Our First Marine Corps Birthday Ball

This past weekend, Ez and I made the oh-so-long journey to Las Vegas for the 236th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.

We arrived at Harrah’s late Thursday night and just turned in since Ez didn’t bring other clothes for going out -_- We definitely needed our energy for the next day! We had lunch at Cheeseburger Las Vegas (in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood), which is a MUST for us when we’re in Vegas. Had a margarita, a burger, and fries to get the day started. Then we bought some last-minute necessities (water, Zantac, eyeshadow, etc) before getting ready. It took me all of two hours to prepare my dress and myself because Lord knows I love to dazzle when I go out. I pressed my dress, and opted to do my own hair and make-up because it’s probably not worth spending on those for the amount of balls we’ll be attending :P

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End result

I must say I was pretty satisfied with a last-minute dress find, my hair, and my make-up :) Ez tried rushed me because cocktail hour started at 6pm and I had barely finished getting ready at 5:30pm. However, I reminded him that he doesn’t like chopping it up anyway–and neither to do! We boarded a free shuttle from Harrah’s to Rio. Everyone in line let us go ahead of them and quite a few people stopped to thank Ez and shake his hand. This guy is a real celebrity! But really, it’s always refreshing to know many Americans acknowledge the work he does for our country. There were also two other couples headed to the ball on the same shuttle and I finally got a taste of where my dress was in the spectrum of [SLUTTY<—–>OUTRAGEOUSLY OVERDONE]. I would say I found a solid middle ground and it helped that my dress actually suited me. One of the girls had a bright red full ball gown and curled locks, yet NO make-up? Another wore a simple black dress, but with a long train. Both of these choices confused me, but I felt stellar in my own dress.

All of the examples I Googled were mostly people from the South or the East, who have vastly different styles, tastes, and selections. I was SO worried about overdoing it, but come on now… I make great shopping decisions.

We arrived at the ball right after 6:00pm and had a long walk from the hotel entrance to the Amazon Room where the ball was being held. We just walked right on in, even though the tickets explicitly stated they were required for admission. Some regulation! Met Ez’s fellow officers and their dates… all very sweet and warm with some interesting personalities.

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Instant photo-op as soon as we arrived

Drinks were pricey, of course, but the bartender had a decent selection. There were multiple bars and hors d’oeuvre tables set up so lines never really got long.

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Giving Ez proof that popping a Zantac (or Pepcid AC) before drinking reduces flushed skin

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After a half an hour of Ez greeting people and introducing me, munching, drinking, and snapping some pics, the program finally started. It was about an hour of sitting and standing with various presentations, cake-cutting, messages, speeches, and music mixed in.

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Fake birthday cake used for the cake-cutting

The video message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps made me tear up because it was all about Marines involved in 9/11 and I’m such a crybaby! Ez (who was not facing me at that time) even called me out later about how I probably cried during that video -_- It was pretty touching, okayy? The program wasn’t all too bad, but I tend to yawn when I listen to people talk for prolonged periods of time, so I REALLY had to fight it. At the end of the ceremony, the head table grabbed food first. It was served buffet style with multiple stations. Ez and I grabbed another drink, thinking it would be long before our table number (68) was called, but there was no type of order to the serving! Plus there were so many stations that the line never got long. Dinner was something like chicken with prosciutto, roast beef, grilled veggies, salad, rice pilaf, and pasta. And cake!

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Real birthday cake used for eating

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More real birthday cake used for (Ez) eating

It was fun to sit and people watch for a while, especially with Ez being drunk as he was :P I’ve never heard him say he didn’t care how much he was going to drink. The discomfort of the uniform really pushed him over the edge! The dance floor was filled with people of all ages–tiny tots jumping around with their parents, old couples fist pumping to Rihanna, some really getting down, and many more. We grabbed MORE drinks and waited for the photography line to die down. So many people tried to greet Ez and make small talk with him, but he completely missed them in his state of drunkenness so I did my best to save him from embarrassment.

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Silly guyIMG_0661
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Proving once again how effective Zantac is at battling "Asian Glow"

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Sneaking in one last pic

The photographer’s pics looked amazing from the glimpse I got on his camera, can’t wait to order them! We headed for the shuttle shortly after that so I could change for a night out ;)

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Messing around on the way back to the room

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Ready for a night out!

Everyone met up at the Harrah’s Casino where some folks were playing Roulette. I could tell Ez was tempted to play too–luckily, he didn’t drunkenly gamble all his money away! We were stopped a few more times and one man even bought all the guys shots while we were waiting around. Headed to Toby Keith’s for another drink while waiting for the gamblers to finish up. Slowly made our way to Paris. One of the club promoters saw us standing around the casino, gave us VIP wristbands and escorted us to Chateau. It was Ez’s and my first clubbing experience (ever!) in Vegas, and it was cool that we could experience it together. We were hooked up with free bottle service (priced at $400) as a sign of gratitude for our amazing men in uniform. Our table was located at the VIP rooftop bar, which a beautiful view of the fake Eiffel Tower. Someone also generously bought us a bottle of Patron.

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Free bottle service

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Fake Eiffel Tower

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Rooftop

As awesome as it was outside, the heaters were not enough for my freakish cold sensitivity so Ez and I decided to check out the inside of the club, which was pretty small, but really cute. We danced together for a while, which was actually really fun! Had never danced together, even though we’ve been together almost 2.5 years :P Club photographers snapped some pics, we tried to set up the single guys with a bachelorette party, mingled with Ez’s friends some more, and just plain ol’ had a good time. It was nice to be around other women who are in a relationship with a Marine Officer. They understand.

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Cheesing at our table with the guys

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Club paparazzi

We left the club pretty early because we’re “old and boring,” but of course we had to grab some food! But not before throwing up the alcohol we drank because we felt yucky.  Definitely proponents of throwing up to feel better. Instead of busting a mission for steak and eggs, we grabbed the first food we could find: KGB. Late-night burger place. I had some wings and Ez got a chicken sandwich and some sweet potato tots, but we were just too tired to eat! All in all, great short trip to Vegas :) I hope next year’s ball and proceeding festivities are just as exciting. :D

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