The final day.
Carter took my camera downstairs and took some pics.
After sleeping in and eating breakfast, Blake took a conference call, checked out of the hotel and loaded the car.
I took the punks to the top of the Stratosphere tower again.
We watched a couple of people do the jump again. This is the guy who works there. He puts on quite the show by swinging WAY out to grab that rope. Everyone gasps.
Carter bought his ticket for Insanity.
Here it is in the daylight.
My little dare devil was the only one with his arms up.
So cool.....didn't even flinch.....and wanted to ride it again!
We met up with Blake and headed out of sin city.
First, though, we stopped at the Sahara, which is closing down, after 59 years of business.
We learned about this from the news program the night before....and that they were selling most of their inventory.
Who I am to pass up a sale?
I did not need any toilets, though.
I would have LOVED this.....and several more like it.....how cool would that be to have in your house?!
It was a hodgepodge of everything.
I wandered around for about 10 minutes.......looking at the remains of what was once a very hip casino.
It was the last remaining "Rat Pack" hotel.
It was the 6th resort to open on the original Las Vegas strip.
It was built by Del Webb, who now builds a plethora of retirement type neighborhoods. Quite a change, huh?
It was the last place Abbott and Costello played together.
It often housed the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, that you have no doubt seen on TV.
Everyone who was anyone played there, including Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland.
The 1960's version of Ocean's Eleven was filmed there.
The hotel and casino closed on May 16 of this year.
It was cool to walk around and wonder who had walked in the same place I was, what happened at these tables, who sat in the chairs for sale.
I wish I had majored in history.
I didn't see anything I needed, though.
Except for this camel, but Blake said I couldn't spend $12,000.00 on it.
As we were leaving, we spotted "Mr. Vegas" (according to his license plate) leaving. I bet he bought a few things.
We almost killed each other on the ride home. It wasn't pretty. At one point, Carter was in tears while Jack and Lainey fake vomited in his lap for about 20 minutes. I was no help at all. Couldn't stop laughing.
Finally. Back to civilization.
A couple of notes I forgot to mention before:
*Upon leaving San Diego, Blake called to get the exact address of the hotel to type into the GPS. It was 4:00am. The hotel's answer:
"Sir, would it be easier if we sent someone to pick you up?"
I guess they get that question a lot.....and assume that it's not from a dorky father of 3 and instead some lost, drunken soul who can't find one of the biggest casinos on the strip.
*As we entered the security checkpoint at the dreaded Hoover Dam, Lainey became hysterical. She insisted we ask the guard, "What's your faborite ride?! What's your faborite ride?!"
"This isn't Disneyland, you dork. Pull yourself together, Laine."
And, finally.....a few tips on traveling to Vegas with kids.
1. Choose a hotel that is in your comfort zone. Whether it be non-smoking or a boutique hotel or one without a casino, make sure your home base is where you want to settle each night. Vegas is "on" all the time. Don't expect to return to New York New York or MGM or the like and find it quiet and relaxing.
2. Plan your outings. Several hotels have fabulous things for kids to do. But, each one is costly and so we couldn't afford to do all of them. The Golden Nugget has a pool encased inside an aquarium. When you go down one of the tube water slides, you are essentially sliding next to sharks. Mandalay Bay has a plethora of pools and a fabulous "underwater experience".
Most of these options cost around $20 per person. Since the MGM had so much to offer and because their pools were included in the cost of our stay, we chose to swim there and then tour the town. Next time, we'll indulge in one of these other 'experiences'.
3. Be ready for the heat. Bring tons of water and keep kids hydrated.
4. The Hoover Dam is cool and if you're like me, it's one of those dorky sites all kids should see if possible. I knew they wouldn't care much about it. But, like so many other travel destinations (Mt. Rushmore, 4 Corners, The Black Hills of South Dakota, Buffalo Bill's grave, etc, etc), I think it's worth the visit. Make them stand there, looking miserable and get their picture. Chances are, they'll drag their kids to see it one day and so the cycle continues.
So, that's that.
We spent Friday and Saturday at the beach and now we're anxiously awaiting Caroline's arrival tomorrow.
Surprisingly, we don't have a ton planned. We'll certainly be going to the fair in Del Mar, California. Perhaps a visit to Legoland. Otherwise, just some sister time, 4th of July baking and a walk or two on the beach.
Back soon! Yall have a safe and happy holiday.