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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

VLV 15-My 2012 Experience-The Rest of the Story

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

Saturday, April 21, 2012

VLV 15-My 2012 Experience-Day 2

Day Two-Saturday Early risers aren't the 'norm' in Vegas, so it wasn't surprising to be the only person walking the halls as I made my way to Lulu's room to get ready for our Whirling Turban meet n' greet and the car show. The group photo was set for 11:30 so we hurried to unroll, powder, brush, apply, and accessorize as quickly as possible. Lulu wore a vintage Mexican circle skirt with a Hawaiian Heaven corselet top trimmed in green eyelet. She put her amazing hair up into an enviably simple Betty Grable style up do with several huge flowers in a similar shade to her hair.
Brooke (Miss Moose) went 'red' for the occasion and showed off her curves in a stunning two piece wing bust/sarong skirt dress of peacock blue:
I put her hair in a wind proof 'net' and spiced it up with tropical flowers:
My dress was a new design idea, a full skirted Shaheen Dream in emerald green. The bow detail really should be placed at the base of the sash, in retrospect, but it still was a stunning dress:
I opted for simple hair and ridiculous flowers:
The photo shoot was a ton of fun and I hope we can repeat it next year, with even more participants (and a later hour! haha):
From the photo shoot, we finally ate some lunch, met up with our friends, and headed out to the car show. Such great shopping this year, to add to the music and gorgeous cars!:
We managed to take a break mid day to attend the Saturday pool party and root for our friends in the vintage swimsuit contest for couples.
But heading back to the car show after the hottest part of the day is always one of the highlights, both for photos and viewing the cars.
Even caught a few shots with Lisa Freemont Street fans on the way back in:
For Evening, we made a quick run to dinner, changed into evening attire in record time, and then headed off to catch the Saturday offering of entertainment- Wayne Hancock and JD McPherson.
I actually managed to get to bed by 1am...some kind of record for a Viva Saturday. But it had been a very long day! End Day Two.

Viva Las Vegas 15-My 2012 Experience-Day One

What a difference a year makes! This year, no babies, shorter hair, and my first time attending the event as a representative of Whirling Turban! It made for a busier weekend, but still a rousing good time. The most stressful part of the event was preparing for it, as always. But this time was even more stressful because I had the added worry of waiting for my dresses from Whirling Turban. Katherine and I agreed (did I need much convincing?) that I should represent the brand a few times during my trip, and she designed me four beautiful dresses to wear. I would also be carrying a hand painted bag highlighting the name of the brand, a fantastic idea since it is a way to inform picture takers who you are wearing, without depending on business cards. The dresses arrived the week before our trip (whew!) and I adored them. It's amazing what it feels like to wear something made for you. Like you are doing something wrong, in my case. I felt naughty. haha
Travel Day-Friday-April 6 We were unable to work out the Thursday arrival this year, since we had to take the kids to Memphis to stay with family. We also were unable to find decent airfare out of Memphis (what is UP with that, MEM?)so our flight was out of Little Rock, at the ungodly hour of 7:45 am. This means we had to get up at 3(!)am to make the trip to Little Rock and catch our plane. My buddy Moose and her saint of a mom drove my husband and I to the airport and we did make it. But it was rough and I don't plan to do that again. At the airport, my darling sister-friend Lulu and her husband were there to greet us, looking shiny and gorgeous and radiant and tall. I wanted to kick her and kiss her all at once. The fellows at the baggage claim were staring in disbelief. I was wearing a vintage day dress on the plane but one look at Lulu's gorgeous skirt made me feel like I needed to change into something more confidence boosting. So when we got to the Orleans, I changed into a summery 1950's dress with a crinoline. I ran a brush thru my hair, slapped on a flower clip... Ahhhh...much better.
Friday was the day of the Viva Bowling, so we caught a few minutes of that as well. It's a fun event and the turn out was great. Afterwards, my husband headed outside with Misty and Michael (her husband) while I went alone to TGI Fridays to eat. People thought this was odd but I was perfectly happy.
Eventually, Moose came down and joined me and so did two couples who were also meeting us for the weekend. After a quick bite, we went out to the pool party that was in full swing. The male vintage swimsuit competition was going on and it was highly entertaining. Our friend Steve was by far the healthiest competitor but he didnt win, in spite of our Tennessee screams. It's rigged, I tell ya.
Once we had relaxed a bit, we went back to the room to get dolled up for evening. I opted for a 60's face and my gold pencil skirt with a basic black top. I also gave the hair lots of volume and wore the lovely LFSt custom hair clip and jewelry I got from Miss Tayva Jewelry. After a quick dinner at Koji, we ran upstairs to catch The Jive Aces and the Planet Rockers before turning in.
Just before bed, I threw my hair into pin curls in preparation for Saturday, our important day of Whirling Turban activity. ___________________________ End of Day One. :)