Friday, February 15, 2013

The Nicer Side of Vegas

You didn't think it had one, did you?

Well, it does. 

And we got to experience it earlier this month.

My hubby went to a school near Vegas for about a week and I took advantage of the situation by traveling with him to see my aunt and uncle who live there. As a bonus, my mom was able to come along, too!

I wasn't sure how Vegas was going to go with two little kiddos, but we had a great time!
Road trip
Yes, we did drive there with the two kids. It was about 11-12 hours and it got looonnnnnggggg! But, we made it! Driving through Utah was surprisingly beautiful.
We're so close

My mom and me with my aunt and uncle

Their awesome cat
 While John was at class, the kids and I had some fun.
First time at In-N-Out! (And yes, we did also get fries)
Enjoying one of Vegas' beautiful parks

So nice to enjoy the sunshine
 We were able to go to one of my cousin's kid's basketball games, a soccer game, and do a few dinners with everyone. It was so great to see how the kids have grown. It's been about 3 years since the last time I was there so they all looked so big to me! We found out we were having the Little Mister a few months after I got home from that trip so I guess a lot has changed for me since then, too...
Getting to know the cousins

Mocha - the cat who likes no one… liked my mom and me!!!
In the backyard
 My aunt took the kids, my mom, and me down to the strip for an afternoon, too. It was really fun to take them down there! One of the Little Mister's favorite things is m&m's so of course we had to go to the store. We got to see Kyle Busch's car and pick our own colors to take home and there was even a *free* 3D movie. I let the Little Mister pick something out from the store and all he wanted was candy… so we got him some stickers, too. He's a cheap date. :)
m&m store
Then we went to the Shark Reef in Mandalay Bay and it was super cool. We got to see a white/yellowish crocodile and there was a tunnel that went under the aquarium! In the bottom right picture you can see that my mom was actually able to catch a picture of a shark swimming right over our heads! The LM loved it all. He was busy chasing specific fish from one window to the next. And, I got to pet some sting rays! So cool!

Shark Reef in Mandalay Bay
Sting Rays!
Looking at the sting rays. The LM was not interested in touching them.

This jelly fish was SO cool!

We HAD TO take a picture by the sign!

The snack options were endless!

We were blessed with GORGEOUS weather!

 Once the Hubster was done with his class, we hung around for another night so we could get an early start to driving the next morning. We took the kids down to the strip to see all the lights.

World's Largest Chocolate Fountain

The Little Miss was super fussy at this point but once those fountains started, she was mesmerized. It was adorable.
I love the fountains at the Bellagio. 
Hubby and I had flown out here when we were sophomores in college because we were so stir crazy by the time spring break came around.  It was really great to be back. We were able to reminisce over the memories we made all those years ago.

A pict from way back then… we climbed Red Rock  :)

But, the best part was seeing my aunt and uncle love on my kids.

I was heartbroken when my grandma passed away because she never got to meet the Little Mister. We just couldn't afford the trip to go see her. Gma was such a huge part of my childhood/life that it was really hard for me to deal with the fact that she never knew my baby.

This doesn't entirely make up for that, but I cannot express how meaningful it was to watch my Gma's only daughter get to know and love my kids. This aunt is the one that everyone says I look like. I grew up loving her from afar. To see her and my uncle love on my kids was so special to me.

So, while we got to see and do some really fun things on this trip and I got the chance to rest and feel refreshed from a crazy winter/holiday season, the thing I will treasure most from this trip is the new relationships that were formed and the relationships that were deepened on this trip.

I'm so grateful.


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