Friday, May 02, 2014

Viva Las Vegas

I am NOT a Vegas fan, but when my college dorm mate/maid of honor Jennifer invited a bunch of us to come celebrate all of our 60th birthdays at her Las Vega timeshare I definitely wanted be in on the fun.  The event ran from Wednesday through Saturday; wouldn't you know it, my seasonal work assessing students happened to be heaviest on those particular days.  I did managed to catch a 2 pm flight out of SLC on Friday and squeezed in 25 hours in Vegas for a "wild" over night.
Here's Jennifer.  She and the rest of the girls had stayed out until two in the morning every night and had hit nearly every casino on the main strip. Jen gave me a whirlwind tour of the Wynn Casino which had a lovely indoor garden with floral clad sculptures.  As one classmate later said about this photo: had so much to drink I couldn't hold the camera straight?  Naw.  Actually I was fueled by one mango yogurt lassie with dinner! (No booze at all!)
Friday nights are jam packed in Vegas.  We walked through shoulder to shoulder crowds on the street as we ducked into the various malls and casinos and tried not to stare at the " see EVERYTHING" on the streets. 
I admit to being somewhere between a prude and a fuddy-duddy.  Knowing how wild Vegas gets on Friday nights after having to drive through Vegas on trips to San Diego, I suggested to Jen that we get dinner and plan on returning to the time share around ten. She laughed and swooped me out and into the mass of partying humanity.
We got back to the timeshare well after 1am.  The other "girls" blew in after 2 am!

 A few years back I spent several days in Vegas during an annual job training.  
It is such a surreal place. Jennifer told me that Las Vegas has more visitors each year than any other city in America. More than NYC even!  
We walked and walked and walked (and talked and talked and talked!!) popping into the various venues as we pushed along with the crowds until I just needed to sit down for awhile!
A penny bet machine and a $20 bill let me get off my feet for quite awhile. I sat and bet for about two hours, winning up to $160+ at one point. My self imposed rule of a two bucket system: money in one bucket to bet (usually a dollar or maybe five if I am feeling wild) and another bucket where the win money goes and is never touched for more gambling, well that rule was broken after an hour.  So much for pocketing my winnings...good bye $20.  
Jen's other guests were her high school and even earlier best friends. Some of them were in the college dorm with me; they had a year or less of relationship with me while they have shared at least forty years together in friendship.  I admit I am envious of such long lived friendships that are lived out in real life; they all live within a short drive of each other in the Portland area.  They never left their home town or at least stayed nearby. While moving around the country enriches one's life in one way, the short circuiting of relationship that grows best close at hand is difficult to fix.  The good news is that even after not spending time together for years, we all seemed to fall right back into the friendship that began with us (with me) forty years ago as though we had seen each other all along.
Most of the girls still work a bit or a lot; we sketched plans for more girl getaways in the coming years.  Sixty may only be the beginning of a whole new season of life!


Vee said...

Well I am such a fuddy-duddy that I wouldn't be able to
accept the invitation in the first place. You did very well! (All except for losing $20, but there are many things that would cost at least that much.)

Lovella ♥ said...

I love the idea of reconnecting after 40 years. It really does speak of the relationships built back in your college years.
The photos looks like Vegas is so beautiful.

I have noticed that many people end up going to Vegas because of work related conferences. The city clearly has done well in marketing for various reasons to go to Vegas. Who knows.. maybe one day there'll be a chicken convention. =)

Pondside said...

That sounds like it was a lot of fun! I know what you mean about the bit of envy of life-long friendships - we've moved to much for that to have been part of my life. I hope you get to celebrate like you just did....many more times!

ellen b. said...

I've only been to Las Vegas once when Dear had a conference there way back in the 90's. I'm not anxious to ever go back. Glad you were able to hang out with old friends.