After Vietnam we took our eight-year-old homeschooler on a “highly educational” trip to…
WTF! Talk about reverse culture shock! What were we thinking?!
After having been away from North America for nine months stepping back onto our own continent via the Vegas Strip was…bizarre!
Jarring! Ridiculous! Crazy!
We had never been to Vegas and we never planned to go to Vegas. In fact, it was probably one of the last places we thought we'd end up this year. Before we got there, I'd have said I was more likely to dress up like a polar bear and drive a motorbike across neighbouring Utah.
But, getting to Oaxaca City, Mexico from Hoi An, Vietnam is a loooong journey through many time zones. We felt we needed to break it up a bit or risk getting exhausted/frustrated/dilusional and losing the luggage, each other or our sanity. We also needed to fly to the United States from Asia before continuing on so we decided to spend a couple days in the US of A to relax and have some fun before the next leg. The flights to Vegas and from Vegas were cheapest so...
Vegas here we come!
Our original plan was to head out to Red Rock Canyon or the Hoover Dam, but car rentals were expensive. We also had serious jet lag and not much time.
A budget day on the Strip it was!
We found free and lower cost things to do, bought cereal for breakfast and cheap beer at the CVS, and even tested out our matching pineapple shirts!
Note: If your family has matching pineapple shirts (or any other matching fruit-themed, or even animal-themed, shirts) I suggest you wear them in Vegas.
Honestly, the whole thing was a bit much and I’ll probably never go back unless I’m tapped to either star in a show with Britney or be a bridesmaid in an Elvis wedding...in which case, I'm on my way!
Interesting personal fact: We actually have a large tacky Elvis bust as a centrepiece in our living room at home.
That said, the super comfy beds did provide some much-needed rest and we actually had A LOT of fun.
And maybe the kid sort of, maybe learned something…?
We tried lots of pop! #geographyclass?
At the tasting bar at the Coca-Cola store on the Strip you can try 16 sodas from around the world for $10 US. One set was plenty for the three of us and we didn’t even finish them all becasue some were too sweet or just plain gross. It was fun though to find our favourites and it turned out that many of the drinks were from places we’d been.
That said, L and I left with a stomach ache and an eight-year-old on an epic sugar high in Vegas so be careful with this one.
We watched knights battle! #historyclass?
You can’t really come to Vegas without seeing one of the many great shows. However, these shows aren't cheap. We ended up choosing Tournament of Kings, which was so much fun!
It was also the best deal because unlike other shows a) we found a last minute discout, b) it was in our hotel and so we didn't need to go far, and c) it included a huge dinner that would allow us to skip lunch and eat with our hands.
We were TV critics! #scienceclass?
This is a free activity at CBS Television City where you get to take part in real TV research. Basically, you review a new show! We were brought into a room, asked to watch a half-hour sitcom, gauge our feelings during the show, and then answer a series of questions about it.
I absolutely hated the show and am still a little weired out by the fact that both L and LJ loved it.
We hung out at the hotel pool drinking bad overpriced coffee while an airplane made hearts in the sky! #recess!!!
We stayed at the Excalibur as it’s one of the cheaper spots on the Strip and more kid-friendly with its castle theming and multiple pools. LJ played on the waterslide while L and I got a caffeine fix and hung out in the hot tub.
We also met a man who comes to Vegas every year and who spent considerable time telling us how much he loves Vegas while an airplane drew hearts in the sky.
We watched a nighttime light show by the Eiffel Tower! #musicclass?
During our first night we just walked the Strip and took it all in, including the free show at the fountains in front of the Bellagio hotel.
The water is timed to music and there are lights and the whole things is kind of surreal because there's an Eiffel tower behind you and a roller coaster nearby and the place is crazy and yeah...We quickly went back to the hotel afterwards and hid under the blankets.
And what about math and English #homeschoolingsupermom?
Oh, and during the two days I’m pretty sure the kid read at least a pizza menu, found a couple quarters on the casino floor and half listened while L and I yammered on about probability and the dangers of gambling so math and English were totally covered as well. We also did have a few conversations about the dangers of alcohol so we can check off health class. Thankfully, we managed to avoid any discussion of strippers so no sex ed this week.
Anyway, should you go to the Vegas Strip with kids? Heck, I don’t know. It’s not really my cup of tea (or pop) but there are actully loads of kid-friendly things to do. We saw many other families and we did end up having a great time so…I leave it to you.
Just make sure you do it in style (i.e. wear matching pineapple shirts)!