Friday, May 09, 2008

Vacation Part 6, in Which We Waste a Day

Let me preface this entry by admitting that we usually fill our vacations so full that we exhaust ourselves and then wish we had another week to recover. But when we went to Seneca Lake for vacation a few years back, it was just a relaxing time in which we did a lot of reading, relaxing, etc., and I wouldn't consider any of that time wasted.

However, this day wasn't like that. I woke up early and went for a run. It would be quite an adventure to live in St. George, especially where we were, because you could go a few blocks and be trail running right away. Good stuff. Then when I got back, we decided to go to this tourist office place to decide what to do. It wasn't open yet. So we went to this wildlife museum. It wasn't open yet either. So I tried to find the church where we would be going on Sunday. I couldn't find it. We went back to the wildlife museum to find that it had what amounted to life-sized dioramas complete with taxidermy. We just bought zoo season passes to see real live animals, and to go through the dioramas would have cost us (as a family) about what the zoo season passes cost, so we decided to skip it. The kids liked playing in the gift shop, though.

So we bought needed groceries, ate lunch and decided where we would go next. Tara's mom had been "suggesting" to us that we really needed to go to Las Vegas while we were out there; she even suggested that we could stay at a cheap motel there so we wouldn't have to drive back late at night. Having stayed in a cheap motel in Vegas (in approximately the same neighborhood in which Tupak was allegedly gunned down), I nixed that idea completely. Besides, I don't gamble. Or, I should say, I don't play "games of chance." I regularly spend a huge chunk of money in the type of gambling better known as "insurance" - but that's another story. Anyway, slot machines aren't attractive to me in any way, and I am enough like my father to dislike being parted from my money. But Tara's mom kept insisting about how "family-friendly" Vegas was and all the free things, so we went.
Where we stopped (free parking) was probably the highlight of the strip; it was the pirate ship at Treasure Island.

Yes, Jonathan is wearing my sunglasses. Somehow we left his back at the condo. But it was dad to the rescue, trying to make him as comfortable as possible.

As we were walking around, Tara made the comment: For me, this is vacation Hell. She had that right. There were crowds everywhere and if you weren't gambling, there sure was a lot of up-scale shopping to do. The dolphin show, which M-I-L remembered as free, now cost $15 per person. The "free" viewing of tigers? Another fee. The Caesar's Palace moving statues (which I don't think our kids would have appreciated anyway)? Broken. Everything else? Tons of people, and nothing whatsoever appealing. (There was a huge aquarium behind the counter at one hotel, and we spent a while there watching the fish while M-I-L rented a stroller for more than we paid for ours).

I did, however, feel "at home" in this particular location.

We then went looking for something to eat. There were plenty of buffets available - each for $30 or so per person. I guess we could technically afford that if we really, really wanted to, but that wasn't how we wished to spend our hard-earned money. So we left the strip in search of somewhere to eat. We ended up driving for a while, first through some really nasty sections of town (on the strip, there are of semi-pornographic advertisements and promos for what seems to be prostitution pretty much on every corner, but once you're off the strip, it gets much worse). We then went through some "normal" areas and found a road that looked like it would have restaurants. Along the way we saw the following scene.

In case it's not clear enough, that building is the home of the Living Faith Assembly: God's Family Church. On the left side of the building... that is indeed an ATM. Only in Vegas would there be an ATM on a church building...

We ended up at an Olive Garden Restaurant; I was too hungry to keep looking. We all enjoyed our food (I would have been fine had I just had the salad and breadsticks, but the Italian food was good anyway, plus we had enough to take left-overs back to the condo).

We are glad that we hadn't decided to try to spend any more time in this wretched place.

1 comment:

bryan said...

I'd sooner cut off my ear than spend another day, or an hour, in Vegas. A horrible waste of good desert land if you ask me.