Welcome back to my Miss VV Around The World series! I started this last year when we did our 6 week around the world trip and figured I’d continue with our USA holiday. (read all my previous posts here)
First up… Viva Las Vegas baby!
This year was our third time attending the Rockabilly Weekender and I feel like we finally got the hang of it all. There is so much to take in and do that the first one is super overwhelming. Last year I was busy with the Miss Viva Las Vegas Pin-Up Contest so this time I felt like I could really relax and enjoy everything it had to offer.
We flew from Auckland, New Zealand at 3pm Thursday April 14th and landed in LA at 10.30am the same day thanks to passing over the international date line.
Now normally I’d like to arrive in Vegas for Viva at least by Wednesday and obviously flying into Las Vegas instead of Los Angeles would be ideal. However, initially I’d planned our holiday to have 5 nights in LA first before heading to Vegas but then the date for Very Vintage Day Out was announced for April 9th so we changed our flights to a week later but unfortunately couldn’t change our destination.
So, once we got through LAX, we went and picked up our rental car, stopped at a T-Mobile store to sort out USA sim cards and headed towards Vegas.
The one good thing about doing the drive between LA and Las Vegas is that you can stop for a meal at Peggy Sues 50s diner which is 2 hours from Vegas. It’s been there since the 1950s (although has had a fair bit added onto it over the years) and has a attached shop with 50s, Disney, Wizard of Oz and Betty Boop Memorabilia.
We got there about 7pm and were pretty hungry since we hadn’t really eaten since we landed. The sandwich I ordered definitely filled me up but I still couldn’t resist also having a piece of pie from the cabinet… I’m a huge rhubarb fan so picked out the apple and rhubarb pie with a dollop of ice cream.
We continued onto Vegas and I spent the remainder of the time googling random quizzes for Matt to answer to keep him entertained while driving. He loves general knowledge quizzes and it made the time pass quickly. It had been a very long 2 days of travelling with next to no sleep so once we checked in and unpacked, it was bedtime! Thankfully, this got us into the USA timezone perfectly and didn’t suffer any jetlag apart from being a little tired the next day.
Since we still had the car for most of the day, not needing to return it later in the afternoon, we met up with our fellow kiwi friends Shayna (Miss Rouge) and Guy who had arrived for Viva a few days before and went to IHOP for a late breakfast. Pancakes were just what we all wanted!
Shayna and I spotted a Sallys beauty supplies store nearby so we went in search of the infamous Lottabody Setting Lotion which neither of us has tried yet. I’m excited to give it a try when I arrive back home!
The boys dropped us back at the Orleans and then went off to a shooting range. Shayna and I went upstairs to the vendor rooms so I could have a good look around.
We bumped into another kiwi Claire who works for Glory Days Magazine and made our way around all the vendors. I didn’t buy much, only another Rago 2202 Longline Bra which is such a favourite I figured it would be good to have another one.
Then it was time for a drink! We thought the big novelty burlesque legs full of cocktails looked like fun so we got a them filled with Margarita and sat in the one of the bars. Let me tell you, the novelty wears out pretty quick! They are so big and heavy and hard to drink from we regretted our decision fast!
Yet another kiwi friend found us, this time Danielle from Devel. It was so great having a kiwi contingent at Viva this year, in the past it’s just been Matt and I and we haven’t know of any other Kiwi’s.
The afternoon was pretty relaxed, the boys returned pumped after their shooting range experience, we got some lunch and watched a couple of bands upstairs. We bumped into a few favourites like Tony Medina aka His Vintage Touch and Elizabeth Taylor which was very exciting
Later on we all got glammed up and went to dinner at one the restaurants in the Orleans before watching the Burlesque Showcase which we had tickets for at 11.30pm.
The show was incredible, I absolutely loved every performer and thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing.
The big car show day!
The four of us went down to the car show around 10.30am and checked out all the vendors and cars. This is my favourite day as it’s nice to get out of the hotel even if it is super hot.
Once again, I didn’t buy much but I did find a fabulous wicker handbag with lucite details from one vendor and then a dress from AmberJoys stall.
At 2.30pm I needed to report for duty for the Miss Viva Las Vegas Pin-Up Contest so before that I headed up to the room to get changed. Ginger Watson and I accidentally ended up twinning with our copper locks, green dresses and lavender sashes… we certainly had to get a photo together. You can read all about my dress with more photos in this recent blog post.
The competition was so exciting to watch and all the girls did so well. I was very happy for Sharon aka Pinup Little Bit who won after being a finalist in three previous years.
Once the contest was over, it was just about time for yet another outfit change! Between 5-7pm was the Pink Collar Ball, hosted by the stunning ladies of The Pink Collar Life! This was held at the Piano Bar inside the hotel and boy was there some incredible dresses! Shayna and I both wore custom gowns by CurvyCouture by Judy Dee which happened to be a coincidence but it felt good to be representing New Zealand made vintage fashion.
We hung around hoping to catch the vintage gown competition but we also wanted to watch Brian Setzer back at the car show who was on at 6.30 so we left before seeing it sadly. Another outfit change (the 4th for the day!) as we weren’t going to wear gowns to the car show and by the time we got there the main stage area was absolutely jam packed and overflowing into the vendor area.
So instead, we just wandered around the vendors listening to Brian as we went and drinking cocktails. It was actually really nice as it was far quieter and easier to look at everything!
We hadn’t got round to getting tickets to the burlesque competition so after getting some dinner we randomly decided to go see The Jungle Book in the cinemas inside the Orleans… I know, we are such party animals!
The last day of Viva! We all had a very lazy morning and went downstairs for a late breakfast. It was too late to go to the Tiki Pool Party which gets busy quite early so we went up to the Vendor rooms to have one last look around.
After seeing off Danielle who had a flight back to New Zealand, we caught a cab to Charleston Antique Mall which is about a 15 minute drive from The Orleans. Matt and I had visited on our first trip to Viva 3 years ago and Shayna and Guy were very keen to check it out.
We spent a solid hour looking around- there is SO much stuff to look at! I walked away with green gloves, a yellow hat, bangles, beautiful brooch/earring set and the most beautiful Lucite purse!
Shayna and I both had lucite purses on our wishlist and there was a seller there with a incredible collection that had us totally freaking out.
After getting back to The Orleans, we quickly got in line for the Jiving Competition. This is always one of the highlights of Viva for me and I wanted to get a good seat. We lined up 45minutes before it was due to start and there was already quite a few people in line. We managed to get one of the few seats available (JUST!) and as usual, it was so much fun to watch.
They had changed the format a lot from previous years, meaning there was far less heats which was a little disappointing from a audience perspective but understandable from a dancers point of view- they must be exhausted by the end of it!
Afterwards, we went for dinner at TGI Fridays and then went bowling!
I went upstairs to bed early as I was getting up at 3.30am the next morning for a photoshoot so I wanted to make sure I got my beauty sleep. Matt, Guy and Shayna ended up watching the final band play later that night and I was very jealous to hear that there was also great dancing to watch… but I didn’t want to be too tired for my shoot!
Not a official Viva Las Vegas day, but our last day in Las Vegas so I’ve included it in this post. It was a LONG day but a wonderful one- I got to watch the sunrise and sunset and do lots of fun stuff inbetween.
At 3.30am my alarm went off and I had just over a hour to get myself ready for my shoot with Lars /Made in Eighty. Lars picked me up from The Orleans at 5am and we drove an hour out of Vegas to the Valley of Fire.
It was so epic to not only be in the middle of the desert at sunrise but to also get to do a shoot at the same time! The landscape kept reminding me of old movies from my childhood like ‘Land Before Time’ and one of my favourite novels ‘Clan of the Cave Bear’. We don’t have desert in New Zealand so the I felt very lucky to be in such beautiful surroundings.
The shoot was so SO awesome, I’ve already been sent the first edit by Lars and I’m over the moon with the results. After the adrenaline burnt off however, we both totally crashed and the drive back to Vegas seemed so long as all I could think about was going to bed.
Once back at the hotel, I slept for a couple of hours and then just hung around the hotel with Matt for the afternoon until it was time to go on our helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon with Shayna and Guy!
We were picked up first in a Limo which felt pretty fancy to us Kiwi’s despite them being super common in Vegas and the rest of the USA.
We were driven to the airport where we then met our pilot for the trip and boarded the helicopter. Luckily, Matt and I ended up getting the front seats which was SO FUN especially during take-off. The view was spectacular since the whole front was glass and I loved my first ever helicopter ride. It makes me want to become a pilot!
The flight took about 45 minutes and we landed at the bottom of the Grand Canyon near one of the rivers. Our tour included a picnic and champagne and we had some time to walk around and explore.
I loved how silent the canyon was because even at night in our hotel room there’s still all the noise from the air conditioning vent and you don’t realise how noisy your surroundings are until you are in the middle of the wilderness.
By the time we started flying back, the sun was starting to set and it was once again a beautiful journey which ended with flying over the length of the Las Vegas Strip.
We were all buzzing afterwards and totally loved the whole experience. I’m not going to lie, it was super expensive but absolutely worth it and beat sitting on a bus for the better part of the day just to get to the canyon. If you are interested in doing the same tour, here’s the one we booked.
With all of us flying out the following day, Matt and I early in the morning, there were still a few things we wanted to tick off our list. First up, we went to The Hard Rock Hotel as Matt wanted to see The Rev’s (from Avenged Sevenfold) drum kit that was displayed inside.
We ended up going to dinner at The Hard Rock Cafe before getting a cab to the Las Vegas sign for a few snaps.
Finally, last on the list, Shayna and I had been meaning to get a Toffee Apple from the candy store at The Orleans. It was one of those things that you want to try because of the movies but they were kind of awkward to eat and super duper sugary. But good to try!
Funtime was over, Matt and I needed to pack our bags in preparation for flying out the next morning so we said our goodbyes to Shayna and Guy which was a little sad- they had been such fun partners in crime for the previous 4 days!
The next morning we flew to Orlando for the next part of our trip- stay tuned for the next installment of Miss VV Around The World!
Lastly, I’d like to say a giant THANK YOU to all the gorgeous women (and a few dapper gents) who came up to me, introduced themselves and were so sweet at Viva. It was very humbling and I loved meeting you all!
For full details on all my Viva Las Vegas outfits, please see my Viva Las Vegas 19 Outfit Round-Up post.
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Categories: Miss VV Around The World