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Adios, Vegas, but never say goodbye



Theducksterintherain LAS VEGAS -- The first official Stuck in the 80s weekend is nearly over. We just gave Tonianne a hug goodbye, and Jane and I are sitting outside our Southwest gate for our 11:10 a.m. nonstop flight back to Tampa.

The weekend started off with a bang, and it's ending with signature sobbing and overall melancholy. Just like poor Duckie in "Pretty in Pink." Sometimes the pain comes just as hard as the euphoria. I keep humming along to "Together in Electric Dreams" and "Be Near Me," but it's only making things worse.

It's hard to say goodbye to so many good friends, and it's my most sincere hope that we'll all be together again soon -- and that more of you other fans out there can join us. Next time, will someone just bring a few extra boxes of tissues?

I've had a lot of thoughts about future get-together destinations: our home region of Tampa Bay (obviously), London, Chicago, somewhere on the West Coast. But Las Vegas surely provided all the possible tools to having a great time.

Should we end up in Las Vegas again next time, here are some lessons learned from the weekend.

1. PACK HEAVY: Every one of us ran through every outfit we brought. I know this is the opposite of common sense, but Vegas is the opposite of traditional vacation location.

Gin and tonics minus no food in 20 hours is a bad mix. Just bring extra money if you want to live off the $5 hotdogs at Nathan's inside the Luxor. The best food decision all weekend? Our opening night's feast at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. Never ate so good in my life. We didn't make it to CraftSteak on Sunday night, as we planned, but maybe next time.

3. BEG FOR UPGRADES: Tonianne was the only person to score a great suite, giving us all a nice location to party. Though I pity the crew of 50 maids it will take to dispense of the party remains.

If you can't count the number of Jager-bombs that Jane has had on one hand, things are going to go bad REAL soon. (Tape a $20 bill to your shirt with the name of your hotel, so a cabbie can get you home.)

5. THE CURSE OF GLITTER GULTCH: The old-school adult cabaret club in downtown's Freemont Street was ground zero on Thursday night. We arrived about midnight, and left about 4 a.m. I've been sworn to secrecy on all the events that happened within. I just know my wallet was mighty light the next day.

6. ENJOY THE SHOWS: We stood on our feet all night for ABC, Human League,  Naked Eyes, Belinda Carlisle and A Flock of Seagulls. Some of us -- Jane in particular -- danced through every tune of the night while others held their significant others and shared the ballads more privately. And while we're all bruised in unusual places and aching from our effort, I wouldn't change any of it for the world.

That's the point of Stuck in the 80s and the community that now surrounds it. We've missed you ... but we're coming home.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:37pm]


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