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The wedding festivities are over.  And with thirteen others–a nice mix of family and friends– we celebrated the new Mr. and Mrs. Diaz with wine and a plate of our favorite pasta at Battista’s Hole in the Wall, a homey Italian eatery just behind the main Las Vegas Strip.  Against a backdrop of photos of famous personalities hung with familial pride, we toasted the newlyweds – and the entire room of patrons clapped their hands as they shared our joy.       


The wedding was simple.  The spoken vows will not be simple to live.  Kate was a beautiful bride, her sister Kara a beautiful Matron of Honor.  These two who use to fight like alley cats now stand by one another through the thicks and thins of life. Celebrating a sister’s marriage and new life is the best kind of thick.   


The wedding chapels on the Strip are well used.  Out comes one couple and in goes another.  It’s like this, not just with weddings, but with everything that happens here –the shows, the slots, the restaurants.  We enjoyed two out of three. 


A few hours after our arrival and before the show began, we snagged a couple of tickets to catch Jay Leno’s stand-up comedy routine at the Mirage.  He was there just two nights, so I guess Lady Luck shines on more than gamblers.  While waiting for Jay, we walked around a bit and found that one of the casino hotels was home to eight award winning James Beard chefs.  We enjoyed brunch at one on Saturday, a cozy French restaurant called Bouchon.  It reminded me of Paris or New Orleans, a far cry from the noise of the Strip. It was good to run away for a while.     


The entire atmosphere of the Strip over stimulates the senses, blinding humanity to one another.  People live in their own little worlds of friends, the slots or in a haze of alcohol.  They often forget to look where they are going.  I was bumped into several times.  I felt like a piece of furniture.


Newlyweds may not have eyes for everyone but they do have eyes for one another.  It’s universal, in and out of Vegas.  When love is brand spanking new, it shines brighter than all the neon lights flashing in Las Vegas.  With vows freshly spoken off their tongues, newlyweds know that married life is a relationship that matters more than whatever else the Strip is selling. 


A former pastor of mine was fond of repeating a saying of Sister Elizabeth Molina, which expressed this sentiment more succinctly:.  “Life is relationships.  Everything else is just moving furniture.”  If Kate and Glen can follow this bit of wisdom, their marriage will live and thrive.  Viva los Diaz.  Long live Mr. and Mrs. Diaz.