Tuesday, June 8, 2010

This Isn’t Vegas?!

I had posted this blog a bit ago, but someone told me to take it down, due to their embarrassment of me. To me, it's a story of God's grace, protection, and the millionth chance He has given me to get it together. He never gave up on me. And He won't give up on you either. No matter who else does, I know that I know.... He won't.

It’s been almost a year. And it still seems as real today, as it did then. I’m writing this to share my journey, and can’t wait til you hear the rest. :) Love you all! Muah. Grace truly does restore visions and dreams. True Story. ;)

I hear Vegas is the place to be on Memorial Day Weekend. Unfortunately, I don’t believe I will ever find out for myself just how fun it truly is on it’s summer kickoff weekend. My girlfriend Erin and I were sure on our way though. I had recently been ‘considering’ a move to Pennsylvania to work for my father’s company, and Erin was living in Columbus, OH. The plan was to meet up with Marisa for her birthday in Las Vegas. Everything was paid for, even our flight…. But I ended up paying for much more than I’d ever imagined…..

Marisa is one of a kind. Perfect skin, hair, legs, perfect everything. Not only is she perfect but she is extremely talented, and comes from an extremely affluent family. Carrying on a conversation with her can sometimes be trying, because it can quite often consist of trying to convince her whether she should buy the pink Gucci boots with rhinestones or without. In the end she usually ends up buying both pairs. However as spoiled as she may be, she has the heart of gold and is extremely loving. So for her own birthday she finagled two plane tickets across the country for myself and our other girlfriend Erin, along with VIP access to the biggest parties, and a suite at one of the best hotels in Vegas. Marisa was on a reality show on Bravo called ‘Millionaire Matchmaker’ and one of her many escapades around the country she caught the eye of a Vegas hotel owner, who set us up for the entire weekend. We were set, and I was so excited for the best Memorial Day Weekend ever.

Thursday nights in Mount Pleasant, PA were always my favorite nights of the week there. Mount Pleasant is a very “Norman Rockwell” type of town about 45 minutes south of Pittsburgh. I had only been here for about a month and had absolutely fallen in love with this town and the calm effect it had on me. My father had recently been remarried and getting to know my ‘new’ family was also refreshing.

There was a dive bar on the edge of this tiny picturesque town called “Fatboys” and Thursday night was karaoke night. My current place of residence was Nashville, TN. I had spent the past five years and living and playing in music city, with lots of friends in the music industry being around some of the town’s biggest stars seemed to be the norm. Being in this small town bar was a lil hard to get used to at first, but then I fell in love with it. I even started to date a small town rockstar but in the end it didn’t work out because he had a bigger ego than someone that had just released their Greatest Hits album.

Anyway, back to Mount Pleasant. The Thursday night before I was to go to Vegas was no exception. Erin was driving in from Columbus and wasn’t going to be able to pick me up until 3am. So there was no way I was going to miss my weekly karaoke party. My step-sister Melody and I hopped in the car and headed to Fatboys and it was as fun as ever. I felt like heaven there. I still to this day do not understand it. We left the karaoke fun at around 2am, and she dropped me off at my father’s house and I finished packing. Erin arrived at about 3am and we started what we thought was going to be the most amazing weekend of our 20nothings. 20 nothing is how old we tell people are if we are asked. :) At the time I was 27. Erin was 28.

Erin is also a one of a kind in the purest sense of the word. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio and has a two year old little red headed girl named Kixxy Love. We usually call her Kickers. Erin is one of the most beautiful girls I have ever seen. As well as one of the sweetest. It seems that everyone who meets her, girl or guy, falls in love with her. It’s uncanny really. I’ve seen it happen time and time again, and I really don’t know how she does it. She has a very giving heart, but I think it tends to turn her into a sort of follower. I myself can fall into this category too. And on this occasion, I most definitely did.

Flying on a Buddy Pass is apparently usually pretty easy to do. Except when you are flying on Memorial Day Weekend. And especially when you are flying to Las Vegas. The people who have actually paid for their tickets, in this case $600 one way, obviously get first priority. Second are the family members of crew members, or the crew members themselves. Lastly, are people like Erin and I, who were given Buddy Passes by a crew member. While our flight from Pittsburgh to JFK in New York City was fine, once we got to New York, we knew we were in for a problem. We got off the plane and went to check in at the desk, and the women at the counter with their thick Bronx accents laughed right away. “Girl you picked the wrong time to fly on a buddy pass, it doesn’t look like you are going to get out of NYC anytime soon”. The wind was taken out of my sweet little sails immediately, and I wanted to fly straight back to Pittsburgh. This wasn’t the case for Erin. She was adamant about the fact that we would get to Las Vegas one way or another.

We had hopped on our flight from Pittsburgh to JFK at 7:00am and arrived in NYC around 10:00am. Keep in mind we still haven’t been to sleep yet. But we were hungry, and wanted to iron out our plan for the day. We ate at a delightful sports grill and while Erin had a Bloody Mary, I had a Screwdriver and the waitress talked us into a double for only $2.00 more. We shared breakfast nachos or something and Erin talked me into trying to get on the next flight to Vegas. So after two drinks, and another burst of energy we were on our way to check in for Vegas flight #2. At the flight desk there were about 8 other disgruntled passengers also traveling on Buddy passes except they had been there since the night before trying to get on a plane to Vegas. Which meant they were all ahead of us in line. Flight after flight was called, and Erin kept my hopes up saying we were definitely going to be on the last flight from JFK which left the airport at 9:00 and arrived in Vegas around midnight. Marisa, the birthday girl, was adamant that we would make it on that flight, and called the Captain who had given us the Buddy Passes, Al, who was going to make a special appearance and meet us at the airport, to make sure we made it on that plane.

With that said, I just assumed all was well, and figured the last few hours at the airport would be just fine. Erin and I tried to take a nap, made a little fort without suitcases and tried to fall asleep. Only to awake 15 minutes later with a strange guy in a towel wrapped around his head guy staring at us. Erin woke up and said, “hi!!!”. He then asked if she was ok, and asked where we were going. After that, neither of us could fall back asleep. So we decided to go to the bathroom, do our hair and makeup, and put on the outfits we wanted to arrive in Vegas in. We took all of our things into the large handicapped accessible bathroom at the end, and began rummaging through our suitcases oohing and aaahing at all the stuff we wanted to borrow from each other. We went over to the sink area and plugged our curling irons, chi irons, and barrel irons, and laid out our makeup as if it was a runway show at the airport. We had our own little fashion show and finally we were ready to go back out and await our flight to Sin City! I had decided on a peasant skirt with a purple ribbed wife beater. The skirt was a little long so I opted for my blank chunky summer platforms, after all, they were easy to walk in, and pretty comfortable. I felt so refreshed, and by this time it was almost dinnertime so we were going to grab a bite to eat, before hopping on our flight. With my suede pink rolling suitcase in one hand, and my large Ed Hardy leather purse in the other, walking down the very center of JFK began to feel like a balancing act. And as my pretty new pink peasant skirt was still a little too long, I could feel it get caught under my chunky black platform sandals, and there I went. JFK airport on the starting day of Memorial Day weekend was more than packed with people to say the least. And most of these people were people watching…. I felt the suitcase spin around and I tried to balance myself on it but since the wheels didn’t want to help me out, I fell pretty hard, and pretty fast. Ouch. I instantly heard “ooooooh”. From about what seemed like 50 people but was probably more. I looked up and Erin was dying. I began to laugh so hard too, but the instant purple bruise on my knee kept me from laughing too long without an ouch at the end of every giggle. Ok, so I just ate it in front of Lord knows how many people. And I composed myself and decided we needed another meal, and a drink to accompany it.

Erin had the bright idea that we go to the Duty Free store and just buy a bottle of liquor there, and mix our own drinks, and I concurred. We picked up a bottle of Grey Goose and just couldn’t get over the fact that it was only 15 bucks! It was a pretty quick choice and so we went to the counter to pay for it. The Hispanic man at the counter rolled his eyes in disgust when he asked for our itineraries and saw we were just going to Vegas. And continued his disgust as he explained that this was only for people that were traveling out of the country. Oopsies. I should have known this one!

Oh well, we thought we would try this really funky Asian place that seemed to be hoppin’ and enjoy our last couple of hours in NYC. We had made friends with the other disgruntled travelers traveling on Buddy Passes, and a sweet guy named Eric, joined us for dinner and a cocktail. When we sat down for dinner, I was the only one interested in eating, so I opted for some edamame and a bottle of sake. We had our dinner, and waited on Al the pilot to arrive. This restaurant ended up being pretty crummy, so we left after one cocktail, and went back to the first place that we had visited for breakfast. Erin and I headed back to the sports grill, and waited for Al. While we were waiting, we met a guy who owned an Italian restaurant in the city, and he bought us a shot of tequila, and each had another round of drinks. Pretty soon Al, showed up and he was more than delightful right away. What an all around wonderful person I thought. The three of us ate dinner, had another drink, and headed to terminal number 9, and got ready to board our plane. Finally! Al went up to the desk, even introduced us to the pilot who would be flying us to Vegas, and there we waited. All of the other disgruntled travelers that we had been with all throughout the day were there too, and they all got on the flight, and we were ready to go. At the last minute, we were told that we would not be able to make it on the flight. We missed it by one person. If there had been one less person on the flight, we could have gotten on. How could this happen? How did this happen?! I felt tears well up as all I wanted to do was go home. With a tingly feeling from the alcohol, and dreams of a nice bed to sleep in, all I wanted was to go back home to Pennsylvania. We were told we could be on the flight to Vegas first thing in the morning that we would be first in line, and Al said he would put us up in a hotel by the airport for the night. All I could think about was that nice fluffy bed and a mint on my pillow and agreed. I had no idea that I wouldn’t see a bed for days….

Al hailed a cab outside the airport and told the driver to take us to the JFK Holiday Inn which was about one mile away from the airport. As we pulled up to the airport, Al quickly got us our room, and he, Erin, and myself carried our things up to the 8th floor, and checked into our room. Right away Erin asked Al if he’d go down to the lobby area where she spotted a bar, and get us each a drink. She has always been one to not be afraid in the slightest to be up front with asking a man to do things for her. I could never, and would never be able to do this. I guess I’m a pushover. She seemed annoyed with him already, but I was just thankful that he had gotten us a room to sleep in for the night. I was ready for bed, but Erin convinced me that this was our ‘one night’ to do something fun for Memorial Day weekend, that we may quite possibly have to just go back to Pennsylvania in the morning. After a few more minutes of her begging, I gave in. We picked out our dresses for the night, as Al said his friend was going to meet us in the “Meatpacking District” in Manhattan, and that he would take care of everything for the night. I choose my blue leopard and black strapless dress, as it is one of my favorites and fits in pretty much anywhere. It had a bit of a bubble skirt, was quite short, and had a cute lil strapless butterfly neckline. I wore some super high strappy black heels, as I have the shortest legs possible and wanted to look a little taller for my night in the big city. About 10 minutes later Al came back to the room with a huge “Big Gulp” sized vodka and soda for me, and another drink for Erin, and we were ready to go.

We waited in the lobby as Al called for a car, and ole boy had gotten us a limo. The three of us hopped in the back, and chatted it up about nearly everything under the sun, and poured another drink as we got closer to our destination. When we reached the Meatpacking District we got in line for one bar, and the pretentious and might I add extremely ‘Mean Girls” in front of us, were making fun of a girl close to the front of the line’s ‘cankles’. I announced loudly, that I don’t want to go to a club whose patrons are so ugly and miserable that they have to make fun of people’s ankles. And with that, the two blondest and prettiest girls head on over to a smaller little club about three doors down. (that would be us). ;)

When we walked into the bar, we got a table, a bottle of grey goose, and then things for me start to get a little fuzzy. I remember meeting a girl from Spain who was in town for a tennis match, and we invited her to our table to have a drink. Lots of people were coming over to our table to enjoy a cocktail from our bottle, and mingling and having a great time. I have a fuzzy memory of a man and a woman who said that he was an ‘Adult Film star’ and they were there celebrating the release of his latest flick. Little Rachel from the hills of West Virginia had never met a real life "Adult “film star before. And I had so many questions... How does this happen, why would you do that to yourself, etc, etc.... I vaguely remember him telling me that the woman with him was his manager, and that is the last thing I remember until I stepped out of the club.

I can still feel my black high heel stepping down on the step out of the bar and being surrounded by cops, and angrily yelling that I was under arrest….. The following seconds, minutes, hours, and days changed my life forever. It will most definitely never be the same…..


Renee Vidor said...

Gripping. I want to read the rest of your story sweet friend!

Renee Vidor said...

Gripping. I want to read the rest of your story sweet friend!