Well, here we sit on the 28th floor of the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas Nevada. The view is breath-taking for sure. Below us we see the restless people walking among the electric glimmer. It’s sort of like sitting in a Christmas tree. There are lites completely surrounding us. This spectacular view, however, cost me a piece of my sanity..
This one is for the camping books. It is long, but eventful. Feel free to skip on. Seasoned campers will appreciate this predicament.
We sailed on from Flagstaff pretty uneventful. Nice drive. We drove over Hoover dam. It was BIG…and crowded. We just enjoyed the drive over it and skipped the tour. It didn’t look anything like what we pictured..
Now, onto Vegas: I called ahead to the Flamingo and they said we could park our camper in their OVERSIZED parking behind the hotel. Should be enough room, if not, we could park at Bally’s across the street. All appeared to be in order.
We found the Flamingo without a lot of difficulty. Security told me to call them back if needed.
Ok….drivers here don’t let you in. Bottom line. So, I’m weaving thru traffic on the Vegas strip with our camper, making horns beep, but I got around. Then, we missed the turn in to the “oversized parking area”. I made the block again. 8 million people watch me pull my camper down the strip of Las Vegas. I was waiting for one of the vagrants to hop in either the back of the truck or open the door and become family member number 5 for us.
So, after making the block again, we ended up in the Flamingo….AT THE FRONT DOOR!!! So, Mr. Griswald is pulling his camper with his phat new truck under the lit awning now. The kids are thankful for the tinted back windows. Amidst the taxis, lil round poles that you drive around and the 8 million onlookers watching as I knit a weave a loop thru the little white poles. Eventually the man held traffic for me to make the loop Good job, if I say so. It only prepped me for the “oversized” parking lot.
Eventually, after looping under the twinkling canopy lites, we found ourselves in an alley. So, I had to do some good backing again. More practice for what lay ahead. I had to back into some business and hold traffic from both ends of the street. Mark’s wife screams at him cause he can’t hear or see her, while he clogs the traffic in both directions of this alley. I know the onlookers are just waiting on one of us to go Jerry Springer, take our shoes off and throw em at each other. But, we didn’t.
So, finally we find it and we go into the “oversized parking”. They tell me on the cell, “you can park a 30 foot camper in there.” I confirm we’re in the right spot and they say yes, so I pull in there. Ahh, what a relief, we have a spot in the world. ….NOT.
It became quickly apparent that between the Hummers with the naked lady silhouettes decals and the run down trucks and the dumpsters from the construction, that I had really really screwed up and gotten us into somewhere we would not be able to get out of. Don’t panic..even though it’s 101, your family is here and depending on you. You’ll be fine. Ok, so I call security to help.
Moments later, two young Hispanic guys from Flamingo security zoom up on their bikes. They too summed it up as a bad situation. Let’s drink more bottled water and think about it. Let the diesel idle awhile. All the idling in the world wouldn’t fix this. I asked them if they had any suggestions. One replied; “oh no man, I’ve never backed a camper up in my whole life. Ahhaha” thank God security came..
A small crowd gathered on a balcony far above.; they pointed at us. I’m sure I would have wanted to watch it as well. It had to be good free entertainment.
Long story short, it took 1 and ½ hours to get out. I had to UNHOOK the camper, pull the truck up, rehook, straighten it out again, back into an adjacent parking lot and squeeze out past a construction dumpster. OMG, I just can’t explain it all. But..I got it done. One of the security guys said’ “Maaaaan, jew are one hell of a driver, der is NO way I could have backed like jew did.”. That made me feel some better…man thing. The two guys were very very helpful in spotting and just being there was reassuring.
It sure tested Sharon and mine 24 years of marriage, but that’s ok. We made it. It was loud sometime but we made it. The kids witnessed a side of us they hadn’t seeen before. These are the things that make marriages strong.
The pictures I’ve taken are actually for insurance purposes just in case I had an accident.
We got an upgraded room, top floor with a view of the strip. Only saw one camper come thru. Nice remote control shades/drapes/lcd tv in the bathroom mirror. Lots of goodies.
We had dinner at Jimmy Buffets Margaritteville. Food was AWESOME.. We don’t drink or gamble. As I sat at the table, loud music, women sliding down tubes and splashing into the huge margaritta, I realized that I feel like a Mennonite in strip club….and I brought my Mennonite family here. I must surely be bound for the bowels of hell for this.
But, I said, screamed rather, a good prayer over our meal. Maybe that’ll get me some points.
I’m going to bed now, lay in my big fluffy overstuff white bed with a white vinyl tufted headboard and pray that tonite, in the space NEXT to the oversized parking, nobody will bother our Outback. On second thought, it might have been better to have left it in the lot where we couldn’t get it out..they couldn’t either. Everyone here we have found to be very nice.
The lights of the stars over Palo Duro Canyon are much more beautiful and comforting than the lites of Las Vegas,
Mark Griswald…