Elvis is IN the Building

Elvis is IN the building. At least that’s what he said. On Sunday, April 12th, Bill and I had our vows renewed by Elvis. Well, not the real one. I’m in the group that believes he’s actually dead.

We were in Vegas, and it seemed like the cheesiest, and most awesome thing to do. It was. It was hilarious. Fabulous. Perfect. We got ready at the hotel, and headed down to our limo. A beautiful, white, stretch limo. Our driver was very friendly, and as you all know, I can make a friend anywhere. He was from South Africa (and had a beautiful accent), so I asked him why he moved to the States. He told me his daughter is an actress, and they moved here for her. She got a big break, and is a lead character in a currently running, and very popular show. Seriously. Awesome.

On the first speed bump we hit, in the hotel parking lot (didn’t take me long) I spilled my wine, uh, I mean soda, right down the front of my dress. Unfortunately, it was red grape….soda. We were headed for a big time cliché wedding. All the better. Once arriving at the “chapel”, and yes, I use that word loosely, we headed into the Doo Wop Diner, which we had chosen for our vow renewal. It seemed appropriate for Elvis. We had a 30 second rehearsal, and we were ready to go.

We registered as Billy and Liv. Bill has called me Liv for years. The photographer begins the live internet feed, and Elvis immediately starts calling me “Lin.” I, now, have a huge grin plastered on my face. Could this get any better?! This is a dream come true. Cheesiness at its finest. Then, he starts the song music…on his ITouch…..good grief. Seriously?! It’s the wrong music, so he has to start again. Sometime, in the middle of our quick “ceremony,” right before he starts the second song and hits the wrong song AGAIN, Bill whispers to him that my name is “Liv.” As he starts to sing, he pulls a little yellow sticky note out of his pocket to check the names. Classic. I’m not complaining. It couldn’t have been any more perfect. The best. We thought having an Elvis wedding would be enough. We didn’t even consider the cheesy flaws that could make it better!  We will never forget it.  I’m still smiling about it.

After our renewal, we had the limo driver drop us off at an Italian restaurant for dinner, and later we saw the Criss Angel Believe show.  Tickets we had gotten by attending a time-share presentation that morning. We did one of these in our first year of marriage, and now on our twenty-fifth. This time the gift was better though.  The last time it was supposed to be a TV, but they gave us a “shower spa.” Regardless, I hope we don’t do it on our fiftieth anniversary.

On Monday, we took a trip to Death Valley National Park and enjoyed God’s Beauty. And HEAT. We were lucky though, as it only hit about 103-104F. It was a beautiful day for a drive, and we took some gorgeous pictures. Bill has been on many business trips in the area, and he has always wanted to share it with me, so it was wonderful to experience it with him. We even saw a few dust devils, and tumbleweed. Wild West. Thankfully, we weren’t there on Tuesday, when we had a sandstorm in Vegas. I can’t imagine what that would have been like in Death Valley!

Tuesday was our actually anniversary, and we enjoyed a mellow day at the hotel. The winds were very high, so we couldn’t  use the pool as planned, but it was nice to rest and relax. We ate dinner at The Golden Nugget. Vic and Anthony’s Steakhouse was highly rated, romantic, and had a beautiful old-time steakhouse decor. It was the type of place you would imagine seeing a few mobsters, or members of the Rat Pack. The food and wine were fantastic.

After dinner we went out onto Fremont Street. I love the old school Vegas lights. Thanks to the fact that they have made it into a walking street with a covered roof, we were semi-protected from the wind and cold, and the ceiling lightshow was a nice addition. You could have your picture taken with all sorts there. Super hero, Chippendale, naked cow girl, a multitude of Elvis’. I spent five dollars on the penny slot machines.  It was the perfect venue. I made a few dollars, then lost it all, but I smiled the whole night. It was a great ending to an unbelievable vacation with my man.

Elvis is IN the building.

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Lost Under Las Vegas

We are on our 25th anniversary trip. It has been amazing so far. Sometimes I think that I could not be more in love with my husband. And then, I am.

We started at Disneyland. You’re never too old to enjoy Disney. It’s magical. It was sunny and warm, and we felt carefree. We could do what we wanted. We went early, rode on a few rides, had breakfast, walked around, and went back to the hotel for a long nap.  Several hours later, we would head out to Downtown Disney to eat before going back to the park for a show, or more rides. We probably only hit about four rides each day. We didn’t feel the need to wait in endless lines. We soaked in the atmosphere. We enjoyed watching the excited children. When they got tired and cranky, we didn’t have to deal with it. “Awwwww, look at how sad that poor little guy is…… ”  Okay, moving along.

I am continuously in awe of how well Disney masters detail. Down to the  littlest things. The rides, the buildings, the music, the lighting, the benches, the restrooms, the trash cans, the cracks in the walls. Everything is in theme. It is a compete experience. It’s all about the customer.  When checking into the resort hotel, they ask if you are celebrating a special occasion. We proudly wore our “Happy 25th Anniversary” pins (okay, Bill only wore it because we could get free champagne at some of the restaurants.) Almost every cast member we passed commented on them.  “Happy Anniversary!” “Twenty-five years?!”  “That’s not possible!” “You’re too young!” (I have lots of new best friends.) Downtown Disney, Disneyland, and California Adventure, no matter where we were we felt relaxed, young-at-heart, happy. It really is the happiest place on Earth. At least it was for us, for a few short days.

Las Vegas is one of the craziest places on Earth. The people-watching changes drastically. From Mickey ears and strollers, to short skirts, and stiletto heels. Actually, I did see Minnie, next to Hello Kitty, and not far from Sponge Bob and Olaf. I’m not sure what they were doing here, but they were mingling with a few show girls, and walking among the lady-sellers. They also looked like they had been through the wringer. Character convention? Weekend bender in Vegas?!

Last night, on our way back to our hotel, we walked through another,  to catch a tram. The signs to get into the hotel and casino were very clear. To get out….not so much. We were literally, lost under the streets of Las Vegas. Totally sober. We ended up farther away from our destination than when we began. I had no idea there was another world below the streets of the city. I don’t know how the drunks do it.  They may never make it out.

Tonight we saw a show. Absinthe. It was fantastic. Crude humor, burlesque, acrobats, tight rope walkers, tap dancers. All under a circus tent, theater-in-the-round style. We were, at most, five feet from the stage. It was an 18 and over show, and if you were in the first five rows, you had a good chance of being harassed. It was hysterical, and chock full of very talented people. We fluctuated between laughter and awe. On the way back, we stayed above ground.

We are five days in, to our nine-day trip. It was a long time coming, and very much-needed. It will be over all too soon. If only I could find a magic lamp to rub, and a genie to grant me a wish. Slow. Time. Down.