Sunday-April 8th Sunday of this year's Viva might go down in history as the best yet. Maybe it was the luxury of sleeping late, maybe it was the music, maybe it was the pool party, maybe it was the fact that I was awake to enjoy most of it. Whatever the reason, this was the highlight of the weekend for me. Sleeping late on Sunday isn't something I typically get to do, being a mother of four. I rarely stay in bed past 7am. So sleeping until 10am was a luxury and felt wrong. I rolled my hair, ordered room service, and strolled down to Moose's room where her room mate offered the use of a hooded dryer. Another luxury! After breakfast, we took our time getting ready for the pool party, allowing the hottest part of the day to pass before we went down to stand in line. Yes, there is a line for the pool party. In the hottest part of the day, it's annoying. After 2, it is only a mild inconvenience. I had the privilege of waiting with La Cholita and Dollie Deville, the latter of which honored me with a photograph.
Once we were inside, the pool party was settled into a lovely relaxed atmosphere. The vintage swimsuit competition was just beginning and it seemed that the ladies pulled out all the stops this year. Micheline Pitt's mermaid green bathing suit was astonishing, but this was my favorite of the show:
My buddy Shawna was in the contest too, looking adorable and tiny as always:
Once the contest was over, and picture taking done (the Pool Party is the best place to get shots for my Vintage Life Magazine feature but not having had a camera, my friend Brock did the honors...which is probably why these photos are so much better than my own), we sat down and relaxed for a while, enjoying the gorgeous weather, great music, and pool cocktails.
Next was the Jive competition (Yay T-Bone!) and some shopping, where I finally purchased my pink Remix shoes to wear that evening! After a record quick-change in our room for evening, we resurfaced for more music. I adore how Bethany and Brianna wore fancy black dresses and hats that night. Think I might have to make that a new tradition...fancy black duds for Sunday Night!
Si Cranstoun was a huge success, a delightful surprise! And Lu stood in the super long line to get us cd's and an autograph!
Si's set was contagiously joyful...dancing was inevitable. Lots of dancing!
Once dinner was eaten, most of us agreed that the jigging bug had caught us. So we headed back up to the ballroom and danced until our dressy clothes got in the way. Then we rushed back and changed into 'play clothes' and dancing shoes...to frolic the night away.
The kicked us out of the ballroom around two so we were banned to the record hop downstairs for the duration. I have to admit this was my first all night record hop...though I've heard many stories. I don't really dance, unless you consider my own frantic brand of bopping around dancing, so I guess I felt like I'd be inept. It's true that the dancing talent really comes out at the record hops. But I know how to stroll, I have a crazy gift for endless energy, and a few older gents even led me through a clumsy jive a few times! Moose, Kat, and I had a blast! My husband even stuck around the whole time looking on, sometimes joining in, and mostly offering a beverage where necessary. Before we knew it, it was 6am and we were replenishing our depleted-ness at the Courtyard Cafe. Tired but not all that tired. My first Vegas All-Nighter! Not my last, for sure.
After a few hours sleep, it seemed almost too perfect to end our trip with an amazing meal at one of our favorite restaurants, Mon Ami Gabi on the Strip. I realized that I had nothing left to wear, having worn my Monday dress on Friday, so I was super happy to find that Lulu had brought some extra stuff. I'm crazy in love with this circle skirt!
Lunch was amazing. The weather was perfect. The escargot was swimming in butter. The french onion soup was melty and rich. The Blue Moon was done up right.
After lunch, we made our way to Sephora before heading back to the hotel for some R&R.
We also hit up Frankie's Tiki Room since we had never been there before. They offer a variety of novelty drinks and we had been wanting to try the Thurston Howell, which my husband got. I had the Sea Hag. Both were very full of rum and I am not a rum fan (they really only offer rum at this place, to keep that Tiki vibe going). But the atmosphere is pleasant and the keepsake tumbler is great:
I missed the Double Down though, and the jukebox. :) So was it the best Viva yet? Probably. It seems like I am more comfortable every year, more at ease with the Orleans, more hesitant to visit the strip, feeling a bit more like a local and wanting to visit more of the off-strip flavor the city has to offer. I adore getting dolled up every day, palling around with my girls, enjoying my husband's company sans kids for a while. Still one of the highlights of my year. And yes, we've already booked for next time. I suggest you do the same. xxoo Ashley