Viva Las Vegas

Vegas Wedding: (Left to Right) Paul (the groom's brother), Simon (the groom) and Matt (best man)

According to the cliché , if you can remember the 1960s you weren’t there and I’m going to use a similar excuse for this lame attempt at a post about my five days in Las Vegas; frankly I can’t remember a great deal of it*

The purpose of the trip was to attend my cousin Simon’s wedding which was to be held at the Special Memory Chapel in Las Vegas and after a busy few days in Los Angeles (see previous post), Carly and I headed into the desert en route to Sin City. The drive from LA takes around five hours, the majority of which is spent crossing the otherworldly landscape of the badlands of California and Nevada. We drove for hours passing nothing other than the very occasional petrol station before the ludicrous city-scape of Las Vegas eventually appeared on the horizon.

…and this is when details start to get a bit sketchy. The next few days passed in a whirl-wind of unsuccessful gambling, successful drinking and continued astonishment at the sheer vastness of this Mecca of pleasure: Just to walk from my suite (check me out) to the reception of the hotel would take around twenty minutes; to walk from our hotel (The Palazzo) to the hotel next door (The Venetian) would take another fifteen, the ‘strip’, an area marked at one end by the Stratosphere and at the other by the Mandalay Bay, is more than six miles in length. You get the idea anyway – Vegas is big on an industrial scale.

Luckily I am able to recall slightly more about Simon and Jo’s nuptials – an event that will remain in the memory of those lucky enough to attend (and also those who were watching via the simultaneous webcast) for many years to come. The wedding had something of an Elvis theme with the groom, best man and the groom’s brother all tastefully kitted out in full Elvis regalia; white jump suits, wigs, medallions and sunglasses all round. It was certainly a spectacle, as was the bling-tastic stretched Hummer complete with plasma screen and pumping R&B music that collected us from our hotel and ferried twenty of us to the chapel. During the service itself an actual Elvis singer (who bore more than a passing resemblance to Cliff Richard in his hay-day) provided the music and entertainment, highlights of which included ‘Love me Tender’ as the bride walked down the aisle and a particularly stirring rendition of ‘Viva Las Vegas’ at the end of the service which the entire congregation joined in with. A surreal but extremely enjoyable occasion and I can honestly say that I have never laughed so much during a wedding.

Unfortunately that is pretty much the limit of my memories of Las Vegas which is usually an indication of a good time in my experience. I flew back to Sydney on the following Friday for a couple of days of recuperation before flying to New Zealand a couple of days later. More to follow on that and I will try and cobble something more acceptable together next time

*Yes this is a massive cop-out.

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