My dearest friend Daniel, or DannyLee, had yet another outrageous Birthday party weekend that shall go on record as the greatest party ever. Daniel makes the Great Gatsby celebrations seem more akin to a five year old’s tea party. The weekend started off like any other, headed to the airport. Lucky me, it started off with a pat down from a TSA security agent whose bedside manner was lacking, to say the least. While he roughly caressed and explored the ins and out of my ins and out, three of his colleagues watched(voyeurs, I assume). I’ve had Thai massages that were less intense. When he concluded he said I was good to go and then told me he liked my bow tie. All of this because I have a continuous glucose monitor(the fabulous Dexcom G6). Do people with pacemakers have to suffer this legalized accosting? I digress.
Friday morning around 10:30 I arrived in Las Vegas, with my Louis in tow. I was terrified about Daniel’s birthday present getting damaged on the plane, luckily it arrived without issue. I grabbed a car and headed over to the Bellagio to meet the Birthday boy and two of his friends that I met last year (Andrew & Julian). Daniel showed me to my room where we dropped off the luggage, gave me my Danny Spice Gift Bag containing my own personal Pop figurine, a fabulous Versace swimsuit, a Danny Spice Tank-top and more. We then headed down to the casino to gamble some before everyone else arrived. I put in $20, and walked away with $186. I was feeling good already. Danny and I met up with Julian and Andrew, and were soon joined by more of his friends from Texas, Marco and his boyfriend Dan. Oh just a heads up there are about 10 Daniels and 10 Andrews in this story, so try to keep up. The six of us went over to Senor Frogs for lunch and enjoyed the refillable yardstick cocktails and scrummy mexican(ish) food. After a few of those drinks we went and gambled and drank more. Three more people joined the group, Gerry and two other guys from ATX. I believe pot gummies were added to the mix at some point in time too. Danny had been struggling with the Private Jet people on where we could land, either LAX or Burbank. Finally it was established that we had to go to Burbank. So then he had to get the coach collecting us from the airport and taking us to the yacht had to be switched(again.) He handed me his phone and dictated what he wanted. I, being a little less intoxicated, cleaned up the language but still expressing the outrage. Finally around midnight we decided to call it a night so we could all be awake, downstairs and ready to go by 6:30AM.
I popped out of bed ready to go and met Andie(Danny’s Partner) downstairs by the slot machines. Two full pieces of luggage weighing in at over 150 LBS were surrounding Andie as she explained that that was most of the alcohol for the next few hours. I hope it was enough. The stretch SUV limo collected us and drove us to the private airport. After a brief wait, only 20 minutes the jet had arrived and we took a group photo in front then boarded ready to go. Danny was first on and a few more boarded, then I got on. Walking in the cabin there were 2 sets of seats facing each other and a u shaped bench seat in the back, with a fabulous restroom (I’ll describe in a separate post because it was amazing!) Danny was seated on the left seat, Andie sat facing him, and Danny gestured to me that he saved me a seat, the one next to him. Thank goodness, that seat was comfortable as all get out. The jet took off right after 9AM, and take off was a traumatic experience in itself. The 6 guys in the back of the jet were not buckled up and when we took off they sort of flew to the back. Lucky for Danny and I, Andie and the guy sitting across from me were wearing their seat belts so they did jolt towards us, but luckily the seatbelt held them tight enough. If they had not, we would have spent the day at a dentist getting our teeth replaced. We finally landed in Burbank at 10AM, where the coach met us right as we deplaned then we were all sprayed with disinfectant and loaded in. The drive through southern California made me sad. I don’t see how or why anyone lives there. Driving that much, the sad property cost, perfect weather year round…hard pass.
Marina Del Rey was a relief to see, after all of that driving. We waited at the gate for two other of Danny’s friends to join us, Melanie and Daniel [#3 (I told you)]. Both were already in Cali, so they just met us there. We boarded the yacht, it’s magnificent size made all of our mouths drop. We were greeted with smiles and more hand sanitizers. Once we were standing in the back, the crew all came to meet us and explain everything we needed to know. Shoes were not allowed to be worn, so we had to take them off. The captain made a joke because Danny’s cake had arrived a few minutes before we did and the captain asked if he knew they put “25” on the cake. Everyone had a hearty laugh, aside from Danny and myself. I merely giggled, Danny had added everyone he could to the death list in his mind. We were given a tour of the bedrooms below, the dinning room, the restrooms, the living room and told to meet upstairs before push off to go over safety instructions. The upstairs deck was incredible. Hot tub, lounge seating, sweeping views, a full bar and food/snacks out the wazoo. The morning started out with shrimp, crudites, charcuterie, cheese, fruit, chips, queso, salsa, and liquor. The private chef was going to make our lunches later, with an entire menu to choose from. Daniel had his play list going and we were informed of the song numbers we would be performing and the outfit changes that would be required. After an hour in, everyone was settled in the front of the yacht enjoying the warm sun and cool breeze. Danny performed his first number, Britney Spears of course. Then came Spice Girls(Spice Up Your Life). I had to jump up, almost spilling my champagne, but don’t worry I didn’t. Later on the upper deck we did Diana Ross and the Supremes (Ain’t no mountain high enough), Mame (Bosom Buddies-Angela Lansbury version) and a few more I can’t remember. These same numbers will be performed at least once more over the next few days and events. We were going to have lunch at Cher’s Malibu place with her, but because of quarantine, we only had time for a few drinks with her and decided to eat back on the yacht. After we all finished our delicious lunch, it was cake time. Danny had two cakes made for the day. The first was a perfect Louis Vuitton vanilla cake. The second was a Spice Girl inspired red velvet British cake. (See photos). They were both delicious and mixed perfectly with all of the booze we had been drinking. With 11 gay men on an isolated boat with unlimited alcohol of course there is going to be a little drama, but luckily it wasn’t to overwhelming. The end of the evening approached and we were back at the Marina boarding the “Party Bus” that would take us back to Las Vegas. Aside from a Spice Girl number I performed, were just gonna say that we took a party bus from LA to Vegas. And that’s that. We arrived back in Vegas at some ungodly hour and everyone went back to rooms.
The next morning I was surprised to be awake but wandered downstairs and found Danny gambling. I joined in the fun and made a little more money. We went and checked in to the Venetian Penthouse first, then wandered around trying to decide what to eat before checking in to the Palms Place Penthouse allowed at 4PM. The Venetian was for the remainder of the week, and a spot to hold food and drinks when we are at the private poolside cabana on Monday. Danny and I went to eat, he had Lobster on a stick and I had chicken tenders. He then went and dropped me off back at the hotel, so he could return home grab a few things and then he would pick up Gerry and I and we headed over to the Palms. I don’t want to undersell this place so pay attention: The Palms Place Penthouse, is not just a regular Penthouse. It is the Entirety of the 59 floor of the tower. You probably didn’t know there even was a 59th floor because all of the elevators only reach the 58th. The 59th has to be accessed by a hidden private elevator located on the 58th floor. The Penthouse used to be the residence of the Palms Place owners, but was lost in divorce, blah blah blah, sold for $15 million recently and is now available for rent. 4 bedrooms 6 bathrooms, Indoor dinning room, kitchen, laundry room, tv room, DJ loft, bar, then the outside has a wrap around balcony, a hot tub, outdoor theater and outdoor dinning room and outdoor kitchen. Did I mention it tends to hold parties of 500 people? Anyway, because of the security guard downstairs, and the need for a special key to access the elevators, Danny entrusted me with the responsibility to help wrangle guest and bring them up. Luckily the caterers arrived before most of the guest arrived. Gerry and I claimed the bedrooms closest to the bar and Danny & Andie had the master at the opposite side of the building with a wraparound view from the bed. The drinks were poured nonstop until about 5am, the food was pecked at and was delicious, and Daniel’s playlist was all we needed to make it the greatest night ever. Daniel had another fabulous cake made for this party, a two tiered royal blue cake topped off with a gorgeous handcrafted crown. (see photos). We drank, we sang, we drank, we ate, we drank, we danced, we drank and we swam….eventually the guest would all disperse and the handful of us remaining either fell asleep or passed out depending on who you ask. Drama would follow with gossip of whom slept with whom while another whom filed it and uploaded it to their justForFans/OnlyFans accounts, but as I don’t know anything about that, I will not participate in such drama. Also, I hate Tito’s Vodka, Grey Goose is all I need. But those of you who would swear your life to Tito’s, please aim higher.
The next morning(2 hours later) Andie had already been up, went back to their house, let the dogs out and returned starting the clean up. I attempted to help, but was still rather drunk. We got everything downstairs and loaded in the cars and Danny dropped Gerry and I off at the Bellagio. He told us to be ready in an hour to head over to the Venetian for the pool party. Danny, Andie, Gerry and I went and checked in to the Cabana, where we waited for either a few minutes or an hour for the waitress, Devyn, to serve us. Either way, we drank, enjoyed the pool, the air conditioned cabana, people watching and criticizing, and two young ones couldn’t hang so the slept through most of it. As today was actually Danny’s Birthday I was hoping it would be extra special for him, but considering the outrageous previous 48 hours, it was a great day to just relax and enjoy the food and drinks.
Tuesday was my last day in Vegas. Andie had to work so I said my farewells already to that one. Daniel, Gerry, Julian and I went to the Venetian Penthouse to down a few bottles of champagne, have Daniel open his present and gamble the rest of our day away. Julian had received some good news just before we got there so we were drinking to celebrate many reasons. Julian had to leave earlier in the day, so Daniel, Gerry and I went gambling downstairs. I still had only spent $20 of my money on gambling, but walked away with $300. I can walk away a winner. After Gerry was done playing back and forth on Willy Wonka, seriously he kept winning and losing keeping the balance the exact same, we decided to go eat. We wanted to do Hells Kitchen, unfortunately the limited seating rules in Vegas made reservations almost impossible. I wanted to try this Sticky Toffee Pudding that these queens have talked about for months. So we went to Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill and had it there. We then went over to Vanderpump Cocktail Garden and had a drink. I think Gerry chose the best option as it wasn’t too sweet. Mine was in excess of sweetness and Danny’s was almost as strong. We then headed back to the Venetian to grab my bags and Daniel was sweet enough to drive me to the airport. Once we found our way to the correct terminal, it was easy going through security. I was pissed that I left my face mask in Danny’s car, but luckily had about 7 backups in my bag. There was no line at the TSA security desk, but as I had to request an opt-out/pat down, I had to wait for them to find someone to do it. As I stood there waiting for someone the 4 younger TSA agents hanging out, doing nothing were talking about how much easier it is to just go through the scanner, and why are people so stupid about that. As an older gentleman came to collect me we walked passed this group and I told them that as a type 1 diabetic wearing a medical device I am not able to go through the scanner without having to take off the device which will cost me more money to replace, and hassle with insurance to cover the cost of getting me a replacement. I also pointed out the sign in the front near security that said if you are wearing a medical device you should opt out. I informed them that I would not report them for their laziness and obvious ignorance, but that should I ever be unfortunate to cross their paths again and they continue to speak without using their brains, I would make it my sole life’s purpose to have them all fired for their remarks. I then pointed to the skinny guy wearing his face mask incorrectly with his nose completely out and informed him that he is putting everyone’s life at risk wearing his mask like that. The older gentleman didn’t know what to say, so he asked me if I was ready, I said yes thank you and followed him. He went over the process and I explained I understood as I have been through this a lot. He then told me that if I did want to file a complaint, he would be happy to get me the information. I thanked him, but told him how it bothered me having people make generalized comments without knowing anything, especially within hearing distance. He told me that he has a grandson who is also a type 1 diabetic and hopes that he is as strong as I am. That was sweet. Well I made it to the gate, the plane only had 20 people on it, so it was a wonderful flight home.
Daniel Lee Hodge is the reason for the season, every season. His birthday celebration was another outstanding spectacular. I don’t know how it can ever be outdone, but I need to find a way to get Bette Midler and The Spice Girls to perform a private concert for him. Until next year, au revoir Las Vegas.