Some Things Change - My Family Travels

Ever thought that a simple family vacation could turn into something more? I never did. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen “National Lampoon’s Family Vacation” and the rest of the franchise and I know that the movies end with a big family hug. But that stuff is only for the movies right? Real families with real people need to actually talk about their problems and consciously try and fix them. With that sort of mind set, my family (mother and brother) and I drove six hours to the airport of Houston, Texas to fly to Las Vegas, Nevada. I have always enjoyed flying and I was looking forward to spending time in “Sin City.”

While in Vegas, my family and I enjoyed various aspects of city life: from almost getting ran over by the crazy drivers to getting propositioned from greased up and scantily clad men and women. Luckily for us, my sister and her family met us at a local restaurant and took us to her house. The entire point of the Vegas trip was to visit with my sister and her family at their new home. I had less than high hopes for this trip. I honestly put on my fortune teller hat and started making predictions. There would be too much alcohol and someone would start to be too touchy and feely. Someone would open their mouths and there would be at least one punch thrown.

As I look back on that New Year’s Eve on “The Strip,” I’m glad that I was wrong. There was lots of alcohol, people did get way to touchy, feely, and people did say things that should have otherwise been left unsaid, but nothing too horrible happened. As we walked up and down “The Strip,” I really started to take in my surroundings. The casinos looked beautiful at night and the stars and moon glowed, albeit dimly, like a beacon of peace in and otherwise chaotic city. As I turned to the people I call family around me, I realized that they were nowhere to be found. I suddenly realized that they had entered Mandalay Bay Casino and Hotel and I had been left outside. I hurried inside. As we all regrouped, we noticed this Christmas tree in the corner. It was by no means the most impressive Christmas tree I have ever seen, but the sheer magnitude of this little symbol togetherness was awe-inspiring. We all gathered around it for a group picture. As my family disbursed in hopes of securing more alcohol, I realized that for better or worse these people are my family. My big, dysfunctional family that loved each other. If they were willing to try then so was I.

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