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Susan Anderson - An advocate for Carcinoid and Neuroendocrine Tumor Awareness

My trip to the 4th
Annual International Convention
Red Hat Society

MGM Grand Hotel
Las Vegas, Nevada
June 24 – 29, 2005

 Hotel reservation made May 24, 2004 (yes, 2004), non-smoking room with two queen beds,
 to share with Charlie Jo Mikolich

The Big Deal 2005 Convention Registration Confirmation, Sept. 30, 2004

Confirmation ID: NV05-14367-1-358, Purple Track, and Extra Day (Sat. 25 June 2005)
T-Shirt, Convention Pin, DVD of convention, Amount paid $539.24 (after Purple Perks discount 
of $95.16 taken off) Southwest Airline reservations made May 6, 2005

Las Vegas Red Hat Society’s fourth annual convention.

     1st  April, 2002 – 425 Red Hatters gather in Chicago
     2nd  April, 2003 – 2,000 Red Hatters descend on Nashville
     3rd  May, 2004 – 2,500 Red Hatters party in Dallas
     4th  June, 2005 – Las Vegas, The Big Deal, more than 5,000 attended

     5th shall be in New Orleans (changed due to hurricane)

Friday, 24 June 2005
I picked up Charlie Jo at 9 a.m. and we were off for Sky Harbor Airport, Phoenix, AZ.
We arrived at McCarran Field, Las Vegas, NV about 1:15 p.m. After getting our luggage we 
went to the MGM Grand desk in the terminal and check in, getting our room “keys”.  Next rode 
the shuttle to the MGM Grand on “the strip”. We spent the afternoon going to the registration and 
various area of the Convention Center in the MGM Grand, getting our Players Club cards (for 
shot machines) and checking out everything.  After unpacking we returned to the main floor and 
had a very good all-you-can-eat buffet in the Grand Buffet, and spent the evening visiting the various 
areas of the hotel.

Professional photographs were taking pictures though out the whole conference, which of course
 were available for purchase.

Saturday, 25 June 2005
Breakfast at McDonald’s on way to registration area in the Convention Center of the MGM Grand Hotel.
Registered in Premier Ballroom Foyer, we took taking Clubs as our suit for seating at the multiple functions. 
We talked with many ladies from all over the USA.  Learned every state was represented, plus Mexico, 
Canada, Puerto Rico and Australia.  Made reservations for the Tuesday evening Las Vegas Evening Tour
from the MGM Grand.  We then visited The Tropicana and made reservations for the Monday 
afternoon Extreme Magic Show staring Dirk Arthur.
6 to 9 p.m. we attended The Studio 54 Exclusive “Vegas Style” Party Buffet dinner, entertainment, 
DJ and dancing for those of us who registered for the extra day.    Good buffet food, open bar, packed 
with ladies, dancers and LOUD music, like Studio 54 in NYC. 

Sunday, 26 June 2005
City bus tour  9 a.m. – 1 p.m. …. our bus left about 8:40.  It pays to get places early as 10 of the
19 buses were loaded and left before 9 a.m.  We had a nice overview of The Strip, and then made
three interesting stops with time to really see things.  1) Fremont Street Experience ... the original
gambling area of Las Vegas,  2) Clark County Heritage Museum, 1830 S. Boulder Highway,
Henderson, NV, 3) Ethel M’s Candy Factory, M&M World and Cactus Garden.  We had a box
lunch on the bus, and then returned to the MGM Grand Hotel.

Visited the Red Hat Society Store (in a ball room) that was open Sunday through Wednesday with
 many demonstrations, style shows and activities going on, plus entertainment and “glamour” photographers,
book signing and etc.  When I was there Sun. afternoon a Liberace impersonator was performing and I
had my photography taken.

Welcome Reception 5 to 7 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom Foyer, I used my two drink tickets for two
diet cokes, there were good hot and cold hors d’oeuvres.

7 to 8:30 p.m. were the opening ceremonies in the Grand Ballroom with founder Sue Ellen Cooper 
and her assistant Linda Murphy.
Monday, 27 June 2005
8 to 9:30 a.m.  Pajama Breakfast with entertainment by Dr. Maxine Harper and author Kelly Lange 
(formerly of KTLA in Los Angles and now writing mystery novels).
2 p.m.  We attended the Extreme Magic Show Featuring Dirk Arthur and his white tigers, cheetah
and black panther.  The show was worthwhile and we enjoyed attending, plus visited with other visitors
to Las Vegas and again and again explained The Red Hat Society.
5 to 7 p.m. Reception in Grand Ballroom Foyer
7 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. Royal Banquet in Grand Ballroom.  Dinner, an Elvis impersonator and then 
the real Tom Jones entertained us.

Tuesday 28 June 2005
2 to 3:30 p.m. Afternoon Tea in the Grand Ballroom, speaker five-time Olympian Anne Abernathy
known as “Grandma Luge”.  She was the best speaker of those we heard and by far the most interesting 
and inspirational.  Anne will be participating in her sixth Olympics in early 2006, and will break her own 
record (set in 2002) as the oldest woman ever to compete in the Winter Olympic Games!  At the time of 
her event, on February 13 and 14 she will be 52 years old!  Anne announced at the convention that, although 
she will be racing for the U.S. Virgin Islands, she also considers the Red Hat Society her “nation.”  To 
demonstrate this fact, she will be wearing a red helmet with purple racing stripes.  She is doing this for all 
of us, as one more way to make the world aware that women in our age range are not nearly done yet!
4:30 p.m. we again ate in the very good Grand Buffet at the MGM Grand, again with king crab legs, 
prime rib, multiple selections of sea food, salads, pastas, desserts and much more.
6:15 p.m. until midnight we were on the Las Vegas Evening Tour.  We visited the over-all Strip …. were 
inside the Tropicana Hotel for their “Air Play” show; inside the Rio for their Masquerade Show in the Sky; I
nside the Bellagio to view the indoor garden extravaganza and the dancing 1,000 fountains from the bus and
from the sidewalk at the Bellagio; The Venetian Hotel and Madame Tussauds wax museum; then to the 
Fremont Street Experience where we walked around and enjoyed the light and sound show with more 
than 2 million lights with sound.  After Fremont Street we returned to the MGM Grand Hotel.  Snacks and 
bottled water were provided to us on the bus. 
Wednesday, June 29
6 a.m. Charlie Jo and I checked out of our room, and took luggage to the Bell Captain for storage.
7 –10:00 a.m. was a buffet breakfast with open seating.  There were so many of us there they opened 
the doors at 6:40 a.m.  Noon checked our luggage out of the Bell Captains area, and they took it to the
curb for us as we were using the airport shuttle again.  Our plane was to leave Las Vegas at 3 p.m., but
due to mechanical problems didn’t leave until about 5 p.m.  Arrived back in Phoenix, found our luggage, 
and I took Charlie Jo home.  I arrived home about 7 p.m. as the first musicians were arriving for our 
weekly Bluegrass Jam Session …. Howard had things pretty well set up and the ice out for soft drinks.
I am glad I attended this festive convention!  But, I probably shall not attend another Red Hat 
convention again, depending on the location.  
Copyright 2005 and beyond by Susan L. Anderson

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