Vegas, Baby!


A girl only turns thirty once, and Saturday was my sister’s  go at it.  We did what any good family would do; we went to Vegas.  Hilary, Hunter, Tom, Justin, and me.

We took Vegas by storm, blowing in on Friday night just in time for a dinner at Battista’s (unlimited wine, anyone) and then making our way over to The Mirage for Cirque de Soleil.  I wish I could tell you that I was awesome and stayed up for the whole thing.  But, well, it wasn’t my thirtieth birthday.  The show was amazing; I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.

And the bed.  Oh, the bed.  We all stayed at The Bellagio, and Justin and I wound up with the luxury of a room with two queen beds.  You know exactly what we did, right?  Slept.  In.  Separate.  Beds.  It was bliss.  Luxurious pillows and so much space all to myself.  I slept right in the middle for eight solid hours.  Few things in life are more perfect than that.

Saturday, Hilary’s birthday, started out with a fabulous brunch buffet.  With unlimited mimosas.  We watched the Kentucky game from our own private alcove at the Palazzo Sports Book.  We walked through The Wynn and Caesar’s Palace.  Hunter and Justin went to shoot guns.  Hilary and I found another way to occupy ourselves.

Are you familiar with a little show called Pawn Stars?  We love it at our house.  Since we’d flown across the country, we figured it was only fitting to take a little drive down the strip to get there.  I have to be honest; it was a little disappointing.  However, since I’d read all sorts of disappointing reviews online, I was pretty well prepared.  Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait in line.  We were able to just go right in.  And there it was.  The World Famous Gold and Silver Pawn Shop.  In all its…  Well, all it’s pawn-ness.  It was pretty much your run-of-the-mill pawn shop, with a third of it dedicated to show memorabilia.  I found the cheap jewelry section and bought a pair of $20 earrings.  How could I not?

After the pawn shop, Justin and I took a little field trip to the Allure Wedding Chapel in the middle of sketchy 3rd Street to renew our vows.  I know, I know.  But there were two things I wanted to do in Vegas.  One of them was go to the pawn shop.  The other was get married.  Justin just seemed to be the logical choice.

As corny and hokey as it was, I loved it. Actually, it wasn’t quite corny enough.  I did get a fake bouquet of flowers.  There’s a DVD and picture selection on it’s way in the mail.  And, while we didn’t get married by Elvis, we did get married by Minister David.  He was dressed for the event in a t-shirt, jeans, and a too-short high school graduation gown.  After he told Justin to kiss the bride, he announced, “Live, from Las Vegas, I’m pleased to introduce Mr. and Mrs. Justin Manna!”  Love.  It.

We hopped in a cab and were whisked – well, slowly driven through traffic – back to Paris for dinner at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant.  Hilary wanted to celebrate her birthday in Paris, and this was as close as we could get.  It was a swanky place, and Tom managed to get our table moved to one in front of the window.  We were able to watch the Bellagio water show while we ate.

It was an awesome trip, and I’m so glad my sister wanted to get everyone together to celebrate her birthday.  I can’t think of anything else (other than actually win at the Roulette table) I would have rather done.  In fact, we decided that milestone birthday trips would be a family tradition.  Almost makes me excited about turning forty…


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