Welcome to Lost Vegas...land of the lost.
Begin rambling rant....go!
I admit it. I hate Vegas. I always have. I thought I only hated it as a kid, because back in the 80s and 90s we'd stay way off the strip in sketchy trucker motels, or if we were lucky, in the claustrophobic outdated rooms at the Oriental, where my family would sit and chain smoke and drink and chain smoke and drink. Vegas was not kid-friendly back then. I still feel like it isn't anyone-normal-friendly or kid friendly today.
I don't gamble. I don't smoke. Sure, I drink, but mostly the beer I brewed myself. Spending $7.50 plus tax for a budweiser is highway robbery, disgusting piss-water highway robbery. Anyways, I also don't like shopping much and can visit the same corporate clothing stores near home. I don't "watch the shows" especially when they cost upwards and over $100 a person. I don't like the stuffy rooms that set off my asthma. I HATE crowds. Spending more than ten minutes in the loud, smoky, blink casino gives me a migraine or at the very least mimics a migraine in effect. Oh, and all elevators give me vertigo that lasts from a few minutes to a day afterwards, so I feel like I am nearly-blackout-drunk, without any of the fun parts.
Yep. I hate Vegas.
I was walking through the casino to get much needed and overpriced nasty coffee ($4.25 for a small, bitter, plain-old-drip coffee at Starbucks) and saw just...sadness. To end a rant I'm about to begin, I saw Soon and Gomorrah. Sometimes if I see some stranger with tears in her eyes, some angry old man, whatever, I silently pray for them. My prayers couldn't keep up.
And I am STARVED.
I can't eat gluten (not a fad-diet but a bonafide allergy) and have now recently become corn-sensitive, and am allergic to monosodium glutamate.....geez I'm not even a hypochondriac but I sure sound like one...so it is difficult to eat in Vegas. One would think, oh, gluten-free is trendy! Hell, Paleo is all the rage too, so there's going to be plenty to eat...right?!?!
Yesterday for lunch I had some chips and jerky as we were on the road and well, I can't eat much of anything fast-food-y. We didn't eat dinner until 9:30 and so I was famished. We went to the food court where it was like, nope, can't eat that. Nope, can't eat that. So I ordered a $7.50 crappy beer to cry into, while my kids chowed down on pizza. I then thought hey that hot dog place has chili cheese fries, sweet! But the chili had wheat in it. So I got cheesy bacon fries (and a hot dog, plain fries , drink for my husband). $36 flipping dollars later, I sit down to eat my fries and realize it isn't cheese on my fries. It is cheese sauce. Cheese sauce, especially the processed goopy stuff, generally has both wheat and msg. And it isn't a pick-around-it sauce, it is all over. I am about ready to have a tantrum. Like, a I'm in my terrible twos and will flail on the ground, fists pounding, hollering tantrum because I just spent $36 and al I can do is eat my husband's french fries. Sure, it was food, but after spending way too much on food, eating a plate of fries. Only fries. Was disappointing, and the fries were those freezer-burn, meal-y type fries that I choked down out of starvation.
So today I was like dammit, I WILL EAT. My husband went to the drug store and got me some hummus and gluten/corn free crackers for me, fruit and yogurt for us to all share, lunchables for the kids. This would sit in the cooler with fresh ice until, well, probably the road-trip home.
I looked at the restaurants in the hotel and saw Pieology! OMG my day was made, no, my week! I could buy like 3 gluten free pizzas and shove them in the cooler and it would feed the kids and I for a few days, every meal! We love pizza!
The restaurant claims to have yelp reviews and claims to exist but is still being built. This we found out after a long casino trek, and let me tell you I had to drag my kids back to the room because the promised pizza did not exist and they could. not. cope.
So I had hummus, which I love, but after 500 calories of hummus (and a want to finish the tub) I gave up and blogged.
But not before I looked at room service.
Yes. I'm not an idiot. Room service is always ungodly expensive. But even in a posh hotel in Silicon Valley, I can drop $40 and feed the kiddos and myself...not bad for Silicon Valley and room service.
So I browsed the menu but came up with the usual gluten-free option, salad. But hey I like salad. It was a caesar, but I could request no croutons. And hell, chips and salsa, my corn allergy isn't that bad and simply a salad (probably three sprigs of lettuce worth) wouldn't suffice. Oh, and a drink. Coffee! Yes I like coffee! And the kids would want juice. And probably the chicken tenders to share. Ok....get out calculator, add service charge, delivery charge, per-person charge, tip, and tax and...
1 order chicken tenders (as in probably 3 tenders)
chips and salsa appetizerqa
salad w/o croutons
would run me....
Well let's think of it as if we were home or at the local Mexican restaurant. Chips and salsa are free. Switch chicken tenders for a single kid's meal. $19 plus tax and tip so $23.40
Ok back to La$ Vega$.
The total for my meal there, for room service is.....
Vegas is supposed to be cheap!
So Then I thought, buffet! Buffets are cheap!
$30 a person including my kids. So $90 plus tax and tip, and some buffets don't include drinks so who knows. $111.50 for the buffet, and I'd have to stop and find an employee at most every item but the fruit and say, excuse me, can you assure me this is msg and wheat free? To which half the people wouldn't know or would just say yes to get rid of me.
I thought about walking outside the hotel, but my children do. not. hold. hands. They try, but they are hyper and squirrely and faster than a cheetah. Add in some special needs issues and....Losing my children in the Vegas streets is not a paranoid mom thing, but a distinct possibility.
What ever happened to the $10 buffet or $6 prime rib dinners of yesteryear? Heck even three years ago it was cheaper. Not just oh inflation made prices go up over the past three years cheaper, either.
Just another reason to hate Vegas, as if I did not have enough.