- 15 “prime of life” Jewish ladies
- 3 young gals
- 10 rooms in 3 different towers of Caesar’s Palace
- 1 $1,000 jackpot
- 1 Cher imitation in the middle of Spago
- 2 Shabbat services in hotel rooms
- 1 wheelchair scooter
- 3 wheelchair scooter incidents
- 8 rounds of Happy Birthday sung in very public places
Suffice it to say, this was not my typical weekend jaunt to Vegas.
The reason for this trip? My mom’s good friend Rochelle turned 50 a few weeks ago, and to celebrate, all of the valley Yentas decided to head to Vegas. Of course I can never pass up a trip to Vegas, so when Rochelle’s daughter, my good pal Maya, told me she was going, I immediately invited myself along as well!
the birthday gal herself!
Since lately my sister has been telling me my stories take F O R E V E R to tell, I won’t give a play by play. Instead, I’ll give you some highlights:
- Since some members of our group were more religious than others, the weekend started with lovely Kabbalat Shabbat service as all 18 of us packed into a hotel room for a FULL service. I may or may not have videotaped this and captured one particular special moment when Maggie became so OVERCOME with love for the Lord that she was literally bouncing up and down on the bed. I won’t lie, the service was actually very nice, but I confess that I did give my mother a look of horror when I arrived in Vegas to find out our first group activity was…praying. Let’s just say I added my own prayer – the Shehechiyanu – for the first time I ever did Shabbat in Vegas!
- Speaking of Maggie, I love her. But I would not call her a very experienced gambler, and WOULDN’T YOU KNOW IT, she stuck $37 bucks into a penny slot and WON A THOUSAND DOLLARS. The best part? She didn’t even REALIZE IT. I am not at all joking when I say that if it had been me or my mom, we would have wrecked our vocal cords for life screaming and jumping around like lunatics.
- My own personal favorite moment of the trip? Poor Susie, who just had knee surgery, was having trouble walking around our enormous hotel, so she rented one of those wheelchair electric scooters. Cut to us on Saturday morning, making our way through Caesars on our way to lunch at Joe’s Stone Crab. I found an elevator and held the door open for Susie. What does she do? She hit the gas instead of the brakes and PLOWED into the wall of the elevator. I have never seen a group of people laugh so hard – the ladies were CRYING. I tried not to laugh, especially after I realized that Susie had hurt her shoulder – whiplash!- but it really was one of the funniest things I have ever seen.
- The grown-up ladies went to see Cher perform while us little kids stayed behind. Afterwards, we all met up at Spago for dinner. I was jealous that they had seen Cher, so decided to put on a little show of my own… I may or may not have climbed up the Spago staircase and performed “If I Could Turn Back Time” with a mini hairbrush and a glass of tequila for THE ENTIRE RESTAURANT. I have NO shame.
- I’m not kidding when I said we sang Happy Birthday to Rochelle 8 times. Everywhere we went, someone sneakily whispered to the waiter, and out came a cake and a candle and the song – at the airport, at Mesa Grill, at Spago, at Joe’s, etc. But the best one? That would have to be approximately 10,000 miles in the air – the plane had just taken off when the flight attendant came on the intercom.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the captain has not yet turned off the seatbelt sign… Federal law prohibits gathering near the cockpit… and WHERE’S ROCHELLE? IT’S ROCHELLE’S BIRTHDAY! LET’S ALL SING HER HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”
And so the entire plane sang Happy Birthday, once again, to Rochelle :)
the whole gang before dinner at Mesa Grill
Mommy, Rochelle, Maya, Sarah, Sheila, Susie, Karmi, Jill, Liisa, Felice, Debby, Nadine, Rebecca, Sharon, Gail, Maggie, and Nora, thanks for a fab weekend! I would go back with you anytime!