I HATE living in Las Vegas. Out-of-towners picture life here as one long, glamorous night of Strip-induced debauchery. In reality, Las Vegas is a materialistic, soul-sucking, suburban bedsore on the ass of America (trust me, I’m not being dramatic).
My husband and I met here a decade ago during my freshman year of college. When you’re a 19-year-old coed traipsing around with a fake ID (not that I had one, of course), you feel like you’ve entered the neon Garden of Eden. But when you’re 30, with your rose-colored glasses gathering dust beside your graduation tassel in some anonymous box, life here in Vegas is stark, borderline miserable.
A few years ago, after I made some snarky comment about this landfill of a city, my mother-in-law looked at me and said, “You have to grow where you’re planted.”
Undoubtedly, I smiled while mentally rolling my eyes and thinking what on earth does that even mean?
Despite my haughty dismissal, I never forgot her advice. The longer I’m here, the more I grasp her meaning.
You have to choose happiness.
It’s very possible my husband and I will reside in Vegas for decades to come. (That very statement terrifies me!) I can sow misery or joy. So, in the spirit of putting down roots and cultivating happiness:
My Ten Favorite Things about Las Vegas
- Flowers blossom in February – While the rest of country remains shrouded in winter, we’re basking in the bloom of spring.
- Mountains – Most tourists don’t see beyond the glittering casinos, but Las Vegas is surrounded by a breathtaking ring of mountains.
- People Visit – Who wants to vacation in Podunk, USA? I see far more of my friends and family with the allure of The Strip compounding my own irresistible charm.
- The Smith Center – For far too long this city languished a cultural black hole. Now, with The Smith Center opening March 12, I can attend a real Broadway show that has not been mangled to accommodate the fickle proclivities of The Strip.
- Rum Runner Packer-Backer Bar – Las Vegas has an awesome pool scene. This is the epicenter. (They also serve the best $3.99 burger in town).
- Warm Summer Nights – I’m not going to lie, during the day the heat kills, but at night the warm air enfolds you in perfect comfort.
- My Two Dearest Friends Live Less than a Day’s Drive Away – Those of you from the East might think I’m stretching with this one, but a 5-7 hour drive is nothing in the mind of a Westerner.
- Restaurants – Las Vegas has—bar none—the best restaurants in the country (that includes you, NYC). You can eat whatever you want, whenever you want.
- Quirky Attractions – We have some unique spectacles here like Area 51 and the Extraterrestrial Highway, the Nuclear Test Site, and the Erotic History Museum.
- My Husband Loves it Here – Undoubtably, he has his own top-ten (sports-betting and poker being high on the list), but whatever his reasons, his happiness brings me joy, as well.