Some people love Las Vegas. Others hate it. Whichever you are, you must admit there is no place quite like it for a blow-out bash of many varieties. Me? I love it. I get to dress up, strut around in stilettos, and see real flamingos.
Real, not plastic! Where? At the Flamingo, of course. It is the last of the Old Vegas casinos. They kept the garden area even though it has been remodeled, renovated, and glammed out according to modern standards.
It was my wish to celebrate my seventh decade birthday at the Flamingo precisely ten years after my last wedding which took place there in 2007. I needed to revisit the scene stronger and better than ever. Sheila came from Florida with her fab new hubby, Shannon. Lynn and Isa, my Costa Rica family-friends came with their daughters, Shannon, Tamara, and Kat. My son, Tyler, and wife, Colette, flew in from San Francisco for the night. Terry, my Honk Kong (Mr. 007) skydiving pal came as did British Linda, God-daughter Marissa, niece Marissa, Sister Linda Sue (Jacqui) and Irwin…and let’s not forget Geni, my sister-friend from the 70s when we worked together at Marina Health Spa on Lombard Street in San Francisco. Victoria, long -time sister-friend from Santa Cruz, who now lives in Vegas, was instrumental in making this happen. Did we have fun testing everything on the “advance” trip a month prior to the birthday! We had to try out the martinis at various locations and find the best bargains on Chardonnays and Champagne. Had to! Christina, my Yelapa soul-sister wouldn’t miss it either. We were nineteen for dinner at The Palm, famous for three-pound lobsters.
The party started before we even checked into the Party Suite. Victoria and I pulled up to the Valet Station at the Flamingo with her loaded SUV. I thought we might need TWO luggage carts for all the goodies we were hauling up for the three-day stay. I was impressed with the talent displayed by our friendly, handsome, muscular bellman. His beaming smile and easy manner put me at ease immediately, as he assured me, “I will take care of this, have no worries.”
He expertly placed all twenty-nine items on the cart as though he were solving a Rubic’s Cube puzzle. We had packed the odd-shaped items, such as the sparkly flamingo decorations, the martini glasses, and the serving platters for the stacks of snacks we brought along in stackable wine boxes. We were not going to pay hotel prices for things such as bottled water at three bucks a bottle! Nor would we pay for bar-glass service. We loaded up at the Dollar Store knowing at the end of the party we would leave them behind. At the end of the celebration, the cleaning ladies could take home all kinds of glasses – champagne, wine, rocks, and Bloody Mary and have their own party! Of course, they would have to buy their own booze since I doubted there would be any leftover.
After setting up with the help of Isa and Victoria, people started showing up and the train gathered momentum. Lynn and Shannon showed up bearing tiaras and lots of party accouterment and we were off and running – or should I say dancing!
I must say, we didn’t get much beauty sleep that Friday night in preparation for our Saturday afternoon session at XBurlesque University.
We all graduated with flying colors, received our diplomas and considered applying for jobs in the entertainment industry…but then got distracted and ended up at the famous Flamingo Party Pool in our bathing suits and tiaras.
The Birthday Dinner was across the street from the Flamingo, yet we still UBERed over because it is not so easy crossing the street in stilettos in Vegas. If you’ve been there you know what I mean. If you haven’t then go there and try it. You’ll see what I mean! So, the Birthday Girl and tiaraed entourage made the grand entrance and had the grand dinner. And it was all that and more!
After the amazing feast, we swaggered, not staggered (well maybe just a little), back to the Flamingo Party Suite for cake and champagne. Oh, what a cake! The world famous Freed’s bakery of Las Vegas created the perfect cake- delicious and beautiful – so beautiful you almost don’t want to cut it. But, cut it we did. My favorite part was the next morning when those of us in the suite popped some morning bubbly and took forks to it!
Well, after that you would think the party was over. Nope! It was Pink Limo time!!! Whoo hoo! Isa had been cooking up a surprise for quite some time before the Vegas gathering of nineteen of my close friends, most of whom did not know each other before the gathering. I’m not easy to surprise. When the Hot Pink stretch limo pulled up to the Flamingo my jaw dropped! For me? For us??? Yes! We piled in and toured the strip. Whoa! Sipping bubbly in the Pink Limo with some of my closest sister-friends?! Can’t top this!
It has taken me far too long to get this blog out. Why? Because the birthday celebrations keep on coming. I have been busy celebrating with my sister-friends who did not come to Vegas for a variety of reasons. It has been a blast and we have to take it as it comes. Soon, very soon, I will have to knuckle under and focus on writing. I will, I promise. I have a new book coming out soon. This has been a time for celebration and I have happily allowed myself to be distracted. After all, I made it to seventy and I cherish each and every person who wants to celebrate me! I am blessed to have so many wonderful friends from all walks of life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I think I’m good for another ten years. I’ll have to come up with something fabulous for the Big Eight-Oh-really. So stick around and see what happens. Meanwhile, I will keep on keepin’ on and you do the same. Enjoy!