Saturday, March 11, 2017

Fifth Trip to Vegas

Last week all four of us flew to Las Vegas, NV to spend a week with my parents who were there for a convention. My sister and her two children also joined us! We rented a townhouse through AirBnB which in my opinion was the way to go with kids. Staying in a hotel near the strip just didn't appeal to me with young kids (even though it would have been much more convenient for my dad who had convention activities at Mandalay Bay each day). The place we rented had space for everyone, a great kitchen to cook in, and even toys for the kids! There was also a park just a few blocks away.

Our flights were fairly uneventful. It was only 90 minutes long! Chris came with us but could only stay the weekend so I returned with the kids on my own which went well as could be expected. It was easier than I originally anticipated because my parents were also flying out at the same time and were able to help me with my luggage, carseats, stroller and kids. And a sweet lady sat next to me who has three kids of her own. She loved babies and was super chill about Stephen's flailing in my lap. William refused to drink water when we were descending so his ears were giving him trouble for the last 15 minutes or so. Thankfully our neighbors were friendly and tried to help me tell him how to pop them.

So, what did we do in Vegas for a week? How about a photo-dump?
Most importantly we soaked up as much time with family as we could. Cousin's played together, babies napped (sometimes), and the moms attempted to do normal things like shower, eat and relax a bit.

Grandpa and Stephen!

three of the four kids in one spot!

We went to the park and played.

One morning we did venture out to the strip with all the kids. We hit up the Circus at Circus Circus and the kids got to see a clown, an acrobat and a unicycle show. They also got to play carnival games. Preschoolers and carnival games are pretty entertaining (but a total waste of money). 

Then we went to the Bellagio to see the water show, but misread the website and got there three hours early. We had to head home for naps. We still enjoyed the scenery and the warm weather.

Later in the week we headed back there with my mom and got to see the show (because I was sure William would love it... he didn't) and meet Mickey & Minnie Mouse (he loved that). 

We drove to the Las Vegas Historical Museum to take in their affordable and family friendly entertainment. They had an aquarium with small sharks (and new baby sharks), sting rays, turtles and a few others; and a kids interactive area which was awesome. They had a few exhibits that were lost on the kids - Egyptians and the Rain Forest and then this huge prehistoric dinosaur exhibit with animatronic T-Rex and Triceratops. This really scared William. He wouldn't even walk into the room without me carrying him and he nearly strangled me as he clung to my neck. I thought he would have especially loved this (and it's why we came!) but he was fearful that they would eat him. Maybe we can try again when he's a little older?

William loves playing dinosaur and after every nap comes of out of his room stomping as hard as he can and roaring saying "I'm a Dinosaur!" But these looked a little too real.

He loved all the other animals they had on display and actually stood still for a second when I said "Let me take your photo by the buffalo!" My big guy doesn't look so big anymore!

My sister and her two children had to leave mid-week so I took them to the airport and helped her get through security. She totally could have rocked that by herself, but I was glad for the one-on-one time with her and a chance to help. I rarely feel like I get to be an Aunt - I'm usually too busy with my own kids but that afternoon I felt like I could love on them a little extra!

On our last night we picked up my dad from the convention and drove to the Silverton Hotel where they had a "mermaid" in their aquarium. Again, I thought William would have loved this but he seemed indifferent and refused to go near her. Later, in retelling our adventures he exclaimed "We got to see the little mermaid!" So apparently he didn't mind it that much! Stephen seemed very entertained!

The Bass Pro Shop also provided an aquarium and animals to admire!

It was a full week. I'm so glad William and Stephen were able to play with their cousins. Stephen seemed much more active while with them. He started cruising and even climbed a flight of stairs! I wasn't at all prepared for that. And now that we are home he is always on the go exploring everything with even more ambition. 

My time was also spent driving my dad to and from the convention. The kids made sure I was awake plenty early for his 7:00 a.m. breakfast meetings and it gave me an opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with my dad. 

We had a fun week and are so thankful we got to go! Before we arrived I was a little nervous about what we would do with all the kids but it turned out just fine! There was plenty to do -- but being together was the best part.

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