A co-worker of mine is heading to Vegas this week for the first time. And I’m excited for her. I LOVE Las Vegas. It’s one of those select destinations that I will happily return to again and again. For about three days at a time, before I don’t have to go home, but I can’t stay there.
I’ve been there four times since I turned 21, starting with my spring break senior year of college. I’ve been there with family (I come from a long line of gamblers), to visit friends, and even for a wedding. I love playing craps, drinking cocktails while playing craps, meeting the people also playing craps, listening to a Prince cover band while playing craps…you get the idea.
There’s other stuff to love too-beautiful desert scenery, extravagant hotels, fancy pools, killer shopping, world-class art, and neon, so much neon. For me, you do get the sense that you can get away with a lot of stuff in this town that wouldn’t fly in other places. But something’s always bothered me about Vegas- that stupid ad tagline “Whatever Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.”
Trust me, what happens in Vegas stays with you the rest of your life. What shenanigans transpired over your long weekend don’t magically disappear when you pass the line of slot machines to board your plane.
You will always remember where you learned how to play craps from a friend who grew up around Native American casinos. You can’t take back the fact you were almost lost all your money at said craps table until some ancient geezer next to you started placing some bets for you on midnight (typically a stupid bet) and you keep hitting it until you’re up $200. All the while he’s staring somewhat inappropriately at you and your friends’ chests.
You can’t forget the crowd at Denny’s on the strip near the old Sahara Hotel at 5:30 a.m. Or the feeling of walking outside (potentially escorted outside by security…a bit fuzzy) the casino just before you hit that Moons Over My-Hammy to feel that cruel sunlight and realize that…wait a minute..it was light when you went into the casino.
The Vegas Gods will not erase the fact that you found an ex-boyfriend who also happened to be in Vegas, went back to his hotel room, yadda yadda yadda, got the boot at 2 a.m. and did the most regrettable walk of shame of your life.
The internet will never let you live down some of your classier moments in Sin City. There are pictures out there I’d rather soon forget, but Facebook will not let me. Good times.
Don’t misunderstand- I have so many great memories from Vegas and can’t wait to go back. I’ve never been to another place like it, and that’s part of the draw for me. But, own up to what you do there, the awesome and the not so awesome, or anywhere you travel. Being on vacation does not give you a pass to act wrong. Say it with me friends…”Whatever happens in Vegas, stays with you for the rest of your life.”
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