It's so nice to be home. Sure, I love a good vacation, and we really did have a good vacation. But after more than a week through the air and on the road, it feels great to be home.
A few months ago, I asked my daughter where in the USA she would want to go for our Spring Break. She said, "Hollywood!" I said, "Are you sure?!?" She said yes.
We flew out to Las Vegas, Nevada. I don't believe Vegas is an appropriate place to bring a child. That was emphasized after being there for a few days. The only reason we went there at all was because it was significantly cheaper than flying into Los Angeles, which was our real destination. But I took the cheaper route, and I exposed my daughter to a few....exposed individuals. It's unreal what you see on the streets of Vegas. The Frankenstein Monster was walking around and dancing with anyone who would dance with him. Dora the Explorer motioned me over and, thinking "she" wanted a peck on the cheek, I gave "her" one, only to be frightened by the deep manly voice of the guy in the suit, who was excited to tell me that he was a huge Pittsburgh Pirates fan from Monroeville, PA, and he saw I was wearing a Pirates jersey. Fortunately, the suit had limited sight lines so he didn't know that I had kissed "her". The one that really shocked me, though, was the young lady who was wearing a bunny costume out on the Strip, right next to the MGM Grand. The bunny costume consisted of a black satin corset with white fur trim, along with a g-string. This meant her backside was completely bare! I was embarrassed for her. I made sure my daughter understood just how inappropriate that was.
It wasn't all bad. There are some interesting and fun things in Vegas. We rode the roller coaster at New York New York, which was a lot of fun. We ate at a great buffet at the Luxor. We saw the garden at the Flamingo, along with some wildlife. We explored the Venetian and its sky-blue ceiling and gondolas. We had a great dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe overlooking Las Vegas Blvd. It was a great time.
We had a few bad things occur, too, unfortunately. We stayed the first two nights at the Excalibur, which, while giving us a fantastic view of the Strip, was very old and dated, and wasn't much better than a standard hotel room. The casino itself reeked of cigarette smoke, and there were lots of very inebriated young people wearing very tight clothing that, in my mind, wasn't very respectful of themselves. We had an uneventful flight to Vegas from BWI, but upon arriving in Vegas, we had a ridiculously long wait to pick up our rental car. Dollar Rent-a-car had about three people working the counter with at least 25 people waiting in line. Our wait ended up being about 45 minutes. When I got to the counter, "Mike" couldn't have been more condescending, surly, and bullying. When I elected not to purchase their "insurance" policy, I was ridiculed for not taking it, and I had to listen to him tell me all of the reasons why I would regret it. I've rented almost 30 cars over the years. This is the first time I've ever been treated this way. When I received an email survey to provide feedback to Dollar, you can bet I was completely honest in my review. I will not rent from Dollar again, if I can help it.
My daughter's suitcase started to fall apart by the time we arrived at our rental car. We hadn't noticed when we picked up our luggage at the baggage claim that the TSA-approved lock and zipper were ripped off her suitcase. It was in such poor shape that I knew it wouldn't make it through the trip, so we had to purchase a new suitcase at the local store. I wish we had noticed at the airport. We probably could've blamed the airline. I can only assume it was their fault.
After two quick days in Vegas, we were anxious to hit the road for Hollywood. And that's where we'll pick up the story tomorrow.
Have a great evening, everyone!