Thursday, April 8, 2010

'Viva Vittles'~Recap of VLV 13~Thursday

As many of you know, for the past few years my husband and I take what we deem our 'anniversary trip', a jaunt to Vegas for the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender. The event has been around for 13 years but this was our 4th visit. We only got up the courage to take that 4 hour plane ride in 2007 but since then, we have been huge advocates of the event. This year, the headliners were Chuck Berry and Wanda Jackson, two legendary artists we were excited to see.

The desert climate agrees with me. In spite of the need for eye drops and saline nasal spray throughout my visit, I love the fact there there are not really any bugs or humidity. The weather is usually perfect in April as well, though this year it was relatively cool and VERY windy. Still, nothing could put a damper on my excitement as the plane from LAX (we had a layover) flew past the full moon, into that harsh wind, and made a very bumpy descent into Vegas.

The Orleans Hotel is my favorite in the city, not because it's luxurious or successfully themed (it isn't) but because the off strip location is perfect for me, a fan of local hangouts over tourist-laden nightspots. The kitschy Mardi Gras masks are still hanging from the casino ceiling, the Alligator Bar is still inconveniently positioned, and the food court is still tucked into an odd place. But the rooms are well appointed, the liquor store has brilliant prices, and the pool is still ones of the best I've ever visited. The service at this hotel is hit or miss...mostly, the staff is very accommodating and really seems to enjoy the Weekender crowd, even going so far as to change the music over to standard Rockabilly classics while we are there. But sometimes, you feel a bit of resentment. The bell desk really showed their frustration w/ the unaccustomed crowd and seemed to purposely drag their feet with luggage requests. Also, the housekeeping staff seemed less inclined to give a polite knock before entering. Twice, we were caught unawares as the maid peeked her head in to ask if we needed anything? We were both a bit baffled by this indiscretion.

Thursday is a great day for laying back and taking everything in, especially if it is your first visit. I like to dress casually during most daytime events and since I received some requests for 'outfit posts', here are my Thursday duds:

The skirt is a kitchen print skirt from Daddy O's and the top is from Old Navy, just a simple tee w/ puffed sleeves. China man shoes are some of my favorites (in spite of sweaty feet), especially when coupled w/ some nice supportive insoles to eliminate the impact of walking so much. The casinos are ENORMOUS and regardless of whether you intend to leave the venue or not, you'll still do a heckuva lot of strolling. So flats are nice when
possible. I also wore a fun necklace, simple makeup, and an adorable butterfly clip in my hair. It looks and feels so real!

During this visit I was most anticipating one special event, and it didn't have anything to do with music or cars. I have been communicating online with my contest winner, mylulu2 on youtube . We found we have so much in common and she and her husband made the trip to Vegas for the first time, this year. When we met, it was kind of emotional for me, but not at all awkward. I feel like I've known her my whole life and we were instant 'cronies'. Good thing our husbands didn't mind!

We celebrated the special occasion by meeting up w/ our other friends and enjoying an In N Out burger (my first) before heading over to the DoubleDown Saloon, one of my favorite Vegas dives. The jukebox is incredible, the atmosphere is gritty, and the bartenders are 'no nonsense' ("cash only, please-there's the ATM"). We enjoyed some of their unique libations and the photo booth (hilarity!) before heading back over to the Orleans to get dolled up for evening.

The Vendors opened Thursday at five. It was absolute MAYHEM at first, but that toned down in time to enjoy some scoping out that evening. Still, the highlights of the evening were 'Big Sandy' and 'Barrance Whitfield', neither of whom disappointed their loyal fans.

The dress for this evening is an old one but I rarely wear it so it still feels new! It's a Stop Staring dress with a decidedly 1940's cut and I paired it with my new Aris Allen dance shoes, which are too small but seem to be stretching.

Over-accessorizing is usually one of my pet peeves but I totally did it tonight. I wore my pearls, handmade earrings, AND my 'Norma Orchid', while also doing glittery eye makeup.

If you can't do that in Vegas, where can you?