For the love of Pope Francis, am I STILL talking about Vegas? Has this series become like the Sagrada Família, or what? It’s never ending… or is it?
I last left you with the story of our annual Friday night Vegas Gems gathering but this here post is going to cover the following three (count ‘em!) evenings I spent in la Ciudad del Pecado. First up… SAT.
For some reason, and it’s never planned, I wind up staying in on Saturday night every year in Vegas. I know, totally lame, but it just kind of happens that way. Don’t get me wrong, I had more than my fair share of invites to play…
[segment of a text message]
Millennial: “Hey, um, want to meet me at Hakkasan? Calvin Harris is spinning.”
Me: “Man, that sounds awesome, but, I think I’m going to pass. Mainly because I have no idea who that is.”
Millennial: “Yeah, I really don’t know either. I just wanted to sound cool.”
Did I mention I love what I do for a living?
So Saturday was a bust but that was okay with me, because I got to catch up on sleep before Sunday night’s “Rocks the Beach” par-tay down at the other end of the strip. And thanks to the eternally lovely Hayley Henning, I finally had my ticket.
My attire for the show floor on Sunday was a little more conservative than usual. Mainly because I had an appointment with someone who wasn’t exactly a fan of a particularly short shirt I wore to the Centurion Show earlier in the year, so I was hell-bent on making sure that I did my best not to offend him this time.
I wore a suit.
This surprised several people. Gannon asked me why I was dressed like an accountant and Natalie with Omi Gems let me do her taxes. (By the way, Nat, no, you cannot write off keg-parties or male strippers. The IRS frowns on that. Sorry, girl.)
When the official work day came to a close, We The (Jewelry) People poured ourselves out onto the Wynn’s patio for a post-show shindig and ass-kissing socializing opportunity. With prosecco in grasp, I made my way through the crowd, kissing hands and shaking babies until the time came for me to bid that world adieu and prepare myself for the *other* world…
It was time to head down to Mandalay Bay.
“Rocks the Beach” had been a highlight for me these last couple of years. Not because I care anything about who is on the stage at the time the concert is happening, but because of who is off the stage when it is. As I have quoted my friend Wendy Brandes in the past… “It’s a concert in a pool!” And, who doesn’t love being soaked, drunk, and covered in sand while you make up song lyrics with some of your favorite people in the world, amiright?
When I arrived at Le Beach (in my heels, because now it’s just a game to see how long I’m able to stand in them on the sand) I headed straight for the bar, because Jeebus knows I can’t do this without liquor. I stumbled walked gracefully through the sand in search of any of my peeps and then a lightbulb came on… the WJA had a cabana. And that’s what I set out in search of.
I could hear the yells coming from the other side of the pool. I could somewhat make out what appeared to be Tinkerbell waving her arms and throwing pixie dust in my general direction then realized it was the one and only Bern Mack beckoning me.
“Damn. That’s one big-ass pool” I thought to myself. I was kind of trapped. They (my WJA sisters) were all the way on the other side of it, which meant I had to walk completely around it and past the JCK Cabana, but, I saw no other way to get there, and so I started walking, until I noticed that one part of the pool was… well… different.
It was dark, so I wasn’t one-hundred-percent certain that what I thought I was seeing was actually a thing. I mean, I looked like it could have been a thing, but I wasn’t wearing my glasses (because vanity) and I pretty much downed that first Dewars (because gluttony) so I seriously wasn’t sure. If I attempted what I was about to and failed, then let’s just say I’d be all washed up. If I attempted it and succeeded, then, well, it will make for one hell of a grand entrance, so I held my breath, lifted my black strappy stiletto, and stepped foot into what looked like the water.
You see, this pool had a transparent runway of sorts extending from one side to the other, but it was about three to four inches below the pool’s surface, so it wasn’t obvious in the dark, which made for a rather interesting sight.
Yes, my loves… to the unsuspecting eye, I appeared to have been walking on water.
And not only was I walking on water, I was walking on water to cheers and laughter from the crowd, which clearly I hate (sarc.) I was swaying my hips, splashing my heels, and cat walking the sh*t out of that pathway, so much so that when I got to the other side I heard one of the gals say… “Greatest. Entrance. Ever.”
AHHHHH! MY SISTERS!!! MY SISTERS WERE THERE! Deb Hiss, and Anna Samsonova, and Bern, and Wendy, and Erika Winters (who was celebrating her fortieth birthday!) and Britt, and Andrea Hansen, and Jessica, and so, so many of my lovelies. I even got to meet Sarah Keicker for the first time after having been social media pals for a while. It felt so good to be there. Felt like home, ya know? Only thing missing was our fearless leader, Monica Stephenson.
I eventually made my way back down to the beach where I found Amanda, Molly, and Hayley in time to pose for a #TallGirlClub picture. I also ran into a plethora of Dutch folk, namely Edward and Mike Asscher, while I waited for the man of the hour to arrive…
Oh, I don’t mean musical act Gavin DeGraw… I mean That Kid From Ritani… and sure enough, he did.
There is just something about a 6’4” crossfitter wearing a sleeveless Bengal tiger t-shirt and pink shorts walking across a fake beach. I mean, where else on earth other than Vegas (well, maybe Japan) could one see a sight such as this? Nowhere, people. Nowhere. And thank lawd for that.
“Babs! Em, what ya doin’?”
(I love it when the English rid themselves of those pesky prepositions.)
We chatted for a moment but then I did something I’d been wanting to do for several months… I introduced TKFR to Mr. Best Dressed himself, Mike Asscher.
It was weird to see so much handsomeness come together in one square foot of space. The coalescence of beauty nearly caused the two industry stars to become supernovae, blinding those around them as they smiled their sickeningly perfect smiles.
Ugh. I’m ill. Moving on…
Shortly after Breakin DeLaw Gavin DeGraw hit the stage, I hit the bricks, as I was being beckoned by some of my clients down at the Wynn to come on back for some Oban and shenanigans. And when clients beckon, Barbara obeys, because that’s what you do in the land of the sale.
It was a fine, fine evening down at the beach, and I was so happy to have been able to take part, yet again, in the fun and frivolity.
The last day of the Couture show was still a fairly busy one for us. Our appointments ran well into the afternoon until at last we were allowed some down time, which is when I FINALLY got to visit my darling Michelle Peranteau over at Baume et Mercier.
Someone said to me recently, “You know, there is jewelry and there is watches and never the twain shall meet,” but I disagree with that statement. There is definitely a disconnect between the two genres of the adornment world, but there are crossovers as well as enough crossover people (and writers), and it’s about time the two are desegregated.
By Monday night, everyone in Vegas and I were exhausted. I opted for burgers and a beer (oh, the humanity) at Bobby Flay’s joint just off of the strip. I was accompanied by a good friend of mine who had only a few hours before they had to catch the red eye. Then, I took one of my final cab rides of the trip to see the one human being I had yet to see because he was stupid enough to change a light bulb by himself…
No Vegas experience is complete without a night in Eye Candy with Sketchy McNerdystein, so even in my sleep-deprived haze, I made it a point to spend time with one of my favorite people on the planet. And yes, I realize just how much crap I’m going to catch for voicing that morsel of information, but what the hell, you only get one life, right? May as well share your feelings before dementia sets in. And it will. Sometimes purposely. I think for me it will be deliberate dementia so that I don’t have to remember this sh*t when I’m older.
And with that, my people, this year’s Tales From the Strip series comes to a close. Before it does, however, let me give a shout out to Ben Guttery who has given me you-know-what about my not mentioning him in any of these posts. Here ya go, Ben. You get your own paragraph and all.
Thank you to GUMUCHIAN, the COUTURE SHOW, JCK EVENTS, the WYNN, my FRIENDS, the WJA, my VEGAS GEMS, the LEAGUE of GEMINISTS, the DIAMOND EMPOWERMENT FUND, my READERS, my EDITOR, and THOSE WHO ATTENDED THE POWER OF BLOGGING SESSION. Y’all rock. PUN. IN. TEND. ED.
See you next year, effers!