It took a couple of hours for it to sink in and I was scared his dazed look would become permanent, but it was so much fun surprising him. I booked the flights 2 months ago and I was pretty sure he’d find out somehow but I wanted to keep it a secret as long as I could. I was pretty stressed out the few days before we left – getting everything ready to go and making arrangements for the kids and packing, etc. On Friday I had a knot in my stomach all day. I think I was as happy as he was when the surprise was finally unveiled. I needed a holiday just to recover from the lies and stress. But it was … WORTH IT!!!
Vegas is the most surreal place I’ve ever been. Everything is big and bright and loud and crazy. When we arrived around midnight, we had a hellish shuttle ride to our hotel with Satan driving. He hit something – not sure if it was a car, a pole, or a person – and kept going before finding out what it was. Other vehicles were honking at Satan and his Deathmobile like you wouldn’t believe. It stopped at 6 other hotels to let people off, and yes, we were the very last. So the first lesson we learned in Vegas: don’t take a shuttle bus. As a bitter irony, the cab we took on the way back to the airport cost the same amount as the shuttle. So by the time we got to our hotel (Mirage), we were shaking. Then went we went to check in, they didn’t have the room we requested so I was mad about that. Then we had to cart our luggage (Dale’s nice new luggage) all the way through the crazy casino and past the restaurants and shops to the room elevators. By the time we got to our room, I had sensory overload and a headache. I wanted to go home. But after a good sleep, I felt calmer.
We spent the next 3 days walking and gambling and eating and napping. We went on a roller coaster, saw David Copperfield’s show, went to a Titanic exhibit, toured the other hotels and casinos, went shopping, etc. One thing about Vegas that I didn’t expect was that it was actually quite pretty. Our pool area was beautiful – lots of palm trees and tropical greenery. It wasn’t warm enough to swim, but we sat in the sun by the pool and went in the hot tub. We also walked through the shops, which were amazing. Most of them were so upscale that I couldn’t get myself to go into them with my grubby jeans and clunky shoes and stretched out black hoodie. The best store was FAO Schwartz, the toy store. It was so cool. When I told the kids that we were going to Las Vegas (the day we left), they said they wanted to come too and I told them, oh no, there’s nothing for kids there. When they saw our pictures of the giant piano keyboard and the doll nursery at the toy store, the roller coaster, the M&M store, the big motorcycle sticking out of the Harley Davidson store, the tiger in our hotel and on and on, they were a little choked. There actually is a lot for kids, but I can’t imagine taking them there ever. “Mommy, why are there pictures of naked girls everywhere?” There are actually quite a few kids around, even out on the Strip at 2:00 a.m. Maybe their father (or mother) is a professional gambler and he wants his family near him as he works. Whatever. It’s another thing to put in the category of “I’m not the worst parent in the world.” Maybe those parents are looking at me and thinking “I can’t believe people would leave their kids for days to come here and gamble. What kind of parents would do THAT?” That being said, the kids had a great time at Mom & Dad’s, and then Grammy (Dale’s mom) spent the night at our house with the kids on Monday night. We were supposed to leave Las Vegas at 11:20 Monday night, but the flight was delayed two hours. I wasn’t able to sleep in the airport or on the plane. There was a bad man sitting behind me. Even though he and every other passenger on the plane reclined their seat, he was unhappy that I reclined mine. He kicked and bumped my seat for the first 15 minutes, then I swear he took both hands and shook my whole seat. I got up and turned around and asked him if he was having a problem. I ended up putting my seat back up and sitting straight and tall the whole way. He didn’t touch my seat again. And when we got off and were waiting for our baggage, he stood as far away from me as he possibly could. He was with his girlfriend and he had hickeys on his neck. Nothing says you’re cool like dark red hickeys when you’re 35 years old. I hate him.
By the time we got through customs and made it home, it was 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. So I made the kids lunches and took them to school and that was the end of our vacation.
Me (with my grubby jeans and stretched out black hoodie) on the big piano at FAO Schwartz
New York New York Hotel with the Rollercoaster That Only Insane People Ride
Christmas decorations in the shops at Caesars Palace. Everything is BIG!
Dale at the airport, dreaming of being 39 again.