For those of you who were eagerly anticipating Part II of the Christmas trip post (part 2 was implied by my calling part 1, part 1), here you go. It’s only been a week, so I hope I haven’t forgotten all of the details…
On Wednesday night, we took the photo that I put in Part I, right before Mike, Carrie, Ashley, and Daniel spit for the night to see Mystere. I think we went back up to the rooms and just did puzzles and enjoyed some down time. Of course, it took me a little precious quiet time to compose that blog, and then I’m pretty sure that Wednesday night ended with going to bed early.
Thursday brought new joys. We decided that since we didn’t gamble we’d shop instead, though shopping seems to be more and more of a gamble these days on whether you’ll find something you’ll actually like. I guess it’s a gamble of time rather than money – but hey – we’re on vacation and all we have is time!
We went to the Las Vegas Outlet mall where we checked out the various stores. I had a wild moment and decided I wanted to stand in line at the Starbucks for a yummy warm caramel apple cider, but after the line had move 5 feet (it was out the door) in about 15 minutes, I decided to give up and check out the Godiva store.
Now, Godiva has retail figured out. I went in just to see what a Godiva store was about, having never set foot in one. They had some yummy looking chocolate dipped strawberries in the window, and I figured I’d buy a few of those. I was immediately offered sample chocolates when I entered – not just the crappy ones, mind you – the good ones! I stood in line waiting to order my strawberries, and the girl came and offered me a sample of their frozen milk chocolate. She then answered a bunch of questions and had my order ready for the guy when I got to the cash register. I was impressed. It was even a better retail experience than the Apple store, and they did well because I ended up leaving with at least 2x the product I came in for, and at least 10x the positive feeling about their products and brand.
Anyways… back to the family time.
We looked through some stores and called our excursion good. Baba and A2 bought some clothes for WEJr – and that’s the only thing I remember buying. It was already starting to get cold out, and the afternoon was waning, and we were ready to bail.
Friday – New Year’s Eve – we decided to take all the kids to the Children’s Discovery Museum, which was a huge indoor play/discovery area for children. There were lots of fun things for the kids to do and experiment with. I was pretty impressed by it all. We were able to entertain the kids for 3 hours while Annie and Alex were able to go to the temple.
My primary responsibility during this time was to watch their youngest, Westin, who is the cutest little guy, but a big drooler. They had a really cool baby holder that I used most of the time to carry him around – and he was really good – but I had to aggressively position the baby drool catcher cloth so that I didn’t end up taking an unintended shower. About 2/3 of the way through the visit, I got a little tired and Baba offered some relief.
Takeaway: I have a long way to go before really enjoying the parent thing. Maybe the ‘have to’ of having your own kids changes stuff – but I’m not sure I’m made of the parenting stuff quite yet. Maybe my inner parent hasn’t yet expressed its voice.
After the Children’s museum we FINALLY made our obligatory stop to In-N-Out burger. This isn’t such a huge thing for the Northern Utahns, but for me, it’s a religious experience. I have to get my double double, fresh fries, and they have to be consumed ON PREMISES. I had to fight against some pressure to take it to go, as finding seating for 15 people at In-N-Out is next to impossible, but we performed the impossible and the In-N-Out experience was a smashing success. Tummy full. Heart beaming with joy.
Now I might be getting my days mixed up, because I’m pretty sure that we had another trip to the shopping mall on Friday with a different group of people; Ashley and Daniel. Yes – that’s right. We spent Friday morning (New Year’s Eve morning) at the Outlets with them where we found the same headphones that A2 gave me for Christmas, only $50 cheaper… so we bought another set so we could return the others when we got to Texas. (Sorry, Target)
As the new year approached, we played games and enjoyed dinner together (made by Me and A2, a scrumptious mexican taco bar), and then played games. We went downstairs to the other room so we could see the fireworks at midnight, then said good night and got into bed so we could make it up for our 8am flight.
It was a great week! Thanks to Baba and Papa for making it all possible, thanks to Carrie and Mike for coming (in spite of being 8.253 months pregnant), thanks to everyone else for braving the drive with kids in tow, and last of all – thanks to A2 for letting us take some time to see my family too.
Now – we’re back to work and back to making 2011 the best year ever!