Ok, sorry guys… you know what they say,
“what happens in Vegas; stays in Vegas!”
Ok, now you knew SOMEONE was going to have to do that, didn’t you? Lol!
Nestled between the softly painted mountains of Red Rock Canyon and the Mojave Desert, lies Las Vegas, where our long-awaited fantasy is about to come true – literally in the Fantasy Tower of the Palms Casino and Resort! Chris G. was my faithful companion and guide in this adventure, so let our story begin…
There is a reason it is known as the city of lights! We arrived about 9:30p to a bustling airport and managed, somehow, to make it outside and to where we would pick up our Uber ride. We made it to the hotel, only to find out we had to walk clear to the other tower! Finally, our room at last! We were able to doze a bit on the plane, and we weren’t tired, so we decided to explore the Palms. Our room was in the Fantasy Tower – where all the festivities would take place on Friday night! But, we realized our elevator towers only went as far as the 34th floor? Ok, must be another elevator somewhere? With a little snooping, we found the “hidden” elevator behind some walls and twists and turns! Jana Super Sleuth followed her nose and we went up to the 52 floor! Voila! There was the room and oh, what a view at night! It was gorgeous! There was no one around and the room was filled with several pool tables and a craps table in the middle. Hmmm….we were thinking, there’s no way they are going to get 16 tables in here unless they move something? Well, we were glad to see that they did – of course!
We came down and kept on walking….I knew there was supposed to be a McDonald’s in the casino. At one point, I said, “I swear I smell McDonald’s French fries!?” Sure enough, Chris says “uh, yeah, the guy ahead of you and to your left” – yep, my nose once again rang true, as McDonald’s was literally on my left!” Lol! We found out where the Pearl Theatre was and passed the box office. Saw their adorable faces plastered on many marquees, over the registration desk, above the slot machines, and even on a blackjack table! It was real – the fantasy was coming true, minute by minute – could Friday come any sooner? Well, found all the important spots… so we went back to our room to try and get some rest as the next day was our only free day.
Despite the best intentions of relaxing a bit and sleeping in, I had forgotten to turn off my alarm and off it went at 6:30am! So sorry gals!! (Sharon B. also shared the room with us for a few days) We ended up getting up by 7a and facing the new world below us, and outside. It was a beautiful day! So, after a nice breakfast at McDonald’s and a slight run-in with a door, we were off to Caesar’s Palace on the hotel shuttle. We had to take care of a little business after breakfast and when we were done there we saw Marie arrive and I ran to her to give her a big hug, and said, “Hi, mom!” While waiting for the shuttle we saw the MN 4 gals arrive and reunited with them for a few minutes! We arrived Caesar’s and made our way to the strip. We decided to head to the Venetian. I had never been there and Chris had never been to Vegas. Like everything in Vegas, things are, unfortunately, much further than they appear! But we finally made it to the Venetian. It was quite beautiful inside and we saw the gondola ride. I did a little shopping and we took a break to have some gelato – we felt like we were in Italy! We were going to take the monorail back to the Bellagio, but by the time we got to the station, we realized we were pretty much there already! So, back to the strip we went, over the bridge and to the Bellagio. We had some very expensive drinks in one of the bars at the hotel. By then it was nearly 5p and we were exhausted. My phone said I had walked over 13000 steps!
Sharon went back to the room to rest and Chris and I checked out the buffet. Free wine with dinner! Yea! We were there! Food was ok, but the desserts were fabulous! Went back to our rooms – it was like 8:30p. Ok, we were in a buzzing town, with hundreds of Ilvolovers around and we were in bed by 9:00pm?? Something is really wrong here. Ok, in our pj’s we went. Just lying in bed watching bad TV. Just after 11p or so, I was saved by a text from Donna. Come down and meet us for a drink! Yea – finally!! Crazy me, got up, got dressed, and flew down to the lobby! Met a few of the other gals, had a drink and some chit-chat. By 1am, it was back to the room – tomorrow was the big day. We heard the guys had been stuck in Denver on Wed, but made it to Mesa and were on their way to Vegas. We were hoping they were going to stay at the Palms, but did not know for sure…
Friday – it was finally here. The day some of us had been waiting for, for almost 2 years. The event of events, in the planning over for 2 years, thanks to Myron and Jeannette! And, sure enough, the guys and crew were in our hotel! Proof was given by Eleonora on Instagram that they had arrived in the wee hours of the morning and from her picture, looked like they were in the Fantasy Tower, as well – she had the same view we did, just a little higher!! Ok, a lot higher…
By the time we all got it together that morning, we were ready in time for lunch and met with Marie and a few others down in the 24/7 Café for lunch. After a brief visit with Marie back in her room, it was time to get ready. Check-in was supposed to start at 3p – 3:30p, with everyone ready by 4p, guys were supposed to be there between 4:30p – 5:30p. We got ready and were downstairs at promptly 3:15p. Although I was not lucky enough to have lunch with any of the guys or gamble with any of the mothers, I did seem to keep running into Gaetano! I ran past him briefly as I was going back to the elevator to my room. I looked up and thought, hey he looks familiar…? Uh, duh, that’s Papa Barone! I had really already passed him but turned around and said, “Ciao!” anyway and when he turned around I just waved! He just kind of looked at me and I think grinned a little, but it was hard to tell… After a bit of confusion, we were all finally in the “room” for the event. Our fantasy was coming true – in less than a few hours, our guys would be walking through those elevator doors! When I got to the room, the table right near the entryway was still vacant. I quickly grabbed it as I figured I’d have a prime shot of getting the guys as they walked in. Surprised no one else had grabbed it yet? I guess they thought the outside view from 52 floors up was better than the guys walking in? Not me. I claimed my seat and I wasn’t moving! I quickly saved a few seats for Marie and Kelly, Chris and Sharon. We were able to mingle a bit, and then we waited. And waited. And waited! Myron kept us up to date with texts from the guys and where their progress was, they were running late, but they’d be there. I tried to keep a close eye on the elevators – security was running up and down. It was nearly 6p, where were they? Finally, Myron seemed to have disappeared around the back and suddenly there was a hush and then a roar! The guys were coming around the corner and I had the best seat! They stopped and stood for a few moments on the steps, looking fearfully at the crowd, but with big smiles on their faces. OMG! All these screaming women in one room! Frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t turn around and run the other way! Barbara came down next to follow the guys. Pictures were being snapped left and right, along with videos, smiles, and screams! Myron had to hush everyone down. The guys were to go to everyone’s table for a group picture. It was time for our table and the group photo. Everyone just rushed up there, the guys were standing still. By the time I got there, they were surrounded, so Mary and I went behind the guys. I was standing behind Ignazio’s shoulder! Poor Mary was right behind him. Ah, what to do? Oh yes, smell his cologne! So, that is what I did! I got close enough to him and took a big whiff! Yes, it was very nice! A quick click, and then it was over. It was a madhouse and before you knew it, the guys were making their way out again. I really don’t think it was even 30 minutes; it sure didn’t seem that long. The guys were gracious as always, putting up with all of us crazy women, and smiling as they left our presence. As they were leaving, I was able to snap a few pictures and I thought I had gotten Gianluca, but ended up with a blurry picture of Barbara, instead! But, as I turned around, Gianluca came up right behind me and gave me a little pat/back rub on my upper back as he was leaving. It was so sweet! I looked up and was just smiling into his grinning eyes…was a nice surprise! I guess that was way better than the picture? What do you think, Kelly? Maybe it was because I was one of the few that were just sitting down?
Was a little anti-climactic after that, but at least we still had the concert and meet/greet to look forward to. We ate our dinner, went back to our room quickly, then down again. It was about 7p or so by then and the concert started at 8p. We got to the Pearl and kept walking – we then saw that the line snaked half way around the casino! Fortunately we saw Madeline, who was saving our spots and got in line. They hadn’t opened the doors yet, it was incredibly nutty! Finally, I think they opened the doors shortly after 7p and the line started to move. I saw mom heading toward me and I grabbed her in line! Good thing for long arms!! We got inside, got our VIP stuff and went to the souvenir area. They had a few things and they had the mugs. For some crazy reason, they would not sell us the mugs til after the show – they said we had to wait until after the show? Reason? They thought us crazy people would THROW them at the guys? Really?? Who would spend $25 on a mug to throw it on stage? Ok, fine, then! We made it to our seats. I was in the fourth row and seats were pretty tight! I was dead center though and it was awesome!
Part II to come…
38 thoughts on “Fantasies and Dreams do come true…Part 1”
Jana, Your experience in the Palms was similar to mine. It’s a memory I will always cherish. I even got to “talk” with Gaetano. I used my only three Italian words. He gave me a thumbs up when I told him that Piero was my favorite. Also at the dinner, Piero blew me a kiss when I yelled Bye to him as he was leaving our table. All I can saY IS wow! Joanie G
Ok, are you going to leave us hanging Joan? What were your 3 words? 🙂
Jana, this was a fun read. I almost felt like I was there.
I’m so glad, that was the plan! 🙂 Wait til parts II and III!
It is a curse I seem to have, I just can’t tell a story without all of the details!
Hi Jana, it was so nice meeting you. Your experience was just like mine. Although we stayed at the RIO, the day of the concert was incredible. I met Marie, Ineke, you, Jeanine, Myron, Jeannette Kelly, Janet, Judith, John and so many beautiful ladies ànd gentlemen. Then our guys. Unforgettable day. LET’S DO IT AGAIN.
Prese – it was great to meet you also! I’m impressed you remembered all the names! I am sad to admit, my memory is just awful, but I do remember meeting you! 🙂 Yes, just seeing them up close and personal makes listening to their music after makes everything so much more special!
You all had a great time, Jana! We didn’t get photos with the guys, too much of a crush! I needed to talk to Piero, was able to reach out & touch him, say his name. He stopped & we talked for a bit. I was thrilled with that!! Can’t wait till the second Fan Faire! Myron said there will be another!!! We. All have great memories!!! Viva Las Vegas!!
Wow, that was brave of you! We really are fortunate they are so nice to all of their “older” fans! 🙂 I would have been thrilled to have a real conversation with Ignazio, too! You are so lucky! When there is a 2nd one, I hope it’s not for at least a year or more – I am so broke from this one!
Jana, very nice story and great written. 🙂 Surely will be interesting also the other parts.For me it is very interesting reading, because I cannot completely imagine how it is to be on concert and other events joined with it, because I didn’t experience it, and probably never experience it in this way (you probably do not fully understand me , but it depend on the (cultural, economic…) diversity of our countries and ways of life (standard of living). So, thanks for your story. 🙂
Lydka – I do understand a bit and that is one of the reasons I actually try to write like I do – I know not everyone can have these wonderful experiences and we may not realize how fortunate we are to see them and hear them in person. So, I hope I am truly able to take you with me on my personal journey, each time I sit down to share with you! They really seem to be a living and breathing miracle, and as many have said, we are so lucky to be living on earth right now and that God has chosen this time and place for us to enjoy this awesome phenomenon we’ve fondly come to know as Il Volo! You are such an awesome and devoted fan, I really hope that one day you are able to see them in person!
Yes, you are able to take me with you on your journey with Il Volo experience. 🙂 You have a talent for writing and take the person into the common action with you, naturally and easily share your thoughts with the readers. 🙂 Thank you for your nice words,I think I am like every other fan of Il Volo, I’m not exceptional. 😀 In this world we need positive examples, good role models, people who share the right ideas full of love and goodness.Music heals the soul and brings many joy and different emotions and feeling to us.Music that goes from the heart can reach the hearts of other people and makes miracles. Angelic music can materialize in human form and we know it very well, because we are listening this music through our guys. <3
Sincere greeting to you. L
Thank you for the compliment on my writing! Many say they enjoy it and several even say I should write a book! But that seems too much like work! Lol! I enjoy writing these “short stories” but don’t think I could fill a whole book! 🙂
Yes, when Ignazio hits a few certain notes, it really takes my breath away!
Jana love reading your story and all II can say is I sure am glad I went to the Fan Faire because I wasn’t able to go to the formal meet and greet but I tell you I had a great table close to yours and what a view I had when the boys came in when I saw Piero I think my heart stopped. Oh my goodness Heaven for me. Remember how they guys had to walk from where they were to the other side of the room while they were following Myron Piero walked by me and in an intsant put his hand on my shoulder Wow oh Wow I know he probably didn’t even know it happened but I do I just watched in aw at the site of the guys walking around the room and eveyrone trying to get to them it was crazy fun though. Then at night at the concert even though my seat wasn’t on the floor I had a wonderful view of the guys and I thought they were absolutely amazing. What a day I had it was sooo incredible. I only hope we can somehow do it again.
Wow! Yes, I’m sure they have no idea what their small gestures do to us? 🙂 It was certainly a priceless experience we all had!
Jana, great story!! It was such a great time. Can’t wait for part 2 and 3!
Jane – yes, it was so nice to see you all again!! Wish we had had more time to chat! Thanks!
Nice job my sweet adopted daughter. It was great seeing the Guys that and wonderful spending time with you! I met so many wonderful people. I will never forget that day.
Thanks, mom! 🙂 I wish I had ventured out more from my table to meet more of the ladies, but I didn’t want to miss anything! lol! Hope to see you soon? 🙂
Thanks Jana for sharing your experience in Las Vegas and also at the Fan Faire. I imagine it must have been a great feeling just thinking that Il Volo was staying in the same hotel as you and the possibility of meeting them. It’s so nice that you met so many Flight Crew members and I am looking forwards to Parts II and III.
Margaret – yeah, that was pretty incredible and just happening to run into any of them was pretty remarkable! Some others, as I’d read, got really lucky! 🙂 I wish I had met more of the Flight Crew readers!
Never been to Vegas, wish I could have been there with you guys and all your great adventures! You make Detroit and Austin seem boring! Glad you got a whiff of cologne and a nice pat on the back. Glad you all made it home safely as well. Can’t wait for part 2 of your story!!
Lorna – well, next time! Wherever it happens to be! You will be almost fluent in Italian by then, right? lol! Part II, coming up! 🙂
Great memories, Jana! I sooo remember how I needed to not stand between you and the door when I was near your table. Totally understood!
When my group went for the photo, I was 100% behind Ignazio, no visible sign of me. Grateful for the Meet & Greet photo after the concert.
Looking forward to Parts 2 & 3. I hope you’ll share the special feature on your outfit. Very cool!
Oh Jeanine – thanks for keeping my view clear! 🙂 I’m so sorry you were totally behind Ignazio! You must have been next to Mary? Or was that you, and not Mary?? I’m so sorry! I do post my meet/greet photo from Vegas in Part II and you can see “most” of my scarf! I decided I’m going to wear that each time I see them from now on. Does make the wardrobe choice easy! Lol! Even if they don’t know my name, they are sure to recognize the scarf! Funny, not many commented on my scarf…?
Jana, your vivid and beautiful description of the events is so like I remember and since I didn’t do any writing to go with the photos in my scrapbook, I’m copying your writing….thank you!!
Mary – that’s a real compliment!! Feel free! Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it! Jana
Jana I am really enjoying your recap of your amazing time in L V !!! Can’t wait for part two and three !!! I really enjoyed meeting you but wish we had more time to chat !! The Fan Faire was a memorable event and I truly believe that the boys were surprised and totally bowled over when they saw 110 crazed fans in that room !! The look on their faces was priceless !! But as you said they regained their composure and were their charming gracious selves as they made their rounds around the room visiting all of us !! Maybe now that they know how many of us attend this event in their honor they will plan to spend more time with us at the next Fan Faire !!!
Joanie – yes, great to have met you also! I know, I wish I had more time to meet more of you. 🙂 I think things got a little off schedule and then not really knowing when they’d get there, made it difficult to feel free to mingle around… It would be great to think they might actually plan a few hours with us, but they are likely to be in such great demand by then, who knows? They could spend the whole day with us and it wouldn’t be enough? Lol! Thanks!!
Nice read Jana, thank you! Well written, if someone told you should write a book then I agree, you should try!
Thanks, Dani!! I seriously don’t know what I’d write about, except for 3 charming princes? 🙂 Whatever the subject, I’d have to call it “Straight from the Heart” as that is what many say my writing is like? 🙂 You’ve certainly read a lot of my writing? Lol!
Thanks so much for part I of your narrative. I love reading these accounts of the Fan Faire because each one brings a different slant. I can tell you that the boys were floored at the size of the turn-out. I got the impression that they did not read my emails the week before when I told them the numbers. That is ok. They are very busy. I am just glad that we had so many nice and wonderful people to “shower” on them. I am also very happy that we have had a lot of tales of personal encounters with each of the guys – touching, back pats, one-on-one talks, etc., etc. – the sort of thing that makes it so special and takes it beyond the normal meet and greet.
this next part I have told before:
After we (the boys and I ) left the main room and before they got on the rear elevator to go back to the stage, Barbara and Piero said to me that next time they would plan an hour or more and make it part of their full schedule. They also said that next time they would help us out with the planning. Now that really sounds sweet !!!
I like that phrase: ” next time ” .
Myron – thank you! It was so great to finally meet you in person! Yes, it was nice to see them up close and personal without a lot of “guards” around… I love the sound of “next time” also. Please be sure to keep me in mind when the planning gets started? Even though I’m remote, there is always Skype, WebEx and Video Conferencing! And you can make phone calls from anywhere… I’m rewatching the Verona concert again, as it’s one of my favorites. I think I’ve seen it at least 20 times or more! The last one took almost 2 years to plan, we better start now! 🙂
p.s. you never told us what state had the most attendees?
California had the most people there. We had 27 states all together and Canada, South Africa. Mexico and Brazil.
Wow, that’s pretty incredible! Representation from over half of the country! Thanks, Myron!
Jana, Thanks for sharing your detailed and vivid stories of this big event; can’t wait to read the upcoming parts. These tales are so entertaining and informative and they truly add a special dimension for all Flight Crew members to share.
Thanks, John! That is so sweet of you to say! Maybe you’ll be able to attend the next one? 🙂
Hello Jana. We have not met, but I was at the Fan Faire with my sister. this was my introduction to the Flight Crew and knew no one when we entered the room. But we were at a table with really nice people and after talking a bit I realized i was not the only “crazy” addicted fan in the room. Everyone else had so many stories and thoughts about Il volo. My sister was only vaguely aware of Il Volo and was just keeping me company. She left a fan saying that was the best concert she had EVER been to and has been playing their cds ever since. When it came to picture time I was able to get right behind Piero’s left shoulder ( he is my fav). We were all snuggled up there together for a minute or so and I had my hand on his shoulder and that leather jacket was so soft. Gave him a little shoulder massage before they moved on to the next table. Somehow they looked to me younger and more vulnerable in person.
7th row aisle for the concert, great view and got to be right by the stage at the end and got a hand shake from each one as they went down the line.
Then I took my daughter to the San Jose concert. Also a newbee. She made a comment that I have been thinking about. She said first she liked that they were
“keeping it clean” meaning so many young artists feel it necessary to dress provocatively, sing songs with suggestive words – you know what I mean. And these sweet guys come out and just sing. One would never hesitate to bring a child or your grandmother to one of their concerts. never worry about any adult only content. Both my sister and daughter were blown away that the guys just open their mouths and out effortlessly come these gorgeous, huge voices. They had not really heard much music by Il Volo and their ease of singing was amazing.
So that is my story. Can’t wait for the next Il Volo event/concert.
Hello! And welcome to the Flight Crew site! So nice to have you join us here! 🙂 I’m sorry I did not meet you? How awesome you got to see them in San Jose as well? I am so glad you and your sister and daughter were able to so thoroughly enjoy the guys. How great you were able to shake their hands, too! Yes, to just hear them once in person, is like hearing a miracle to your ears! Ignazio gets a little wild at the beginning of Surrender, but other than that, yes, it’s pretty “clean!” 🙂 It only takes one live concert to be bitten by the Il Volo “love” bug…and unfortunately, you are infected for life; but all say they don’t want to be cured! lol! Thank you for sharing your story! Please come back often and soon! 🙂