Friday, April 29, 2011

Viva Las Vegas 14! My Synopsis and Photos!

Hello, all! I hope everyone is well! I am back from Viva Las Vegas 14 and I have to say that I cannot wait to do it again! I am also sad that Viva is over so soon! Those 4 days went by quickly!

Nevertheless, I would like to present my VLV 14 experience, complete with photos!

On Wednesday, April 20th, the man (aka my husband) and I departed Washington Dulles bound for Las Vegas at 5:27 pm on United Airlines. After a non-eventful 3+ hour flight, we arrived at McCarran Las Vegas airport at approximately 8:00 pm. The man and I claimed our bags and got a cab to the Palazzo/Venetian Hotel.

At this point, I was starving and it felt like it was past midnight (due to the three hour time difference). We checked into room 45-729 and then went to dinner at Carnevino, a delicious, modern Italian steakhouse. The man had lamb chops and I had parppardelle with wild mushrooms. After dinner, we went back to our room and went to bed.

The next morning, I woke up at 6:20 am. I was still on Eastern Standard Time and after a while, managed to fall back asleep. The man and I woke up again around 9:30 and we ordered room service. I had a gorgeous bagel and schmeer with lox and the man dined on a three-egg omelette. Here is the view from our room as we ate:

The pools and golf course belong to the Wynn Resort. The sun was so bright and the weather was very warm. The average temperature during our stay was in the low 80s. It did not rain once! Talk about a welcome change to the rainy and cold DC weather!

After breakfast, I took a shower and as I started my makeup, I realized that I left my MAC mascara at home! Luckily, there was a huge Sephora in the Palazzo/Venetian complex! I decided to keep my makeup look simple due to the missing mascara and the man and I went to lunch at the Taqueria CaƱonita in the Venetian. We had amazing guacamole and chips and I ordered a margarita and the man had a beer. We had lunch and then I went to Sephora and picked up a new tube of mascara, an Illamasqua lipstick called Box, a Illamasqua nail polish in Ruthless (a bright, vintage red creme), and a Make Up For Ever lipstick in a bright pearly hot pink (Rouge Artist Intense #9).
After Sephora, we went back to our room and took a nap. That night we dined at Sushisamba at the Palazzo.

I dined at the NYC location in 2006 and my food was amazing. Sushisamba combines Peruvian and Brazilian cuisine with Japanese flair. They have an extensive sushi menu, tons of sake, and scores of meat and side dishes, done in a South American style. The restaurant was crowded and the mood was lively! I had sushi of course and the man had trio of meats prepared Brazilian style.

The next day, the man and I woke up around 9:15 am and again ordered a fabulous breakfast! I had an egg white frittata and the man selected steak and eggs. The day was sunny and warm. Perfect for a visit to the Neon Museum! The man and I had a scheduled tour for 2:00 pm. We got a cab at the Palazzo taxi stand and made our way downtown, on the other side of Fremont Street.

When we arrived at the Reed Whipple Center and I spotted a few rockabilly folks outside. The man and I went inside and waited for the tour to begin. After checking in and paying 30 USD for our tickets, the museum organizers separated the guests into two groups. Our tour guide was Bill and our tour group was his first "solo" tour! He did a fantastic job!
 The white, curvy concrete building across the street is what's left of the La Concha Motel that was built in 1962. The original location was next to the Riviera. In 2006, the motel was demolished but the iconic, sea shell lobby was saved. When the museum is complete, the remnants of the La Concha will serve as the welcome center.

Most of the artifacts owned by the Museum is actually contained in an open, outdoor, fenced-in lot. There are scores of signs from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. There is also a former sign from a local dry cleaners that dates to the 30s!

As you enter the lot, you are greeted by two big Golden Nugget signs, one from the 50s and another from the 70s. Here is the 50s version:
Even though the temperature was only in the low 80s, the combination of desert air and the fact the sun was beaming down on us, made it feel like it was in the 90s! Thank goodness I brought my parasol!
Along with seeing actual, vintage neon, our amazing guide and historian Bill presented an in-depth and detailed history for several pieces. Here is the Yucca Motel sign from the 50s (the gentleman on the left is Bill):

After an hour+ at the Neon Museum, the man and I returned to the Palazzo and had a late, late lunch. I had a very bad (icky) veggie burger and the man had (according to him) a delicious cheeseburger. After lunch, we went back to our room to rest and then get ready for Friday night shopping and dancing at the Orleans!
The Orleans Hotel and Casino is located on West Tropicana Avenue off the Las Vegas Strip. The closest casinos are the Palms, Rio, and Gold Coast. The Orleans has been the home to Viva Las Vegas for a few years. Before that, it was held at the Gold Coast.

Here is a look of my Friday night outfit:

I am wearing a green and blue print 50s dress with full skirt and crinoline. I was going to do rolls but I decided to do a version of a pageboy instead. This night, the man and I dined at the Canal Street Grille at the Orleans before dancing. The food was delicious but the service was very, very slow for some reason. Nevertheless, we finished our dinner and made our way upstairs. I browsed the vendor rooms and did not buy anything. (at least not yet!)

Then we went to the Bienville room and did some dancin'! After an hour or so, my feet were tired! My Stuart Weitzman heels gave out. But before the man and I made out way back down to the Piano Bar for a drink, I saw Holly from Temperamental Broad and her fabulous beau, Oscar! It was so neato to see Holly in person! Her green dress adorned with sequins was to DIE for! She and I only chatted for a minute or so. I think both of our feet were hurting!

The man and I went to the Piano Bar and had a drink and relaxed for a bit. I was tired! It was nearly 12:30 am when we decided to go back to the Palazzo. My dancin' feet were done!

The next day was the car show at the Orleans! I was really looking forward to this! The man was too since he was a gearhead when he was younger. He used to own and race a 1971 GTO. The man and I had a late breakfast and made our way to the Orleans around lunchtime. I was floored at the size of the lot and the number of cars was equally staggering! There were so many people too! The man and I also saw an Elvis impersonator officiate a wedding. Too much!
After taking in the sights at the car show, the man and I hung out for a while at the pool party and then we went back to the Palazzo. I needed a nap and  wanted to shower off all of that sunblock!

The man and I had dinner at the hotel and then got ready for Saturday night! I wore a yellow and purple 1950s circle dress with crinoline and I did my hair in rolls. I also rolled the back since the curl refused to cooperate!

We arrived at the Orleans around 9:30 pm and went upstairs to the ballrooms to check things out. We hit the vendor rooms and browsed. I saw so many cute things, including sun tops, shoes, swim suits, hats, and jewelry. The man bought a fab gray wool hat at the HepKat booth and then I saw Holly and Oscar again! Holly and I talked for a bit and the man took our picture!
As always, Holly looked AMAZING! Her hair and dress were gorgeous! It was so great to see her twice in a row! I wish I saw/meet other bloggers! I would have loved to have seen Kim, Tasha, Barbara, and Dollie. There were just so many people there and the venue was huge! I think for the next time, we need to schedule a meet up! I also need to bring my phone! Can you believe I left my phone at home on my bathroom sink?! Thank goodness the man had his or I would have no pictures!

After seeing Holly one of the vendor rooms, I spotted the infamous Allyn Scura booth! I was in vintage eyewear HEAVEN!!!! There were so many frames to choose from. I just wanted to sit on the floor and surround myself in all that vintage glory! I wanted to make it my home!

As I was browsing through the vast amount of eyewear, I saw a fabulous pair of pale blue and clear acetate cat eye frames. I knew instantly they had to be mine!
Before I made my purchase, I had a wonderful chat with a stylish man named Andre. He was helping out at the Allyn Scura booth. His style was 1940s perfection!

After buying my new cat eyes, the man and I went to the Bienville room and listened to some fabulous music and danced a bit. We got a drink, hung out for a while, and then went back to the Palazzo. I was tired and it was late!

The next day, we had breakfast and went to the Atomic Testing Museum.

The Atomic Testing Museum is associated with the Smithsonian Institution. It features the history, evolution, and science behind atomic energy. The exhibit starts with World War II, the post war period, the atomic age, the space era, the 70s and 80s, and then ends with modern atomic uses. There is also a real piece of the Berlin Wall on display along with an I beam from the World Trade Center.

The museum contains several artifacts like hard hats, goggles, military equipment, remnants of mannequins used in testing, signs, rock specimens, a bunker simulating an atomic test, an exhibit featuring a real 1950s office, and there is even a real (albeit stuffed) mountain lion. In the 50s, a mountain lion was discovered dead under a trailer in area 12 of the Nevada Test Site. It apparently died to starvation and radiation.

One of the cool aspects of the museum details how the atomic tests actually were a tourist draw to the city of Las Vegas. People would watch the mushroom clouds in the distance from town. Local casinos and hotels would advertise upcoming tests to attract guests! There was even a Miss Atomic Bomb Beauty Pageant! Talk about a different era!

The man and I were at the museum for over two hours and by the time we were done, it was 5:00 pm! Sadly, there was no time to make it over to the Viva pool party at the Orleans! We had dinner reservations at Aureole in the Mandalay Bay for 8:30 pm.

After the museum, we made our way back to the Palazzo and took a quick rest and then got ready for dinner. Dinner was amazing! Aureole features a huge, open glass tower of wine complete with wine angels who retrieve your wine selection. Let me tell you, the wine list is so big, the sommelier hands you an iPad to browse from! That's how big the wine list is!

The man had caviar to start and I opted for the crudo of yellow tail and avocado. For main courses, I had the salmon and risotto and the man dined on a meat course. For dessert, we had a brownie tart accompanied with a 1982 port. By the time we left, I was in a food coma!

The next day was Monday and it was time to check out of the Palazzo and go back to DC. Our flight, United 70, left Vegas at 3:15 pm and we connected in Denver. Our flight to Dulles left Denver on time and we arrived at Dulles around 1 am. We got a cab home and promptly went to bed. It felt so good to be back home in our bed, cuddling with our kitty. (I always miss my furbaby whenever I travel).

After my dentist appointment on Wednesday, I took my new glasses to my optician and had them fitted with my prescription. Here is how they look:
I really love the shape and color! I now have three pairs of vintage cat eye glasses. I can totally see myself collecting more! A girl can never have to many accessories!

So, gals, there you have it! I really enjoyed Viva and I would love to it again next year! I also want to do the Denver Modernism show in August! The man has clients there and any excuse to go to Colorado is good for me!

Also, for those bloggers I missed out on meeting, I am sorry we did not get the chance this time around! I hope we can meet next time!


  1. Yay for Allyn Scura! I knew you'd love that guy! He has some truly amazing frames.

    What a busy schedule you had while you were there! Did you think you got a full experience? You almost have to do a separate Vegas and sight-seeing trip.

  2. Erin,

    I adored the Allyn Scura booth! I wanted to live there! lol! I feel like we did a lot in those 4 days/5 nights! I think the man and I could have done one more day at the pool party. He was really intrigued by the exhibits at the Atomic Testing Museum! So much so that we left, I was floored it was 5 pm! If we did not have dinner reservations, I would have done the last hours of the pool party for sure!

  3. You totally did a lot in that small amount of time! I would've been exhausted and overwhelmed! The pool party wasn't around when I used to attend Vegas, but I loved seeing Dollie's pictures!

  4. I am so sad I didn't meet you! Holly told me she met you, and I looked for you, too :-( Maybe next year?

  5. The pool party on Saturday was fun. The man and I went after we did the car show. There was a nice breeze and the sun was bright. Nico and the Aquasonics were great too! I missed out on seeing Dollie! Too many people and the venue, as you know, is huge!!

  6. Kim,

    I know!!!! I was sad too! I was disappointed to have not met you this time! I need to do more events so I can meet others! It was great seeing Holly though! She looked amazing! And according to your pics, you looked gorgeous!

  7. I am wear Allyn Scura frames right now and i think I have owned those blues ones your bought but my oldest son accidently broke them when he was a little. I also love love love that sephora!!! No other sephora compares. I wish I could do Vegas again but I think it may be a few years as we want to save up to take the kids on a disney type vacation before they are too old.

  8. Living Vintage,

    That is cool that you have a pair of Allyn Scura's too! Aren't they fab? I love mine so much!

    I once had a repro cat eye pair in this amazing cheetah print and one winter night I fell asleep by the fireplace and I apparently took them off and when woke up, I rolled over on them and snap! I broke them! I was devastated!

    That Sephora was heaven. I wanted to stay and browse longer but the husband was getting bored! lol!

    I think Disney is a fun trip! My husband is from Florida and he loved going there as a kid. Now they have the other parks and the waterparks. Too fun!

    Speaking of kids and vacation, I was amazed at how many little kids were in Vegas with their parents! To see kids in strollers as the "Hot Babes" billboard truck (complete with semi-nude girls on it) oozes past them on the Strip. Wow.

  9. Looks like you had a good time! I didn't make it this year (pregnancy and all-night parties in Vegas don't seem to mix) so I was extra excited to see everyone's pictures. Someday I would like to take advantage of the fact that VLV is in Vegas and see more of the town.

    I totally recommend the modernism show. I have been going for several years and wouldn't miss it for anything. Okay, this year I may have to miss it since my due date is August 29th, but if I am not in labor, I will be there!

  10. I am so sad I never ran into you! Next time we must plan a meet up for sure. Love all of your pics. I need to go to the graveyard and museum one of these days!


  11. Nicole,

    Vlv was indeed fun! There was just too many things to and see!

    The modernism show looks amazing and big! I really want to do it! Like I said, anything to get me to Colorado is on my list!

    I hope your pregnancy is going well!

  12. Dollie,

    I am very sad I missed you too! Holly told me that she saw you and Kim a couple of times. Rats! It was such a huge place and there were so many things going on! I think what we need to do next time is for us blogger gals to vote on a place and time to meet!

  13. It sounds like you had a FaBuLoUs trip!! *Jelous* I would love to go to that old sign museum!
    I really like your new glasses great color.

  14. Melzaelf,

    It was a great vacation for sure! The Neon Museum is amazing and it is a must-do for any vintage-loving gal! The glasses are wonderful! I am pleased with my purchase!

  15. This is a great post Tara! I'm really glad you enjoyed the neon museum and Freemont street, and all your descriptions of the food you had are mouthwatering! As usual, reading everyone's posts really makes me want to go to VLV!

  16. Clare,

    The neon museum was brilliant! The food was amazingly good! I was so pleased that most places, even the posh ones, had several veggie options! I was impressed when the Italian steakhouse had the wild mushroom and parppardelle! It was gorgeous! There are some amazing Indian places in town too but I did not get to go there this time around! Love me some aloo gobi and lentils!

    Nevertheless, I hope you do VLV one day! I would love to meet you! I know your Florida trip is coming up! I know you are going to love it!

  17. I was so disappointed we didn't manage to run into each other! We probably passed one another a dozen times and didn't even realize it - the place was so crowded!
    How wonderful that you made it to the neon museum and the atomic testing museum! I'm impressed that you were able to fit so much in, and still get all of the Viva events in as well. Looks like you two had a fabulous vacation, and isn't breakfast by room service the best!?!

  18. Barbara,

    I am so sad we missed each other too! Like I said, I think us vintage bloggers need to pick a time and place to meet up before we go! As you know, VLV is huge!

    The man and I were busy trying take everything in the whole time we were in Vegas. I think next time we will do more Viva and less sightseeing! I enjoyed the Neon Museum big time and the atomic testing museum was way cool! So much history!

    And you are right, room service breakfast is divine! I wish I could cook (and eat) like that all the time! lol! The pastries and coffee alone were so tasty! I was also impressed with the Palazzo's lox! So fresh and the texture was perfect!

  19. Aw I wish I couldve went. Your new (to you) frames look fantastic. Love em!

  20. Yes my trip is only a few weeks away and I am really very excited to come to your fabulous country! Thanks again for your tips :))

  21. Atomic Mama,

    Thanks for the compliment! Vlv is a must do, at least once in a lifetime! I cannot wait to do it again!

  22. Clare,

    How exciting! Florida in may/June is nice! It will be hot but not too crazy like it is in July and August!

    My husband's parents live in Boca (an hour north of Miami). I love visiting there! The flora and fauna are so pretty! There are so many beautiful flowers, especially hibiscus! They are everywhere and come in so many vibrant colors! Maybe you will be inspired and create a tropical line of Dolly Cool necklaces featuring hibiscus flowers, plumeria blooms, and palm fronds!

  23. Random question for this particular post, but I'm going to be in D.C. for a few days next week, and I was wondering if there were any thrift/antique/vintage stores that would be worth checking out if I have time. Thanks! :)

  24. How exciting and fun, Laura! So, are you coming for business or vacation? Either way, DC is a great place to visit! The museums, the shops, bars, and dining are really wonderful here.

    As for thrift and vintage Martha's on 14th St in Northwest is nice thrift store with a great philanthropic feel.

    Meeps is a cute store located on 18th St NW. It has two floors to browse from so take your time!

    Here is a great link featuring a list and synopsis of some vintage stores in the area:

    I hope you find this information helpful! If you need more info, let me know!

  25. My mom is actually living in D.C. temporarily for a work project, and I'm visiting her for a couple days. I don't know what she has planned yet, but those look like great suggestions either this trip, or later in the summer when I go back. Thanks soo much for the recommendations! :D

  26. I'm sorry we missed each other! :/

    We went to the neon museum a few years ago, I loved it. What an interesting place.

    Funny about Sephora, I had a gift certificate and had it with me when we headed in the opposite direction on the strip and didn't see anything I wanted in the much smaller one in Planet Hollywood, and then didn't have it with me when on a different day we were in the Venetian where the huge one is. Duh!

  27. Tasha,

    I am so bummed I did not get to meet you either! I hope we can all meet up one of these days!

    That is a shame about the whole gift certificate situation! However, you can use it online too! The online site has way more than what most stores have in stock and it features all the brands that most locations do not carry like Illamasqua and Hourglass. Illamasqua lipsticks are amazing!

  28. Hey Tara,

    It's Andre from the Allyn Scura booth at VLV. It was such a pleasure meeting you. Thanks so much for the kind words and I love the new frames. Check us out on FB:
    Until next time...

  29. Andre,

    How wonderful to see your comment on my blog! Great to hear from you! It was such a pleasure meeting you!

    The frames are wonderful and I wore them again today!

    Thanks again and thank you for the FB link!

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