Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Viva Las Vegas

As some of you may already know, we went to Vegas this summer. How and why are a whole 'nother story though. We were all ready to take our regular vacation to my cousin's house in Malibu when the damn I-10 fell apart. Literally fell apart when a bridge fell down four days before we were supposed to drive over it. We decided that there must be some other way to get there and while I was researching alternate routes, I thought "Hey! We could go through Vegas!" This only adds about 2 hours drive time, but there were faster routes than that. My plan was to stay the night there and my Mom could play slots if she wanted and I would take Thing 2 around to see the sights (since it was just the 3 of us). 

Now, believe it or not, I did have a moments hesitation about the wisdom of taking my 14 year old daughter to a drinking, gambling, stripping mecca. But it was only a moment. She was excited and informed me that several of her friends had been there this summer already.

So off we went. My biggest problem with the whole trip was that suspension bridge over the Hoover Dam. I have never driven over and it and the last time I saw it was during construction. I HATE driving over those types of things. I am convinced that even though I am in total control of my car, there will be some sort of tragedy and we will crash over the side. Seriously. I probably need therapy for this. If I cannot be on the very inside lane closest to the median (where it is hardest to plunge to your death from) it is even worse. Sweaty palms don't help, because that is how you lose control of the car. So for 15 miles leading up to the bridge Thing 2 is cackling like a witch at the prospect and I am getting increasingly nervous. Then we get there and just let me give a quick shout out to the bridge designers! I know they did it to keep people from screwing up traffic looking over the sides as they go over, but OMG! You cannot even tell you are on the damn thing! It is level with the highway leading up to it and the side walls are so high YOU CANT SEE OVER! They are my favorite people ever.

Shortly there after, we roll into Vegas, baby!

Can I just say now that as we drove down the strip to Bally's, I was really disappointed. I haven't been there in probably 6 years or so, maybe more. The Las Vegas I remember from years gone by had these huge themed hotel/casino with these elaborate fronts to them. Think Caesar's Palace with all the statues and fountains, Treasure Island with the pirate ships, etc. Most of that is gone. Oh, the hotels and casinos are still there, but the exotic fronts are gone. I guess the property became to valuable because all the hotels are hidden back behind a bunch of shops and restaurants that now line the property along the strip. That might be OK if there were different shops and restaurants. There are two McDonalds, a White Castle burger, a CVS and THREE Walgreens. Three. In a 2 mile stretch of road. It's pathetic and sad.

We checked in, left my Mom to herself, and went to scope it all out. We saw the fountains at the Bellagio and then went to the Mirage via Caesars. We were going to stay at Caesars and see the show there, but it was a bizarre experience and we needed to get out. It was like that scene in Percy Jackson where they go to Las Vegas and get stuck on the casino and can't get out! We were in an annoyingly large shopping mall with no exits. Of course, we didn't know this at first. We just kept walking until we go tot the end, but then you couldn't get out. None of the stores or restaurants opened to the outside. We started walking back and asking people how to get out and they kept telling us to just "go down there and on the left is an exit" We were told this by several people including a security guard on a segway. Pretty soon we were making this journey with a British family of four that was as desperate as we were to get out but couldn't find an exit either. We pushed open security doors, found the employee  parking, and ending up high fiving each other when we finally got out. Since they only do the volcano show at the Mirage twice a night now, off we went. In front of the volcano is when I realized that I didn't really need to worry about taking my teenager to Vegas. We were surrounded by small children on all sides. Then a pregnant woman and her husband rolled up to stand in front of us with their three kids, ages 6, 4 and 2. It was like waiting for fireworks at Disneyland.

As we walked up one side of the strip and down the other, there was a very odd dynamic happening. There were all the normal people passing out their little "flyers" who I had to keep an eye on, but I guess they don't want to go to jail for distributing porn to a minor, so she was skipped by them. Right next to them though were all these people in costumes that you could pay to have your picture taken with. Seems ok until you realize all the costumes were kids characters?!? We saw 2 Elmos, an Olaf, Bert from Sesame Street, several  Princesses...it was so weird! 

All the while Thing 2 is making comments like "This place is really something else" and "I'm guessing there are 24 happy hours a day around here?"

As it is getting close to 9 p.m. I decide we need to head back since the drunks are starting to roll out and that is when we start to see them. Along with the porn peeps and the costume creatures appear a new group that is clearly meant to appeal to the wasted among us. There are men holding large signs that say "Kick me in the balls for $20." I am not even kidding with this! In a "too late to do any good" display of parental guidance, we head for our hotel.

As we walk around the entrance to some other place close to ours, we see them. The crowning glory of our excursion. KISS. Or rather, photo op guys dressed like three members of KISS. 

Which is fine, except I seem to remember KISS wearing pants. Not, as these three had on, black studded g-string thongs. Two are facing us, but one has his back to us given us a full and complete look at his ass. Needless to say, there is a line of women waiting for pictures and these guys are in 12 inch platform boots, so they are draping their legs over these women's shoulders.

"OMG! No. Just No."

I'm afraid after my laughing she didn't take me up on my offer to take a picture.

So as we get back to the room, Grandma asks her how it was. I'm not sure what to expect from her at all. Then she says this...

"Oh, I am totally coming back here with my friends when I'm 21 Grandma"

I just hope someone gets pictures.

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