My family is a magnet for adventure. And when I say adventure, I mean that we very often get put in unusual circumstances, and have to find our own way out of them. Sometimes our ‘way out’ is not the same as the person next to us, even when we are having the same problem. In a way, that’s the best thing about having that person next to you, to balance it all out and find a way to work together.
On our way from Virginia city, Nevada, to Las Vegas, we drove a lot of highway. During our drive, we had a small issue that I believe is worth replaying for you in words. We were driving along, when dad looked in the rear-view mirror and suddenly said “oh!”. We asked what was wrong, and he said “our trailer is falling apart.”
I remember when he said it, because I thought he had said “our trailer is falling off” and my heart had tried to plunge out of my body, and the realization that it was just falling apart, not off, was really a relief. And then I took in the words. Imagine looking at your house and realizing that the walls were crumbling and the roof was caving in. That’s NOT what happened to us, but I admit my imagination did go there a little. Anyway, it was really just some siding coming apart toward the front of the trailer, and Mom and Dad fixed it up to go back on the road pretty easily.
But not until that night would we have our big scare.
We used to live in Vegas, when I was about four, so walking down the strip has always been less of a tourist attraction, and more of a reminiscent experience for me. One thing we used to love was the water show at the Bellagio, which we got to go see with my five-year-old brother, Brycen, this time.
Then we went into the Bellagio to look around. There we were, going down a random escalator to a random floor when we received a friendly, almost amused-sounding warning from a man going up the escalator next to us, who seemed to be a little… out of it. He looked at us and said “There’s a guy with a gun down there.”
It took a moment to comprehend what the man was talking about. Was he drunk? Was he joking?
I remember looking down and suddenly seeing everyone urgently rushing toward the escalator going up. Then everything happened in a second. Mom took Brycen and for a moment tried to walk back up the escalator going down, while dad seemed as though he didn’t believe the man. We heard some others talking about it as we immediately got on the escalator going back up, and that is when it really kicked in for me. All the mall or school shootings I had ever heard of… that was about to be us. I stopped my brain. I closed my eyes while I was walking. I folded my hands and prayed and within seconds I had no fear, and I felt God tell me “No one is going to die here tonight.”. And no one did. We got a taxi once we were out of the building, and got home safe and sound. No shots were fired while we were in the building. By the time we got home it was 2:00 AM, and 2 hours into my best friend Emily’s 16th birthday. I felt bad, but I had to tell her what had happened. I texted her and she woke up to text me back and we talked for a while, until she fell asleep. I did not fall asleep until much later, I was still shaking so hard. It was a terrifying experience, but I honestly have to acknowledge how much it opened my mind to what it feels like to be in that kind of situation. My dad said, “This could have been so much worse than it was, but we just weren’t meant to be there.” And Brycen, age five, said “It’s like God didn’t want us there or something!”
There was a group of armed robbers in the Bellagio that night. Story is, they were wearing animal masks and took sledge hammers to the glass of a Rolex store to steal the watches. One was caught, but the rest got away. And we got away too. I am so thankful that God protected us that night, and showed us that although we tend to find adventure, we will be able to get out of ANYTHING, if we keep our faith. Thanks for reading, I love you all!!!
Back on the road…..goodbye Vegas!!