I'm always up for a challenge, so I took my daughter, Cookie, to Las Vegas for the
weekend. I’m starting to wonder whether I should consider travel destinations more
carefully. I never wanted a child to interfere with my travel bug, but our last big trip was
to New Orleans. During Mardi Gras. On both trips, Cookie was the only baby on the
plane. What, no one else takes a baby to Mardi Gras?
So yeah, Vegas with a baby. It was for a family wedding; my parents and my sister were
going to be there. Cookie’s dad couldn’t come ’cause he’d used up most of his vacation
days on a golf trip, and I’d rather not ask my parents for too many favours ’cause I know
they’re going to make me feel guilty about something or other, so we were effectively
on our own for much of the trip, including the dreaded flights. And everywhere I went —
on the plane, in coffee queues, on the Strip at 6 in the morning — people asked, “What
on earth can you do in Vegas with a baby?” Well, I was busy busy the whole time, so it
turns out quite a bit.
1. See Vegas from the wrong side of 4 am. Because your baby wakes you up at
4 am (bitch), not because you were out all night. Because you’ve trained her to
wake up at 7 am on the dot and, well, it’s 7 am at home.
2. Spend a lot of time looking for wheelchair ramps. In a city where every hotel
rents out scooters for those unable (or unwilling) to walk, there are a lot of steps,
and the ramps are often hidden behind banks of slot machines.
3. Make lots of friends. Drunks, down-on-their-luck gamblers, and the flight
attendants and servers who have to deal with them love babies.
4. Make a few enemies. The guy next to you on the plane who’s just trying to get
to the convention, the salespeople at Louis Vuitton, and the host at Mesa Grill do
not love babies.
5. Take your chances at the Bellagio fountain. The water-and-music show is
breathtaking, but Cookie did not appreciate it. In fact, it scared her a bit. But
she’s cute when she gets scared, so that was kind of fun. I’m going straight to
hell for that one.
6. Flirt shamelessly with the waiter who resembles Daniel Craig. Because
you’re having brunch alone with your baby and a bit tipsy from the one mimosa
you allowed yourself. (Sadly, I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve drank
alone with Cookie — but only ever one drink at a time, I swear.) Because hot
guys love babies, so it’s easy! Because no one’s around to judge. I mean,
it’s Vegas — who there is in a position to judge? Glass houses and all. And,
because the waiter’s clearly gay, so no one’s going to seriously accuse you of
7. Park the stroller next to a slot machine and try your luck. Kidding. It was
awfully tempting, though, especially at 4 in the morning when the machines were
just sitting there looking neglected. While you’re at it, why not order a drink?
The corollary of #1 is that bedtime comes awfully early. That’s when you swallow your
pride and let the grandparents babysit for a couple of hours while you hit the slots and
the lobby bar guilt-free. Yay grandparents!
- East End Mama
(originally posted: April 25, 2012)