In around June we saw a poster advertising a Bon Jovi concert in Macau at the end of September. We held the date in the back of our minds with the intention of going, but didn’t want to book to early in advance in case a travel or work conflict arose. In the end it truly was a game-time decision (it’s budget season for Braden, so work is busy) and we booked the night before. No matter though; off we went to Macau for a rockin’ weekend. For any of you who know Braden even a little bit, you’ll know that Braden’s one big dream is to be a long-haired badass 80’s guitarist and love 80’s rock in general. Bon Jovi epitomizes most of this, so not only was this a concert to enjoy, but a night for Braden to live his dream a little bit! I’m just a groupie.
This wasn’t our first time to Macau; we both went there on our own to activate our Hong Kong work visas (which you can read about here) and were excited to go together. We also went to a different area, Taipa, with newer hotels. We took the Cotai Water Jet to get there (45 minute trip on the high speed ferry) took the shuttle to our hotel, and settled in. If someone randomly flew you to Macau and told you that you were in Vegas, you’d probably believe them. It feels so similar, right down to there being a Venetian Hotel with canals, gondolas and the illusion of an outdoor piazza and blue sky.
The concert was at The Venetian, so we booked a hotel nearby, the JW Marriott. I had never stayed at a JW Marriott before, but apparently it is the Marriott’s contribution to the luxury hotel market, intended to compete with hotels like the Ritz-Carlton. From the moment we walked in to the lobby we were impressed. The hotel opened in June and felt shiny and new. The huge scale was incredibly impressive, as was the dazzle of the natural stone / fine timber / crystal chandeliers / art installations. Everywhere you turned there was impressive architectural details, thoughtful planning and high-end attentiveness. I have no idea how it happened, but we seemed to receive an upgrade, with placement on the upper executive level with an exceptional view of the property and a complimentary breakfast in the executive lounge. Awesome room and free breakfast? YES PLEASE!
Are you kidding me? This was one of the nicest hotel rooms I have ever stayed it. Probably partly because it was so new the room felt modern and fresh. There was also some cool details, like floor to ceiling windows, automated blinds, and pre-set light settings. One of my favourite details was the window wall separating the bathroom from the bedroom. Instead of blinds it had smart glass, which changes from transparent to translucent with the flick of a switch. And let me tell you, a heated toilet seat will give you a start if you’re not expecting it!
Even though the sun had disappeared it was still warm enough for a dip in the pool and a poolside drink and snack before the concert. We walked the pool and attached grounds, which are shared with two adjacent hotels, The Galaxy and The Ritz-Carlton, which are all part of the new Galaxy complex. Before we knew it, the afternoon had melted away and iit was time to get ready for the concert at the The Venetian.
I spent three days in a workshop with about a dozen other work colleagues from different areas of the business. It was nice to meet new people and make some new friends. One day at lunch one of the guys asked me what my plans were for the weekend and I told him that we were hoping to make it to Macau for Bon Jovi. “No kidding,” he said, “me too!” We met up with our friends for a bite to eat before the concert then headed to our seats. The venue was smaller than I expected and we liked our seats right by the stage. We had a great view of the performance, as well as a bit of a birds’ eye view into the “behind the scenes” sound booth beside the stage. It was cool but a bit distracting as I was trying to read the screen to see what song was on deck next! Overall, the concert was fun and entertaining, but we agreed it wasn’t stellar. They had performed the night before, so maybe they were a little tired, but the set seemed to be a bit short and the sound definitely wasn’t awesome. This could have been because of our seats, but in the end it didn’t matter. We had a great night experiencing Bon Jovi in Macau. How cool!
The next morning we woke up in time to grab breakfast and get our butts down to the pool. The day before we had discovered a lazy river which has a current that carries you around in a fun loop through the grounds. You sit in an inner tube and weave around through sections of windy river and also areas with sprayers and waterfalls that get you pretty drenched! There was even part that was created a bridge above a pathway below, but the entire things was clear plexi and see-through (warning: do NOT expect anyone on the pathway below to get a flattering view of your butt, drooping through the middle of the inner tube, through the distorted glass). We loved the entire experience and went around four times, until the last possible moment before we had to check out. Every time we got back around to where we started, we cheered “AGAIN! AGAIN!” and took another time around. It was seriously awesome and a huge reason I would recommend staying in the hotel. We didn’t bring our phones with us to take photos (for obvious reasons) but you can check it out here.
Taking four trips around the lazy river meant we got to pass under Booger Bridge four times. Booger Bridge? you might be wondering…let me explain. On our first day in Macau as we were exploring the grounds we wandered through the lazy river area, which meanders around a pool, waterslides, a restaurant and little cabanas. It was pretty busy, and as we were crossing one of the narrow bridges, Braden and I had to walk around a man who had stopped in the middle of the bridge. He was turned slightly toward me and saw me coming. As I passed to his left, Braden went around to the man’s right – this man was literally stopped right in the middle of the bridge. So, this man sees me coming and apparently needed to sneeze. Not wanting to sneeze on me (I guess) he turned his head. However, he turned his head right in Braden’s direction just in time for a stringy booger to shoot out of his nose and land on Braden’s hand. At this point my memory basically went in to slow motion, and I remember Braden raising his hand, with an insane look of disgust on his face, just pointing at the booger, which was now webbed between two fingers, and staring in shock and disbelief at the man. It took me a second to realize what had happened as the man apologized (“sorry” – that’s it) and I’m pretty sure Braden dropped an well-warranted expletive. Braden walked off Booger Bridge and I turned around with an, “OH MY GOD!!!!” I could have kept going for quite a while, “Ummmmm, COVER YOUR MOUTH!!!” “WHERE ARE YOUR MANNERS” etc. but I think most of that would have been lost in translation and wouldn’t have changed the situation anyways. Braden tore along the path to find a bathroom, I refused to hold his left hand for about an hour (haha!). We laughed about it the next day each time we passed under Booger Bridge, but I promise you it actually wasn’t very funny. Can you believe it?!?!