Saturday, June 27, 2009

What Happens In Vegas...

Road Trip!!! A week in Las Vegas; a partyer's dream, right? Well, I'm no partyer :o) And I traveled with the gal who co-leads my prayer group with me at church as well as my almost 12-year-old son. We were definitely going to be avoiding the seedy side of Vegas!

So, what was there to do? A short list:
  • Visit to the Museum of Atomic Testing (VERY cool and very well done)
  • Visit to World of Coke, where we sampled 16 different beverages Coca Cola sells around the world. They were mostly awful.
  • Rock climbing and hiking at Red Rock, which was wonderful. What a great park.
  • Field trip to Blackjack's in Pahrump, home of the year-round fireworks store. My son died and went to heaven there, and left with two heaping shopping bags of explosives.
  • Buffet meal at a casino.
  • An evening magic show billed as "for the family" which was actually PG-13. Run-down hotel; magician who was past his prime; I guess we did find the seedy side of Vegas after all!
  • Tour of Hoover Dam (interesting historically, but not much to really "see").
  • Visits to various name-brand hotels and casinos to get a look around. We saw the MGM lion, the amazing glass sculptures and dancing waters of Bellagio, and the outdoor evening light show at the older end of the strip.
Yes, I tried out some slot machines and lost every nickel I put in, so I learned to avoid them. The casinos are full of smokers and my eyes teared up too much to do much good anyway.

And for a pioneer-good-time... the air compressor in my car failed, requiring us to drive back to southern CA without any A/C. Now THERE was some fun! In Baker the biggest thermometer in the world registered 99 degrees, which didn't thrill us. We did stop at Peggy Sue's Diner for some ice cream. What a cute place! It's chock-full of movie memorabilia and is absolutely worth the stop. The diner is just north of Barstow, so you can hit it coming and going from Vegas.

We actually did live the pioneer life to a certain extent while in Vegas. We had a condo with a full kitchen, so we ate some meals (including every breakfast) in the room, saving money. My son got a children's pizza one night at the Cheesecake Factory and ended up eating it for two more meals; that was a nice money saver. We brought home leftovers from our meals and ate them for lunch, which I love to do. I already know I like the food and it saves me a few bucks!

Souveniers were few -- I have no need for most of the junk they sell in the shops there, and anything of quality is also available right here at home. All the same chain stores exist. We did bring home the tasting list from World of Coke. One of my least favorite flavors there came from China and was called "Smart Watermelon". It tasted like I was drinking gum. India's mint-flavored soda was another pee-yuuuu flavor. My son called it "sugary mouthwash", LOL!

It was really, really fun to go to a place known for excess and find a way to make it work for the type of lifestyle we like to live. If I were to go again (minus my son) I might try to find a way into the Bette Midler show -- maybe with discount coupons!


  1. Pam, my friend Cindy, who lives in Vegas, would probably want to hug you right now. She's on a one-woman revolution to change the perception that Vegas is no more than the Strip. You've given me lots of great ideas for the next time I visit her, because I don't gamble either. I'm curious as how not having smoke in your eyes would make you better at slot machines. Seems to me you'd lose regardless.

    I'm particularly fascinated by the Museum of Atomic Testing. I felt the same way about the Hoover Dam, take a few pics and continue yawning. ;-)

  2. I was kind of kidding about the smoke affecting my gambling. I'm a lousy gambler; you can't gamble successfully if there's fear in your heart! I always fear losing money (or squandering it), so gambling is not for me.

    We actually spent very little time on the strip. I think it would have been fun to see the Treasure Island pirate ship show, but nothing was interesting enough to us to stand out in 95 degree weather waiting. We'll google for a YouTube video of it, LOL!