{ clarifying 'the dancer' }

{warning: serious content ahead}
Remember this post about our brief stay at Vegas?

I just received a comment about it that pulled at my gut a little bit. The commenter wrote:

Bwahaha!!! You took your family to the Vegas Strip and then blame the HOTEL for exposing your kids to scum??!?wow, that's funny. Funny in a very sad sort of way.

Now I don't know if she was just teasing a little, or being completely serious, {where's that darn sarcasm font when you need it} but it kinda broke my heart. It confirmed the guilt I already felt for taking the loves of my life there, but it also made me realize that I must be a horrible writer, because the point of the story was not that visible.

{No, this is not a "I need sympathy" post whatsoever. Just the real, raw me clarifying.}

But I actually thanked this commenter for her feedback. 'Cuz who knows how many people out there were/are thinking the exact same thing.

And for that I apologize.

I keep thinking that everyone 'knows' me. I keep thinking that everyone would automatically know that I would never take my kids anywhere without doing research first. I keep thinking that everyone knows that I am the most trusting person, and will take the advice of friends and family who have 'been there and done that'.

So to those of you who don't know me personally, here's the background of our Vegas story.

I asked around. I did. I got the advice of people I knew who had taken their families to Vegas. Granted they hadn't been there in awhile, but I got the tips and tricks. We should stay at either this or this hotel, do this and that, not this or that- you know, that kind of advice. When we came back and told those people, they were mortified. They felt horrible, because they had given us bad info.

So it is to you, dear readers who have either had a safe experience, or have heard of someone that had and were contemplating a short hotel stay one night, that I wrote that post for. Vegas has changed. We paid to learn that, and I wanted to pass on that nugget of information, so no one else makes the same mistake, or gives advice to others about their safe time.

It is not cheap anymore. They do not cater to families anymore. No matter what anyone tells you. I shouldn't have cared that my husband hadn't slept for 25 hours and needed to stop at a hotel {he doesn't like to sleep when I drive- weird}. Next time we will drive right on past and hit the next available town.

That's big.

Because Mr. Smith got robbed at gunpoint once in a small town on the outskirts of Vegas a couple years ago while filling up at a gas station.

Which is why we thought a hotel on the actual strip with lots of people would be a little safer.

'Cuz I would rather teach my little girl that pole dancing is bad, than to visit her grave...

So go hug those kids tight, and don't ever take them near Vegas.


ps- I also found out this morning that my friend's brother past away last weekend {talk about a tearful morning}. An account has been set up at the Bank of American Fork on the behalf of Aaron Garrett. He leaves behind a 4 year old son, and all donations {that can be made at any branch} will go towards funeral costs and the financial support of his son. To any of you who are able to help, thank you.

6 post a comment :

Jess said...

I'm so sorry for the loss in your friend's life. Having experienced loss myself I feel for your friend. Sending my thoughts & prayers your way. Since I don't know your friend please forward my prayers onto her when they reach you. :)

And I knew what you meant on your "Dancer/Vegas" post. But then I'm kind of smart like that. ;) And simple mistakes like that happen, even to the best of us, no matter how much we try to research before hand. You just never know what will happen till you are there...going through it.

That's where that saying "Hindsight is 20/20" came from. Anyway, sending you lots of <3 & prayers for you & yours today. xD

iamwoman said...

This is a tough one. You are going to get different responses, for sure. To each his own. There are a TON of members in Las Vegas (and a temple)and my brother-in-law actually served his mission there. But overall-- We actually canceled our anniversary plans to go there with another couple one year because we both felt it wasn't going to be the experience we needed.

Liz Kirkby said...

Dear Jordan,

I want to start off by agreeing you are a wonderful writer. I wouldn't follow your blog if I thought otherwise. Secondly, I admit that I had little sense-of-humor this morning when I read your post (I'll explain next) and that must be why I missed the point in your post.

You see, my husband and I were also in Las Vegas this weekend. We stayed at a Fairfield Marriott just a few blocks away from The Strip. We currently live in Utah County, but were recently offered a FABULOUS job in Henderson, NV (right next to Las Vegas the way Orem is right next to Provo). So, we went to Vegas to see if it was possible to consider raising our family there despite all the filth of the "downtown"/strip scene.

It's been a difficult decision, but just this morning (about 20 minutes before I read your post) we had made the final decision to move out there. It's a scary thing to leave Mormonville, uproot your kids from the only family and friends they know, and relocate to "Sin City". But I felt we made the right decision for all the right reasons. We had a very spiritual experience making our decision and feel that it is going to be wonderful.

The one thing that is clear to us is how we will need to prepare our 6 kids to the move. The Strip is indeed something to stay away from. I figured that out REAL QUICK this weekend. I felt dirty and yucky every time we went back to our hotel. I couldn't wait to get inside my enclosed room and shut out the city. In the morning while leaving the hotel, we learned to just look straight ahead until we had gotten past the strip. YUCK!

Needless to say, I guess I was feeling a bit defensive at that vulnerable moment of reading your post. Las Vegas can be a great place - IF you discount the strip. "iamwoman" is correct about Vegas having "a TON of members". Which is one of the reasons we agreed to consider moving there. But we must be aware of the realities of the dangers and traps that Satan has put in the way of the people there.

I remember the "good ol days" (if you can call it that), when you COULD take your kids to Circus Circus or Excalibur. It was fun to see the water show, the pirate show, the tiger show at all the fancy-nancy hotels. Unfortunately, those days are gone. I now see your point in trying to "warn" other families and I appreciate and applaud your passion for keeping kids safe.

Anywho....I've rambled on long enough. I'm sorry for having saddened your morning further. I've been a lurker on your blog for about 3 months now. Hopefully we can /hug and make up. Please feel free to stop by my blog familyscratch.blogspot.com (which is currently on hiatus for the summer) and leave any ornery post you'd like :)

Jesyka Illyzahbieth said...

Wow, that's rude. Well, I DO know you, and I know you would never purposely put your kids in that kind of environment. You chose what you thought was the safest place for them. Why would you go to a hotel when you knew there would be some skanky dancer there?! And why the heck would there be a stripper randomly dancing in a hotel?! Such nonsense. I don't think you have anything to feel bad about because I know what a good mom you are :)

Kelley said...

That is devastating that your friend's brother passed away AND has a precious 4-year-old boy. Oh, that rips my heart out. I know you feel guilty for taking your kids to Vegas. I feel guilty for just taking my son to the "skate park". He's 5 and LOVES, LOVES, LOVES to ride his bike and scooter up & down these concrete hills in a local skateboarding park. I know that I probably shouldn't take him b/c I am exposing him to greasy, sarcastic teenagers, but...he loves it! Just tonight one of the said teenagers yelled a curse word (that starts with "f" and is not FART!) REALLY loud. Really loud (or is it loudLY?). Ahhhh!!! I asked my son if he heard anyone say a bad word (he doesn't even know that word exists right now) and he asked me if that boy said "stupid". I just let it go. My point: don't be so hard on yourself. We can expose our children to stuff we'd rather them not see right in our very own towns!

Cherie said...

I almost did the same thing this month! I have taken my kids to Las Vegas MANY times in the past. We lived in St. George so with less than a two hour drive, we often went down for the day to see the dolphins or visit the M&M store or just see the sights...

Well, my hubby had a 5-day convention there last week. We planned on taking the kids with us and booked our rooms in the Excalibur (where we stayed for a family trip when I was in high school). I know not to take the kids out on the strip at night but figured we could go find all sorts of things to do during the day.

Then my in-laws called and offered to keep the kids for us! Woohoo!

I now think they were inspired. It was HARD being in Vegas for 5-days. By our last night there, I was feeling so down and depressed on myself. And it was because of the atmosphere we were in. I saw AWFUL things at 1:00 in the afternoon! I too saw the dancer at the Excalibur and my hubby made the comment that THANK GOODNESS we didn't have our 6-year old girl with us.

We won't be going back...

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