Those of us at the microphone don't care. We're in Vegas, baby! Even my sister-in-law's eightysomething mom is letting loose. Earlier that day, she'd bought all of us tacky necklaces with flashing lights. And when we hit the casinos to play blackjack and roulette, we had a hard time pulling her away from the slot machines. In fact, she was the one who inspired this multigenerational, all-women family trip to celebrate Carrie's upcoming wedding.
Girl getaways, from celebrations of milestone birthdays to divorce parties, are big business in Las Vegas. The spa at our resort, the upscale Bellagio, which is famed for its dancing fountains, curtains off an area in its salon for women celebrating special occasions. (You can sip champagne while getting manis and pedis.) For the female shopaholic, there's everything from the high-end Shops at Crystals mall and the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace to the bargain hunter's paradise of Las Vegas Premium Outlets and the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, featured on TV's Pawn Stars. And there's no shortage of male strip clubs such as Chippendales and Thunder From Down Under, where the adventuresome can ogle well-toned, oily-chested hunks who dance for an excited and enthusiastic female crowd.
Then, of course, there's the food. In this rising culinary destination, the choices are mouthwatering, and they run the gamut — from wallet-friendly burger joints to the fanciest gourmet bistros. One of our favorite splurges was dinner at Andrea's, Steve Wynn's tony eatery at Encore that is named for his second wife. I'm not sure what we liked more: the edgy gold and cream decor, the menu that included specialty cocktails and delicious sushi, or the fact that George Clooney has reportedly dined there.
But the undisputed highlight of our trip was at the Planet Hollywood resort, where we enrolled in a Stripper 101 class taught by an exotic dancer. It included a loosen-up cocktail and a hilarious lesson in pole dancing. Our bride-to-be picked up the moves easily enough, but the older part of our posse discovered that all that dipping and twirling requires limbs more limber than we possess. But who cares? The howls of laughter the class provided were more than worth the price of admission.
Suffice it to say that visiting Vegas with the girls can be as addictive as gambling. When I saw my sister-in-law recently, she told me she wants us to go back and nail "Sweet Caroline." Meanwhile, someone in our party — I'm not saying who, out of respect for the Vegas code — keeps that Stripper 101 diploma displayed in her bedroom.
— Kitty Bean Yancey