In 2006, we received an invitation to a “family” anniversary party for Bill’s brother. While this is a normal thing to receive, the place that they were holding the party was a bit different as two of their kids lived in Las Vegas so everyone would be flying in for the party. First, we were not excited about going to a “family” party as they always are so interesting and then we really did not like the idea of going to Vegas. But, like funerals and wedding, it is seen as a family fail if you don’t show up for certain events. This was one of those events we felt a bit obligated to go as they had come to our renewal of vows in May that year.
This trip took place the end of July and Jenn was 20, Heather was 18 and Wendy was 16 and they were excited but apprehensive about going to Vegas. Finding a room for a good rate was difficult for a family of 5 as most hotels on the strip only allow 4 people per room so I would have to reserve 2 rooms. I finally found suite that would allow 5 people but it was kind of a dump and off the strip, but what else could I do?
|Hard Rock shirt from Myrtle Beach|
|The bracelet Heather brought for me-I add charms from all the Hard Rocks I visit|
We drove up and at that time we had to drive thru the Hoover Dam. I had been there when I was little, but of course did not remember it. It was a blistering, hot day there, but we stopped and walked around to get a good look at the Dam. They were beginning to build the Memorial overpass bridge as the alternate route besides the Hoover Dam road, but nothing much was visible from the Dam. All we kept picturing the Chevy Chase Vegas Vacation movie where he is hanging on the side of the Dam wall.
|Wendy, Heather, Jenn and Sherry-2006|
|Hoover Dam-I get better with age|
The drive was long and the hotel was okay but hot inside the room. We arrived about dinner time and decided to hit a buffet, then off to walk the strip. We were on the south end of the strip at Tropicana and Las Vegas Blvd. As soon as we ate headed to find the Hard Rock Hotel, for Heather that was about a mile off the strip. Heather had on her Hard Rock shirt from Myrtle Beach and wanted to find some goodies from Hark Rock in Vegas. Afterwards we actually had lots of fun shopping at all the different hotels. The casinos were gross with smoke and weird people, but we only walked thru on our way to the bathroom.
It was once we hit Caesar’s Palace that Heather was thrilled to death. There she found The Coach Store and bought her first ever designer label item. It was the beginning of a huge love affair with all thing designer. When she was halfway thru chemo treatments she bought herself her first Coach purse and she took the scarf and tied it onto the purse. The silk bag that holds the purse she placed her wigs in to keep them safe. One of her favorite designers was the House of Chanel as she even bought a pink tweed looking jacket with a dress for her senior year. Her hope was to one day actually own a Chanel suit or jacket.
|Heather with the M&M car, Vegas, 2006|
|My Snooks with the M&M car, Vegas, 2015|
We all were having such a good time that we hated to go to the family party, which was the main reason why we were there. Of course the food was horrible, we sat at a table with random people and then there was the fun moments of tension with the family. Now of course we have nothing to do with any of Bill’s family and the stress and tension is gone until his sister puts unwanted thing out at Heather’s grave. I simply throw them away, but I wish they would erase the rest of us as easily as they erased Heather and just leave us alone.
|Heather's 1st Coach, Vegas 2006|
Time flew by, school began, Wendy graduated, Heather went to South Carolina and got a new job at Target and we never thought about going back to Vegas. This past weekend Wendy and Sunnie were heading to Vegas to celebrate their 3rd anniversary and they invited me to tag along since Bill is out of the country. I wasn’t going to go and then I thought why not, perfect time to spend with Snooks, and the kids too. As we went out that first night the memories came flooding back in and suddenly I was transported back to 2006.
|A Mimi, a Snooks and a tiger sum up Vegas, 2015|
One afternoon the kids went down the other side of the strip to head back to the hotel and I wanted to go to The Coach Store and to the Chanel store. I found more than I bargained for and ended up buying the matching item for Wendy and Jenn in different colors. I am certain that Heather was pushing and very happy to have my buy something at her first Coach store. Then I headed to the Chanel store not sure what I was going to purchase but I knew I wanted to get something. I had gotten sunglasses at Chanel on Rodeo Dr. a signature camellia flower pin at Chanel in NYC and now another pair of sunglasses at Chanel in Las Vegas. I love all my sunglasses and Chanel never goes out of style.
|Dark sunglasses-Rodeo Dr, pin-NYC and nude sunglasses Vegas|
Looking back it made me sad to think that the only reason why we went to Vegas was for a forced family event and that was Heather’s only time to go. Not that Vegas is that great of a place, it is a place I think most people need to experience once in their lifetime. I do not gamble and I don’t drink, much, but there are other things to do in Vegas. The nighttime there is very interesting as the creepy people come out with the naked ladies and rest of the weirdos. I could live without that part. I feel this trip brought up lots of memories and emotions but for the most part they are good, but the hurt never goes away and trips like this somehow makes my heart hurt a bit more.