Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Las Vegas Trip 2014-2015, Part One

When a group of people invokes the “Let’s go to Vegas!” toast at a bar, 99% of the time the idea crumbles under its own weight by the next morning. But on this night in January of 2014, we were in the 1%.

The trip was conceived while the six of us – my two brothers, my two sisters in law, and Kim and I – imbibed at the Snow Squall just down the street from our house. We decided, then and there, to fly to Las Vegas in December of 2014 to celebrate Kim’s fiftieth birthday. Might as well stay for New Year’s Eve, too, we figured, which this year would fall on the night after her birthday (and every year, now that I think about it).

“It’s not warm in Las Vegas in the winter. It might be in the 60s, or even the 50s during the day,” I said.

Nobody was swayed by this warning. Little did we know.

As soon as we decided on the vacation, I began to have second thoughts about committing to travel so far in the future. We don’t like to line up activities more than a few months ahead, because we don’t know how my MS will progress and what abilities I might lose.

Because I knew the hotel rooms would fill up quickly for New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas, I went directly to work on our accommodations. Prices were jacked up for those dates, so in order to stay on budget we booked one of the older establishments in the middle of the strip, a casino/hotel called Bally’s – mediocre accommodations, ideal location.

By late summer I had been enjoying my new Sure Hands overhead lift system, and I didn’t want to go without some sort of lift in Las Vegas. Also, I didn’t like the idea of having to lie flat in a traditional bed. I’m spoiled by my Power Bob bed which allows me to raise my head and feet at will. So I did some research and found a medical supply company, Desert Medical Equipment, in Las Vegas that would deliver a Hoyer lift and a hospital bed, set them up in my room, and take them away after I left, all for a mere $115 per night (we stayed three nights).
On this vacation, Kim and I would fly to Las Vegas for free, as compensation for US Air losing both of my wheelchairs on the way home from our February, 2013 vacation in Jamaica. Andy and Karen would fly out on a similar schedule but a different airline. Tom and Diane had the exact same itinerary as we did. We appreciate it when other folks travel with us because we don’t hesitate to put them to work. By the time we flew, though, it had been almost two years between airplane trips. I’d never gone so long without flying, and I felt unsure of myself given how far my disease had progressed over that period of time.

The stage was set for a memorable vacation. We knew things would go wrong, because they always do. But we expected to have a good time nonetheless, because we always find a way.

Click here for Part Two


  1. You have wanderlust in your veins! Hope the trip was enjoyable. Looking forward to see how it turned out.

  2. Darren, we do like to move around, although we are cutting way back from what we used to do.