Do not be fooled by the 110 degree Las Vegas temperatures. Do not think, "Oh, it's going to be so HOT, I'm going to wear THIS little sundress and THIS one and why bother bringing PANTS it's hot enough to FUSE THEM TO YOUR LEGS!" Do not do this, because you will find yourself shivering in front of your video poker machine, wishing you'd brought even your tiniest thinnest sweater. Every Las Vegas casino is kept at meat locker temperatures, and how these women go around wearing nothing is BEYOND ME. I herded everyone into a Banana Republic so I could buy an overpriced shrug in the exactly three minutes before the Blue Man Group started. And thank God I did because the only worse thing than being bored is being bored and COLD.
Do not get a rental car. What is the point? Having a rental car means you have to DRIVE the rental car and, if my experience was anything to go by, just crossing the street takes you half an hour. And that's before you add in the time you'll spend waiting for the valet to FIND your car in the cavernous black holes that are casino parking garages.
Do not take a taxi. Especially if you have kids. Especially if you have more than ONE kid. Technically they are supposed to be in car seats and wow is that a pain. Not technically you can hold them in your lap, but then you are worried about all sorts of morbid things and the cabbie is worried about The Police and no one is having any fun. Except the kid.
Do not walk. You CAN'T walk. The hotel across the street from your hotel? IS NOT REALLY THERE. The hostess at our restaurant in the Paris hotel confirmed this interesting fact. "Oh yes," she said, "our nickname is The Mirage." Do not attempt to walk because unless you already find yourself on the Strip, no one is expecting you to walk and no one has provided a sidewalk and it is going to be a long hot dangerous confusing stroll. And if you manage to find the Strip, the hotel you'd like to visit is undoubtedly situated four miles BACK from the Strip so then you have to cross all THAT territory. And it is hot. Did I mention that? Those mister things don't really help when it's windy. And then the thing you really want to see inSIDE the hotel is another mile through jangly slot machines. Actually, if you are on your own, go ahead and walk. It's a nice way to see what's going on. But if you have a two-year-old it's a quick way for your toddler to lose his you know what and you to lose what's left of your mind.
Do not ask for directions when you're walking either. People will look at you like you are Nuts because SERIOUSLY? WALKING? And then they will give you the WRONG directions and you will curse them under your breath until you give up and go back.
Do not eat at buffets. Dear God. Did you go to Vegas to gain forty pounds? I DIDN'T THINK SO.
Do not bring your credit cards. Everywhere you look there is something to buy, from tacky-as-all-heck Eiffel Tower-shaped plastic cocktail glasses to frillion dollar bags. Right now you are all sane and rational, but when you are standing outside the shop window in a froofy Vegas mall you are not in possession of your usual smarts. YOU WANT THAT BAG. And no one's going to stop you so you better stop yourself. Just make it easy and leave those credit cards at home.
Do not bring cash. Did you know penny and nickel and quarter slots don't even take pennies and nickels and quarters? THEY WANT BILLS. You have to slide actual paper dollar bills into those suckers and then you're STUCK. 100 credits in a penny slot machine! Gah! And don't get me started on the tables, and the freaking ten dollar minimums for blackjack. Not that I wanted to play at a table. I can't add that fast. Pressure! But seriously, do you WANT to default on your mortgage? Then leave your cash at home.
Do not go to the swimming pool. Not unless you like being squeezed in amongst The Humanity, not that you would recognize them as their skins have turned to leather. But perhaps you enjoy the sight of middle-aged ladies pulling down their swimsuit straps and lounging about. Speaking of straps, they were very much on display. Did you know that in Vegas it's perfectly acceptable to wear a beautiful backless dress with a regular old bra? It may mean that that one white girl in the middle of all the Chinese people may stare at you all through lunch, because she's just never really SEEN anyone DO that before, but really! It's okay! Just ask the lady who pulled her tank top straps down over her shoulders, so that the tank top sort of sagged all over, revealing about 100% more bra than anyone should ever have to witness. So maybe that's another tip: do not bring a bra. Why bother?!
Okay. That's it. This is the LAST VEGAS POST I SWEAR. I'm done. We had a great time, and the parts that weren't so great were of the Good Story variety not the How Do I Disown Everybody variety. In fact, our flights went so well and our kids traveled so well that tonight I plunked down the cash for another set of plane tickets for our Disneyland trip. To heck with this driving thing! And, confidential to me, one last piece of advice: Do not feel guilty or failure-ish about deciding to fly instead of drive you anxious neurotic DORK. You DO happen to be the only person you know who thought driving five hours a day with two small children would epitomize The Awesome.