Viva las Shirley!

As those on Facebook know, I went to Vegas for a friend’s wedding.  It was a few weeks ago, but it has taken this long to process everything that went down!  In my three days there, I hit extemes in partying, relaxing and nature’ing (work with me).  I’ll start with the partying.  I know my audience.

The first night began with a room full of blonde wigs and Hollywood makeup artists wielding false eyelashes.  All wedding guests had to be dressed as either Marilyn (Monroe) or Elvis (Presley).  I chose to be Marilyn.  Finally, I had a chance to experience life on the other side of the great hair color divide.

Bewigged, red lipsticked and beauty mark drawn, I joined the gang for a cocktail in the lobby of the Bellage (the Bellagio and I are BFFs and have nicknames for each other;  my nickname is “room 1140”).  Tourists pointed at us and took pictures and waved like we were celebrities.  We waved back because we were feeling magnanimous.

After cocktails, we were bussed to Fremont Street, the original Vegas Strip with the Golden Nugget Casino and the winky cowboy sign.  Once there, we walked a red carpet and posed for the paparazzi.  At least, I hope they were paparazzi.  They could’ve just been old men with nice cameras.  Whatever.  We made somebody happy.

The party was amaaaazing!!  Thank goodness I never tried acid because the scene would have triggered a flashback for sure.  Everywhere I looked, there were flashing casino lights, sequin jumpsuits, sneering Elvii and pouting Marilyns.  I would turn and people would hand me giant hot dogs and whiskeys and sticks of cotton candy.  Showgirls pranced around with feather headdresses and peacock tails.  And just when I thought I had seen it all, a Cookie Monster Elvis emerged from the crowd and performed an energetic striptease!  Blue.  Fur.  Everywhere.

The entire street was covered with what appeared to be a curved awning, but was really a gigantic television screen.  At one point in the night, this ceiling screen began to flash pictures of the bride, Mandy, as the song “Mandy” played.  The street fell silent.  After the song finished, the words “Will You Marry Me?” appeared on the screen.  Everyone simultaneously swooned.  Even the slutty Cookie Monster.

After dancing for five or six hours, our crowd of Elvii and Marilyns crowded into the roadway of the Little White Drive-thru Chapel to cheer as the bride and groom got hitched in a pink Cadillac convertible.  It was almost too much for some.  One overly excited Elvis took a running leap onto the back of the Caddy and started performing hip gyrations.  I guess he wanted to give the happy couple his blessing.

That was just the first night.  The second night, the wedding party marched through a long corridor made of balloons to enter a mansion decked out in streamers, disco balls, blown-up yearbook photos and even more balloons.  The guests were all dressed up for prom, but everyone had different ideas of what “prom” meant.  My good friend, the Greek Goddess, did the 1980’s proud with a bright teal and fuchsia getup complete with a piece of tissue tucked into the bosom of her dress.  There was a happy hippie couple in matching Afros and white bellbottom suits.  And there were lots of nerds in plaid suits, hitched-up pants, pocket protectors and taped-up glasses.  In fact, I vaguely remember beating one up in my wine rage.  I’m sure he had it coming.  He was probably trying to talk smart to me or something.

In the back of the mansion, a photo booth masqueraded as a kissing booth, prompting many inappropriate photos of which we shall never speak.  Ahem.  And upstairs, in the master suite, models in lingerie fed guests champagne and strawberries.  Funny.  I don’t remember anything like that at my high school prom.  Guess I just can’t escape the porn.  The industry just sucks you in!

Those were the parties.  And believe me, what I described were just the highlights.  It may take me years before I fully process what happened in Vegas (do not complete that sentence with “stays in Vegas”).  On to the relaxing.

Aah the Bellage.  There was no better way to recover from the 10-hour parties than by laying in the sun by the pool and sipping on a Caesar.  I have no idea what was in a Caesar, but it was ten times better than a Bloody Mary and made my troubles go far, far away.

I hung out in a cabana on the first day.  That was pretty cool.  We lounged on slightly elevated ground and literally looked down on non-cabana people.  It ended awkwardly, however, when some sort of banker’s conference started to have a private party in the courtyard right next to the cabana and pool area.  I woke up from a lovely nap to find a hundred finance geeks in matching grey polo shirts and khakis staring at me in my bikini.  And I didn’t get a single date out of it.  Ouch.

On to the nature’ing.  A bunch of us got to tour the Grand Canyon via a small plane.  I was so relieved when it lived up (down?) to expectations!  When our plane first entered the canyon, the rock formations and valleys seemed impressive, but not mind-blowing.  I started to wonder if I was missing something when the bottom of the world suddenly dropped out.  I almost peed myself.  The Grand Canyon went so deep that I thought I would see the white hot lava at the center of the earth.  Or China (hi, grandma!).

Another group was brave enough to skydive into the canyon.  Wow.  I definitely would’ve peed myself if I did that tour!

At the end of the weekend, one of my friends rented a cherry red convertible and drove us out of the city and into Red Rock Canyon.  The views were spectacular!  The rocks were all different colors and shapes, and wimpy as I was, I managed to climb up a few of them.  Up there, I was engulfed by a blue sky with clouds that stretched into infinity, endless scrubby grass plains and a chain of mountains anchoring it all together.  It really put my tiny little dot of life into perspective.

That was my weekend in Vegas.  I felt like I lived an entire lifetime for each day that I was there!


One thought on “Viva las Shirley!

  1. Well done – you might not have listed all activities and events (maybe a good thing?!) but you’ve said it all! A couple of very special days… and I bet they are burnt in everybody’s memory.

    How come I missed the porn part? I saw the strawberries and the champagne but that was about it!

    Take care,

    Oh – I am looking forward to the trilogy. M.

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