Thursday, July 18, 2013

Vegas, Baby

So, here at the Starnes house, we try to never do anything normally.

After dropping Caroline at the airport, I took advantage of being south and took the kids to the zoo.

We had just arrived, ate lunch and were preparing for the sea lion show when Blake called me.

"You think Ashley still has free tickets to Widespread?  Let's go."

That call set in motion a last minute trip that proved to be super fun!

We've both listened to this band for 20 years.  Such good memories of college and after.  We've seen them countless times together.  

Don't know who Widespread is?

Slap yourself and then click HERE.

And, we didn't want to miss two shows in Vegas, but we're on a strict budget and knew we had to pass.  With free tickets and a stay at a friend's house, we couldn't pass it up!

The drive in:

The venue at the Hard Rock Hotel:

The band:

WSP played with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band from New Orleans.....another treasure from my LSU days.

Here are Ashley and me at the show.

It was fabulous.

The next morning, we fed the kids breakfast and mulled over options for the pool visit.  You know Vegas has some amazing pools.

Chose the Monte Carlo and off we went.

Crazy fun with a wave pool and lazy river.

Visited Lick on our way out for lollipops.

We got the kids situated again and took off for night #2.

It was nothing short of amazing.

Day 3 arrived and we questioned whether to head home directly or visit the pool.

All votes went for the pool.

Back to town.....

Rio is another local-friendly pool that allows people in free of charge.


We chilled by the pool for a while and searched on our phone for the infamous $30 rooms we've been able to snag in the past.

Blake threw some kids around while I scanned my phone.

He then looked for options.  Since we were at the Rio and already parked, he figured to look there.  $35 for the night.  Done.

After about an hour at check-in, I left the kids with Ashley to see if he had checked into his own room, donned a suit, grabbed a cocktail and made himself comfortable at the black jack table.

No such thing.

He was finally at the desk and was settling details for our room.  As luck would have it......because we were only staying one night.....and most people in Vegas stay 2-3......they had to bump us from our usual room and upgrade us to a VIP wrap around suite, newly remodeled and with views of the strip.


It was fabulous.  

Bigger than our house and nicely appointed.

We love a nice hotel, but this was super extravagant for us.

Kids ran from room to room.

We checked out a couple of the pools.....the yellow tang and the clam shell.

Laine immediately indulged in the jacuzzi.

The sunset was gorgeous.

I've heard of people grabbing great rooms for nearly nothing in Vegas and we've done well in the past, but not this well.  

HERE is a trick I learned of from a friend after we got this room.

As always, we kept costs down for entertainment.  I found a Groupon for 1/2 off dinner at Rock n Ritas.  Awesome food and fun for the kids.  Each of the littles got on stage and won prizes.

We returned to the room to enjoy the night time views.

Irony: We didn't gamble one cent.  I'm thinking the Rio had other plans for the players in this room.  :)

We woke to the Vegas skyline peaking through the curtains.

Kids were up and running again.

The suite provided a nearly 180 degree view of the city.

Yet the boys were still mostly interested in their gadgets.

While waiting for our car, the kids picked out their next room for when we return to Vegas.

They'd like the top suite with jacuzzi on the balcony at the Palms.

Hope Blake gets lucky again!

We spent a few hours downtown before departing for San Diego.

Kids are not often included in a trip to Vegas for most people.  I think it's a great vacation destination for children.  

Laine and I did some shopping.  (In our heads.)

Carter, too.

Ate lunch at Serendipity.  Loved it in NYC.  Loved it here, too.  

I love Las Vegas.  Totally overdone and obnoxious.  

Here is only 2/3 of Carter's steak and egg sandwich.  It was divine!

We left the strip and headed for Fremont Street.

I love the old school bulb signs.  So very Vegas.

On the road again.  The drive out to Vegas always seems short and exciting.  The drive home?  Seems to take about 3 days.

Yall know I love to travel more than anything.  

But, if you hear me say 'road trip' anytime soon, please slap me.

Luckily, we had plenty of back-seat entertainment.

Laine does a mean sprinkler.

We're home.  In our own beds.  And, counting down 31 days to school.

Still lots of summer fun planned.

Hope you're having plenty of fun, too!


Monica said...

SUPER awesome that you got such a sweet suite!

Tutus and Choo-Choos said...

The spur of the moment adventures are the best and most fun! And the upgrade on the suite was super nice!

Dee Stephens said...

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! How in the hell do you do it?? Upgrade?? YES please!!!!!!!!

starnes family said...

Spur o the moments are the best! And the upgrade was icing on the cake. :)

Jodee Leader said...

Oh my word! That suite is absolutely amazing! What a fun trip!