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Footwear, foreigners rule NYE at Lavo

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Photo: Allison Duck

New Year's Eve @ Lavo

If I have learned anything from partying on the Strip this New Year's Eve, it's this: ladies should quit torturing themselves with ridiculous high heels! Upon first walking into Lavo at the Palazzo at the rather early hour of 9 p.m., one of the first things I saw was a lady on the patio holding her oh-so-stylish yet apparently uncomfortable high-heeled boots in her hands. Will this be the year when women finally abandon their New Year's resolutions of promising themselves to lose weight, sleep more and move on from dissolved relationships? Can't we all just pledge to get a sensible pair of flats instead? It's a goal we could really stick to and have a lot less trouble committing to, once we gave it a try.

The New Year's Eve partier on the patio at Lavo didn't let her uncomfortable footwear choice inhibit her good time and instead enjoyed the "free drinks" with the steep price of admission as she braved the club in her bare feet. The staff at Lavo kept the drinks and hors d'oeuvres coming as guests munched on tuna tartare and scrumptious sliders while quickly downing a rainbow of delicious cocktails. Celebrities visited the patio where CNN was doing a special New Year's Eve broadcast, overlooking the Strip. Pauly Shore, David Spade and Coolio all made appearances and did their duties at the mic along with the CNN anchor. It was amusing having to explain just who Coolio was to several very confused older couples to whom "Gangster's Paradise" didn't ring a bell.

The revelers at Lavo who seemed to be having the best time were those visiting Vegas from out of state and out of the country. I met several groups of people from England, Ireland and Australia, who all seemed to be having the time of their lives and were exceedingly happy to have their pictures taken. One group of ladies from Sacramento was making the most of their New Year's Eve experience as they kept the drinks flowing while they danced upstairs at the crowded club. They even managed to pull me onto the dance floor, snatching my camera to take crowd shots from on top of the VIP booths, where we ended up dancing. It turned out my first kiss of New Year's Eve was from one of these ladies, a near stranger from California, and not my boyfriend, who was completely OK watching that instead.

The Strip at midnight outside Palazzo

Since Lavo was packed and feeling a lot like the always crowded Tao, we ventured out to the Strip for the countdown to midnight along with thousands of other eager fireworks watchers. Families pushed strollers across the Strip and woke their children in time to see the explosions in the sky as young couples kissed. The moment was surreal and exhilarating until approximately five seconds after the last fireworks brightened the sky and one lady proclaimed, "That's it; it's over. Let's get the hell out of here." Thoughts of all night street cleaning and the volume of trash generated on such a night instantly popped into my head, pushing aside all the warm fuzzy feelings of a moment prior. Hopefully 2009 will be something to savor and not to quickly dispose of like the silly string containers and party hats that littered the Strip at midnight.

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