We took a little trip. It was actually 2,350+ miles from home. As the flight landed and the attendant welcomed us to “the City of Lost Wages,” I knew it was going to be the kind of trip we’d never forget. We didn’t partake in the nutty things you probably envision when I say that we took a trip to Las Vegas. There were no tigers in our bathroom, no missing teeth, no random babies discovered in the hotel closet, no indecent proposals from millionaires, no Mike Tysonesque tattoos (well, not really) and sadly no flying Elvises. There was ample hilarity in the company of a star-studded cast of celebrities thanks to a trip to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, and there were many fine, unrushed meals free of chicken nuggets and the like in the company of fine friends complete with exquisite desserts and yes, fine wine. We didn’t take home a jackpot, but we took home so much more than the rocks that we collected as souvenirs for our children from a chopper flight to the Grand Canyon.
The things we took home weren’t really tangible unless the extra pounds count from four days of gluttonous buffets, coveted Gordon Ramsay burgers and whatnot. We took home patience. We learned to give each other space to maximize our time in an effort to do what we wanted to do, see what we wanted to see, and just be in the moment. We took home inner peace that comes with relaxation -- something we seldom find the time to explore and capture in the chaos that we call home, something that can easily be found poolside with frozen libations or in the comforts of a solo, seemingly stolen nap in the middle of the day on a cold pillow with the curtains drawn in a fancy, dark hotel room, and because of that I guess you can say we took home a little bit of bliss. We took home more laughs than we can possibly count and many memories to go with those laughs. We took home a little bit of love for the City of Sin, a city that I’d rank quite highly for one of my favorite pastimes - people watching.
We watched a man put down couple thousand dollars on a roulette wheel and walk away with quadruple the payout. We watched many lose what was probably their weekly paychecks. We watched people do anything they can to make some cash on the street, and I won’t go into those things here as they’re a totally different blog. I’ll keep my positivity cap on and tell you that the little City of Sin in the desert is quite the escape from reality. When we returned home I found it quite amusing that more than one mommy friend welcomed me with this phrase, “Welcome back to reality.”
They know. They can relate to the things a parent takes away from a rare, coveted trip sans children, sans work and in the company of a spouse. Thankfully, our parents also know, and they were kind and generous enough to take on the chaos of our home for four nights and what probably felt like five very long days. They even contended with a virus that thankfully didn’t sweep its way through all three kids, but it did entail a trip to the pediatrician with the youngest. And at even 2,350+ miles away as this mom chatted with the pediatrician’s office she wanted so badly to hop the next flight home to contend with the germs, the 103 fever, the worry and the cuddles that her baby needed in the middle of the night and throughout his clingy day. The grandparents are the true rock stars in this story. They encouraged this mom to stay put, and they stayed up until the wee hours of the morning and probably welcomed their cold pillows when the little guy went down for his daytime naps. There’s no way to fully show them how much gratitude we have for all that they did and all they continue to do for us and their grandkids. They’re awesome, and we are beyond lucky.
That luck didn’t help us in Vegas though. It did however land some pretty amazing friends in our lives years ago that we were fortunate to be able to take this crazy trip with. It’s actually the first couples’ trip we have ever taken, and it was pretty perfect. Well, there was this one meal … long story short the group consensus is that the “roasted eggplant” tasted much like what the contents of an ashtray must taste like, shrimp should not be served fried in their shells complete with eyes that you’re expected to digest, and the bowl of farm fresh raw eggs that were served to us and explained to be used as a dipping sauce for beef livers were really just that - raw eggs. Ew. Getting back to these friends - they know they’re awesome as are their kids. They actually celebrated 20 years of marriage just before this trip so they are a testament that vacations are healthy and lead to longevity.
I’ll freely admit that it was nice to get away, and by the same token I am conflicted as I feel quite guilty of having too much fun and taking a break. It was a break that came at luckily just the right time. It was a break that all parents should take. The break doesn’t have to take place 2,350+ miles away, as that sort of distance is truly somewhat unnerving, but as they say distance makes the heart grow fonder. I’m a skeptic, but much like the Grinch my heart may have grown two sizes for my husband, my home, my kids, and of course, these dear friends that let us tag along (a precedent has been set, and I hope they know that). I’d recommend that the break should take place for a minimum of a day and preferably more than once per year. The break must include as many adult meals as possible served with fine wine at restaurants that preferably offer multiple confusing courses and do not have kids’ meals, the arts and shows whenever possible, late nights that don’t include laptops, work and such where gambling is optional, but be sure to include some shenanigans as you’re never too old for some fun. Talk to the locals. Their stories will become memories, too. I’ll never forget the cabby that shared the story of the 14K that he inherited from his backseat after he turned it in and it went unclaimed for 30 days. Ahh, patience ...
Take one weekend away from it all. Wherever that weekend might land you just go, and if you can make it happen just leave your job, your home, your family, your life as you know it and enter a total state of unreality for at least a day and tag along with some fabulous friends if you can as they can relate to your need for a break. They’ll get you. They’ll roll with it. They’ll celebrate, too. Yes, it’s selfish. Yes, it’s indulgent. Yes, humans need breaks. Take one. That said, you bet I called at least thrice a day to check in on my babies. It’s hard and darn near impossible to take a break.
Viva, Las Vegas. Take a break, and when you return, I won’t be the first to welcome you back to reality, because that’s just a tad too callous. Cheers!