This blog was archived from June 26, 2016.
So the Vegas life is growing on me. There's lots to get used to, but I am so far enjoying all of it! I compiled a little list here of what I'm experiencing lately.
For starters, a lot of good restaurants/eateries are located right next to strip clubs. Yeah, some times sharing parking lots with them. It's funny how I drive around with the kids and can't tell them every 5 seconds to close their eyes, so now I just hear them chuckle and some times Sebastian in his little voice will say, "mom... that lady has toys on her boobs!" (boobie tassels) I haven't had the notion yet to explain to them what those are, and honestly, at this point, I find that it's just going to desensitize them to that kind of thing. Which could be good or bad. Good in a way that when they're older and have to witness that, they won't be immature about it (they're getting it out of their systems now, slowly). Bad in that, well, I don't wanna elaborate on this yet because let me enjoy these two being THREE and SIX right now.
Slot machines/Gambling in grocery stores, and everywhere else. The average person will get their receipt and be told something like, "here you go Mrs. so-and-so, you saved $7.81 today!". Then they will take their receipt and shove it in their purse and be on their merry way, maybe thinking, "wow! What a savings, I should have just bought that sliced fruit bowl." Well, HERE when I am told that I saved money, I have to convince myself for a good 5 minutes not to go and gamble $7.81 ... ya know, since maybe it's a sign. Just a word to the wise, maybe gamble prior* to doing your groceries... it's weird seeing people walk in there with pounds of ground beef or some ice cream cartons. I mean, it's smarter than leaving it in your car but....really?
24/7 everything. I mean everything. Including vegan restaurants. It's great.
My Cali friends keep texting me about the heat and weather. To be honest, I can't tell since the a/c is on all day in the house (and our electricity bill is fantastic, no joke... not even 1/3 of what I was paying for a smaller place in Cali and I was so thrifty about running the a/c over there). When I'm not in a/c, I'm in the car in a/c.. on my way to another place with a/c. Oooooor, for those who follow me on Instagram, I'm at the pool with the kids. I hear the weather is only 10 degrees hotter here than in California, and I am so thankful that since it's the desert, the heat is a dry* heat, not humid. I've dealt with humid (Manila for months remember?)... so I'll take this any day.
I get tears in my eyes when I see my utility bills... tears of joy. I won't list off the prices here because then you would say that I'm bragging. $20 water bill.
A lot of people here care about their bodies. Not sure if it's everywhere or just the community I'm in, but I am convinced that half my neighbors are either personal trainers or in the entertainment industry (dancers/actors/etc). They're all in really good shape, which is great motivation. I mean, it could be either depressing or motivating, you choose. Okay I lied. There is this one older Asian lady in there (I think that's standard with every gym) and she is always upset and fighting with her husband. She gets shushed often, but like most older Asian ladies, she gives zero effs. They say the heat also helps with keeping some weight off, I'll take it!
You can get gourmet-style food at fast food prices. I went to this snazzy waffle-house. You know, the kind with fancy chalk writing... Nutella on half the menu and chocolate chip kale cookies that were freshly baked off to the side. Amazing service and even better quality food... you can get a smoothie and waffle plate for under $10. We have also been loving this ice-cream place called Snowflake Shavery. The blocks of ice cream and frozen solid and then shaved to create this fluffy whipped cream. It's actually FUN to eat, with toppings galore. A whole cup for like $3.79. Big enough to split.
There are conventions everywhere. For everything. I learned recently that you don't have to be a part of the conference to attend the convention. If you felt like it you could check in the day of and see how much a ticket would be.
Date nights/Ladies nights just went up a huge notch. Some of the world's best chefs have opened up restaurants in Las Vegas. It's a dream come true for them. So you can go to just about any casino, valet park for free (make sure you bring a little something for tip of course), enjoy a nice meal and then... watch a show. The shows! Wow... a plethora of choices. Just look at the lineup on the strip. You can check out a Broadway musical, a magic show, a variety show, one of those cirque shows, the entertainers that come here...you don't even have to eat or stay anywhere on the strip. There are LOTS of great restaurants and theatres away from the strip. We found a theatre close by that offers movies on Tuesdays at $4.75. Yeah, you read that correctly!
Locals discounts! So many places here offer free parking to locals and 25-50% off your dine-in. We are slowly but surely finding out more and taking advantage! You can go to just about any hotel on the strip and use their pools/facilities by showing them your Nevada ID. Even bring the kids if you want to and are willing to brave some strip-traffic with them. Cabana rentals on weekdays are a steal! Also with shows, there are many 2-for-1 deals. Buffets aren't really my thing, but the best buffets I've been to have been in Las Vegas, hands down! So the 25-50% off thing can be handy one of these days when say, I dunno, I feel like eating crab legs but my kids can't decide between pizza, mac and cheese, spaghetti, or sushi for dinner. Everyone wins.
You can take your alcoholic beverage "to-go" (just no drinking and driving, duh!).. but how bizarre that I can (haven't.. yet) bring my drink outside in a cup and just walk around. Still will take some getting used to.
A lot of people here are licensed and carrying... and I feel so much safer to be honest. Not many liberals stomping around whining about gun control. Just like how you would see banners waving in the wind with Subway! Subway! Subway! three times in a row, you see it all over but replace 'Subway' with Guns! Guns! Guns!
Don't attempt gardening. Really. Just stick to succulents. Even my indoor plants are struggling Just a tad.
You can get amazing last minute deals on weeknight stays at hotels out this way. The usual $200+ a room can be about $15-$20 using apps like this one. Or a swanky $2,000+ per night room can be yours for $300-$400 if you wanna just play "baller" for a night. So if you and your spouse ever need a night to just get away, your choices for a stay-cation are, well, it's Vegas.
The streets here and the driving don't make sense/scare me. I'll be on a street for 3 miles and not make a left of right but when I look up the street name has changed. Or to turn in to our community, if you make a left it's called one thing and if you make a right it's another name entirely. Here's an example: Durango turns into Rampart turns into Fort Apache in the west. But then a couple blocks over from Fort Apache you have Durango. That's all over. It's umm...an adventure to say the least. Also, be careful with red lights, as soon as they turn green, count like 2 seconds before going. I cannot tell you how often people here run red lights... and get away with it.
Aaaand that's it for now! There's a lot of new that happens every day around here, obviously since I am seeing this all with a fresh set of eyes. I'll be giving you more updates perhaps once I live through this summer. And now, some photos of me livin' that Vegas mom life!
^My friends might be wondering if Hell froze over since I am drinking a WHITE wine, but it's for the mere fact that at 108 F outside, my red wine would be ruined in like 3 minutes. So chilled whites during the day time are a MUST.