Tag Archives: las vegas

Taking Your Kids to Vegas: A Lesson in International Culture, Etiquette, and Ethics


Once upon a time, before I lost my moral compass in a land far, far, away, I swore on a bible, under oath, that I’d never take my kids to Vegas (O.K. it wasn’t really that dramatic but I like the visual, especially because in my version of the story I have newly shellacked nails, a flowing iridescent robe with ruching in all the right places, a super-sweet spray tan, and Legolas standing by as my cabana boy witness).

Son of Thranduil and King of the Woodland Realm of Northern Mirkwood or cabana boy? You be the judge. Image via freewebs.com

Anyway, I was certain, based on past experience, that Vegas simply wasn’t a place fit for English Royalty, my grandmother Tim Tebow fans, or children. But the winds of change kicked up a ginormous tumbleweed as airfare hit a price point better known as dirt cheap and my children embarked on Fall Break, which, without some type of vacation, would end up being unbearable uneventful. So I pulled a complete about-face.

I’m a Gemini. Don’t judge me.

Blimey! Image via guardian.co.uk

Everyone knows Las Vegas is the capital of glitzy-glam-glut the United States of America, and I’m all about sipping cocktails by the pool providing a well-rounded education for my offspring. Intent on showing them why they should go to college the positive side of the world’s largest, most collagen-enhanced melting pot (behind L.A.), we recently loaded up our sunscreen, sensible shoes sequins, and hand sanitizer, and hit the road.

Is this former Knots Landing star Joan Van Ark or her Madame Tussaud wax mold? Image via zimbio.com

International Culture

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually have to visit Europe to experience European bathing. Instead, you can be from like, Alabama, frolicking through the family friendly lazy river ten tequila shots down with your surgically enhanced assets bobbing in the fake surf screaming “Roll Tide Roll!” as my son, completely entranced, who’s also unfamiliar with the metric system, gets a crash course in Girls Gone Wild 101 anatomy and physiology.

Image via shopncaasports.com


As a parent, I’ve used technology as a babysitter more than I’ll ever admit diligently taught my children the value of proper etiquette. So when a fellow tourist (possibly European but thankfully not nude), boxes your children out with her fanny pack and blocks their view of the Bellagio fountains because she’s using her nifty new iPad as a camera? Get all up in her face, step away from the safety rail and let her memorialize her future Barcalounger programming options trip in peace.

“Hey lady in the Depends. iPad cameras suck!” Image via vegastripping.com


Most parents don’t know this, but it’s not the casinos, international tour buses, or third row of a minivan taxi cab wave pools you need to steer clear of when you’re in Vegas with children. It’s actually the M&Ms store. That place will make you throw up in your mouth rob you blind as you quickly check your phone for the over/under on the Monday night game, sprint across the street to the Luxor to place a fairly sort of smallish bet, and return in time to discover that each of your kids has figured out how to personally monogram a container of candy that you can buy at Walmart for $1.97 each.

This is $80.00 worth of personalized M&Ms. O.K, actually $78.92: two of my kids ripped off the lids and started shotgunning them before I could pry them from their talon-like grasp. Image via Stacie “that was the most expensive bet ever” Chadwick.

Your penchant for five-finger discounts fight or flight instinct will immediately kick in as you weigh the odds of being caught stuffing three pounds of candy down your shirt. Since the store is wired with a security camera every two feet you’re a good, moral person, you instead spend the night’s blackjack money on candy that you’ll regift as Christmas presents to elderly relatives who haven’t yet had cataract surgery let your kids have, in limited amounts so that it will last the rest of their lives (which are now considerably shorter), when you get home.

So take it from me, a trip with the family to Las Vegas is something I’ll never do again much more than just a vacation. It’s an international experience of love, hope and harmony filled with opportunities to blow their 529 savings sky-high teach them about world culture, etiquette, ethics, and that those things being handed out on the sidewalk looking a lot like baseball trading cards? Not so much.

Images have been blurred to protect the innocent and the addicted. Image via mobypicture.com

P.S. “Thunder From Down Under” is not a show about variable weather patterns in the New South Wales/Victoria region of Australia.

Image via ethanjstone.com

P.S.S. We watched the second presidential debate with the kids while we were in Vegas, because it’s illegal to leave them alone in the hotel room to hit the craps table I believe in a well-rounded political education. In case you’re wondering, I can assure you that the term “binders full of women” has a completely different meaning in Las Vegas than in American politics. I think.

Image via abcnews.go.com

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An Open Letter to Steve Wynn: Why the Forty-Year Oldish Woman is Your Ideal Guest


Dear Mr. Wynn,

In a few short months, some friends and I will leave our families behind to make an annual pilgrimage to the capital of the United States of America: Las Vegas.

English: Las Vegas Strip

Image via Wikipedia

We feel that as concerned citizens of the world, it’s our patriotic duty to pay homage to the mecca of glitzy-glam-glut, and embrace everything other countries love to hate about our way of life.

As such, I’m writing to you under a cloak of secrecy moral responsibility.  In order to make the most of your limitless power experience as the majority owner and Commander-in-Chief of Wynn Resorts, you may want to consider naming us “Ambassadors to the Stars,” and as your trusted emissaries, upgrade our party to the Ambassador-worthy penthouse suite while you comp our entire stay at your über-amazing resort.

Hotel Wynn en Las Vegas, Nevada

Image via Wikipedia

I know this seems ridiculous like a lot to ask, but understand that we will serve you for seventy-two hours max loyally, and represent the Wynn brand with the decorum and dignity you’ve come to expect from your all of your stalkers fake-employees.

“Why would I need forty-year oldish Ambassadors?” you ask, as you board your Bombardier BD-700 Global Express jet to pop over to Walgreen’s for some new bifocals milk duds.

From chilloutpoint.com

You need us because we represent the bull’s eye of your target demographic.  Life is all about free swag giving, and in case your fleet of fancy marketing execs hasn’t figured this out, let me pass on some sage advice.

Forty-year oldish women rock!

We’re the ideal Wynn Resort guests trolling for freebies, Ambassadors, and, listed below are just a few reasons why.

  • We have real money to spend, either because we’ve hit our stride as corporate titans, have become experts at siphoning unnoticed cash from the family checking account, or both.
  • Forty-year oldish women love to not eat.  We’ll each pay $49.95 for the all-you-can-consume buffet and have a salad glass of water with lemon.
Is the glass half empty or half full? The pess...

Image via Wikipedia

  • When we do decide to absorb calories, however, we’ll turn a table faster than any other demographic in the room.   Why?
  • 1. We’ve eaten at nice restaurants before.  No twenty-eight questions about the menu and clarification on the definition of tapenade (for the meal you’re picking up).  The forty-year oldish woman keeps it simple:                     “Give me a steak.  Bloody.  Now.”
English: A raw steak

Image via Wikipedia

  • 2. We have to dance, like, immediately after eating, due to a biological urge to decimate the 7,000-calorie, ginormous meal we just destroyed after consuming only cocktails and water with lemon for two straight days.  Plus we love Pitbull Neil Diamond, and think either he or a dead-on Pitbull Neil Diamond impersonator just walked by on the way to one of your clubs.  Sprinting for the door while one of us distracts the maître d’ with twenty-eight questions about the menu, we’re outta there before the waiter has the chance to drop a check.

from rickdavies.blogspot.com

  • Forty-year oldish women won’t stress out the bouncers at your clubs because our bar brawling days are on hold due to a restraining order over, and we’re too busy trying to get the Pitbull Neil Diamond impersonator’s autograph to cause any trouble.
  • Since our last visit, we’ve saved gazillions of quarters to donate to all of your art collections charitable causes, one slot machine at a time.
  • We know the best bets to place at the craps table, and when we win?  We love to take the money and run let it ride.
  • We may buy our Missoni at Target, but we’ll splurge on a killer pair of Jimmy Choos with our winnings at one of your über-fancy boutiques (unless you comp them, then we’ll pocket the cash for next year’s trip).
Français : escarpins ouverts en Élaphe de marq...

Image via Wikipedia

  • We never get player’s cards because fortyish year-old women don’t want our forty year-oldish husbands to know how much money we’re hemorrhaging spending at your tables.  Duplicitous?  No.  Strategery?  Yes.
  • We subscribe to the principal of leaving something to the imagination, and understand that less is not necessarily more.

from aliceolivia.blog.se

  • You don’t need to send housekeeping to our suite (by now, I’m sure you’ve upgraded us).  We serve as Domestic Divas unpaid labor in our homes and we’ll gladly clean up after ourselves (if you comp our room).
  • We understand that in Vegas, there are 1,001 uses for small bills an iPhone, and we come prepared.
  • Forty-year oldish women can’t sleep due to early onset of hot flashes, night sweats, and excessive caffeine consumption during the day.   As such, you can be assured we’ll be trolling the blackjack tables all night in search of Neil Diamond a free Red Bull, and we might actually play a hand or two.
Deutsch: Eine Dose Red Bull Cola. English: A c...

Image via Wikipedia

  • We know something about style, and promise to never walk through your casino dressed like this:

from allfacebook.com

  • Or this:

from sunnycoastacademy.com

  • Or this:

from hobokengirl.wordpress.com

  • We’ll save you money on your water bills.  Forty-year oldish women hate doing anything around the house laundry, and one towel each (in our free penthouse suite) will work.
  • We can’t resist playing our kids’ birthdays at the roulette table even though we know the odds are made for suckers Japanese tourists.
  • Sun and chemical peels don’t mix.  When we’re at the pool, we’ll rent one of your gazillion dollars a day cabanas (because after all, it’s on you).
  • Sun and cocktails, however, do mix, so please add a few fifty $19.00 Strawberry Crush Mojitos to the tab (that you’re picking up).

from rectescocteles.es

  • We’re smart enough not to lick take anything that could be captured on video.
  • Forty-year oldish women love to plaster pictures of ourselves all over Facebook.  Nothing is more valuable than free advertising.
  • What we lack in elasticity we make up for with filler.
  • We’ll eat every single meal at your resort because the forty-year oldish woman knows there’s only one word for the off-Strip $4.99 sushi buffet.  Unsanitary.  Nasty.

From Flickr

  • As your Ambassadors to the Stars we’re here both for the outreach opportunity luxurious accommodations and to spread the Wynn gospel to the world.  As such, we’ll be on-site the entire time, except when we borrow your Bombardier BD-700 Global Express jet to pop over to Walgreen’s for some new bifocals milk duds.
  • We’re way too proud to risk getting caught in the pool area with that bottle of Jose Cuervo we also picked up at Walgreen’s.  We’re diabolical kind enough, however, to keep it in our suite, since we’ll actually save you money by avoiding the mini-bar (you’re comping our stay, remember?).
  • As forty-year oldish women, we understand that hand sanitizer the buddy system is a good idea in any and all public places, and we use it liberally.  Especially in Vegas.
  • When you give us front-row Garth Brooks tickets for our “days of service” award, I promise my friend Cristy won’t rush the stage.  Well, I promise to hope she won’t.  If she makes it past security though, her karaoke version of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” (super creepy, deep voice) is scary awesome, and as far as I know, she’s only been arrested once in her entire life for streaking stalking.
Garth Brooks singing the Don McLean song "...

Image via Wikipedia

Like any pseudo-Ambassadors to the stars, forty-year oldish women know that all good things must come to an end.  We’ll be back, however, as soon as you name us “Ambassadors to the Stars Emeriti,” or short of that, email us the magic promo code for a discounted room.  When we return?   We’ll bring even more forty-year oldish freeloaders friends with us.

Sincerely yours,
Stacie Chadwick