Thursday, June 30, 2011

Las Vegas - Day 4

Sorry, folks.  I tried to post last night......but blogger was not cooperating.

So, here it is!

We stayed an extra night. 

First........the kiddos enjoyed one last look from the balcony.

And, I enjoyed them enjoying one last look because I no longer had to see my kids on a slab of concrete with a sheet of glass between them and 28 stories up.

We checked out, met Blake after his last conference, and hooked up with our neighbors from San Diego (who were in town for entirely different reasons) and relaxed at the pool a bit.

The Starnes 3 + Bella and Jessie.

Jessie and Lainey.

Eddie and Blake took the kids to the waterfall while Dawn and I chatted and read our books.

Dawn and me.  So crazy we were in Vegas at the same time!

We headed in the opposite direction and checked in at the Stratosphere.  Kids were dying to go to the top.

Blake and I giggled at the 'amenities' list via room service.

We spent some time at the pool.  Laine wasted no time jumping in.

We headed back to the room to dress for dinner and a walk around the "top of Vegas".

Our children are currently obsessed with Apple products.  I can't wait to get a Mac (one day).

Still not getting an Iphone, so don't say it! (Shannon)

Shopped a bit.  I don't know why Carter knew to put on the miserable face in this photo.  I swear he's secretly watched the movie somewhere.  He talks about The Hangover entirely too much.

Dorkiest part of Vegas?  Pressed pennies.  Our fave!

To the top we go!

100 + stories.  Barf.

Watched someone do the jump.......kind of like bungee, I suppose......but they lower you down at the bottom.

Lainey wanted to do this one.

Carter debated on whether or not to do Insanity.........and eventually told me that he wouldn't because it made me so scared.  Wondering now if he was a bit scared, too.  :)


"Wet's see if I'm tall enough, Mom."

She's 3 years old.

Spectacular views.

Dinner, Icees, a little shopping and back to the room.

Very pleased with this hotel.  Great rates, clean rooms and nice decor.  We ended up on the top floor again.....24 up.....with a view......but no balcony!

Blake has the kids downstairs at Krispie Kreme while I pack up. 

Back to beautiful San Diego! 

Vegas recap coming next and I'll soon catch up on you guys! 

Been missing my bloggies.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Las Vegas - Day 3

With very little alcohol consumed on this trip, I feel like I have a hangover

That's what dragging 3 kids through the dessert will do to you, I guess.

Today was our Hoover Dam day.  It was a bust.  I'm here to tell you.

First........we ordered breakfast and packed for our adventure.

Carter gave his second sandwich I packed yesterday to a homeless man and was brought to tears with the man's gratitude.  (him and me)

So, he requested I make several today to pass out.

Love that kid.

Budget travel tip:  The vacation fairy brought each kid a new Target $1 spot water bottle.  This gets them excited about using them and saves me plenty of money on drinks at each stop we make and in between, too. 

Bottled water costs $3 here.  We filled our bottles with ice and tap water........less expensive and easier, too.
Carter opted to remove the childish Circus wrap.  Can't say I blame him.

OK, so we drove off into the desert in search of a huge hole carved into the earth. 

Which took us into Arizona.  Kind of.

The heat was worse today than yesterday. 

We took a quick run through and were in and out.

Pressed pennies for their collection!

Carter opted for a fake "celeb" ID for his souvenir. 

Look how sweaty this poor kid is.  INSIDE.  With air conditioning.

(He's not mad.  He's trying to look tough.)

This photo accurately sums up Jack and Lainey's interest in the dam. 

They were over it before we even got there.

They are typically pretty good about these kind of excursions......but I think the heat just drained their energy.

Despite the heat, I did appreciate the experience.  It was cool to see.

Still showing the ID.

It says his name is Nick Jonas.

Some interesting facts:

*The dam was constructed 2 years ahead of schedule, in 1935.

*112 people died building the dam.  The first was a surveyor, J.G. Tearney in 1922.  He was scouting out an ideal spot for the dam and drowned.  13 years later - to the day - the final man died while building the dam.  It was his son, Patrick Tearney.

*High scalers, like the bronze statue pictured in an earlier picture, hung from ropes on the canyon walls while they drilled and packed dynamites.  They hired circus acrobats to perform these duties.

More hereTravel and history nerds like Caroline and me love this kind of stuff.

With 2/3 of my punks!  Hot and sweaty.

111.  Sweet baby Jesus.

DQ on the way back.

A cruise through UNLV.

Hello, air conditioning.

Around 4:00, I dropped the kids off with my friend, Ashley, who is watching them this evening.  She is such a fantastic person.  So glad we're in touch.

And, since then I have taken a dip in the jacuzzi, ordered room service, read my book, caught up on the Bachelorette, and watched the sun set over the Vegas strip.  Blake is at dinner.  He'll be home with our little lunatics soon enough and my quiet hotel room will resume its normal state.

Last night in the desert! 

We'll play at the pool tomorrow and head back to San Diego in the evening.  We are tempted to stay another night.  Stay tuned!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Las Vegas - Day 2....If you didn't think I was crazy before, this might persuade you.

Even I'm starting to wonder.

The vacation fairy arrived while the kids were sleeping.

A variety of snacks, books, coloring books, crayons, candy and a Zhu Zhu pet for each kid.

They love these things.  So happy they love them now at $2.50 each instead of the crazy amounts they were going for a couple of Christmases ago!

(Hey, look! There's my husband in his boxer shorts!  And, a bottle of vodka.  We're all class around here!)

After opening their treats, Laine took a swim in the bath.  She's obsessed with it.

Ordered breakfast in.


One of my many ways to save money while traveling.  Bring your own lunch for site seeing!

Ham sandwiches and tortilla spirals.

Can't get enough of the fish.

Thanks for cooperating, punks.

We headed out around 9am to cruise the strip. 

Less people out in the morning and more stroller friendly.

New York, New York.

On my long list of what Blake won't let me do in Vegas.

Thunder from Down Under.

I can't even type it without giggling.

This is actually first on the list.

Ice cream breakfast at the Sugar Factory? 

First, we toured the candy.

The restaurant is super cute.

And, even though I only took one was heavenly.

Please don't get in the way of Lainey and her ice cream.  K?

We were treated to an impromptu fountain show early......the usual rounds don't start until 3pm.

Lovely views.......enjoying Vegas while munching on ice cream.

The remains.

The Flamingo was next.

And, this is where I wish my kids had not ever learned the alphabet.

Carter cruises right on's soft.

Enter Mom:  "Oh my Lord!  Don't touch that thing!"

Checked out the habitat.

Pretty cool.

One of my favorites:  The Venetian.


We took the tram from there to Treasure Island.  The pirate show has become quite scandalous and is not kid-appropriate.  So, we skipped that one.

We sat at the very back so that on the return trip, Jack would think he was driving the 'train'.

He loved it. 

(Carter took this pic....and many others......he's getting quite good!)

Forum Shops.

At Ceasar's Palace.

Fabulous shopping.

Chocolate coins for the kiddos.

Saw the Atlantis statue show. 

I missed the live statues that were there when I visited last time.

Years ago, Aunt Sandy named Carter, "Cartier" and he's never forgotten it.

Another favorite:  Bellagio.

Everything is so pretty.

A glass sculpture on the ceiling.

The atrium.

Carter took the little ones into the aviary.

And, Laine was out.

I wanted to be, too.

Here I am rethinking walking the entire Las Vegas strip in one day.  MGM........down to Treasure Island......crossed over......and back. 

Lord have mercy.

Kick back, baby girl.

I really can't blame her.  We walked at least 5 miles today.  In the 110 degree dessert heat. 


We stopped by the lion cage in our hotel on the way back.

Yall have seen a lion before, right?

I took a picture of Jack instead.  He loved it.

And, then after I recovered a bit from our multi-mile jaunt in the heat of the dessert, we headed out to the pool.

But, first.....the lions again.....since Lainey was asleep for the initial visit.

We walked through the exhibit and saw a baby for just a moment....then he disappeared into the back.

Finally at the pool!

Told Lainey to do the "Vegas, baby" pose.  Precious girl had to think about it first.

I have 3 little fish and they're all over the pool.

Visited the Academy Pool this time.

Lainey was jumping like a fool.

And, so proud of herself!

I was exhausted.  And, burnt out on kids. 

Was tempted to crawl into this bar, order a martini, sit under the table with a napkin over my head and not claim the three punks calling my name at the door.  They can't enter 'cause they're not 21.

It was tempting.

I reasoned through it, though, and headed 'home'. 

Ashley and Rider joined us for dinner and dessert in the hotel.

And, there was a love affair sparked.

Rider brought our kids his binoculars to use at the Hoover Dam.  Lainey challenged every fear in my body by lurking around the balcony with them.  You know, to see things.

The audacity of her.

Ashley brought me this shirt.

I love Ashley.

That's not just any "panic", yall.  That's Widespread Panic.

Yeah, boy.

Long day, folks.  And, we have a busy one tomorrow, too.

*Hoover Dam.

*Train Museum and train ride.

*Swim with our neighbors from San Diego at the hotel.  They're in town!

*Date with Blake while the kids go to Ashley's.

*Bellagio fountains at night.

Good thing we walked nearly all of Las Vegas today!  No time tomorrow.

Later, folks.  I'm crashing in 2 minutes.