back on the mic and says in what I interpret as a joking tone, "This is a lame ass party! What the fuck?!"
He continued to try to hype up and energize the crowd but I don't think it was happening. There weren't many screamer type fans in attendance to feed the energy he was craving.
Although the dance floor wasn't filled with many people dancing, I did notice the club had a few dancers spread out dancing on what I'll call counter tops. I kind of wished I had those dancer's bodies so that I could just get paid to dance in a club.
I remember the DJ played Nick's song "Burning Up" two times, back-to-back. I think that's the first time I've heard the same song played twice in a club. While the song played, Nick's manager Jason was standing up and dancing his skinny little white boy ass off. It was very amusing. It was my first time ever seeing Nick's manager in action so I figured, no wonder Nick picked this dude as a manager. Jason just seemed like a party animal.
I didn't even notice but sometime during the night he had made his way to the DJ booth and took over DJ'ing for a while. I was hoping he'd sing a song or two like he did during the Vegas NKOTBSB after party I went to last year in July. He didn't sing though.
I also remember feeling so out of the loop with current music. I didn't know most of the music the DJ played. When I heard Britney Spears songs playing, I thought, finally, some songs I know. I remember hearing "Gimme More" and thinking I am living the lyrics at the moment because I felt like I was the center of attention even though I was up against the wall lol Then "Till The World Ends" and "I Wanna Go" played. I found out a few days later that it was while Nick was DJ'ing that he played Britney Spears songs. The DJ that night had tweeted Nick was so excited he successfully mixed two Britney Spears songs together that he accidentally spilled his shot of vodka on the DJ's face.
I remember some of the club dancers and Nick were tossing out glow necklaces to the crowd. Here's some pictures of Nick wearing the glow necklace on his head:
I wish I knew what he was showing the hat guy on his iPhone:
When Nick was back to his table area, I remember the club employees presented him with a birthday cake as the whole club sang "Happy Birthday" to him.
I noticed the ladies in Nick's entourage begin retrieving their purses/clutches from the seating area. I got the feeling they're about to leave. I remember seeing one of the ladies carrying a medium/large Chanel flap with silver hardware.
As Nick and his entourage were getting ready to leave, something happens to one of the ladies that leads her, Nick, and another guy to believe something spilled on her leg. The 3 of them investigate and I'm sure all 3 of them had a lot of drinks in them so it takes them some time to figure out what the hell happened.
Nick seemed so invested in wanting to know what happened to her legs or... he was busy checking out her legs... I don't know lmao Then in a way only a man that looked Nick Carter could do, he slightly bent down and with one of his hands, he wiped away whatever was on her knee. It also wasn't a quick wipe, it was like a massage kind of wipe. I thought, Damn, Nick is so slick. I don't think very many women out there would let men touch their knees like that unless they were hot.
Then Nick finds Lauren and they make their way down the steps from their table. There are some fans who inch closer to him since he had moved from behind the table. He carefully takes one step at a time while he waves bye to the crowd. He walks past our table and I secretly hope he'd stop and personally thank us one last time for coming but he doesn't. Once there's a path cleared, Nick and Lauren leave the club for good.
About five minutes after Nick leaves, us Hang With The Band'ers leave too. As we walked out of the crowded I remember one guy said to us, "Why are you leaving?!?!" lol
Once we left the club, my ears adjusted to not having be subjected to loud music anymore. It was bittersweet to know that there were no more Nick related events for the weekend. I cannot get enough of Nick. I wanted more.
We walked through the casino and decided to get an after party meal/snack/drink at Mr. Lucky's 27/7. Before we entered Mr. Lucky's 27/7 we spotted Nick in the casino gambling. That was the last time I ever saw him that weekend. I thought he was gambling for real but when I saw pictures online of him, I think it was a staged photo-op so that his picture could be taken and shared to promote the hotel/casino/club.
At the restaurant I decided to order an espresso shake that took foreverrrrrrr to get. Everyone else ordered meals and everyone got their food before me. Hmmph lol My body was very tired but I knew I'd have a hard time falling asleep since my brain was awake. After our after party meal/snack/drink we started to go back to our hotel rooms. On the way we spotted Bodyguard Mike by himself walking around. Some of the girls in our group wanted to take a picture with so we stopped for a moment.
I don't really know Bodyguard Mike so I didn't take a picture with him. It didn't feel right for me to take a picture with him. I'm not going to take a picture with him just because he's Nick's bodyguard. Adrienne was the only one who joined me in not taking a picture with Bodyguard Mike.
After the other girls are done taking their pics, we all say our goodnights/good mornings to each other. I also remembered as Adrienne, Brandy, Jenny, and I were walking a drunk guy walking toward us stopped in his tracks, stared at us and slurred out loud, "Deeee-lish."
Why yes, I am berry delicious :p
I think it was pushing 4 AM by the time I got to my hotel room. We had one last event to meet up for in the morning at 10:00 AM. I think it was pure torture by Hang With The Band by making us wake up so early in the morning despite knowing we'd had a long night of partying a few hours earlier.
I didn't realize until I tried to fall asleep in my hotel room that it probably wasn't a good idea to drink an espresso shake. I decided to waste time on Twitter and Facebook since I couldn't fall asleep. I read the most ridiculous rumor on Twitter that after Nick and Lauren left the club that a fan attempted to stab Lauren. I think if that happened there would have been a commotion in the casino but there wasn't.
Also, if something did happen why would have Bodyguard Mike been happily walking around the hotel by himself after the party. Plus Lauren had her own bodyguard too so I don't think a crazy fan could have done anything even if they tried.
I also read on Twitter some fans talking about how possibly Nick got veneers done. It was so amusing to me that I was actually there for Nick's birthday event but I didn't notice any stabbings or his teeth. Although if you remember earlier in my review that I mentioned Shannon, our security at the luxury condos who met Nick too, mentioned that she was in awe of him and his teeth.
I had to pull myself away from the nonsense on Twitter and Facebook and get out of bed to pack my belongings. I knew I was going to hate myself earlier for not sleeping.
When I was almost done packing I somehow noticed on the counter/drawer in front of the beds was a sex kit called "Tease." I first thought it was some sort of candle! I was so amused by it so I took a picture of the box but it came out dark so I moved it closer to the lamp. After I took the picture I noticed it was next to the stack of billions of Nick Carter birthday party fliers I had acquired from all over the hotel. I continued to amuse myself by taking pictures of the sex kit and Nick Carter birthday fliers. The sex kit has a mini personal massager, personal lubricant, & 2 condoms.
*sigh* I wish Nick was available to put my hotel room's sex kit to use. I couldn't resist tweeting: Hey @nickcarter my room number is... j/k!
It was around 8:45 AM when my body and brain were both exhausted. I laid down on my bed and shut my eyes. I even set the alarm clock on my cell phone for 9:30 PM just in case I fell asleep. I think I shut my eyes for 10 seconds and I immediately passed out.
At around 9:50 AM my body jolts itself awake. I look at the clock on my cell phone and I'm immediately mortified that it's almost 10:00 AM! I was still in my pajamas and my vision was cloudy. I forced myself up and changed as fast as I could. The meeting was set up to be in Darren and Rosalee's hotel room.I didn't even know where exactly that was but I power walked through the hotel to reach the other tower of hotel rooms. Even though I was like a zombie walking through the hotel, I figured out the location and I see some of the Hang With The Band'ers lingering outside the hotel room.
We then make our way inside the room where there's more Hang With the Band'ers inside. I couldn't believe I was standing upright at the moment. All I wanted to do was crumble to the crowd and sleep like a baby. Rosalee hands John a gift bag which he then hands to me. We're weren't allowed to look inside right away. I had a hunch that inside the gift bag was a framed picture of me and Nick taken during the meet and greet.
I was half right.
Once everyone got their gift bags, Darren and John gave us all the go-ahead to look inside. I reached in and I immediately felt a picture frame. I thought, hmmph, I already know what this is, big deal but then when I pulled out the picture frame I was surprised that it wasn't just a picture of me and Nick.
I let out a quiet gasp as I saw the presentation of the frame. There were three picture slots. On the left was a picture of Nick singing during his acoustic show and on the right was the picture of me and Nick from his birthday meet and greet. What was in the center was what surprised me the most and I think I slightly liked it better than my picture with him.
In the center slot of the picture frame was a short note Nick had scribbled to me. Seeing his handwriting and having another personalized note from him brought a smile to my face.
The Hang With The Band crew, Darren, John, and Rosalee all thank us for coming. We all say our goodbyes with them and retreat back to our hotel rooms. Check out time for the hotel was 11:00 AM. It was already past 11:00 AM so I called the front desk to ask about a late check out. The front desk lady said that the hotel offered a complimentary extra hour of check out up till 12:00 PM.
I was no hurry to leave the hotel so I was curious to know if there was an even more later late check out. Unfortunately if I wanted to stay until 4:00 PM'ish I would have had to be around $50 so I stuck with the 12:00 PM noon check out.
Prior to my Las Vegas trip I discovered that it would be cheaper to stay an extra night rather than fly home after the last Hang With The Band event. I have always wanted to stay on the Las Vegas strip so I searched for a hotel that was reasonably priced and that was in a good location to the places I wanted to go to.
It's been a tradition of mine ever since 2010 to visit The Cupcakery in the Monte Carlo Hotel/Casino. I made sure that the hotel I chose was close to it. After comparing prices, I chose to stay at the MGM Grand. I was excited to stay there because it just seemed like a very luxurious hotel on the outside. I'm part of the hotel's players club so I got a good rate of $50.40 plus a $22.40 resort fee for a total of $72.80 for one night.
After I checked out of the hotel, I saw fellow Hang With The Band'er, Alison also just freshly checked out. She also wasn't in a hurry to leave the hotel since her flight was later that night. We both waited for Jenny in the lobby since I wanted to say bye to her.
Once Jenny comes down, she's with Adrienne and Brandy so we all say our final goodbyes to each other since their flights leave in the afternoon. Then Alison and I go to eat at Pink Taco. It was one of my mini-Vegas goals to eat there since I've heard about it. When I Googled Pink Taco a few days earlier I wasn't even aware that the name had a sexual connotation. I just literally thought they served pink tacos lol
I ordered the namesake dish Pink Tacos. I expected the taco shells to be pink but they weren't. I think what was supposed to be pink was the onions? Even then, there really wasn't much pink to the tacos. The tacos did taste good though. They weren't spectacular but I liked that the meat was juicy.
I was also tempted to order a margarita but I decided not to. I was already feeling out of it from having barely one hour of sleep so I didn't want to make myself feel worse with alcohol.
After Pink Taco, Alison and I went to the casino to try our luck on the slot machines. I'm not even a fan of Sex and the City but I decided to try my luck on the Sex and the City slot machines. I won the Miranda jackpot on the Sex & the City slot machine lol I put $20 & I won $55.40 which brought me to $75.40. I had to stop when I got to $60.48 because I didn't want to lose everything.
It was around 3:00 PM when I decided I needed to leave the Hard Rock Hotel and go to MGM Grand to check-in. Alison couldn't come with me since she had her flight later. I kind of wished that I knew more of the other Hang With The Band'ers so that I didn't have to spend the rest of the day alone.
It seemed once I thought that that's when Ashley and Meaghan come through the lobby and spot Alison and me. Their flight was in the evening so they still had time to kill. They wanted to go to the Vegas strip to do some sight seeing. Since I was staying at the MGM Grand, the 3 of us share a taxi there.
Ashley and Meaghan decided to walk around the strip while I checked in, situated myself into my room, and rest for a bit since I was still functioning on barely an hour of sleep. We planned to meet at around 5:30 PM'ish for dinner. I was very glad to have company for the evening.
The check-in process at the MGM Grand was tedious. Although the line was short, the people at the front desk took forever. You would think that a huge hotel would have more staff helping to check-in guests. When I got my room keys and number the front desk clerk didn't even help me try to find the elevators. I had to find them myself. Thank goodness they weren't hard to find.
I had read online, either on Yelp or TripAdvisor, to avoid staying in the West Wing tower of the MGM Grand. When I booked online, I made sure to select the Deluxe Grand Tower. However, I was put in the West Wing tower on the 13th floor. I didn't realize this until I got to my room. Since I was already in the room and I did get it for a cheap rate, I didn't feel like going back to the front desk to complain so I just stuck with the room since it seemed decent.
The view from my hotel window:
After I caught myself up on Twitter/Facebook and got about 5 minutes of shut-eye, I got a text from Ashley saying they wanted to have dinner at a sushi place in Planet Hollywood. I LOVE sushi so I walked all the way from MGM Grand to Planet Hollywood. It wasn't a close walk but it wasn't too far. It was like a brief 10 minute session of cardio.
Once I was at Planet Hollywood I tried to find the sushi place Ashley and Meaghan were talking about. They didn't know the name so the only clue I had was the restaurant served sushi. When I looked at the map, I saw the closest place I knew that had sushi was Todai. I've been to Todai before in the Bay Area so I knew they served sushi.
I walked to Todai and I see Ashley and Meaghan already sitting at a table. I felt so bad for being late since we had planned to meet at 5:30 PM but it was around 6:30 PM when I found them. It turned out that they had just arrived to the table too so I had nothing to worry about.
For those who don't know, Todai is an all you can eat Asian/seafood/sushi buffet. The three of us indulge to our hearts content with sushi and asian seafood. Plus of course, it isn't a Vegas experience if you don't at least eat at a buffet one time.
Once we can't fit another piece of sushi into our stomachs, we trudge our way our through the Planet Hollywood casino and do some window shopping and gambling. Ashley and Meaghan spent some time on the slots so I joined in to. I wish I hadn't because I ended up losing $50 on the slot machines.
Since Ashley and Meaghan had a flight to catch in the night, they had to get their belongings at the Hard Rock Hotel and go to the airport. We shared a taxi to MGM Grand and we all say our final goodbyes to each other. It seemed that everyone in the Hang With The Band'ers group were either leaving Las Vegas or had already left. I was all by myself.
I was looking forward to a relaxing night in my hotel room. As I walked toward my hotel room, I noticed a hotel employee near my room cleaning up a mess. When I got closer I saw pieces of glass all over the floor. The employee said that a light bulb had broke so he was cleaning it up.
When I got inside my room I immediately go online. I remembered seeing on MGM Grand's Facebook page that I could get a free late check out if I checked-in on their Facebook page. MGM Grand's normal check out time is 11:00 AM so I needed a later check-out so I could rest more.
I checked-in with my iPod touch. The message I got on my screen was to go down to the front desk and them my screen within an hour of checking-in. I make the trip to the front desk and got a free late check-out time of 1:00 PM. According to MGM Grand's website a late check-out usually costs either $20 or $30.
I walked around the MGM Grand's souvenir shop near the front desk and the casino. Since I had lost $50 at Planet Hollywood, I didn't feel like spending or gambling anymore money so I went back up to my room after about 10 minutes.
The smell of cigarettes from walking through the casinos lingered on my clothes so I wanted to take a shower before I went to sleep. When I turned on the water, it sounded like I could hear music or people talking. I just thought my neighbors were being noisy but when I turned off the water, the music and voices stopped. When I turned the water back on again, I could hear music and voices. I thought I was going crazy so I had to turn off the water again and the music and voices stopped. I think I turned off the water about 10 times because the music and voices I was hearing was really freaking me out.
After my shower, I combed my hair with my favorite detangling comb that was given to me from when I worked at ABC in 2008. While I combed my hair, my comb broke! I couldn't believe it just snapped!
Then my closet door wouldn't stay closed. I would shut it and it would pop open. That's when I began to suspect the hotel was haunted. First I was placed on the 13th floor which is a number notorious for being unlucky and haunted. Then I saw the mysterious employee cleaning up pieces of glass from a light bulb that broke near my room. Then there was the voices in the shower, my comb breaking, and my closet not being able to stay closed.
Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse for me, at around 10:15 PM, the people in the room above me get rowdy. They're talking really loudly and blasting music. I could even hear their footsteps and every time they would flush the toilet. All I wanted was peace and quiet. I had no choice but to call the front desk. I would have preferred to change rooms but the front desk lady said she would send security to tell them be quiet. About 5 minutes later they quiet down but it still bothered me that I even had to call and complain. I thought the MGM Grand was a 4 star hotel. I've stayed at 2 star hotels that were more quiet and spacious than the MGM Grand. I even tweeted: This hotel sucks & I think it's haunted.
I don't think I'd want to stay in the MGM Grand again. The location was nice but the room sucked. I was actually looking forward to going home since I didn't feel comfortable staying there anymore.
The WiFi connection wasn't so good either. At around midnight I couldn't connect online anymore. In a way that was a good thing since I was able to fall asleep at around 1:00 AM since being online wasn't keeping me up. I slept until around 6:00 AM and I stayed awake until 9:00 AM watching morning TV.
I'm always interested in how TV stations are different in other states. I noticed that there were a ton of injury lawyers commercials airing. I also watched the Las Vegas local news and almost all their news stories were about casinos and crimes on the Las Vegas strip. I also saw a political ad that attacked Obama that was paid for by Mitt Romney. Those kinds of ads don't air in California since California is mainly a state of democrats.
My hotel check-out was 1:00 PM but my flight was 7:35 PM so I had so much time to kill. Thank goodness MGM Grand offered easy ways to check out. By 11:00 AM the WiFi in the hotel started to work again. I got an e-mail from MGM Grand that said I could check out of the hotel online. I preferred that way because I didn't want to subject myself to standing in a long line just to check-out.
I left my luggage at the bell hop at the front desk and I decided to go to the Monte Carlo first. I didn't feel comfortable leaving my framed picture with Nick and my laptop with the bellhop so I carried them with me, along with my Chanel bag to the Monte Carlo. I didn't want to risk the bell hop dudes tossing and breaking my framed picture with Nick and my laptop.
The Monte Carlo is across the street from the MGM Grand. I considered staying there but the MGM was cheaper. After my experience at the MGM Grand, I'll definitely think twice before choosing to stay at a hotel because of a cheap rate.
Once I'm inside the Monte Carlo, I get my traditional cupcake at The Cupcakery. There were so many delicious cupcakes to choose from! I ended up getting the cupcake called "Oh my ganache."
After I bought my cupcake I walked to the food court. On the way, I passed by a candy store called Lick. In the store's window, there was a mannequin modeling a t-shirt that said, "I lick on the first date." I thought that was a creative t-shirt saying.
I was thirsty so I bought a Fuze drink at Starbucks. I was craving Chinese Food so I went to Manchu Wok. I enjoyed my food and then I decide to walk back to the Planet Hollywood Casino to try my luck again on the slot machines. Once again I wish I hadn't because I lost $40 there. That discouraged me from gambling anymore of my money.
I still had lots of time to kill so I stopped by the Aria hotel which also had a ton of luxury brand stores. I wished I had the money to buy something expensive but Nick Carter took most of it when I paid for his birthday party. I walked around and took pictures of the storefronts. It seemed all the luxury brands were there except Chanel! That was the one store I wanted to see the most. I know there's a Chanel in the Bellagio but I didn't feel like walking all the way there.
I loved that Louis Vuitton had a cupcake display:
I considered walking toward the north side of the strip to The Venetian where I had met Kim Kardashian in 2010 and get a frozen lemonade at The Coffee Bean. My feet were starting to hurt and my arms were getting sore from carrying my bag, my framed picture with Nick, and my laptop. I also didn't want to spend money on a taxi or the monorail.
I eventually walk back to the Monte Carlo and go back to the food court since I was very thirsty. I bought a bottle of diet pepsi from Subway with a gift card I had won on Twitter. I only had to pay $0.33 for it.
After my body is fueled with soda, I browsed through a souvenir shop to buy something for my parents. I bought them two shirts for about $18. I then made my way into the MGM Grand to pick up my luggage from the bell hop. Before I reached the bell hop area, I passed by the lion habitat which is home to two lions.
I had read online that the habitat was going to be closed on January 31st so I stopped to take a few pictures of the lions. I remember the last time I saw the lions in 2010, they looked so miserable to be in the habitat with little space to move around. I'm actually glad that the habitat is closing and that the lions get a chance to live in a different environment.
I walked through a tunnel that is underneath the habitat. The tunnel leads to a souvenir shop for the lions. Since the habitat was closing, everything in the shop was on sale. I bought a shirt. I also bought two magnets. I typically like to buy souvenir items with my name on it so when I saw my name I got it. I tried to see if there was a magnet for Nick's name but there wasn't. I did stumble upon a magnet for Carter so I got that too.
It was time to go home. My Vegas adventure was over. I picked up my luggage from the bell hop and took a taxi to the airport. I decided to carry-on my framed picture with Nick and check in my luggage. I felt like my framed picture with Nick was like a baby I had to take care of and made sure it got home in one piece. It's good I didn't stuff it into my luggage because after I checked it in, the ticket agent just tossed my luggage onto the conveyor belt like it was trash. I couldn't believe it! It's good I had nothing breakable inside.
I went through security and I noticed one of the TSA agents resembled Jeremy from The Vampire Diaries. The TSA agent who checked my boarding pass and passport asked me if I knew that my birthday, October 5th, was the day that had the most people born on. I told him that yeah I've heard that. He then told me that his sister was born on that day too. Yay for Libra's.
After I pass through security, I'm sweating like a pig. All I wanted was to have a seat and drink an ice cold beverage. I thought about going to Starbucks until I saw a Coffee Bean! I was so happy there was one in the airport.
My 3 mini-goals for Vegas were:
1. Get a cupcake at The Cupcakery.
2. Eat at Pink Taco.
3. Get a frozen lemonade at The Coffee Bean.
I immediately ordered a frozen lemonade and then I walk to my designated gate. Once I sit down, I indulged in my beverage. I wished I had a Coffee Bean near my house. The closest one is in San Francisco over 40 miles away.
I safely made it back home where it was back to my boring life. I thought seeing Nick in Las Vegas would be enough to hold me over until whatever the next would be. Instead it made me crave Nick even more! On Twitter I compared Nick to potato chips. I can't just have one.
I thought really hard about taking the dive and seeing him somewhere on his east coast/midwest "I'm Taking Off" solo tour. I kept going back and forth between "yes I'll go see him" and "no I'll save my money."
When news broke that his younger sister Leslie Carter had suddenly passed away, it was another reminder to me that life is short and that you don't know how long a life you had. I didn't want to regret not seeing Nick during the "I'm Taking Off" tour so I decided to go to Columbus, OH.
At the time it was the only tour date that had VIPs available BUT I was too slow in buying VIP and they sold out! I thought that was a sign I shouldn't go to Columbus. A few days later I think Ground Control saw my Twitter pleas for more Columbus VIPs so they added 25 more VIPs. I took that as sign to go so I booked my plane tickets, bought my concert ticket, bought VIP, and got a hotel room in Columbus. My Columbus experience deserves a review of it's own so be on the look out for that!
I don't know if I'd do Hang With The Band again. It was such an expensive experience. I don't regret doing it though but if I had to choose between this and the Backstreet Boys cruise I think I'll stick with the cruise which was way cheaper and I get to see 5 hot guys instead of one.
If you made it this far in my review I salute you! Like my cruise review I'm going to have a contest. I'll give away 1 Nick Carter Birthday postcard/flier to whoever e-mails me at jocelyncontest (@) gmail.com the answer to this question:
1. What was my final bidding rank for Nick's "Hang With The Band" auction? Here's a hint, there were only 17 fans who bid.
E-mail your answer to jocelyncontest (@) gmail.com and then leave a comment on this post letting me know you entered.
Only one entry per person.
Entrants must live in the continental 48 United States.
Contest begins 2/25/12 and ends 3/25/12.
You can follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/berrydelicious
You can follow me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/flirtingwithobscene
Some pictures are taken from the Hang With The Band Gallery: http://www.hangwiththeband.com