We planned this little life in Montreal for the summer, but somewhere along our way across Le Planete, we ended up in Vegas for a week! It’s a long story, but doesn’t every Vegas story involve a twisted tale or two?
In a nutshell, it involves two great mates, a 40th birthday plan, and a bit of bad luck. You see, when we decided to head to the Americas for Atlas Vagabonds 2.0, we knew we wanted to squeeze the summer out of the north, then head south as it cooled. Well, summer couldn’t be hotter than in Vegas, and when one of Witty’s groomsmen said he was celebrating his 40th in Vegas in July 2019 and geed Witty up for a party… well he couldn’t resist the temptation. After all, it was sort of on the way from Darwin to Montreal, right!?
One plan led to another, and soon I had locked my parents and a few US based relatives to join me poolside for a week of Nevada madness: an invite to bask in the 50°C heat and reunite while Witty let loose with his mate in Sin City. BUT! At the last minute his 40th birthday groomsman had an unlikely run of bad luck, and had to cancel his trip! Well what could we do? We did Vegas anyway!
Never shy of an off-centre adventure, we packed the 50+, rashies and party attire, and boarded a flight across the planet with our two kids, and our own ace of spades, my mother! Yes, begrudgingly, we had convinced her to fly into her least favourite place in the USA, and to do it with us on a 18 hour journey with our kids. Bless her. My dad would have done the same, but he’d “accidentally” booked with another airline 😉 so he had to meet us there!
Once we got settled into our digs a little off the Vegas Strip, we took to the streets and either fumbled through our jetlag, or revelled in it. You see, being jetlagged in Vegas ain’t so bad: in this town, everyone is awake when they aren’t supposed to be. Admittedly, we copped a few stares and even a few disgusted comments from randoms as we waltzed the streets late night with a baby strapped to the chest. But like water off a duck’s back, there’s only so deep a scorn can cut when it’s coming from a drunk, stumbling gambler who’s probably just missing his wife and children. So come what may, we jumped in taxis, wandered through pokie halls and danced down the strip like the pram-scooting, baby-slinging rockstars we are.
Speaking of rockstars, within a day of our arrival, my Dad’s eldest brother, Uncle Rick, and my Aunt Karen drove across three states to join us from Colorado. Once our jetlag and our mojo caught up with them, we made Vegas work for us- by cooling our skin in the resort pools, sipping icy cold drinks and of course, going on mad missions off the Strip to the real Las Vegas to find splash pads for our toddler. Obvs.
They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But I think I’ve already divulged the naughtiest things we did, and that was taking our infant underage strolling on the strip. Other major highlights were: taking my Dad to see my teenage idol Gwen Stefani on stage; also being 37 and 72- year old adults and getting busted by a 90 year old usher for sneaking too close to the stage; sitting on the Strip with my dad and watching families, nipple tassled ladies and mobility scooters go by; hanging in the hotel room with my Aunty, Uncle, folks and my fam and watching a toddler perform A-class entertainment; the Beatles LOVE concert at the Mirage; feeding finches in the resort gardens with my son; did I mention splash pads; family; and last but not least… leaving.
Look, it probably wasn’t the best way I could show my husband Vegas for the first time. I had wanted it to be a blast for him with his mate, but his mate ultimately couldn’t make his own 40th. It really would have sucked for him, so we did what we could, and we did Vegas for him. Craig, you owe me one. And maybe Witty too 😉
Vegas, here’s cheers. You can keep your stinky smoking casinos, drunk lonely dads who belittle young families, and you can shine on with your bright shiny lights and drain out your overpriced drinks. You are what you are. Thanks for the fabulous entertainment, thanks for letting my son boogie in the streets, being there with fresh watermelon so my daughter could suck down her first “solid”, and thanks for bringing my family together in an altogether unexpected arrangement. It rocked, and it will never (hopefully) happen again.