Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24

Happy Birthday to my most faithful blog follower (actually, maybe my only blog follower.)...

To the  person who waited for me after each of my classes on my first day of BYU, who once deposited a penny (that he found on the ground) into his bank account, who showed up to each of my softball and basketball games, who took Chad and I to Cancun and Alaska, who "taught me how to fish" and what the option play is in football and let me "help" paint the deck when I was 10...Tom G.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Viva Las Vegas

Chad had a conference a few weeks ago in Las Vegas.  I wasn't going to go, then I was, then wasn't...then Chad found out he was staying in a nice hotel and then I decided I for sure going.  Chad flew down on Monday.  He settled right in to a life of luxury and I warned him that life wasn't going to be the same once we got there.

The kids and I left Wednesday morning and headed down.  Caden knew it was 6 hours and asked over and over how many hours we still had left.  He was a pretty good helper at keeping both Tessa and Bryce happy.  I kind of enjoyed the drive actually, because there are just so many good memories of road trips to and from California.

It did take about 40 dum dum suckers for the boys and several graham crackers for Tessa, but we made it.  When we got to Vegas I had to run a few errands (get gas, pick up dinner) before we went to the hotel.  Caden told me, "I just feel like I need to introduce myself to everyone and let them know I'm a visitor here." And that he did.  I thought we drove by the Vegas temple and I made this huge deal of it until I realized it was just a fancy stake center.  Bummer.

I was not looking forward to the actual arrival at the hotel. There was no self-parking, only valet.  And as much as I love my minivan, it obviously didn't fit in next to the two limos and black lamborghini.   And then of course our luggage pile included a spiderman backpack, CARS undies showing in the side pocket and a huge stroller.

We hung out in our room for the evening and I put the kids to bed around 7:30 and followed about an hour later.  It was blissful...for about an hour.  At that time Chad came back from an evening meeting he'd been at and tried to move Bryce, who was in bed with me.  That set Bryce off, which woke-up Tessa.  She would only go back to sleep in bed with us, bringing the total to 4.  Since Chad and I don't usually let our kids in bed with us, they are not used to it.  This means that Bryce would sit up every 45 minutes and yell, "Mom and dad, you are squishing me!"  Sleep was kind of a joke, which was a shame because the bed was so stinking comfortable.

Chad had meetings all the next day so I put on my brave pants and took the 3 kids out to explore.    Our first stop was the m&m factory which was hugely misleading.  I thought it would show us how m&ms were made or something cool.  Instead, it should just be called the m&m store.  The store is 4 floors and only accessible via escalators, which Bryce decided at that very moment he was afraid of.  He wouldn't go up an escalator and so I had to take Caden and Tessa (in the stroller) up, leaving Bryce alone at the bottom, then ride back down and carry Bryce up.  We only made it to the 2nd floor.

After the m&m store, I convinced Caden we could walk all the way down to the Bellagio to see the gardens. Luckily, Caden was in a great mood and happily walked the whole way.  

If you want to know just how wildly inappropriate the Las Vegas strip is...walk it with a 6 year old.  I told him, "Do no talk to anybody, do not take anything from anybody, do not leave my side."  Unfortunately, we still had mishaps.  First, he picked up a card with a naked woman on it.  Then, it took my best creativity to explain the large hairy man wearing a wedding dress.  Caden thought the Transformer robot looked awesome, until he took his mask off. And luckily most of the jokes that the magician we stopped to watch went right over Caden's head.  Caden is becoming a really good little reader, which I am proud of, but wished just for that morning he would have forgotten how to.

Despite the colorful walk, the gardens were beautiful and worth it.  

By this time Caden was getting tired, I gave Bryce my last dumdum and Tessa was running out of crackers so we headed back to the hotel for lunch and naps.

Here is Bryce checking himself out in the Dolce and Gabbana store side:

The boys loved going on the elevators.  The hotel had the lobby on Floor 23, so you had to go to that floor to enter another elevator to get to your room.  Good thing the elevators had velvet benches to rest on while we were waiting.

We also spent a fair amount of time that afternoon at the swimming pool.  The pool, however, was not the type we were used to.  There was serene music playing and a bar serving fruity drinks that my boys were dying to try.  My kids couldn't understand why I kept "shhhing" them and reminding them to not splash that lady!  I counted myself lucky that the boys didn't comment on the two men who appeared to be honeymooning.
On our way out, an older, obviously well-off woman stopped me.  I was nervous, but she went on to tell me that she was impressed with my children and that they were very well-behaved.  

That night, Chad's conference was over so we went to Outback for dinner and to see a few more things.  We watched the BYU game and settled in for another night.  We demoted Bryce to Caden's bed and though Tessa still found her way in the middle of Chad and I, we slept considerably better that night.

Despite insisting that they were family friendly at the hotel, I can't imagine they were that pleased with my boys laying on the dragon, leather ottoman:

Or checking out the tassels on the statue of the naked woman (or the mom who quickly snapped a picture before asking him to put it back):

 And they might have been a little happy to see our minivan and jogging stroller leave their nice valet area the next morning:
 So maybe I wouldn't consider our Vegas trip a "vacation" but since we survived and Bryce still asks me every day if we can go back, I'll call it a win.