Living the M life: The ultimate Las Vegas experience

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Our weekend in Las Vegas living the M life had to come to an end, but the memories will last forever – and so will the photos! When we reported that Bullz-Eye was invited with other digital media members to experience the M life, there were very high expectations as to that was in the works. Well, first and foremost, the folks at MGM delivered on every point with a weekend like no other.

After a smooth flight in from Cleveland, I arrived at the Aria Resort and Casino quickly and was blown away by the sleek design of this gem on the strip. After checking in, I learned first-hand why so many visitors pick Aria as their first choice when visiting Las Vegas. When entering your room, the lighting, the window shade, the music… everything is tailored to your preferences and intuitive to your needs. Set them exactly the way you like and prepare yourself for the night ahead.

I headed down to Javier’s at Aria where we started the weekend and met my fellow influencers with signature margaritas and appetizers at ARIA’s newest restaurant. Javier’s brings a Southern California favorite to the Las Vegas strip and delivers a rich heritage of authentic Mexican cuisine along with hand-shaken margaritas and a high-energy ambiance to Las Vegas. Javier’s was a great place to get this M life party started, and we did just that! It was then off to the Hit Bar at Monte Carlo to channel our inner James Bond (or Bond girl) and learn how to craft world-class cocktails with this M life Moment available to all members. Monte Carlo’s Director of Beverage showed us the fine art and history of mixology and was behind the bar for an hour shaking up some cocktail classics, and we enjoyed them too! Things were just getting started, and when you’re a new M life member like we were, you don’t fully understand the kind of access at MGM Resorts this program offers. But we learned quickly.

We loaded up our group for a stunning tour of MGM Grand’s STAY WELL Rooms & SKYLOFTS. MGM Grand’s new STAY WELL collection features 42 rooms and suites designed for guests looking to take their wellness lifestyle “on the road” when traveling. We were also lucky enough to tour the Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five Diamond SKYLOFTS, a private, two-story sanctuary located on the top two floors of MGM Grand. This was amazing, and I’m sure many good people out there are using their M life points just to stay in this sleek spot in Vegas. I’m now floored by these Skylofts as we headed to dinner at Fiamma Trattoria & Bar at MGM Grand. From Sicily to Milan, Fiamma presents traditional Italian cuisine in sleek and sexy surroundings. We indulged vino from an award-winning wine list showcasing more than 700 selections from all over the world, and fresh, hand-crafted pasta creations from Executive Chef Pierpaolo Pittia. The food was fabulous and my entrée of scallops and prawns risotto was extraordinary. We then started another M life moment by attending “KÀ by Cirque du Soleil.” Taking photos with the cast prior to the show is an Insider (M life) Experience at MGM Grand and adds a first-class touch to your Cirque du Soleil experience. Also with M life, you will get to watch the show from VIP seats at one of Vegas’ favorite theaters. The show rounded out a well planned first day and the crew was able to gamble at the casino in Aria or just rest up for the following day’s M life Moments.

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“Live the M life” with the Ultimate Vegas Experience

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A few months back, we were invited to spend a weekend in Las Vegas to live the M life with fellow lifestyle sites and bloggers courtesy of the folks at MGM Resorts. Of course, I immediately checked into what exactly the M life was and had to offer. Bottom line is that the M life is a VIP experience like no other! Here is a quick breakdown Q&A for all of our friends out there who enjoy life’s best experiences, appreciate excitement and want to know more about the M life.

What is M life?

This isn’t just a player’s club. You’ll be rewarded for enjoying hotel, dining, entertainment and spa experiences, along with your slot and table play at any one of 15 MGM Resorts’ destinations. Your play and spend are recognized as a single account, making it easy to stay, play and win wherever you like, whenever you like.

What MGM Resorts’ properties participate in M life?

It isn’t just Las Vegas! You can use your M life card and enjoy the benefits in Las Vegas at Bellagio, ARIA, Vdara, MGM Grand Las Vegas, The Signature at MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, THEhotel at Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Monte Carlo, New York-New York, Luxor and Excalibur; in Mississippi at Beau Rivage and Gold Strike Tunica; and in Michigan at MGM Grand Detroit.

What are some of the benefits?

Just for becoming an M life member, you gain access to benefits such as the ability to room charge from any other MGM Resorts’ destination, access to M life Moments, access to exclusive and personalized offers, pre-sale ticket access to concerts and fights, and the best room rate guarantee.

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What are M life Moments?

M life moments are unique experiences that give you exclusive access to just about any part of your favorite resort. Every M life resort offers M life Moments, and only M life members have access to them. As you move up Tier Levels, you unlock additional M life Moments.

Now that we’re all on the same page and understand just how cool the M life is, remember that I’m going to experience the M life first hand very soon. I’ll be updating our social media channels with awesome experiences, including pictures. My itinerary will be packed with totally amazing events that will be exclusive to M life members, so stay tuned for reports on Bullz-Eye. In addition to attending the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational and checking out exciting new hotspots and amenities the weekend of April 4th, we’re going to enjoy unparalleled access to the best of Las Vegas through M life Moments – experiences available exclusively to members. A signature feature of the program, M life Moments offer a diverse collection of behind-the-scenes experiences, including those catered to travel enthusiasts.

It’s on soon, so wish me luck and keep an eye on Bullz-Eye.com for M life reports!

  

Mountain Dew Kickstart Adventure Starring BMX Pros Chad DeGroot and Mark Mulville

When Mountain Dew gave me the opportunity to head down to Orlando, Florida for two days to learn how to ride bikes with professional BMX riders Chad DeGroot and Mark Mulville, I couldn’t shirk off the responsibilities of fatherhood, home ownership and general employment fast enough.

Kickstart by Mountain Dew is a sparkling juice beverage made to kick-start your day and get your rear into gear. With just 80 calories per 16 oz serving and 92 milligrams of caffeine (roughly as much as one cup of coffee), Kickstart gets you moving without the bloated, heavy feeling supplied by most “energy drinks” on the market. Don’t think of this as an energy drink — think of it as Mountain Dew for breakfast! Didn’t we all go to school with someone who drank Mountain Dew for breakfast, anyway? My buddy Eric Hoffman drank so much in the ’90s he pisses Yellow #5 to this day, exclusively.

Want to kick ass at BMX? Try this PED. And, it will make you into a sexual tyrannosaurs.

Loaded with Vitamins B and C, plus 5% fruit juice, it’s a morning drink (not an energy drink) that gets your body and your mind higher than BMX pro/stunt cock Mark Mulville off a 10-foot wall at Orlando Skate Park!

Speaking of OSP, (which is what you call it, Brojam), getting there at roughly 7 AM was a serious thing of beauty. The sun had just began to rise, which gave everything a cherubic, surreal glow, and was accompanied by an endless chorus of early morning bird chirping action. It was like a bird mixtape that you made to impress a chick (when you used to do shit like that), except this was played against the backdrop of crisp morning air and the excitement of doing something you had never done before: riding a BMX bike.

Orlando Skate Park

When I first attempted to straddle the BMX, my first concern was for my nutsac. I’m all vasectomied up, so I wasn’t worried about reproductive function being compromised (spray and pray, baby); I was literally worried about crushing my nutsac on the pointy plastic seat. When I asked pro rider Chad DeGroot about the protruding seat, which could tear anal membrane or ball sac-age with equal ease, he said, “Well, you really don’t have to worry because you’re usually standing when you’re on the bike, anyway.”

And with that, I mounted the bike from behind, and rode it, in a rather wobbly way for about 10-15 feet. The bike was really small, my legs felt super long, and the safety of my ballsac was still floating through my mind. Maybe it’s because when I was 13 and playing little league I watched a kid in the on-deck circle take a well hit, yet foul, line drive directly to the nuts which resulted in one of his balls deflating, right there on the field. What a sound!

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Ullr Fest 2013: Get Your Snow On

By any standards, the United States boasts some truly worthwhile winter getaways, from the blue shores of Lake Tahoe, to all those East Coast resorts that try to compete with their Western counterparts yet never do. Out in Colorado, a state known for its generous mountain profile and equally epic outdoors scene, a major holding of winter locales are routinely bustling with activity and serving up satisfied customers. Bullz-Eye was given the chance to experience a few days at Breckenridge, one of the premier resorts Colorado has to offer, during one of its most enjoyable times of the year: Ullr Fest.

When I first got the email regarding Ullr (pronounced Ooler) Fest, I was in a state of complete darkness as to the meaning. In the back of my head, crude images of massive stone hammers and snowy, bearded warriors filled the void, vainly trying to conjure up any sort of applicable knowledge. It turned out my premonitions weren’t completely off, and the whole celebration was in fact Breckenridge’s way of honoring the Norse god of snow, Ullr.

All people who share a love for the outdoors have some sort of relationship with the weather. Cyclists pray for absence of rain, surfers yearn for hearty swells and so on. Snowboarders and skiers have that similar connection, yet take it to a whole other Bobby and Whitney sort of magnitude. The degree of snowfall can literally make or break half of the year for those who passionately delegate an entire season to winter sports. On a grander scale, resorts can lose significant amounts of revenue due to lackluster precipitation and the disinterested wake that follows.

So what actually happens at Ullr Fest? Are there droves of cute females walking the streets, clad only in fur bikinis and Viking helmets? Is the whole town mobilized into a party mode that rivals New Year’s Eve levels of intensity? And better yet, what does the whole experience say about Breckenridge and its ability to provide a worthwhile winter vacation? To make a long story short, the whole week was quite an epic adventure, but to adequately answer those questions, an introduction must be made about the team who participated, because seldom are the times when an individual alone is able to truly breathe in all the possibilities a new area has to offer:

Press:

Dane, Thrillist: More or less average build, with a clever and hilarious way of adding to every conversation and setting. Mannerisms similar to comedian Dane Cook.

Seth, Maxim: Nickname earned due to his uncanny facial similarity to Seth Rogen; if it weren’t for his towering height, he may actually be a full-fledged twin.

PR:

Drew: Pleasantly down-to-Earth, yet seriously extensive in her knowledge and passion for the area. Drew Barrymore doppelganger.

Daphne: Beautiful, interesting and once from Seattle. Being that Martin Crane’s physical therapist is just about the only female I know from the area, the nickname will have to stick, and yes, that was a “Frasier“ reference.
Kanye: The mastermind behind the entire organization and execution of the trip. A true professional, and much like the aforementioned rapper, Chicago raised.

Early frustrations

Do you ever have nightmares depicting missed flights or late/botched airport arrivals? Both seemed to rear their ugly heads last Tuesday when I stared in disbelief as my phone relayed a text from my “ride.”

“Shit came up, can’t give you a ride. Sorry man.”

Can’t give me a ride? Two hours ago would have been a perfect time to drop such a bomb, but not now. Oh well, I quickly thought, all is not lost – Go-Go Gadget Drive Myself. I flew down to the car and punched it aggressively for the next hour, cursing the heavily inundated 19th Avenue of San Francisco and looking at every red light as if I had never seen such an atrocity before.

As I neared the airport, the horrible realization was that I had zero time to drop my car in nearby Millbrae and instead was forced to throw up a Hail Mary. I drove straight into 2-hour parking, tossed my luggage outside, and then left forty dollars, the parking ticket, and my car keys in a tissue box deep inside the trunk. The final touch was the front door unlocked and a text message to my buddy who lived a short distance away, pleading with him to grant me this one favor.

Colorado, finally

After the day unexpectedly morphed into such a hectic beast, I was overjoyed when the plane touched down in Denver and I was soon aboard the hour and 40 minute shuttle towards Breckenridge. Something needs to be said about the drive up to Breckenridge. The road lazily tilts upward and soon you get the feeling that an ominous space mission is being made into the dark skies, ear-popping and all.

It was throughout the drive that I found myself laughing at our shuttle driver, Ted; not at him personally, but at the routine which followed whenever he chose to make but the slightest change in heater settings. He’d crank the dial ever so slightly and almost immediately, a reprieve would echo from the shadowy passengers in the rear.

“Umm, Ted, can you turn that down a hair?” or, “Ted, could you make it blow less? Like, the temperature is okay, but there is a lot of air coming out, right on my head,” and further, “Ted, the passenger in the back would like it to be a bit colder. Thanks.” This pattern repeated itself multiple times, to the point where the lady in the front seat reached over and patted his shoulder, saying, “You’re doing great, Ted.” This made me laugh.

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SLAPPA delivers for photographers with the M.A.S.K. DSLR backpack

As a working photographer who often needs to lug a ton of equipment to my shoots, I was immediately intrigued when I heard about the new DSLR/laptop backpack from our friends at SLAPPA. We haven’t been shy about our love of SLAPPA equipment over the years, in large part because the quality of their gear is hard to beat. This MASK DSLR backpack is no different, with its water-resistant 1680D ballistic nylon outer shell and cushioned interior offering all sorts of protection for the contents inside. And I mean ALL the contents.

As with most SLAPPA bags, you may have a hard time filling all the available space in this backpack, with pockets seemingly on top of pockets inside of just about every nook and cranny of the bag. Inside, the padded divider insert allows for storage of a full collection of lenses and bodies for any pro or amateur photographer, and you can configure that section of the bag to fit your needs. The face of the bag features a pocket designed to give you instant access to your DSLR camera body and up to a 10” lens, and other flaps on the front are perfect for memory cards, spare batteries and other supplies. To top it off, there’s a dedicated pocket in the back of the bag for your 17” laptop and all the cords and chargers you need.

The only downside with this bag is the size which, when fully loaded, makes it more of a travel bag than something you’d carry with you on-site during a shoot, and the divider section is tough to access without completely unzipping the face of the bag. We’d also like to see a locking mechanism for the zippers so you can secure your equipment, but you won’t find many camera backpacks that can match the M.A.S.K.’s versatility and sheer capacity. If you need to get all of your photography gear from Point A to Point B, this is the bag for you. Stylish and comfortable, SLAPPA delivers yet again with this roomy and reliable DSLR/laptop backpack.

  

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