Sunny Memories, Made in Vegas


School’s out, and the memory-making season has begun. It’s a season of long trips and back-seat bickering, one that has, perhaps, always been better in retrospect. After a couple of decades, car sickness becomes funny.

The good news is, you’ll probably be spending less time in the car this year. With the Valley’s unemployment rate at 12 percent (second highest in the nation among areas with more than a million residents), 85 percent of homeowners living underwater (that’s one way to stay wet) and gasoline continuing its illicit flirtation with the numeral 4, a recurring media theme of the season will no doubt be the “staycation.”

If you simply must get away, there are a number of frugal options: Cut your trip in half and make it a Barstow summer. Or enjoy Tonopah. Most likely, though, you’ll want to stay home for the big Carolyn Goodman coronation on July 6, the way Londoners postponed travel plans to line the streets for Will and Kate. Oscar, after all, will be on hand, lamenting that he has but one wife to give for his city.

Las Vegas has tested our love these past few years. It took our jobs and bound us to our homes. It told us that we’re in this mess together. Now comes the Southern Nevada summer, with its brick-oven days and its challenge to the soul: Can you love this place at its most severe?

And so we’ll see how Lake Mead’s beaches have fared with that influx of fresh water from the Rockies. We’ll take long walks around the Sunset Park lake before it closes for renovation in late summer. We’ll follow the road to the Springs Preserve, so lovingly paved with good intentions. We’ll escape to the pines of Mount Charleston. We’ll do our best to enjoy the gifts of home, and to somehow contribute to the admixture of kindness in the desert air. We’ll make our memories here at home.

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