I went to Viva with my partners in crime, Seth and Tara. However, this year I was a fifth wheel as Tara brought along her boyfriend at the time and Seth brought along his girlfriend at the time. We decided to all room together at a different hotel. It was a lot larger than the Gold Coast and I did have my own bed, but I really missed the fun of staying at the venue. Just being able to go to the room to change, drink, take a nap, and meet strange people made the wait for the elevator all worth it.
One thing that we did this year that we had not done the previous was go to the strip. Tara kept talking about the Venetian and how pretty it was so we drove over there. We wanted to eat at a pizza place there that she said was really good. I hadn't been to any casino other than the Gold Coast so I was pretty overwhelmed by the sites and sounds. We wandered around for a while, getting lost and not finding the pizza place. Finally Tara stopped and asked someone and they informed us that we were in the Paris, not the Venetian. Oops!! Somehow the huge Eiffel Tower did not tip us off. We got a good laugh at that.
Eventually we did get to the Venetian. We went on a gondola ride, ate at the infamous pizza place, and shopped at Sephora. We also rode the roller coaster at New York, New York, which practically gave me whip lash! We went to the Stratosphere to ride the Big Shot. I declined, deciding to have a drink at the bar instead. Then we ate at a 50s/Karaoke bar which was a lot of fun.
As for Viva...I was having a blast! It felt good to be back! I was dancing up a storm and meeting new people. I bought a few things. We made sure to go to the car show. There still was not a pool party yet and I would not even see the pool until years later. At Viva its very easy to never leave the hotel, which is still what I do most years. Our drink of choice was screwdrivers. I never bought a Boot, can you believe that?? I'm just not very good at carrying things around.
Me, me, and Adriana.
Tara with her ex cut out.
Me and Courtney
Me and Tara at the car show.
Sunday was the Jive contest and a bunch of us had talked about entering. Seth and his girlfriend at the time were having a bit of drama so neither of them did, and Tara decided to sit it out as well. At the last second E asked me to enter and I said yes. E was pretty new to the scene in Albuquerque and hadn't been dancing very long, but he was a smooth mover even then. I did not think we had a chance at winning, but thought it would be fun to enter just the same.
The way the contest worked was anyone could enter. You just had to get out there and dance. There was a practice dance. Then a real dance where the judges went and decided who would be in the actual contest. I was happy to see that we got picked.We all danced again and then the judges decided the top 6. Then another dance to decide the top 3. E and I were still in! By this time I was totally exhausted, but we had to dance more. Finally they lined us all up and the placements were decided by audience applause. We were last in line and when I heard the applause for the couple next to me I thought for sure they had won. When our turn came however, the applause was deafening and I knew we had won. I was shocked!! It was amazing to be announced the winners! We got called to the stage and were asked our names and where we were from and we both yelled "Albuquerque"!! We had to dance one more time though, and by that time I felt like vomiting.
Me and E. Our partnership would be set in stone from that moment forward.
There is video of the jive contest somewere in E's possession. I haven't seen it in years. It was a lot of fun to win the contest and definitely a highlight of Viva. I think what made it so fun was that I never for a minute thought we would win. I remember missing his hand every time I would return spin ( I spun too fast for that fool!), so I would just keep spinning until I caught it, sometimes 3 times. When we were on stage with Miss Wolf, the contest leader, she said that she loved that about us. That we never stopped dancing, even when we missed. Now, after years of dancing together we rarely miss hands.
To end the weekend me, Tara and her BF went to a few more casinos, as we were in no hurry to get home. The funniest thing I remember was Tara stumbling into the pond in the Luxor, screaming the whole time. I will never forget that!
All in all it was a great weekend :-)