The Las Vegas Strip…

We made it to Nevada a couple days ago.

We decided to visit Las Vegas for a few days. I had heard about flyers with half dressed women being handed out at night and about billboards with the same. I thought maybe we could visit the strip during the day to see some of the neat hotels and other kid-friendly places.

When we drove into Vegas and all the way through to our RV park, I was happily surprised to see no crazy billboards. We decided to drive down the strip around 5PM. There were driving billboards that drove up and down the strip with ads we definitely didn’t want our guys to see. I’m talking porn. Us girls helped the guys look other directions, but we got out of there as fast as possible.

I did some research and came up with a plan for the next day. We decided to go to the strip early morning. We parked at Mandalay Bay, which was one of the few parking options I found for our 9 foot tall van. We absolutely loved walking down the strip seeing the outside of the different hotels.

New York, New York was my personal favorite.

And, of course, Liberty just loved seeing the Statue of Liberty.

This is when it got crazy. As soon as we hit the walkways over the streets, escalators and elevators, there were literally almost naked women walking around in pairs trying to take photos with people and get tips. I’m talking a lot less dressed than a bikini. I honestly don’t know how we got through that gauntlet without Ryan, Manning or Rhythm seeing these women. Our girl team was strong in helping navigate the guys. I am not kidding, though, two of the women chased after us asking to take photos with us. We still were able to shield our boys, but it was pretty overwhelming and reason enough for us to never want to visit Vegas again – definitely not the strip anyway.

There were also characters who were quick to try to get photos with our kids. We were happy to see the characters, but were asked for tips. We weren’t carrying cash, but just be aware that is what the characters want.

We made it to a couple of the main places we wanted to visit that we felt sure would be kid friendly. Those were the M&M and Coca-Cola Stores. We were in those for at least three hours and had a great time.

Our kids did jobs and saved money over the past couple years preparing for RVing. Each of them chose to buy a cup that they got to fill with an assortment of M&Ms.

Our little girls could not think of much other than eating those M&Ms.

Mercy’s birthday is coming up in November, so I snuck away to buy her a few gifts. All the M’s made for perfect gifts for her.

The M&M Store has four floors. They have a short iMax video that was fun for our kids to watch. You can also personalize M&Ms, printing whatever you’d like on them. That was really cool to see.

After the M&M Store, we went next door to the Coca-Cola Store.

It reminded me of my sister’s childhood bedroom. She had her whole room decorated in the Coca-Cola theme.

The thing we loved most about the Coca-Cola Store was trying a couple trays of soda from all around the world.

Most of the drinks were yummy or interesting. There was one we could all barely tolerate that tasted like a strong cough medicine.

When we were finished there, we navigated through the gauntlet of almost nude women and made it to our van. We left the Las Vegas strip knowing that would be our first and last visit.

As we left, we talked about all the fun we had and that we’d focus on the fun. We also talked about how important it is to not get into certain situations and how we can choose not to visit somewhere even if other people do and like it. We talked about how some things are unavoidable to see but how we can choose what we continue to look at or if we choose to look a second time or not. We talked about not judging the barely dressed women, why they may be doing what they are, and that we’d love them and care about their stories if we had a conversation with them or knew them. And we talked about not judging people who like the Las Vegas strip – how there are tons of neat things there. It was all around a good learning experience, and we had some fun along the way.

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