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Life In Vegas

What happens in Vegas does not necessarily stay in Vegas, I'll have you know. Now that We've come back home to NY, many have asked about living in Las Vegas {we never lived in Las Vegas, per se, but lived in Henderson, NV where it's much quieter, cleaner, and more family-oriented and it has much "better schools" for those with children.}

Honestly, Nevada was never one of the places on our list to move when we were looking to relocate to get a break from the NY winters. California was always the number one choice, especially San Francisco because for a New Yorker, San Francisco is a close fit. It offers a lifestyle that is comparable to NY when it comes to culture, museums, and shopping except with better weather. But as much as we loved San Francisco, it was just as expensive as Long Island and NYC and we really wanted to move to a location with a better cost of living.

One of the reasons why the hubby and I decided on checking out Vegas was because we knew quite a few friends that moved there. We decided to visit our friends in LV and check it out. And of course, when you're on vacation it always seems exciting and you can get carried away with the idea of living there - which we did.  Our friends were making it sound more appealing {especially with the kind of house you could build at a price way more affordable than in NY...although at the time we were looking house prices in Vegas were at the peak}.  We got excited about the idea of building our dream two-story style house with the Mediterranean flair that we love so much.

After a few months of deliberation, we took the plunge and purchased a "perfect" piece of pied-a-terre to build our dream home in a gated community that was up on a hill that reminded us of Italy. {It was lovely when you ignored the brown surrounding mountains and homes}.

However, after 2 years of living in the desert, we quickly realized the dry heat that people rave about isn't really better. 110-120+ degrees was excruciatingly unbearable and I developed migraines. I could not go out without sunglasses and sometimes needed them inside the house as we had 22 windows.  It felt like there was some kind of magnetic field yanking my eyeballs out of their sockets.  My hair quickly started to fall off from the dryness & the alkaline water. Thank goodness we installed a water softener in the house because, without it, your hair is left feeling like a Brillo pad. Yes, NY is humid but at least it cools down tremendously in the evening and it keeps your skin from cracking like old leather which happens in the desert.

Also, after a while, you start taking note driving around that you're surrounded by brown or black rocky mountains as your backdrop. You might think: 'how gorgeous' but imagine living with that for years. Definitely, something to think about. Getting to know your neighbors is nearly impossible, for everyone is accustomed to pulling into their garage & entering their homes.  The front doors are rarely used.  So you can live next to your neighbor for 15yrs or more and not know who they are. It's a place that takes years to make a friend, but we did eventually meet a couple of nice folks.

{Coyote spotting in bright daylight}

{This was a beautiful Hydrangea plant a friend brought the night before that I put out front, and this is what it looked like by early morning the next day!}

{These are the types of "fresh fruits" you get at the supermarkets - cut up on the same day of purchase}

Obviously, after a few years, it just wasn't working for us, although we lived in very beautiful spaces. I say all of this in answer to many that have asked us about living there. We realized too late and at great cost to us that more research would have helped. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of beautiful pockets in Henderson as well as in Las Vegas to live in because almost all of the homes are within gated communities and on private golf courses, but you have to prepare to be pretty much a loner and be comfortable living mostly an indoor lifestyle. Also, be willing to be enveloped in cigarette smoke when you go out to eat a meal as most of the best restaurants are in Casinos.

{Strip Drive to restaurants}

Las Vegas is definitely a place for a select few. We learned a lot about ourselves living there and have some good memories too. Especially, the ability to just drive to wine country in California a few hours away which we did OFTEN. Don't take it all from me -the next time you visit there to ask the locals how do they like living there? I guarantee you from old to young you will get various answers, but I know for sure one of the things they will say is: " It's Hot!" {granted the extreme heat only lasts about four months but you're cooped up inside all that time which can make any sane person go crazy after doing that for years on end}. The weather is beautiful from October to May. I think it's a good place for retirees as the government subsidizes them very well and they can live comfortably. 

Some of the positives about the desert that I will miss: the beautiful sky when the sun sets, your hair doesn't get frizzy since there is no humidity, housing is cheap, and everything is new  {if you're into that}, and clean. There are pretty areas like Lake Las Vegas which has a very little quaint place to eat and sometimes they have movies under the stars, or concerts for free in the evenings. Also, you're only a few hours drive to California or if you want snow you can head up to Utah, or Mount Charleston which is beautiful.

{Vegas Strip on a Snowy Day December'08}

{The trees weighed down by snow December'08}

{At a friend's community}

As they say: "The grass always looks greener on the other side." when in fact it's partly brown on that other side. Vegas will be a place we have to visit from time to take care of our clientele that we built there. So it isn't really a complete goodbye.

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