Las Vegas doesn’t seem like a family friendly place to vacation and in many ways, it isn’t. But if you’re selective (and bring someone to watch your kids when you go out at night) you can have quite a fun and enjoyable trip with your little ones…and have some quality time with your spouse.
Right now, we’re at the beginning of day four, and so far, we’ve had quite the family adventure exploring some of the great cities of the world – Paris, Venice and New York. Josh finally got to see the Statue of Liberty up close – he’s been begging to go to New York and see everything on his souvenir mug – and all the kids enjoyed seeing the lights of the Strip from the top of the Eiffel Tower. We even got to see the Bellagio’s water light show from way up there. And Zach commented as we walked through the “Streets of Paris” that it’s exactly like he imagined the City of Lights would be in real life.
Speaking of Zach, we (me, the kids and my dad – who graciously joined us for our vacation) visited St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy, and then toured the Grand Canal. But as we were watching the gondolas row past, we realized that Zach was not with us. After a frantic five-minute search, I approached a Venetian security guard and presented Ethan, asking, “Have you seen a boy who looks exactly like this one?”
Thank the Lord that he responded with, “Yes. They just called it in.” Apparently, Zach had been distracted by a kids’ movie near the entrance. And he displayed a cool head under pressure, approaching a security guard and informing her that he couldn’t find his family. No tears were visible as we approached him.
Interestingly, because we doubled back, we ran across a unique rare coins and objects dealer that we’d missed earlier. AncientCreations.com had on display an original copy of the 1611 King James Bible. There are less than 200 in existence today. Plus the kids got to gawk over the 16th century Spanish cannon on display. The owner of the shop was happy to show the kids how the cannon worked…and how heavy the pieces were! And we all viewed original Christian objects from the early Church period, such as a cross dating from the time of Constantine the Great, the Fourth Century A.D.
Moving on from the history lesson, we got to see a number of wild animals – lazy lions in the MGM Grand and dolphins, tigers, lions and leopards at the Mirage. Ben actually lost his shoe in one of the enclosures at the Mirage, but thankfully, it was the llama exhibit, so I helped Zach descend 10 feet and grab the shoe. He was back up in less than 10 seconds and we didn’t even get kicked out of Sigfried and Roy’s Secret Garden.
Today we’re headed off to see a bit more history and a man-made wonder – the Hoover Dam built in the 1930’s which, I’m pretty sure, has six bodies buried in it (workers who fell into it during construction). Later, we’ll jump back to the middle ages at the Excalibur and maybe tour Ancient Egypt at the Luxor.
For all those horticulturists out there, definitely don’t miss the Conservatory in the Bellagio – beautiful, huge butterflies, Tulips of every shade, many other plants and flowers. They also have cool water fountains that shoot out of the ground and arch over the walkway and back into a hole in the ground on the opposite side. The kids enjoyed putting their hands into the streams and getting strangers all wet. I had to make a few apologies.
Check out the pictures!