thank-you for ruining my vacation

Now this blog is going to get me some flack (I’m certain of it), but it simply has to be written so people can either agree with me or suddenly understand a point of interest.

How many times, and this doesn’t just apply to being on vacation (but seems to make it even worse when you are on vacation) have your plans been … disrupted by the actions of a screaming tantrum. This doesn’t haveto be sitting at the table next to you while you’re having a peaceful … or god-forbid, SPECIAL dinner.

I remember a few years back Tom and I decided to spend Christmas in Las Vegas. It had been a tedious year, so we decided to get away from it all for the holidays. YOU WOULD THINK, given it’s reputation, Las Vegas would NOT be the playground for screaming babies and rampant toddlers.

… so wrong!

The year we went, it was the opening of the Wynn Casino, at the time the most exclusive, most expensive and most in-demand place in the city. The only thing we were able to get was a table for dinner one evening.

For those of you who have never been to the Wynn Las Vegas …

The exclusive shops of Wynn Las Vegas

Now … picture this … no longer an elegant shopping promenade with pricetags with countless zero’s attached to them, but instead a haven for undisciplined children (or maybe it’s the parents) running, yelling, crying and throwing things against the store fronts. Image (we saw in it real time, so I don’t have to imagine it at all), a mother too engrossed in her cell phone telling somone about the blouse she would kill for while the 2-3yr old child grabs onto the stroller and runs down that hallway barrelling into people, signs, and planters — followed by the mother screaming at the top of her lungs at the child in their new-found million dollar playground.

We had dinner reservations at the Wynn Steakhouse, and of course … seated next to us is a family with not one, but 3 toddlers who at one point or another were in the peaks of tantrums. And while others like us made our disapproval known (if I’m paying $300 for a meal and wine, I want to ENJOY it in the atmosphere one would expect, not a McDonalds playground dining area) the parents explained it was their belief to not scold and subdue the children. YOU’RE IN PUBLIC PEOPLE! YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES IN THE WORLD!

When we complained to the waiter, his repsonse was “oh yes, children do get a little loud do they not?”. EXCUSE ME — get me the restaurant manager, not the head waiter, not the maitre de … get me the restaurant manager. If your evening is challenged or destroyed, go to the top for resolutions.

To make a long story short, the family did eventually leave to (what should have been) an embarassing applause, and we got 50% off our bottle of wine.

Now, I understand young parents want their vacations too. I look at it this way. YOU decided to have your children. YOU at that time, should have recognized that you have essentially “grounded” yourself from the pleasures of vacations until they are at least old enough to walk on their own.

… instead

… hotels and (especially) Cruiselines make it easier for parents to get away and spoil everyone else’s vacations by offering “children stay free”, “children under 12 cruise free”, “children eat free”, and then of course … “children fly free when sitting in the parents lap” — COME ON! How many children do you know are going to sit still and not cause a fuss for 2-3hrs. Do you as a parent, SERIOUSLY THINK (Stupid question), little Johnny or Mary is going to be content sitting on your lap in a 17″ space for even 10 minutes??

So, lets ruin it even more by paying a little more and flying in first-class. WHAT HAPPENED TO CHILD RESTRICTIONS IN FIRST CLASS. I do not pay an additional (up to) $400 for the privileges of first class to be have toys thrown over my seat, to have children running across the row to one parent or the other, and I do not pay this extra to have my 3hr flight seem like an “over the Atlantic” excursion because the parents are drinking the free booze while ignoring the screaming kids.

Of course, I do understand (expecially over the holidays) that young families want to go home to visit their parents ….


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