Note to all the Really Nice Folks at McCarren Airport: When you offer to help and I say "Thanks, but I've got it." What I actually mean is "THANKS, BUT I'VE GOT IT." Seriously. I only pack what I can actually carry myself and I have my luggage stacked better than the most carefully constructed Jenga puzzle. In short, I have this Traveling with a Baby thing down to a science and you just fucked it all up with Your Helping. Not to sound ungrateful, but I am now dragging all my luggage with carseat unbalanced and ready to topple over and a bag with BROKEN handles because you insisted on Helping. In the future, please don't Help after I've politely declined. PLEASE.
Good god. I thought I had a problem with the digital camara, but I didn’t know how much until I FORGOT to bring it with me to Vegas. My baby boy’s first trip to my very favorite Neonopolis of Fabulous Fashion Mistakes and I forget the freakin' CAMARA? I did buy a quickie disposable, but NOW I have to get it developed. Horrors. To boot, I wasted TONS of pictures on the damned disposable thing because everytime I picked it up, out of habit I would push the button to “turn it on” like I would my digital camara. Thus, I have a dazzling array of photos displaying my thighs, the floor and probably some "artful" close-ups of my nostrils.
Anyway, let me backtrack to Saturday and our swanky soiree and my little black dress with the lovely sandals. In short, a good time was had by all. The dress was PERFECT - it is a simple, elegant dress that is still comfortable to drink, dance and most importantly, EAT IN. Also, I am definitely going to be on the hunt for more outfits to complement the sandals because they were awesome - they didn’t hurt my feet all night long - X had to literally drag me off the dance floor when it came time to leave. We did take pictures and if I wasn’t so vain, I would actually post them, but the lighting was so WRONG that even my Asian-born husband looks pretty washed out and sadly, it appears he was escorting Moaning Myrtle. I have to say, the sweet thing about the party is that it was for a business associate of X’s who had just turned 50 and the party was a great example of how a person should live his life. To be 50 years old and be able to fill a ballroom with family, old friends, new friends and colleagues goes a long way in saying something about a person. Despite the size of the party, it was still an intimate affair.
So, Monday we headed off to Vegas. On the way to the airport, I got waylaid in traffic by the rain and it is a testament to the simplicity of Kansas City’s airport that I was able to pull into my parking spot a mere 35 minutes before my flight took off and still NOT MISS IT. The flight itself was uneventful, thank goodness - Arun promptly fell asleep and I plowed my way through several ragazines. We landed in Vegas, picked up the rental car and then headed out to Henderson. We went to Ventano’s for lunch - C said they had a tuna salad sandwith to die for and omigod, she was RIGHT. It was an actual piece of grilled tuna on a bed of salad nestled between some of the most heavenly bread I have ever tasted. YUM. I can’t wait to take X there the next time we go out there. Next up - Arun desperately needed a nap, so we hopped back in the car and headed to the Aladdin to walk around the Desert Passage so that Arun could catch some shut-eye in the stroller. I have always loved shopping with C - we like the same things and it’s never stressful. There’s nothing worse than trolling a mall with someone who has the opposite taste as you. Anyway - Monday evening we went to see C’s sister, M, so that I could also see my cousin D. Also, M’s son, S, was in town with his wife and daughters. It was very cute to see the kids all playing together - a nice example of America’s Melting Pot because his daughters are part desi, also. And his daughters? Are absolutely GORGEOUS with light brown hair, blue eyes and olive skin. I almost feel sorry for S because for sure, the tomcats are going to come yowling when those girls are in high school.
On Tuesday, we went out to Lake Las Vegas - I have driven by it and have seen it from the air but had never actually driven around. We went to the Montelago and walked around a bit, but it was too hot to stay long. That place was freakin’ fabulous and so fuckin’ GREEN that you have to wonder how many commissioners are driving around in Ferraris because all that water usage seemed a tad suspicious, if you ask me. After Lake Las Vegas, we headed on into Vegas so that we could go to the Bellagio. I always try to make it a point to go there because I love the Conservatory with the side benefit of the Bellagio being my very favorite place to play craps. The current display is one of the most interesting yet, actually. It was a train/wilderness/tree theme somehow connected to our nation’s history with a tie-in to the 4th of July. Very interesting and definitely worth the trip. While there, I felt it would be unseemly to play craps while my son looked on, but I will own my White Trash Moment as I quickly threw 20 bucks into a slot machine. After all, I needed to do my part to ensure that the fine citizens of Nevada never have to pay income tax, right?
After the Bellagio, we went to a mediterranean place called Olive’s - yet another place that I MUST take X to eat. They had some of the best tzatziki sauce I have ever had and the feta was to die for. I don’t even LIKE dolmas, but I liked THEIRS. After lunch, we went to Trader Joe’s - let’s just say that I am so grateful I didn’t go there on an empty stomach because I would have done some serious damage to the available free space in my luggage.
Tuesday evening, I headed back into Vegas to hang out with my friend J and her family. We had a nice dinner and just hung out at her house catching up.
Wednesday morning, we hung around the house totally snarfing on the awesome food that C had bought FOR ME (which meant I HAD to eat it or that would be RUDE, right?) and then we headed back out for our flight. It was exactly the trip I wanted - just a casual one mostly spent eating, driving around and visiting with friends and family. I’ve said before that I love driving, and I wasn’t kidding - I had so much fun driving on this trip and trying new routes. Anyway, the next trip to Vegas will probably be a more “traditional” one - I am hoping to convince X for a trip next February where we can stay on the Strip. This is the part where I can brag at Well I Married. X doesn’t gamble and hates to stay up late. So, while he is snoozing away with Arun in our hotel room, I can throw me some dice.
I find it interesting that the very qualities that were stressing me out about Arun the past few weeks are the very qualities that make him such a good little traveler. He needs constant entertainment, it seems and traveling provides that for him. As we are running around through airports, restaurants, casinos, etc. he is happy as a freakin' CLAM watching it all go by. The constant need to be held? He is in HEAVEN as he takes nap after nap in the Baby Bjorn or in my arms. So, the next time I get frustrated after a long day of trying to keep him entertained, I will remember what a great little traveler he is and appreciate the trade-off.
Okay......Now, it's time for Today’s Subject Title which will double as a Rancid Rant. It’s interesting how often I get the question “Is X a good father?” Like, would I even say he was a Crappy Pappy if he WAS one? So, then I report that yes, he is a good father and spends all of his free time with us - if he’s not working, he’s with US. He takes Arun out all the time for walking, playing in the yard, to get groceries or coffee. So after I say that yes, I think he is a good father, I then get the Followup Question “But, does he do diapers?” which I find to be an odd question. Pun intended, I don't give a Shit if he does diapers or not. Seriously. Diaper Duty is not that bad and is usually the least of my worries. In our house, keeping our kid entertained and getting him to sleep are FAR bigger worries. X has walked as many miles in our house (if not more) trying to get our precious progeny to just sleep ALREADY, Please Dear God. Arun is not going to remember if X wiped his stinky ass or not, but he WILL remember all the hours that X has spent hanging out with him, just showing him the world. So, I am very happy with our arrangement. My only complaint would be that Arun doesn't sleep well at night without me and X is not a night owl so therefore, I can’t hang out with my girlfriends until 2am these days. While I get frustrated with turning into a pumpkin by midnight, I take the Good with the Bad. And the Good? Is pretty damned GOOD.
Puts New Meaning to "Good Taste"
Updated To Add:
Please note that I actually was appreciative of all the people trying to help me while I was navigating my through McCarren. However, for whatever reason, those people were the Anti-Midas of Assistance - every time they lent a hand, everything turned to shit - information was incorrect which meant I walked WAY out of the way, luggage toppled over, baggage handles were broken. Towards the end, I was getting pretty desperate in my pleas for NO HELP and had to resist the urge to slap hands away.