Leaving Las Vegas
Going to Las Vegas, for any reason, requires an explanation. It’s not like traveling to, say, somewhere like Minneapolis, where everyone just assumes you had a really good, out-of-your-control, must-have-been-life-or-death, reason to go there.
“Wait a minute! What were you doing in MINNEAPOLIS!? Nobody just GOES TO MINNEAPOLIS!”
– A spouse that doesn’t exist
In one sense, it’s really not fair. I’m sure there are plenty of people who visit Las Vegas for reasons other than the only reasons anyone would visit Las Vegas.
Alright, so it is totally fair, but staying with our fairness theme, Vegas did this to themselves. It’s not like they didn’t embellish the idea of being the one U.S. destination where you can spend a judgment free weekend mutating into the very worst version of yourself. I haven’t been to every city in the U.S., but I can’t imagine there are very many places where a 20-something cocktail waitress will happily serve you an endless amount of complimentary alcohol while you feed your hard-earned cash into a shredder at 3am on a Tuesday morning.
To recap, I think we’ve already established the obvious choice here, and that’s to bring my wife and 2-year old daughter to Las Vegas for 6 uninterrupted weeks of… searching Google for “fun things to do with a toddler nearby” so I can read posts that ask why in the world anyone would bring a toddler to Las Vegas.
But, here we are, and I’m required to give an explanation, so here it is:
We love Vegas.
I’m not sure if that satisfies your curiosity or not, but before you wonder if we’re the people you thought we were (we’re probably not), I’ll provide a little bit more context.
Sara and I have been coming to Las Vegas at-least twice a year for nearly a decade. And sure, like everyone else, in the beginning we’d grab a hotel on or near the strip, go to a fancy dinner we couldn’t afford, take in a show that started at 9:30pm, and stay out late enough to completely miss all 11 reruns of House Hunters. Of course, most of that happened way back in our early 30’s, long before we started wondering what the point was of even having headlights on either of our cars.
Somewhere along the way, we decided to retire from the strip. Maybe we just started to feel old because we were in bed before the clubs opened, or maybe it was one-too-many breakfasts next to a table of 21-year olds doing a final round of shots before heading to bed for the day. Whatever the reason, from that moment on, we extended our Vegas trips well beyond the 4.2 mile stretch of everything that’s wrong with humanity.
Our favorite destination quickly became Red Rock Resort, an incomprehensible 20 miles from the strip, and a world away from ruin-your-life-in-24-hours-or-less culture. This was a place where you could lose money next to other people who actually had money to lose. Happy hours didn’t start at 11pm and feature BOGO well drinks and Jägerbombs, they started at 5pm and featured craft cocktails and wine. It sort of felt like a retirement community for people who wanted a PG-13 version of the Las Vegas experience and a comfortable bed to sleep more than 2 hours in.
Just west of the resort is Red Rock Canyon. Across the street is Downtown Summerlin, one our favorite downtowns in the U.S. Want to hike? Drive 45 minutes to Mount Charleston, or go an hour in the opposite direction to Valley of Fire State Park. Need somewhere new to eat? Las Vegas is home to (arguably) the best collection of diverse and unique restaurants in the world. McCarran offers inexpensive and frequent direct flights to nearly everywhere imaginable. The housing prices are like jumping off a cliff compared to sunny San Diego.
(And speaking of San Diego, it’s just a quick 4-hour drive.)
So, all of that to say…
Considering Las Vegas as a possible city to settle down in isn’t that crazy, right?
We dig Summerlin, and that will never change.
We have great memories here, and those will always remain.
But after 6 weeks of exploration, full-time Las Vegas isn’t in the cards for us.
What happens here, stays here.
Except for us. 🙂
And now, we’re off to the opposite of Las Vegas:
Twin Falls, Idaho…