Monday, August 10, 2009

Veni, Vidi, Vegas!

Yes, we stayed in that pyramid -- aka the Luxor Hotel/Casino -- and yes, our room was slanted. How awesome is that?!

I'd been practicing with CC a few days before we headed to Vegas: "Where are we going?" I'd ask. "Vegas!!!!!" she'd reply. Then I'd put my arms above my head, bringing my fingertips to a point, and ask her, "Where are we going to sleep?" "Pyramid!!!" she'd say.

Actually it sounded more like "Pii-miid." "More pii-miid, Mommy!"

Even though we've been to Las Vegas twice before with CC, I had a lot of excitement mixed with a little dread. I mean, that car ride can be looooong.

Luckily, leaving on a Wednesday morning put us in Sin City a mere 4 1/2 hours later -- and that's including a little pit stop at the Primm complex just past the Nevada state line.

Ian and I both wondered why people would drive all this way just to stop at Primm -- a smaller and less vibrant casino and outlet mall -- without even getting to Vegas. For us, it was an opportunity to stretch our legs and see what was in there, but I can't imagine trading the real thing for this.

Does that make me a casino snob? Don't answer that.

In any case, CC decided to have a full-on meltdown here after being the best toddler ever in the car. So maybe that affected my snobbery, er, judgment.

What I wasn't prepared for was seeing how cool Old Vegas is, aka Fremont Street (left). This is the downtown area farther down from the Strip that existed long before Bugsy Siegel flashed his first Ace in town.

It's now a pedestrian zone with a canopy that acts as a larger-than-life big screen with visuals that accompany loud, rocking music.

One of its shops also offers deep-fried Twinkies, which I missed out on, unfortunately. I was a little upset, but then I comforted myself by saying I might have just been spared a heart attack. Ah, life's little trade-offs.

The next day, after some general goofiness in the hotel room involving my child choosing to run around with adult underwear on her head, we took her to the Excalibur to see the Tournament of Kings live dinner show.

CC and Ian loved the horses and the whole King Arthur aspect, but I think they especially loved eating chicken sans silverware and shouting "Huzzah!" while beating the table at every opportunity.

On the way back to the Luxor, which is just a walkway away from the Excalibur, CC took off at full speed, something she is often wont to do. Unfortunately, this time, she took a tumble and landed right on her face.

In the process, she had bitten her lip, which made everything look even worse. I felt around to make sure every tooth was connected and not loose ... and told her she was never allowed to run again. Period. She broke my new (obviously lenient) rule moments later.

But seriously, seeing your child bleed is probably one of the most frightening things imaginable. And this is yet another instance of me wanting to secure her in bubble wrap for the rest of her life. Forget those high school bullies.

Our final day in Vegas was a short one. But we packed a lot in. First, we ventured over to The Venetian for some ice cream and window shopping.

If you haven't visited, you might not know about the alabaster-looking human statues that perch amid the shoppers. Well, CC was terrified of one and kept saying, "Scared of the white man, Mommy. Scared of the white man." I was a little nervous about passersby hearing that phrase. (Of course, that could be the little papoose in her, too.)

The rest of the day included driving off from the gas station with the pump still in the car, as well as missing a mysterious turnoff for the abandoned water park off of Interstate 15.

We did, however, make it to a ghost town. But more on that later.

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