Last week, while I was driving, I heard Neil Diamond sing “September Morn” and when he came to the part “Remember when we danced the night away” I put my head down on my steering wheel and wept. It was partly thinking of lost youth and days gone by. I could not possibly picture myself ever dancing the night away again. I had no idea, however, how wrong I was. But I’m getting way ahead of myself. Here is the story.
My dear friend since High School, Bobbi, was celebrating her 81st birthday and her adopted son suggested she bring a few of her “besties” to Vegas. When I told my daughter this, she asked, “Am I hearing about an episode of Golden Girls or are you really going?” Get this. His client, JLo was having her last week there and we could all celebrate in Vegas at dinner at JLo’s show and stay over.
We had no idea what to expect. I had known Benny (my friend’s son) since he was a kid. Not only did my friend and I go to Beverly High School together, but so did he and my son Jim and my daughter Terry. His rise to fame has been so much fun for all of us to watch. As manager and partner of Jennifer on all her endeavors, he wields a lot of power but he never forgot the love and guidance of my friend for so many years and he wanted to let her to know how much he appreciated everything she did for him.
There were five of us Golden Girls. Four of us have known each other forever, and one newer friend was with us. We ranged in age from 77 to 83. We know who is 83, right? We were picked up from the airport and coddled right from the start. Men and women whisked away our over-night bags and brought us our luxurious sleeping quarters at Caesar’s Palace. Some of us got to share Benni’s sumptuous apartment and others had their own luxurious digs. More coddling. Is there ever enough?
My dear friend Lynn and I were roomies as we have been on many trips. We had been wondering if we should order a birthday cake for Bobbi. Looking back that seems pretty laughable now. Benny had everything under control. Benny and his partner had arranged dinner at Sinatra’s restaurant and as we sat , the hors d’oeuvres started coming. All so beautiful. The restaurant btw is gorgeous! After dinner, there were five desserts plus a beautiful birthday cake, of course. We all ate like we were going to the chair.
Now it was show time. We were hustled into a car and driven to Planet Hollywood where JLo was appearing. Benni was waiting for us, resplendent in his tux overlooking the house.
Once we were seated in the front row with Rosè champagne a spectacular 90-minute show began. To say JLo works hard is one of the great understatements. She is truly amazing besides being gorgeous. And just when you think she just couldn’t do another thing she does three more songs with huge dance numbers, and then two more. It’s almost humanly impossible what she manages to pull off. The surprise to me of the evening was how beautiful and pure her voice was.
After the show we were brought to a small room to meet her. There were about five other people, including A-Rod (handsome and sweet beyond belief) and then she appeared. She really is “Jenny From the Block”, as sweet as can be. It was all very lovely and we were all introduced and talked for about a half an hour. I thought it was over and time to go home. I said to Bobbi, “whenever you are ready?” She replied, “Let’s just wait a bit.” Pretty soon JLo’s vocal coach, a lovely guy, started singing and playing the keyboard. A couple of the girls starting dancing, (her stylist and music director). The music was so good I couldn’t stand it and I jumped in to dance with them. Everyone started dancing and the music was getting louder and louder. Next thing I knew, Jennifer was dancing with us and everyone was signing and yes, dancing the night away. Take that Neil Diamond!
They brought out another birthday cake. Bennie made the most wonderful speech to Bobbi and sang her his rendition of “My Girl” and we danced and sang some more. By this time it was 2:30AM. Wait, what? When was the last time I did that? The Golden Girls were now tired and a little bit tarnished. Time for bed. We said goodbye to our new best friends and we were taken back to Caesar’s Palace. We were all so wound up we had to keep talking. We rehashed every step of hers, talked world’s politics, brought out the candy and one by one peeled away to the bedrooms. I admit, at 4AM, I was the first. It was a night I’ll never forget for many reasons. Seeing Bobbi’s face, watching Benny get to show his appreciation to her, breakfast waiting the next morning, eating in my pajamas, more rehashing, spending such fun times with the other four girls and best of all, dancing with JLo.
You couldn’t make that up. Thank you Bobbi, JLo, but most of all Benny, for an overnight never to be forgotten.