Monday, January 28, 2013

Wedding in Las Vegas

In my senior year of college at UC Santa Barbara, I rented an apartment across the street from the beach with three roommates. Forty-three years later, three of us are still in touch. Sharon and Ann and I get together every couple of years. Sharon and her husband Bob live in Massachusetts; Ann lives in Toronto. This weekend, we're all in Las Vegas to celebrate Ann's marriage to Larry, a fellow Canadian she met several years ago at the same RV resort we're wintering at this year.

I've only been to Las Vegas once before, three years ago when my husband Art and I spent President's Day weekend in the company of two of my cousins, one of whom I had never met. We did a lot of walking that weekend as my cousin Mike and his wife Jamie gave us the grand tour of the Strip and then took us to Hoover Dam to see the final construction of the new bridge which has opened since then. 

So this time Art and I booked two nights in a timeshare, invited Sharon and her husband Bob to join us,  made plane reservations from Tucson, and rented a car. The Mandalay Bay, where the wedding was held, is less than a mile from where we were staying, but we knew we'd be doing a lot of walking within the hotel and casino.

About 40 people attended the wedding, all of them from somewhere other than Las Vegas. The ceremony was really nice - vastly exceeded my expectations for a Las Vegas wedding. Larry grinned from ear to ear as he watched Ann walking down the rose-petal-strewn white carpet toward him. My three kleenexes weren't enough.

I'd told Ann to let us know if there was anything we could do to help. Turns out she needed us to pick up the wedding cake across town - all three layers, in separate boxes. Thank goodness for a GPS, shortcut driving instructions from a helpful bakery deliveryman, and communication via text with Sharon, as she and Bob waited at the front door of the Mandalay Bay to pick up the boxes. I got out of the car, while Art went to park, and carried the top layer as the three of us made our way across the lobby to the elevator. Everyone at the reception was ready to eat cake as soon as we'd assembled it.

Ordinarily I'm not keen on wedding receptions. Until I took my mediation training I was a very bad mingler. But I had pretty decent conversations with several people I'd never met before this weekend. I surprised myself!

We spent Sunday walking, walking, walking. At the Paris, where Sharon and Bob were staying the last night, and at Caesar's Palace. I started with a $20 and played the slots for a couple of hours, losing only $7 overall. I've decided Las Vegas is a 48-hour kind of place - about once every five years. We were very, very ready to get on our plane last evening for the 58-minute flight to Tucson.

15 comments:

Out on the prairie said...

Sounds fun, nice to play in the glitz once in a while.

Janette said...

Right there with you.
Although I have family in Las Vegas- we only visit "the Strip" every five or six years. We also take a small amount.
More important in this piece is "soul friends". I have a theory that there are a few people in our lives who are soul friends. These are people we can pick up with at any time and just go back to where we were in comfort and move forward. It sounds like you have a set of soul friends. That is an amazing gift!

DJan said...

It sounds like a wonderful wedding, Linda. I am so glad we are both enjoying sunshine and family. Glad you get to go back to your snowbird village now! :-)

Bob Lowry said...

Two days in Las Vegas feels like a week anywhere else. I find it exhausting. The constant noise and lights, crowds, and traffic are not my cup of tea anymore.

Early Retirement Journey said...

We enjoy Las Vegas as an entertainment destination for shows. About every two years we'll make a two night reservation and load up on shows. I enjoy being able to walk everywhere once we've arrived and parked our car, which we just can't do here in S. California.

Lynilu said...

Sounds like a very nice weekend. Any time with old friends is good, I think. :)

Katherine Jenkins said...

Sounds like a fun time! My husband and I were just there for his 40th birthday in December. We didn't have high expectations, but ended up having a really GREAT time! We saw two Cirque du Soleil shows and stayed on the strip. Like you, we gambled just a little. I actually hit the jack pot on the penny machine and won $135! It's always fun to meet up with old friends and a wedding to top it off sounds great!

rosaria williams said...

I've not been to Vegas in years! We can't stand the place. Glad to hear you had a great time and reconnected with your former classmates.

Galen Pearl said...

Sounds like fun and intense! Bet you are glad to get back to your winter life in the sun.

Linda Reeder said...

The two times I have been in Las Vegas I was very happy to leave too. not my kind of place.

Ms Sparrow said...

I've never been to Vegas and it's far down on my bucket list. I would only want to go for the stage shows and you can find those in other cities.

wheels4me said...

That is great you are still in touch with your fellow Gaucho roommates.

Abe Lincoln said...

Wow. Sounds like a great time had by all.

Remember that today is making tomorrow's history.

MyMaracas said...

I can't believe you actually agreed to transport the wedding cake! You're a braver woman than I, by far. Sounds like it was a great time.

I've never been to Vegas and have zero desire to go there. But it's on The Hubby's bucket list, so I'll probably end up there sometime soon.

Thanks for your visits and for your encouragement about retirement. I'm on the verge of freaking out about it, and your comments really do help.
;-)

Dee said...

Dear Linda, I find myself so happy for your friend Ann--that she has good friends like you and Sharon and has had them all these many years. And that she has now married someone who grins from ear to ear as she walks toward him to get married. Life is good. Peace.