Some of you will say that I’ve never done Vegas “right”. After all, I’ve never spent the evening gambling. Or taken in a big show. Or shopped in the glitzy arcades. Or even gone on any of the thrill rides.
The first time I visited Vegas? Well, I don’t want to give too much away about my age, but there were still vestiges of Rat Pack Vegas. And there were no mega theme hotels. Caesar’s was pretty much the biggest game in town. Not that we stayed in any hotel. We were just married and traveling the Southwest on a shoestring. We stayed in the KOA and took the bus into town. Not to the casinos, but to the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum. Which we paid for with a lucky win at the slots at the campground. (Yes, they have slots at the campgrounds. They pretty much have slot machines everywhere in Vegas. At the airport. In the restrooms. At every diner.)
The next time I went to Vegas was with my 21 year old niece. She’d never heard of the Rat Pack and all she wanted to do was sing Karaoke and see an Elvis impersonator. Check and check. We stayed at the Luxor, but didn’t really explore much. We had just come from the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, so we were like deer in the headlights with all the neon. It was pretty much a flying one-night stopover.
When finally I got to Vegas again, Andy was a veteran of at least 20 Computer Electronics Shows in that town. There wasn’t a ride, a casino, a mega hotel he hadn’t visited. And Vegas to him meant trade show craziness. But I’d signed up for the Las Vegas Marathon, so I dragged him along with me. I had a blast. I almost saw Oscar de la Hoya, we rubbed shoulders with cowboys and culinary superstars, and I limped across the Marathon finish line.
I couldn’t wait to go back. Andy, not so much. Although I’d signed up for the Marathon again this year and planned the trip since July, he conveniently “forgot” and double-booked a deep sea fishing trip with some vendors for this weekend. So, at the last minute, I found myself with a room at the Luxor, two day passes for the spa and no one to go with me.
So what kind of companion would help finally me get the “right” Vegas experience? Who among my friends would appreciate the glitter, the glitz and the glam of Vegas. How about an infant and a new mother?!
I’ve read that, over the years, Vegas has wanted to attract more families and position itself as a “family entertainment venue”. We’ll be testing that theory to the limits. Watch this space. The adventure starts tomorrow!