Mune 2012 Roadtrip, Leg 1: Vegas in ’87

We stuffed the van with luggage, board games, and our metal cooler full of bologna sandwiches and sodas.  Two blocks from our house, Jake wanted to play Monopoly and Life.  Four blocks later, as we turned onto the freeway for our four and a half hour trip to Las Vegas, he asked for a sandwich.  He began telling me about his hotel soap collection while eating his sandwich and drinking his Sprite.  I fell asleep.

I woke up as we pulled into the Circus Circus parking lot.  I blinked, the casino looked blurry.  I felt my face and winced as I poked myself in the eye.  I had lost my giant left 1980s lens again.  The lens was loose and had popped out three times that week.

“Look for my lens,” I yelled to my family as they started to get the luggage out of the van.  I would get a headache if I didn’t have the lens in.  My family groaned.

We got our luggage out without finding the lens.  Dad checked in and we each got a roll of quarters to play at the Midway.  Without my glasses, I finished my quarters without winning a single stuffed animal.  Jake and Jean each won handfuls.  I found my dad and told him, “Dad, I really need my lens.  I can’t win any animals without my lens.”

“Go watch some circus shows, Jim.”  I squinted my eyes at a couple of circus shows.

Kris, Zach, and I took off on our cross county trip.  We saw the Grand Canyon…

and stayed at Circus Circus.  It’s the last hotel on the strip that harkens back to my childhood.  The Frontier and Stardust are gone.  Wet’n’wild is gone.   They’re replaced by fancy, high class hotels with high blackjack minimums, marble floored malls, and low quality arcades.

Zach liked the circus show.  I squint now even though I have both lenses in my glasses.  Because I’m older.   I shook my head as we drove past the Wynn, Paris, and Venetian and out of town.

Zach was far more interested in the drummer than in the trapeze artists.

I went from the circus back to the van.  I searched and searched for my lens, to no avail.  I went back to the room with the beginnings of a headache.

Dad organized a search party before we went to the buffet for dinner.  The whole family went down to the van.  We took every piece of luggage and every board game out of the van.  Dad pulled out a flashlight and checked under chairs.  A half-hour later, we hadn’t found the lens.  Dad looked at me, “Sorry, Jim, I guess…” and then he cocked his head.  He reached toward me.  I thought he was going to muss my hair.  He reached into my shirt pocket, shook his head, rolled his eyes.  He placed my lens in my hand.

My glasses were bifocals with real glass lenses. They were heavy enough to have left a permanent divot on the bridge of my nose.

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About Jimmy

The stories herein are about a sentimental 80s child who cried at every showing of ET (the sad part where he was lying in the wash) and his families, then and now. His wife, son, parents, and siblings play their parts well. They have their exits and their entrances. Sometimes their exits are sad, but not as sad as ET.
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16 Responses to Mune 2012 Roadtrip, Leg 1: Vegas in ’87

  1. inkline says:

    It’s been a nice week of traveling back to your childhood places while on our way forward to our next home.
    This story is good at explaining why you now proclaim “I’m such a good looker” whenever you find something that you lost. 😉

  2. 1smiles says:

    Isn’t life just like that. We search and search for something.. and the answer was with us all along.

    • Jimmy says:

      It is. The search, in and of itself, is often the most valuable part of the journey. If we didn’t search for it, we likely wouldn’t appreciate it as much.

  3. dorannrule says:

    I read this one twice because it is such a wonderful flashback. Yesterday from your child’s eye view (even minus the lens) and today from Zach’s – and then the zinger story lines all the way through. I love your blog!

  4. granbee says:

    This was a total joy of a ride back into Memoryland of childhood family vacations and all my own goofy awkward boo-boos! Wonderful about you now taking Zach back into some of those scenes!

  5. paralaxvu says:

    Oh, the memories of losing my lens, breaking my lens, trading my lens for contatcs…and then losing my lens. The story throughout the lens loss was nostalgic and fun to read…thanks for the nostalgia, memories, writing.

    • paralaxvu says:

      “contatcs” was typed while I had my computer glasses on but was too far away to see the red squiggly “you dummy, you misspelled something” line. No more contacts. I want Geordi La Forge’s eye shield!

    • Jimmy says:

      Yes, back in the day of heavy glass lenses, they knew me by name at the optometrist’s office. I didn’t break the lenses nearly as often as I broke the temples, though.

  6. Classic! I love that the fruitless lens search ended back at your pocket!! After getting glasses at the age of 6 and contacts at 12 — all for nearsightedness, I was deeply dismayed to note, recently, that I can now no longer see anything closer than a foot away, WITH my contacts. Welcome to 40, right? For now, I’m adding reading glasses to my contacts. Joy.

    • Jimmy says:

      I had two eye surgeries at two years old and have worn glasses since then. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the same prescription for the last 34 years. Of course, I won’t be 40 for another 20 years or so.

      • Wow – that must be some kind of record – I assume you haven’t been wearing the same pair of glasses that long?! Amazing how I’ll be turning 60 before you turn 40…..suspicious, in fact. You must tell me where your fountain of youth is! 🙂

  7. Mom says:

    You probably wouldn’t have won anything even if you had your lens. As I recall, you would get very impatient and frustrated with those games. At least you had a good excuse for not winning.

  8. Maxi says:

    Childhood memories replaced with money grabbers, how sad. Same prescription for 34yrs, won’t be 40 for another 20? Maybe you need to have a talk with Zach; bet he can set you straight.
    Blessings – Maxi

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