Friday, December 2, 2011

Countdown to the NFR (and more) in Las Vegas

I am so fired up about next week I don't know where to start!

Since June, when we booked our trip, it's been a countdown.  I've had plenty of things going on between then and now that it seemed like it would never get here.  But suddenly it is only days away!

Ken and I haven't been to Vegas in about 6 years I think - when we went on a surprise trip (I'd talked with Ken's boss and arranged days off without Ken's knowledge, got airline tickets and a suite at New York, New York and greeted Ken, with our suitcases packed, at the door when he got home from work one day.  I handed him the airline tickets and said "guess where we're going tomorrow morning!"  What fun.).

The main reason we're going this time is because Sharon and Bill have wanted to go to the NFR (National Finals Rodeo) for a long time, planned it for this year and asked if we wanted to go with them.  Now I KNOW Cowboy stuff isn't Ken's #1 idea of fun, but I do know he really likes Rodeo.  So I asked if he wanted to go 1) to Las Vegas (the answer is always "yes") 2) to see the Rodeo ("sure") and 3) added the clincher that I knew would make it a slam dunk - "Want to get married by ELVIS?!?"

(I grin every time I think about that.)

The back story to # 3 - As long as I've known Ken, if he knows that someone is getting married he asks them "are you getting married by Elvis?"  And of course, laughter follows, because I don't think anyone ever thinks he's serious (except me).  Then, if someone is actually getting MARRIED in Vegas he asks with extra emphasis.  (Example - my brother Greg and his wife Yolanda, as a result of 9/11/01 events, moved their wedding date up and moved the location to Las Vegas.  Ken immediately asked Greg if they were going to get married by Elvis.  (As per the usual answer to that question)  He got "the look" and "NO!")

I'm sure, by now you know Ken's answer to my question # 3.  Well, actually, it was "Hell Yes!"

That set Sharon and me on that path that leads to here.

We IMMEDIATELY booked a package deal with National Ropers Supply where we each got a suite at the MGM Grand, tickets to the rodeo every night we're there, and a bunch of other stuff (parties, meet and greets, transpo to Cowboy Christmas (300,000 square feet of horse/cowboy/western related shopping  ie-"heaven").  We booked our airfare and figured we'd set the Elvis part later.

Speed up 6 months to November and the horse show season has finished and suddenly we're only weeks away from Vegas.  Time to plan the Elvis wedding.

I had NO IDEA how many Elvis weddings there are available in Las Vegas!  I know, I should have known, but truly, when you think of Vegas and Elvis weddings, do you think that there are literally dozens of chapels that each have their own Elvis? And each chapel has multiple variations of their Elvis weddings?

We could have chosen to get married by Elvis on The Strip (literally) under the Welcome to Las Vegas sign.  We could have chosen to get married by Elvis in a diner.
We could have chosen to get married by Elvis in our hotel suite.
We could have chosen to get married by Elvis on a helicopter at Red Rock Canyon.
I could go on, and on.

So, where did we choose to get married by Elvis?

At Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel.

Why? With so many choices (of location/venue and Elvises [is that a word?]) we were overwhelmed.  (Keep in mind that Sharon and I are both pretty sure of ourselves and willing to make decisions, so we don't "overwhelm" easily.)  So we did the logical thing and asked the Concierge at the MGM who they'd recommend.  It was a no-brainer to them.  They said "Viva Las Vegas."  They had the best Elvis (doesn't that sound funny?) and had a great reputation.

If you know me (and Sharon), you know that what started as a simple wedding by Elvis has evolved into "something more."  I can't give details yet (the grooms do read my blog) - you'll have to tune in later for that.   BUT....

What we thought would be just the four of us (and Elvis), now will include friends and family.

Both in person, and via the Internet.

We've had an amazing response to emails sent out letting friends know how they can attend "virtually" as well as a heart warming number of people who will actually be travelling to Las Vegas to witness the event in person!

In the words of the King:  Thank you, thank you very much (click it, you know you want to!)

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