We left Zion around 6PM and headed to get our quickest fast food. It turns out that was 30 minutes away and both kids had fallen asleep by then. Of course, I still needed to pee, so I quickly ran in before we went through the drive-thru. We continued down the road, Zach was driving until the sun started to set and he said he was too tired.
With both kids asleep and wanting to make the last hour or so into Vegas, Zach was tasked with at least talking to me as I drove. It was great to have an in-depth, deep, uninterrupted discussion instead of just the day-to-day constantly interrupted conversations we normally have.
We arrived in Vegas around 9PM and unloaded the kids and the car to check into the hotel. We were immediately hit with the casino smoke and had to walk around the casino to get to the check in desk. I realized I’d forgotten to warn Isaac that there would be games everywhere, but that they were only for adult. The kids were done and worn out. The checkin process was a bit challenging as they had to wait. Then we had to head back across the casino to the elevators. I don’t know what was the best way. I was tired and wearing Lynzie and dragging a bag and trying to keep Isaac with me. So we ended up zig zaging the floor (I suppose there is really no easy way to get across because they want you to stop). According to Zach (who was behind us) security started following us until we did reach the elevators.
Thank goodness I’d asked for a room near the elevator and we didn’t have much of a walk once we got to our floor. When we went to Disney, I didn’t think about the elevator location, I’d never stayed in a BIG hotel and we were forever away from the elevators – bad idea.
Once we got settled, we needed to get the kids food. Remember they slept from Zion to Vegas….thankfully, just a few floors down in our hotel was a McDonalds. A McDonalds that was frequented by us during our stay – HiC Orange and plain cheeseburgers were practically a staple at the end of each day.
And then we slept…and slept so well! It felt like we’d done a whole weeks vacation in one day, even the kids who’d slept often in the car, were ready for bed.
The next day (Friday) we grabbed breakfast and headed over to the hotel our friends were staying at to enjoy the pool with all the kids. There hotel was not a casino and was close to the airport, we were the only people enjoying the pool, which gave us the freedom to let the kids venture and play more and we got to relax and chat. It was a fun morning.
In the early afternoon, we headed out to get lunch and visit the strip. First, on my priority list was locating where the wedding was going to take place. In such a crazy, unfamiliar place, I needed to relive the stress of unknown.
So we drove around, found where to park at Caesar’s and then walked Caesar’s to find the wedding site and then we continued down the strip. Taking in the sites, enjoying the fountains at Bellagio and the Conservatory (a favorite of ours). Then we crossed the street and went into Coca-Cola World. Zach had heard about a “coke flight” where you get to try soda from around the world.
The $7.50 we spent on the flight was probably some of the best money we spent in Vegas. We unloaded the kids and backpacks and gathered around a tiny table with 16 cups of different colored sodas. I didn’t expect Isaac to want to participate at all. He is not a soda kid – it’s too spicy (or in other words carbonated)! As I read the descriptions of each drink and sipped, Isaac went right along with us. Even Lynzie joined in. We laughed and tried to describe what we were drinking. We talked about the countries and sang to the music on the radio. It was serious fun and at the end we all got to drink the rest of our favorite. The kids had to share because they both wanted the syrupy sweet drink from South Africa.
From the Coca-Cola store we headed next door to the M&M World. This store was four stories and took us some time to get through as Lynzie wanted everything and she was walking. We took in the 3D movie, but otherwise, that store was more of a pain than anything.
We jaunted across the street again to New York New York. We didn’t do much here as we were getting hungry and tired, so we began to head back to the car in search of food on the way. We stopped for a minute to let Isaac and Lynzie nibble on their leftover sandwich from lunch.
We saw 800 degrees – A pizza joint, that’s kinda like Chipotle. You order your pizza and watch it get made and they stick it in a wood-fired oven and then bring it to you. We decided to sounded good. Lynzie had fallen asleep again and we attempted to work on Isaac’s homework as we waited for our pizza. My pizza was okay, I didn’t get one with sauce and really wish I had, because the sauce was so yummy. And the fresh basil…yum! Zach’s pizza was definitely the best – fresh basil, red sauces and three meats I think. The kids got plain cheese that they didn’t touch and I got a white chicken.
After dinner, we continued down the strip – getting to the Bellagio fountains just in time to watch the full show!
We got back to the car and went to the hotel. We decided to go up the tower of the Stratosphere and enjoyed the night views of the strip. Although it totally freaks me out and therefore, Lynzie got a big scared too. I did much better on the open deck than I did on the inside view, seems strange since the outside view is even higher! On our way back to the room, the kids decided they were hungry, so we picked up McD’s again.
On Saturday, we woke up and went down the pool. We enjoyed some fruit for breakfast pool side, but the pool was extremely cold, so our time at the pool was short. We bummed around the hotel, got lunch and got ready for the wedding.
Unfortunately, it takes far longer to get ready, take showers with your husband, sew ties, iron and fix dresses than I expected and so I didn’t get to do my hair beyond drying it, guess it’s a good thing I wasn’t IN the wedding. 🙂
It took us exactly 8 minutes to drive from our hotel to the parking lot at Caesar’s and in that time Lynzie fell asleep. I hadn’t planned on wrapping her at the beginning of the wedding, but since she was out, I wrapped her up and we walked to the wedding.
Lynzie slept through the entire wedding. Only waking up when everyone clapped at the end. The ceremony was short by sweet…the groom so tender to his bride.
Afterwards, we all walked through the shops at Caesars…I think we had or six adults and six kids. It was quite cute to see them all holding hands and making their way. We later learned there was a much quicker way outside to get to our final destination, but they hadn’t given us those directions. Whoops!
We arrived at the rose garden and the kids could run in the grass and we could enjoy the sunset and drinks as we waited for the bride and groom.
The rest of the night was fun. Partying with family, enjoying the kids, dancing a bit.
Zach was a bit peeved as the DJ didn’t have one of his songs and didn’t play the other because it didn’t fit in his beat. I don’t think everyone at the party would have appreciated “Hey Lover” by LL Cool J as we would of so it was okay. 🙂
Our kids lasted the night and didn’t fall asleep until we got back to the car around midnight.
The next morning we slept in a bit before heading back over to our friends hotel to play in the pool again – their pool was plenty warm! We enjoyed most of the afternoon and ate lunch their before picking up C (the youngest daughter of the family) and going back to the Stratosphere for Zach and C to jump off the top. It was sunset and we enjoyed watching all the people jump. Unfortunately, Zach and C went after dark, so we couldn’t see them as well, but they sure enjoyed it. The whole process took a bit longer than expected and we kinda missed dinner time.
We drove C back to the Aria. After we dropped her off, we parked and wandered the Aria a bit (it had been on the other side of the strip during our walk a few days earlier) and we really enjoyed the artsyness of it. The kids enjoyed the Tornados in the shops and the melting ice. We found a restaurant for dinner and ate. It wasn’t great and I can’t remember the name.
After dinner, we headed back to the car and drove to the Mirage, where we waited a long while for the next showing of the Volcano. It was a must on our list and totally worth it. Isaac really enjoyed it and Lynzie kept saying “hot.” 🙂
On Monday it was time to head to Phoenix. We packed up our stuff and loaded the car, did some geocaching and ate Brunch at Denny’s before heading out of the city. We made a brief detour at Hoover Dam to explore and geocache, but otherwise we drove straight to Phoenix where we met up with our old neighbors for dinner. Their son is just two weeks younger than Isaac and we really enjoyed being pregnant together and sharing the early years of parenthood with them. They decided to move back home just before the boys turned two and we’ve missed them ever since.
After dinner, we went back to their place to chat and let the kids play before going to bed. Our friends we kind enough to let us stay at their house, we setup a pack-n-play for the kids – yes, I stuck them both in there – and Zach and I shared their son’s full bed. I think that’s how it was for an hour….then Isaac came to join us….then Lynzie. Somehow, I managed to get Isaac to sleep down near our feet and it wasn’t as close and uncomfortable as you might expect. We slept quite well that night.
The next morning we said our good-bye and headed across town to visit my grandma. Last time we were in Phoenix was three years ago, just two months before my grandfather passed. Since then my grandmother has moved into an independent living apartment so that she can go to the cafeteria for lunch or dinner as well has have a shuttle and no need for a car. We arrived a bit later than originally expected (we slept in) and Grandma was a little irked by that, but she got over it quickly and took us to lunch at the cafeteria. We enjoyed the afternoon with her, trying to keep the kids occupied in her apartment and headed out around dinner time.
When I was younger, my grandparents had taken me to a place called Organ Stop Pizza on one of my visits. Last time we were in town, I’d wanted to take Isaac, but the timing didn’t work out. We decided to go for dinner. The pizza was okay – Isaac actually ate it which is highly unusual, but it was so much fun. One of the first songs they played was StarWars (got Isaac hooked), a bit later the Little Mermaid with bubbles (Lynzie loved the bubbles), they had cat puppets (Lynzie adored and was so sad when they went “nigh’-nigh'”, the boys requested Indian Jones and were very excited when it was played. They also requested Everything is Awesome, but I doubt that is a great Organ piece. But of course, the show stopper and point of us having to wait forever to leave was to catch “Let It Go” both kids sang a long and danced. It was the perfect way to end the trip after a long day cooped up in Grandma’s apartment and before they were strapped in for the 17 hour drive home.
The drive home was uneventful….we drove straight, I slept most of the night and drove in the morning. We stopped for breakfast at the Colorado/New Mexico border on Wednesday morning and Zach picked back up until we got home around noon.
We attempted to “stay up” the rest of the day, but our efforts failed when we sat down and watched TV, only to wake up an hour or so later each time.
On Thursday it was back to normal…work and school and all that jazz. I don’t know if that was a good idea or not….I was so exhausted, but I survived.
It was a great trip and we are really thankful we were invited to the wedding and made the decision to go. We love traveling as a family.