As mentioned in the fanny pack post, I was actually in Las Vegas over the Labor Day weekend. This was effectively the first real, multi-day, kids-free breather that mythical wife and I have had since, before the arrival of #1 back in March of 2020, right before the pandemic shut the world down. Since then, we’ve literally never had longer than a single day where we were both not without children. We obviously love our kids and our budding famiry very much, but we’d also be kidding ourselves that having gone through such a stretch has been difficult at times, and it’s amazing we’ve gone this long without a true break and not ended up going insane in the process.
Needless to say, the highlight of the trip was without question, simply getting to sleep in for two straight nights. As in, turn off all alarms, pin the blinds shut, and go to sleep, only to wake up naturally, once our bodies deemed it no longer necessary to remain asleep. I know we were in Las Vegas, the city that never truly sleeps and we’re supposed to be out gambling, drinking and being total shitheads all night every night, but damn if it wasn’t so refreshing to wind down the evenings knowing that we could sleep as long as we wanted.
To any of my zero readers who might be under the age of 32, I can imagine just how depressing of a paragraph the preceding one was, as a glimpse of what life after the age of 40 and with multiple kids can await but I really do love my famiry I really do.
As for Las Vegas itself, it was a good weekend to get away from the grind of daily living, but I have to say I had a lot of thoughts about not just Las Vegas, but the experience of traveling, and the state of the world itself. And not to shit on what was a very welcome weekend to relax some, but me being who I am, of course these aforementioned thoughts are quite critical.
If I could get right to the point, I would have to say that I feel like there is a pretty wide disconnect when it comes to the world of business and the people of the world, and where they stand on how “re-opened” everything really is versus how re-opened everyone thinks it is, or should be.
Case in point: travel to Las Vegas is expensive as fuck, due to supposed demand and inflation. What should be no more than really a $350 RT give or take anywhere in the continental United States was like an $800 RT per person, resulting in mythical wife and I settling with Greyhound Spirit Air in order to not get to the casinos already broke. Except when you get to Las Vegas, casinos and restaurants all over the city are operating at less than pre-pandemic capacities, almost all of the buffets are either shut down or completely impossible to get in on account of them being the only ones left, table minimum bets are way higher than they used to be, and it’s basically impossible to be spontaneous or do anything substantial on short notice anymore.
Aside from sleeping the fuck in, two things that I wanted to do at my first time in Vegas in like 5-6 years was to eat at a buffet, and visit Ellis Island. Neither of which happened because pretty much every buffet in Las Vegas was either closed or required a massively advance reservation, and nobody in my party wanted to go to Ellis Island and even if we did go, there’s no doubt that their restaurant would’ve had a massive wait and been impossible to get in at.
Not that they were that bad by any means, but we had several meals at places I probably wouldn’t have gone to if there were buffets available, not to mention that they were all way more expensive than good Vegas buffets were.
But due to the general feeling of restrictions and handcuffs here and there, I found myself breaking a couple of my own neurotic rules in Las Vegas, out of a feeling that I didn’t have any choice. Two of them, at the same time, which was no playing where you stay, and no playing at tables with robotic female Asian dealers, because to me, both are omens of horrible luck. But I did both anyway, and found myself down a good bit in short order, and going to bed feeling agitated and dejected.
Fortunately, a positive gambling session at Paris the following day helped salvage my gambling exploits, but I still left the city an overall net negative in the process, not that such isn’t always the case when it comes to going to Las Vegas, but the point is, there’s a noticeable disconnect between how much the city wants to operate versus the demand of things from the people who are visiting, leading to a lot of obnoxious waits, crowds, rushes and rejections.
Such sentiments weren’t limited to Vegas itself, just the traveling experience in general, is very similar in the sense that airports want to operate in these pandemic-era manners with skeleton crews, early closures and basically taking away all seating from travelers, but not taking into consideration every single flight is basically oversold, because of the reduced number of flights is making every ticket a hot one, and all these people are stacked on top of each other, sitting wherever there’s floor space and an outlet on the wall.
Either way, I don’t regret the trip, and I’m grateful to have gotten away from ordinary life for just a few days, and could sleep in and feel like a self-absorbed adult for that time. By the time it was time to pick the kids up from grandma’s, I couldn’t wait to see my girls, and give them big hugs and kisses again. But obviously me being the headcase that I notoriously am, nothing goes by without me overthinking about it, even good shit like small vacations. But I would wager that I’m not the only one who feels that it’s kind of obnoxious that the commercial world is trying to have their cake and eat it too when they try and use the pandemic as an excuse to operate at 75% when the consumer world is ready and itching for things to be operating at 110%.