Monday, February 27, 2006

Sin City does the mouse

This is mainly for Brew I guess.

I’m not really crazy about the idea of hitting Disney with a little kid. I’m sure the Sipper children are (will be) perfect in everyway and never get hungry or tired, not to mention the Braly kid at this point but a 2007 Disney trip doesn’t look promising for the Mullins clan. If both boys can’t ride everything they want then it doesn’t seem like a lot of fun for the excluded parent and child.

So I had a wild thought. What about always sunny Las Vegas. If I’m going to drop 2K for the mouse then Jules and I could just as well leave the boys with their grandparents from Dec 26 to Jan 1 and become victim to one of the weirdest cities in the world.

I mean it’s like a Disney for adults really.

Brew, Jules what do you think? Stubbs have you guys ever made it out west? Chucks what say you?


bigsip said...

Y'all have fun!

I do have to say that Luke was awesome at Disney. Not only did we get to ride any and everything we wanted multiple times, he had fun, ate plenty, and slept well.

To tell the truth, the little kid rides with Luke were even more fun in many ways than the BIG rides. We got to do those as many times as we wanted, too!

In the off-season, it's like you own DW, man.

Best part is it's all-inclusive. If you can, try a deal like that in Vegas. If they have package deals with meals, hotel, and all the other stuff, it'll save money, time, and trouble.

Anyhow, y'all will be missed! Perhaps DW will materialize for all of us together one day.

Jamison said...

I will agree with Sip... sounds like Mullins is just looking for an excuse to gamble; he has been trying to get a trip like this up for ever, and I cant imagine any reason to go other than to be around drunk, fornicating, gamblers... and to actually gamble. At least at Disney you get something for the money you put out. And if you are not going to gamble, then why go? To watch show after show after show? TO look at a man-made volcano? to see pretty lights? If I go to Nevada, I'd rather explore the mountains and wilderness areas.

Luke was perfect at Disney (except at night in the hotel when he had no crib to sleep in.) It is funny that Larissa and I looked at Disney the same way brew and mulls are looking at it before we went with the Sips. I mean, I had been 4 times before, but Rachel has some magical way of planning things so that there are no lines, few people, and lots of time to do everything. It ended up being the best vacation we had ever been on and we felt like we were robbing the place because we got SO much for SO little... $2,000 wasnt NEAR what we spent for a week there.

I would only go to vegas if I could go for one day, to see Wayne Newton... then I would have seen all I wanted to see there.

bigsip said...

Personally, I'm looking forward to going back to New Orleans in a few years, probably a couple of years after DW.

As far as vacations go, NO is right up there with DW for me.

It's not terribly expensive, there's TONS to do there, and the excitement and fun are very diverse.

mullinz8 said...

I just thought it might be fun. Caleb will be somewhere around the age of three when this trip is supposed to happen, by that time I could be ready to hit the park with the kids. I know that Brew said he’d rather go somewhere else and we had talked about a trip like that in the past.

Las Vegas is fun. It’s built on the people wasting their money and some people waste and ruin their lives there but there is another side of the place that makes it very interesting. We all know that I do have a drink now and again and have all agreed that is not a sin.
I’ve been rebuked for buying lottery tickets though I still consider it a game because I haven’t bought a single ticket since we had that conversation. I don’t “have to play” the game nor have I ever collected anything from the games existence, scholarships, so to me it’s just paying a game.

It’s a fascinating city and I would almost suggest that Vegas could also be like the Braly Disney experience. Once you go it’s something different. In fact there is such a movement on the city government’s side to make it a family safe place that there are a lot of planned family activities.

I went to Harrah’s in Cherokee and hated it. Las Vegas has an uncertain air of excitement that isn’t explainable until you’ve been there. I spent a week in the city for work and was never offered sex, though I could have found it. Never gambled past my limit, and never had so much to drink that I became stupid enough to do those things. I take my Christianity with me everywhere I go and don’t have to worry about losing or shelving it. If those things are what you’re after you can find them just as easily in Montgomery as Las Vegas.

It is a fun city.

Jamison said...

If you wanna be around casinos, there is one 4 miles from my house...

There is ONE casino I would like to visit.. i saw it on the travel channel once. It is an indian casino and it is like in Montana or some state with lots of empty land...

From the sky, all you see are trees for miles and miles... and somehow, right in the middle of all those woods, is a huge all-inclusive casino/hotel.

That way, id not only get to see the natual beauty, but also stay in a nice hotel...

mullinz8 said...

Hello Black Kettle have you met Mr. Black Pot.

New Orleans is just as sinful as Vegas and happily wears it on its sleeve. Gambling, drinking, Red light district.

Don’t dare say it’s different because it’s not. New Orleans, you’ve got to be kidding me. Vegas is a ghastly venture but New Orleans is a family fun Mecca...

Vegas, like I said is moving towards the family vacation world and has lots to offer, just like New Orleans, I'd almost say more because there is so much outdoor
stuff to do.

bigsip said...

Um, dude, check my posts...I haven't been putting down Vegas at all.

I just don't like gambling and lights and stuff in the middle of a desert.

When Rachel and I go, we plan to leave the kids with the grandparents.

We went to a casino in NO once and hated it. It was the most boring thing we'd ever done.

But, everything else we did was awesome!

They have tourism package deals like the aquarium/riverboat/zoo/imax...they have historical carriage rides...they have many old examples of historical architecture (St. Louis is great!)...they have the fun ghost tours if you're into it...

You're right, they have the bad stuff, too, but we know the good stuff there and love it.

Again, y'all have fun! I haven't tried to suck the fun out of your idea yet and don't intend to, my friend. I just know I can find a better vacation for what we want to do.

Jamison said...

Well, NO doesn't thrill me either... I dont think I have "that place" like Sip does that I just absolutely love and would love to go over and over again...

well, maybe 2 places qualify for that:

Asheville, and SnowShoe Mountain ski resort in West Virginia. Since my best friends are coming to montgomery, i passed on teh opportunity to go ski for the better part of a week there, for $100.

Of course I would have had to riude a bus all the way up and probably have a room with teenagers, which I would have hated...

bigsip said...

Yeah, Rachel and I went to NO for our honeymoon. So, it holds many, special memories for us.

We had a great time there! We didn't try the Casino till the second time we went.

But, between the food, history, shops, entertainment, rides, and everything else there, you'd be hard-pressed not to have a blast in NO without ever losing a nickel in a slot or imbibing once.

There's just so much to do and it's all very different.

By the way, I wasn't inviting anyone to go. No offense. It would just be like a third honeymoon for us.

Like Jamison said, it's sort of "our (my and Rachel's) place".

bigsip said...

Of course, in a few years, we might change our minds and decide to hop the pond to Europe or something.

Or maybe take a Caribean cruise.

There are so many options!

Our main concern is being able to get back to our kids quickly if we really need to. That's why we thought NO might be good.

But, either way, we really need to have a "just us" vacation sometime.

mullinz8 said...

Sipper you’re right I lumped your response in with Jamison, sorry, really I am. So Jamison, you should try it before you hate it. In the Paris hotel it’s just like being outside. Same with the Venetian

I just thought it was odd because NO has so much of what Vegas is famous for yet there isn’t the stigma attached to it.

I mean the Southern Baptists recently had their convention there so it can’t be all bad. Of course then again…

Sorry again for jumping on you Sipper. It’s just that Vegas is actually a really fun city and if you are looking for an escape for you and the wife or a group of friends then I think it’s a good option. While I was out there I was left no shortage of jokes at the expense of the rest of those poor saps out there. I think we would all have a good time.

One of my favorite times was listening to an 80’s band at an outdoor stage on the strip. They were really good and it was such a cool setting.

bigsip said...

No prob, man...

I'm not gonna put down Vegas, I just have seen enough and heard enough from other people to know it's not my kind of town.

Sort of like Branson, I don't feel like they have what i'm looking for.

I love the history and earthy quality of NO. Even if Vegas can duplicate that, I'll now it's all a front.

With Disney, it's different. I know it's all a facade and appreciate it for that reason. There, it's all about the entertainment, rides, and watching Luke go crazy enjoying himself.

I just don't see either of those things going on for us in Vegas.

But, I'm probably wrong. Perhaps after y'all take a big trip and report back, my mind will be changed.

But, if it's all lights, shows, and casinos, I'll pass.

Brewster said...

Interesting side note, my fellow writers at blogcritcs get together annually to have fun and see each other face to face.

This year: Las Vegas. I asked my wife if she wanted to go. She said "no" I asked if I could go without her, she said "no." I said that I'd be there with a bunch of writers, she said "not a chance"

I really have no desire to see disney or vegas. Call me a snob but I'm not really into amusement places anymore. I'd rather see natural beauty and different cultures.

You guys are funny. Arguing that you don't want to go go Vegas because its all lights and you wouldn't see any nature. But are dying to go to Disney where its all lights and you won't see any nature.

My understanding of Vegas is that is very kid friendly now. it's all food and shows and family fun. With legal prostitution and gambling of course.

Jamison it is time to quote the Ray Romano Vegas quotes on Dr. Katz now.

bigsip said...

I'm totally into natural beauty and cultural stuff, too.

When you have kids, though, it IS natural beauty and culture to watch them enjoy little "magical" times in their young lives.

I made fun and scoffed at the likes of Disney year back until Luke came along. Now, I'm hooked.

When he and the baby get older, we'll probably go to the Grand Canyon (House of Stone and Light, baby!) and other cool places. But, right now, I just want to go ride Dumbo and listen to my little boy squeal with delight.

Jamison said...

As requested via Brew...

Ray Ramono:
"I'd rather deal with Las Vegas 104 degree heat than New york 90 degree heat. Ya know why? Legalized prostitution. In any weather it takes the edge off."

Rachel said...

Um, my college education was paid for by the Georgia lottery. Just sayin.

bigsip said...

Yeah, we let all the poor, dumb people pay for Rachel's college education.

The lottery, no offense Mullins, is GENERALLY (not specifically) a tax on poor, stupid people who are looking to get rich fast.

Most of them play every chance they get, throwiwng away grocery money on the tickets.

If you have a buck to spare and play the numbers now and again, I don't think it's too bad. But, there's one less dollar that could have gone for something better...

Again, though, at least you're not taking food out of your childrens mouths for a foolish chance.

mullinz8 said...

Rachel, I know your education was paid for by the lottery. Josh and I conversed on this topic a while back and I told him for being such a hard line anti-lottery person I thought it’s just as wrong to take that grant as a Christian because it’s basically blood money.

The lottery commission is making tons of money; they give a fraction out as winnings and a fraction out as grants and educational funds. The whole gambling to education is designed to lighten the guilt people may feel for wasting their hard earned cash on a dream.

If as a Christian you do not support the lottery because “gambling is a sin” should you still collect the benefits of that sin? You’re supporting a society’s desire to continue sinning.

Well the lottery helps schools, sure it does but there is nothing you can to about that because you do not choose how to fund the schools. When you apply for a “hope scholarship” or what ever it’s called in your neck of the woods you are choosing, as a Christian, to take money collected from another persons sin. Would you take money from a house of ill repute, drug dealer or a casino? The lottery is no different.

This is not a slight against you personally because I think if people are so stupid as to waste their money gambling (my rare five bucks included) the funds should go to help people become smart enough to make informed decisions against the compulsion to gamble. Teach the next generation to be smarter than the first.

I think as Christians we are to try and set an example and telling people that gambling is wrong and then to turn around and collect money from that wrong is wrong.

It’s funny because I got raked over the coals for spending five bucks on the lottery and you get a few hundred or thousand from the exact same institution and nothing is wrong with that because you’re on the receiving end.

bigsip said...

We only raked you over the coals to keep a lively discussion going.

You aren't addicted to gambling or alcohol or anything else, as far as I can tell.

Most of the "hard lines" we all take on here are to present the debateable ends of the discussion in an attempt to find some common ground.

I think playing the lottery, gambling, drinking, etc. are all sinful when done in excess.

As far as accepting the education money goes, I don't feel the least bit guilty.

Tennessee has a lottery and I understand that some of that money goes to education to educate the kids there.

If I lived in TN and didn't agree with that fact, what should I do? Move to another state?

Just because the money is there and used for something good doesn't make accepting it neccessarily bad.

The impetus for the "sinful" aspect of it doesn't come from the lottery player's desire to further educational and social agendas. It comes from a selfish desire to be monetarily wealthy.

If people get addicted to that and make poor decisions with their money, it's not the kids' faults or college students' faults.

So, overall, accepting the benefits doesn't equal perpetuation of the sin. Yet, participation does.

mullinz8 said...

Like I said there is nothing one can do in regards as to how the state distributes lottery funds, that’s a governmental, give unto Caesar issue.

On a personal front, I do think that if you’re going to take the line of gambling is a sin, lottery being a form of gambling, your reference point was casting lots for JC’s seamless garment, then the lottery is a sin.

The state implements a lottery to fund schools, that funding is based on the idea that stupid people are going to continue trying to win that jackpot and have enough surplus to pay for education, which they always do.

We can agree to disagree but if people, again not taking aim at anyone, are going to continue to condemn the whole thing I think they, as Christians, shouldn’t accept the rewards of a game that DOES corrupt people’s morals and judgment.

I think it’s turning a blind eye to how the money was collected. Ones education is being paid for by a percentage of folks who are not going to be able to buy a loaf of bread for their family because they were hoping to win it all. The attitude of I don’t care how people are affected by this lottery as long as I can get my share off their backs is not being very honest, maybe it’s being too honest.

By accepting the money you are participating in the system and perpetuating the cycle of abuse and reward.

bigsip said...

There should be a mass exodus from lottery-supporting states, I suppose.

Whether you're accepting it outright as a scholarship or whether it's being provided to you, it's still benefitting you.

I suppose you could go as far as homeschooling your kids or moving to a non-lottery state, but acceptance is acceptance whether passive or active.

I mark your argument well, but it applies to anyone involved in it.

So, I guess the lottery is bad all around...

My point was that people who are benefitting from the lottery, who don't play it, aren't making those who do play keep playing.

That's their choice. If the money buys textbooks for the public high/middle/elementary schools, the kids/teachers are reaping the benefits. Are they sinning?

I don't think so.

I also don't think that the scholarships benefitting college students are sinful for the same reason.

When someone goes to play the lottery, they are not saying, "I think I'll go give money for education today."

Education doesn't keep them flushing money down the toilet.

It's their own delusions and selfishness that perpetuates the act, not the children/students/teachers' desires to go farther educationally...

mullinz8 said...

I think there are only two lottery free states anymore.

The lottery is made to pay for schools on all levels. It’s sad that the state is encouraging people to waste their money on such a thing. I’ve heard people, while buying gas, who have just dropped ten bucks leave saying “at least it’s going to a good cause.”

It is a "good" cause over all because I do want my area schools to do well. I don’t agree that the lottery is the only way to provide the schools with those extra dollars.

It still comes down to a choice to accept money in the form of a hope scholarship. That is where a line can be drawn as to how one feels about the lottery and their personal responsibility for the community in which they live.

I’m just happy to know that now I can play the lottery when it reaches 300 million again and consider it a contribution to someone’s education and not a sin.

So long as everyone one has money to put in the collection plate and are not misusing the money the sin of the situation has been removed because it’s just contributions.

Jamison said...

What really sucks is that many states that voted in a lottery were tricked by the politicians into voting for it, by saying things like "Wont have to raise your taxes" or "will lower taxes"...

Take a look at these states a few years later, whats the bog issue? Raising taxes...

It is funny that people who dont trust the government trust them enough to, not only teach thier children, but also trust them enough to be the "house" in a gambling event... I'll take indians anyday over Ted Kennedy being the floor boss.

Ryan F. said...

Just some advice...I've been to Vegas and I hated it. I felt like I was in a parallel universe. I felt dirty just being there. I didn't even do anything bad or against my morals there (unless you count paying $10 for a terrible buffett). It was cool to see it, but you couldn't pay me to go back there. When you walk down the street, men will hand you little brochures, and you think, "oh must be for some show or casino." It's for a show alright, one in your own private room. They hand out brochures advertising prostitution. I even joked with my dad and said, "Hey, wanna go half on a prostitute with me?" (By the way it was just the 2 of us)

Ryan F. said...

I didn't mean anything bad or weird by that last statement.

mullinz8 said...

Your follow up punch line should have been “dad said he wanted his own.”

The people handing out the “at home” services were a bit sad.

I loved to watch people pay that games because they would get so excited and then get so low and then jump up screaming seconds later.

Jamison said...

uh, what statement Ryan?

Ryan F. said...

About it being just the two of us (which followed a statement about sharing a hooker).

Ryan F. said...

Actually, they are pretty clever in getting you inside their casinos. One had a slot machine outside with a free pull, and every pull was a winner. If nothing else, you won a few coins to go inside & play something for free. You get hooked & then start spending your own money. They know what they are doing.

bigsip said...

It's true. They are good at hooking people. Just like Jamison said about pornography; they know how to get people hooked and make them spend their money.

Vegas doesn't care if you're a compulsive gambler. They create them and want them to keep coming back and ruining their lives. It's very sad.

tnmommieof2 said...

call me crazy, but i had a blast in las vegas when i went. i was with my grandparents and my aunt.

it was very cool to see all the lights...and i am an avid people i was in heaven.

i did a bit of gambling...just slot
machines(shame on me) and seeing all the architechture in the hotels
was cool too..

disney would be great i think if ya'll are right about rach being able to plan it to the hilt...all
the posts about it are beginning to change my mind...starting to sound fun...

bigsip said...

Disney is pure fun. It's also like an alternate universe where everyone is nice and friendly and happy and ready to share and help.

I know it sounds cheesy and fake, but you can ask Jamison and Larissa. The "fun" aspect is just one of many great things about it!

I know y'all got some flak about Vegas on here, but I was serious when I said "Y'all have fun!"

Go! Enjoy! Vegas just isn't for me. But, if you can go and have fun, do it!

Gotta tell you, though. Disney is REALLY hard to beat; especially with Rachel planning it!

tnmommieof2 said...

yeah i know..she should start a travel agency for only trips to disney...she sounds like the uber-
planner...and i could probably twist matt's arm a bit and get him to see it my way.

oh and i thought that it would be the december right after isaac started school..but then i realized
it was an 07 that's
another pro in the mullins clans'

bigsip said...

Yeah, we have plenty of time to plan and save $$$ for it! We wanted to plan it far in advance to give any and all the chance to partake.

As far as time-of-year is concerned, though, we probably need to stick with December since it will be the best all around price-wise and weather-wise.

Jamison said...

Like I said, gimme Wayne Newton tickets, and I am there.

And in a way, LV is like Disney in that they want you to have a good time, have fun, be treated well, etc... so youll spend money...

Disney does all that too... so youll spend money... and come back, which we plan to. As sick as it sounds, they have 'being nice" down to a science.

Rachel is sort of geeky when it comes to this planning stuff... she had a "notebook of fun" and all, and you may think "okay, that would suck, stick to the plan, etc" but it was very cool, lax, and free-moving.

Ill say it again, I dont know how she did it, but we ended up going for about $900 less than what she told us, ate more food than we expected, had "snack points" left over at the end, had more fun than I expected, and somehow never waited in line, despite there being a slight crowd...

We would be waiting in front of the gate of a park and she would be like "okay, see the big blue hat, go for that, meet you there... See space mountain? Hit it first, everyone will want to ride new rides first, we ride space mountain till we voimit, then hit the new rides with no lines... Go left, people have a tendency to go counter-clockwise in a park, we will do the opposite..."

very cool stuff...

I say the Fredericks are open to the invitation of course, no?

bigsip said...

Absolutely...'tis a fountain free...

Well, sort of. Not free, but, you know.

And hey, no forsaking Disney for Vegas, Braly!

Jamison said...

No, if I were to travel to the west, id go see tyree and sam again in california and go out to the mountains out there and do some hiking ... flying over the rocky mountains was breath taking... never in my life had I seen a sight like that. Those things are huge... and, as the name says, very rocky...

bigsip said...

The Rockies are beautiful!

The Smokies have their own awe, but the Rockies make you look at mountains in a different way.

Diana said...

I would go to Vegas, but there are many places I'd rather go. I'm with Sipper, I like cultural destinations more than tourist traps. It seems like everywhere I've lived is a tourist trap.

What annoys me is that in SC, technical schools get lottery assistance, but universities don't. I went to tech for a semester and I got something like $900 free money, when tuition was just $1400. At coastal, it's $3000 a semester and I get nada.

Diana said...

Sorry if that was confusing. I have no segue button.

p.s. Disney rocks my face off!

bigsip said...

Man, the lottery is hosed...

If Disney weren't self-contained, it would be a tourist trap.

But, as it is, it's awesome!

Diana said...

I agree. It's just so...magical. For lack of a better word. I can't imagine not staying on property. It would just ruin it!

Brewster said...

I like cultural destinations more than tourist traps.

Disney rocks my face off!

Huh? Honey, Disney is a tourist trap. It might be a really cool one, but it is designed for tourists.

They are good at hooking people. Just like Jamison said about pornography; they know how to get people hooked and make them spend their money.

And Disney isn't? Disney and Vegas are two sides of the same coin. Both are designed to entertain you, are sort of alternate realities and are all about sucking you out of your hard earned cash.

Diana said...

I just feel like at Disney, you get what you pay for. In Myrtle Beach, you get crappy rides for $30. I'm just sayin'.

Jamison said...

yes, i was getting confused too about not liking tourist traps yet loving Disney... I mean, i love it, but it is a tourist trap.... a really NICE BIG one mind you....

mullinz8 said...

Vegas is a lot like Disney really. Actually it is an adult Disney. There are people dressed up in strange outfits, lots of folks singing and dancing, lots of wonderful foods from all over the world, a microcosm of cultures and personalities and lot of tings to do that you can’t find anywhere else. There are really cheap meals and places you can spend all day nickel and dimeing your pockets empty.

Both places are typically sunny and once you are within the city limits or park gates they are a world unto them selves. Most importantly both are designed to give the guest an experience where they are the center of the universe, everyone is happy and you never want to leave.

They are the zenith and panicles of what a tourist trap should be. You made a comparison to Myrtle Beach and for as much as I do really enjoy your home the only reason to go is for the beach. It’s a sub grade tourist trap because there is nothing else to offer the visitors. Nice weather, some food, fun things, cool shopping sure but it’s not a location with mystique.

Disney and Vegas have triggers that cause a reaction be they colorful animated animals or rat pack revelry, Mary Poppins or Elvis, Caesars Palace or Space Mountain. Myrtle Beach has an ocean and a pretty strip of sand. Disney and Vegas are inclusive little worlds.