About a month ago, 9 lady friends from all over the U S of A met up in Las Vegas to celebrate one Kathryn Krouchick’s bachelorettehood. As I mentioned in a previous post, Vegas was selected as our destination because Celine Dion performs at Caesar’s Palace on the regular. Unfortunately that was her weekend off, but to Vegas we still went!

Papa Krouchick aka Robert aka “Bob for fun” got us a 3 bedroom suite and we filled that suite with music and laughter. When we weren’t in the hotel, we were cruising the strip and taking in the views of the city. I really feel that I could write two entirely separate reflections on my time in Vegas. One on how the humanity and personhood of a human being seems to be totally ignored and/or exploited. Specifically the humanity of women, the disabled, the homeless and immigrants. If you are not a consuming, if you are not of profit, then somehow we’ll make you be of profit. You will be consumed and used to make others consume. Women are treated like objects, the homeless and disabled are ignored, and immigrants with limited English skills are recruited to sell you prostitutes on street corners. In some ways, perhaps, Vegas is an exaggerated microcosm of American attitudes toward the aforementioned people groups. (In a different vein, but also looking at Vegas as a microcosm of America’s obsession with entertainment,  I highly recommend Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman).

The other post, and one that I choose to share now, is a good time spent with friends. Despite all the darkness that saddens my heart, we still experienced goodness with one another. Our dear friend, Katie, values deeply the covenant of marriage and preparing for a life-long communion with her beloved, Kevin. To hear about her preparations, her questions and eager anticipation was a joy. It was also a joy to share and discuss with some of our other newly married friends, Sarah Melendez and Emily Van Brunt. And, of course, the delight in hearing about the adventures from our friend, Elise, living the single life and doing God’s work in her own corner of the world – Detroit, Michigan. On top of that, we had the chance to meet Katie’s friends from high school and to spend time with her older sister, Kristen. Of course, these sisterly friendships could meet up anywhere in the world and enjoy a good time. It just happened to be Vegas.

While in Vegas I got to see the chapel that my Nana and Poppy eloped. Sarah and Elise accompanied me there, and celebrated that little piece of family history by my side. I so admire the love between my Nana and Poppy…through good and bad, thick and thin they have loved (and continue to love!) deeply and tenderly. Their love has been a great blessing in my life and formation. I’m so glad for their bravery and running away to elope in the desert!

DCIM223GOPRORight behind the chapel was a local Thai restaurant that was totally empty. We went in there because Elise wanted some Pad Thai and we met the NICEST Thai woman who kept complimenting my dress and asking us about Vegas and sharing some local tips. She also kept calling us honey and sweetie and I just loved her and wanted her to hang out with us all weekend.

The rest of the evening was spent waiting for the Traveler of Honor to arrive and eating/drinking/dancing in the room. We went to bed and arose the next day to throw Katie a little shower of gifts. Then we hit the town!

We walked and talked all day with frozen drinks in hand. Got lunch at a French cafe under the “Eifel Tower” and then went back to the suite for a little siesta. We got ready and went to Mystere, a Cirque de Soleil show at Treasure Island. Each major hotel has a different Cirque show that is only performed at that location. My mama has always raved about Cirque and it didn’t disappoint. I cannot believe the things that they can do with their bodies – such control, strength and discipline. Here’s one of the trailers, so that you can catch a little glimpse of the various acts put on in Mystere. There are other longer trailers on youtube, if you’d like to see more.

After Mystere we headed over to the Bellagio to go to The Bank. All these different hotels have nightclubs, and during the day they have people (re: guys) out trying to get ladies to come to the club. Basically, from what I gather, they want majority women in each club and they’re willing to pay for that. After many offers (a group of 9 women is a goldmine to these recruiters who get paid on commission by the number of names they get on their “list”) we chose to go to The Bank at the Belagio. We arrived and they gave us a free drink at Lilly’s bar before taking us over to the club (I honestly feel so dumb saying “the club.” Please bear with me.). Over at The Bank we got in for free, got a free table and free drinks at our table – a bottle of champagne, a bottle of vodka and orange, cranberry and pineapple juice + more. We didn’t pay a dime. Except Sarah, who wanted a glass of WATER and they said they don’t give/sell glasses of water but you can buy a bottle of water for 8 dollars. Let me be clear. We got free champagne and vodka but she had to pay EIGHT DOLLARS for an ELEVEN OUNCE bottle of water so that she wouldn’t get, you know, dehydrated from dancing. So clearly their priorities are taking care of people and making sure they’re healthy and safe. Regardless of safety concerns, we had a good time. But wow, the club changed fast. When we got there it was still fairly empty and the music wasn’t too loud that you couldn’t talk. By the time we left, it was packed and a person had to scream into my ear for me to hear them. But while we were there, they were playin our jams and we were definitely owning the floor. Just sayin.

The other ladies stayed an extra day but I flew out at 7am on Sunday morning. So basically I left the hotel room at like 4am and slept/drooled/hunched over at the airport until the sounds of slot machines woke me up/the plane took off. When I got to Fargo (Josh was picking me up, thank heavens) I was a hot mess of the hangries/tired rage and a case of the stomach stabbies like from when we were moving to ND. Basically, I spent the rest of the day out of commission. But it’s ok! Because I got to see my girls! aNd I trust that they had a great rest of the long weekend together in LV!

Katie, I hope you had an amazing time. Only 2 1/2 more months until we get to see each other again and celebrate your nuptials! May the rest of your engagement be blessed and full of God’s grace. We love you and are so happy for you!

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