Vegas Baby!

No I don't have a Vegas trip to giveaway in addition to yesterdays Maison Blanche giveaway, which you have all week to enter {here}, and no I'm not going on a trip where I will gamble my life savings and leave my children penniless.

I'm smarter than that. 

Wait, we don't have any life savings, we've been spending it all.  Hmmm.....

But yes I am heading to Las Vegas this month, so it's story time at the Ranch about previous visits as I prep you for the reviews to come when I get back.

This post won't have any DIY photos - I DO do things other than projects you know!

Vegas and I are no strangers.  Growing up in the Los Angeles suburbs of the San Fernando Valley, my first trip there was when I was 16.

I realize at 16 I was not old enough to gamble, and I had no desire too.  A family friend wanted me to go because as my dad used to say about her, she had "dillusions" of grandeur.  And no car, so she needed me.

She convinced me I would love it and that she had our stay taken care of and would pay for the gas. 

Fine.  I must not of known how to say no back then.

We packed into my little banana yellow Honda Civic, with custom lettering and pin-stripping from a famous artist in the Valley named Bobby Bond, and started on the long boring drive through the dessert to get to what ended up for me being another boring place that was in the dessert. 

I had a horrible time. 

I think she took me along to babysit her bratty spoiled daughter who was about 12, so she could go out with men and party.  Lesson learned.

I was hungry most of the time because all the adults at this swanky house we were at stayed up late, slept all day, and started drinking their meals about two in the afternoon when they woke up.  No one thought to feed us or even stock any food.  I vaguely recall oranges.

I don't remember names, I just remember we were staying at the home of some important who's who and I was not impressed.

Fast forward to moving to Minnesota and taking the man of my dreams back home to California to meet the parents about 5 years later.

Somehow my mom talked me into driving to Vegas, (notice this pattern) a place I never wanted to go again, but of course my Midwestern honey couldn't wait to see what Las Vegas was all about. 

My dad would have no part of it, which is ironic because they were married there, but my mom liked to smoke, drink and gamble and probably saw my visit as her opportunity to load up all the nickles she was saving and go. 

She didn't drive freeways, so again I was used for my driving skills.

We stayed at a cheap no frills motel within walking distance of the strip casinos.  At least I think it was on the strip, I really don't know it all seemed the same.

After I gave my not yet husband a lecture about how no one wins and slot machines steal your money so don't do it - we walked a reasonable distance to a casino with a big open front that had a giant one armed bandit right out in the open air.  You didn't even have to go in to the casino to lose your money.

In my mind it was a 'put cash in get nothing back' opportunity, and one I could not stop Brawn from participating in.

And dammit if he didn't pull that handle and the thing spit out a hundred dollar coin win for his very first minute, arriving at the very first place, the very first time he tried. 

My mom could sit all day using her muscles to pull a slot machine handle, running on her original $25 dollars in coin.  Obviously, based on my inheritance, she never won millions, but she was entertained and never lost more than her original $25 bucks.

Vegas Sign Bliss-Ranch.com

Over the years there were a couple stops in Reno or Vegas as we made the cross country RV trek, kids in tow, to the California coast.  Usually we stopped for an over night under the ruse of cheap buffets and the family friendly Circus Circus hotel that had free stuff for kids to do.

Vegas Sign Bliss-Ranch.com

Then everything changed.  A friend exposed me to our states Vegas - The Minnesota band of Ojibwe's casino only an hour away, when she invited me for a night out to bet on the ponies at Canterbury Downs.  Something else I had no desire to do but didn't say no.

And wouldn't you know, I slipped some change into a casino machine and it gifted me with an eight hundred dollar jackpot, which made Brawns' win all those years earlier seem like peanuts.

Another group of ladies guilted me into going along to bingo for someone's birthday at the same casino.  While I love the allure of birthday cake, all I wanted to know was how much cash bingo was gonna suck out of my pocket. 

And still not having learned the art of saying NO, along I went and became a $600 bingo winner.  $300 the next time I went along with them and they didn't even have to tempt me with birthday cake.

Now before you think I sat on a horseshoe or have a rabbits foot wedged someplace, the times we went to Las Vegas we never won a penny.  But we sure did have a good time.

In the last ten years we took a short Vegas trip twice with friends who had business conventions there.  In the mid-west you will go anywhere in the winter to leave behind the God forsaken cold state you live in. 

When our friends had reason to fly out this month for their daughters wedding we invited ourselves along.  And my BFF in California must not have mastered the art of saying no yet either, because I talked her and her husband into meeting us there as well.

There are lots of things to do in Vegas that don't involve sending money into a greedy slot machine.  For example the people watching is fun, where else can you look up to see Batman walking down the street in front of you?

Vegas Batman Bliss-Ranch.com

And in true Bliss fashion, I've announced we are going under the ruse that this is a birthday trip for Brawn.  He hasn't learned how to say no either, so Vegas Baby! here we come!

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  1. That first trip is a bit disturbing! You and Vegas have a long history! Have fun in the sun and "sin". I still haven't been there. One of these days I'm going to tag along on one of the hub's biz trips.

  2. Hope this is a "winning" trip this time! Las Vegas is a fun place to visit. I love the Coca Cola store. Have a great time.


  3. I hope you have a great time...and win something, too!

  4. DL has done trade shows and conferences in Vegas, but I have never been west of the Mississippi. Someday you'll have to tell me what it's like on the other side.

  5. I hope you're treating yourself to a nice hotel, too. Enjoy the sunshine!

  6. My mom used to fly my sisters and I out to Vegas for a meet-up and some gambling and some pool side sitting and sipping and awesome dinners and some Cirque du Soleil and late night antics! I miss those times! Have fun!

    :) Linda

  7. I've been to Vegas a couple of times as the cheap option for a weekend getaway. And definitely, gambling is an option as far as activities go. This very moment I could use the sun/pool/loungechair option, in a big way.

  8. I went to Lake Tahoe once (I do realise it's not quite the same) and got rather hooked on the slot machines. When those little dimes start spilling out, it's very hard to stop !
    Good luck.

  9. I think you and Brawn together have a lot of luck. I'm so sorry you had those bleak times there as a young girl...it made me sad. I've been there so many times and it can be very conducive to loneliness (as in you are sitting in your hotel room for 13 hours straight while your hubby is wherever doing you know what). Shhhhh. I have spent too much time and money on slots although I did win 1300.00 one time. The guy next to me said I should have played dollars and I would have won double...bla bla bla. Jealous man.

    Good luck, Bliss

    Jane x

  10. Sounds like fun and since Kirby and I have never been, maybe call us next time :)

  11. Ah, Vegas. I think your first trip is a pretty accurate description for most people, I can't believe they didn't feed you! The only time I go to the strip is to show people the sights, since Vegas Hotels are so good at competing with each other and doing something bigger and better. My favorite to date is the Belligao fountains, love them. Since I am from Vegas, most of us avoid the strip when we can, lol! We were just there over Christmas in fact and took the kids to the Belliago fountains, chocolate one included. :) I am sure you will agree how much it has changed over the years. I hope you have a great time Bliss, I can't believe the luck you have! (and sorry I am a no reply commenter again, I have fixed it a million times....grrr)

  12. Anonymous1/23/2015

    What a history -- keep safe and keep your money..wink!

  13. Have a wonderful time in Vegas. I'm no gambler either but I do love to go every five years whether I need to or not.

  14. Have a wonderful time in Vegas. I'm no gambler either but I do love to go every five years whether I need to or not.

  15. What a great story! I've only been to Vegas once...Philly took me there before we were married...SCANDAL!!!! I think I'm ready to go back. Hey. Why didn't you invite me?


  16. Like you, I don't know how to say no, and didn't when I bought a timeshare their, either. So happy for you that you are spending time almost home and with your best friend. There's so much more to do in Vegas than gamble,love it there. Enjoy


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