Thursday, September 13, 2007

ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas

From Dan: We just returned from 3 days in Las Vegas to attend the ABC Kids Expo, which is a trade show for baby products stores. This year, we decided to make it a family trip with Millie's mom Jule and our three kids.

We managed to eke out a few fun times in Vegas, but I have to say that, all the marketing to the contrary, Las Vegas is NOT a family friendly place. This may not be news to some, but we were truly surprised. We've never been anywhere where our children were so unwelcome. Trying to get from one side of our hotel to the other involved dodging cigarette butts and numerous withering glances that said. "Why did you bring those here?" One forty-something man, passing our skipping two year old Duncan, actually said "Ishhhh...." An older woman at the car rental agency just scowled at us. At the FAO Schwartz store in the Forum, we overheard a man with an armful of toys exclaim "What are we doing? I didn't come to Vegas to shop for toys!"

We came to think that kids somehow are antithetical to the Las Vegas mojo. A reminder of the family left at home and why adults are not normally allowed to act like children.

Although we dearly wish the ABC Kids Expo would pick a different city, we did enjoy the show. It was amazing to see so many small companies like Bum Genius, Ergo, Hotslings, and Moby Wrap alongside the likes of Graco and Chicco. Only a few years ago it was hard to find a single cloth diaper or baby sling at a show like this. We also found a few new items that we hope you'll like. More on those later.

One other observation: the trend in smarmy baby t-shirts has officially gone too far. Sure, a onesie that says "Boob Man" or "Party, My Crib, 3am" is cute and funny. But this year we saw one with a picture of two crossed M-16s that said "Booby Hunter". Not cool.

Anyway, we're glad to be home with own overgrown lawn and quiet lives.
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