Have you ever been stuck on a boring old business trip? Maybe out to Boise or Cleveland with some hum-drum eats, beige hotel room and general malaise? Yeah, most business trips are not nearly as much fun as people claim they are on social media. But every now and then, you have a great and crazy little trip compacted into a productive work visit. They are rare occurrences but sometimes the stars align and yeah, a little bit of hell breaks loose.
During one of my first business trips to Las Vegas, I was working a conference at Mandalay Bay. And as luck would have it, a school buddy was a marketing manager for the hotel group that runs the Bellagio and Venetian, nice! I spend four long days at the show booth and by Thursday, was definitely ready for a drink. My friend Mert, was a funny, energetic fellow. He had already arranged tickets for Blue Man Group for that evening and those tickets are EX-pensive. But as a Marketing Manager, he had pretty good access to these perks.
So I meet up with him at a friend in the Mandalay Bay restaurant after a quick dinner, we grab one of his female friends and it’s off to Blue Man Group! And what an amazing show it is. In Las Vegas, these permanent shows allow for custom made sets and for a first-timer, your mind is blown. Banging on PVC pipes, spitting out paint balls along with hammers and splashes of paint set to techno and electronica. The finale of paper being pulled from the back of the theater through the crowd is an interactive and creatively fun ending, woohoo!
After we’re done with the show we head on over to a dance club and Mert orders up a bottle and mixers for our table, my guess is at least $300. As the night wears on, scantily clad beauties sidle up to the table and gyrate with us. But a drink later and poof, they’re gone. Aha, the infamous Las Vegas drink ho! I think we’ve spotted her. But no big deal, we’re having a good time. At 3am our next stop is the Crazy Horse Lounge for some more “dancing”. But at this point of the night we’ve gone through a lot of money so it’s a couple of lap dances and we head back home in the convertible as the sun comes up. Ahh, Vegas!
There’s a round of hugs and handshakes goodbye, I crawl up to my room for maybe 90 minutes of sleep to catch an early flight. Bleary-eyed I get up, drag my bags down and meet up with my co-worker Kristin. We both look awful due to the wear and tear of the show but I’ve got some extra mileage on my side. I trudge on to the back of the plane and it’s a long or short flight back full of me snoring home. Yes, it doesn’t get much better or worse than that. In the short span of maybe 9 hours, I probably dropped easily $300 without any food and not sure what my friend spent but OMG.
And I have to confess, that Las Vegas biz trip was not the naughtiest one I was involved with. Back when I lived in SF, I worked for the IT department of a large retailer. We were in the process of outsourcing our whole department to IBM so everyone was in a terrible funk. I was slated to go to a tech conference in Montreal given a project I was leading but next thing you know, I was joined by three of my fellow teammates. Two out of the three were married, the third a long time single guy.
When we arrive in Montreal, things devolved pretty quickly. It’s the first time I’ve been back to this lovely city in ages but apparently my co-workers have DONE their research. While Montreal has always been known for its strip clubs, what I hadn’t realized is that escorts and prostitution is legal in Montreal. And I had forgotten how beautiful French-Canadian women are. The international mix of French, Italians, Canadians, and more in this very Euro-centric city lends to a population of lithe beautiful young ladies, no joke. So you can see where this is all going.
Given I was the only real guy with professional obligations, I attend some conference sessions but in all honesty, they are not very good. My teammates have started scouring the area for adult entertainment so after dinner and a walk down St. Catherines, we end up at a strip club further north on the outskirts of the city. And the talent there is stunning. With the lopsided exchange rate at the time, lap dances are less that $10 USD so of course we’re treating each other. I spend most of my time with a lovely Hungarian blonde, Monika, who is absolutely exquisite. And in Canada, you can certainly get away with a lot more than just looking.
But of course after our first taste of Montreal’s nightlife our first night, things escalate and get out of hand quickly. The long-time single guy, phones in for a French-Canadian escort and a day later, one of the married guys follows suit given his troubled marriage. Shockingly, I’m one of the best-behaved on the trip and just watch my co-workers get into trouble. And of course, a lot of fun. Once we’re back in the office, there are a lot of hidden winks and smiles when we talk fondly of our business trip to Montreal. I’m pretty sure I will NEVER top the adventures on that visit.
So when people tell me about their crazy stories about their latest business trip, I just nod my head and smile. Yeah, I’m sure you had a great time. But…
And yes, then I stop myself and hold back my story. What happens in Vegas and Montreal, stays there…