Monday, March 21, 2005

Viva Las Vegas

So I participated in a labor of love this week. It involved driving to Las Vegas for one day with 3 adults, 2 kids, and one infant in a Grand Caravan to visit my sister Abby while she and her husband were in Las Vegas for spring break.

While it sounds like the stuff of nightmares and family rifts, it really was quite pleasant.

Amy and Chris generously provided the car and the kids, and Abby’s friend, Jenny, and I provided the “other adult-ness”.

Once we picked up Abby for a day of fun and excitement, there was a seating issue. So I sat in what we explained to the kids as the “special auntie seat”. This was my view.
The Vehicle
We visited the M&M Experience thinking it would be a fun thing to do with the kids, but I didn’t realize it was 5 stories of M&M merchandise! It was just a big store! So we decided to stick around and watch the 3-D movie about how the red M&M loses his “m” gambling at roulette and how they find it again (good family fun?). The 3-D glasses were filthy and not very 3-D-y. They didn’t work unless I tilted them almost perpendicular to my face. Jake and Matt kept looking over at me as if to say “Are you sure about this? Am I supposed to be seeing double?” And afterwards, they didn’t mention the movie again. They pretended like it never happened. But hey, free M&Ms…
The Un-3-D Movie at the M&M Experience
The thought of Las Vegas is often alluring…you might occasionally find yourself saying “Gee, why don’t we ever go to Las Vegas?” because you’re thinking of the lights, warm weather with pleasant dry desert breezes, palm trees, the tropical drinks, the lights, the fancy hotel pools, the shopping, the exciting night life, the lights, the beautiful people, the shows, and did I mention those dazzling lights?

Then you go there, with a 4 year old and a 2 year old, and after 29 minutes, you remember why you HATE Las Vegas: the smoke, the thinking that the Aladdin is just down the street because you can SEE it, but it’s really a mile away, the tank tops worn by people who usually don’t (whiteness!) and SHOULDN’T (bulging!) wear tank tops, the flyers on the sidewalks and the free papers at 4 year old eye level, the overly-tan Elvises, or Elvi (ah, that one could go either way…), the exhaustion of getting from here to there while carrying 38 lbs of tired child, the dirtiness of my feet from wearing flip flops on the strip, the chilly desert air blowing up your overly summery dress, the crowds, the characters, the perverts, the NOISE, and the overt FAKENESS.

A highlight for me was visiting the Bellagio. I love that hotel. My dream is to be really, really ridiculously rich so that I can jet down to Vegas and stay at the Bellagio and spend a WEEK at the pool and in the shops
Come to Me Sweet Love
(my dream…)

and in the spas and at the museum and in the Bellagio Buffet (the BEST in town) gorging myself on king crab and crème brule.

But I digress…I thought the kids would get a kick out of the “flowers on the ceiling!” (the Chihule glass in the lobby) and the Conservatory which would be ripe with Springtime! They did. Matt kept climbing barriers just to smell things. He was adorable. Hannah was in the stroller cooing and smiling at strangers. People were constantly stopping to tell Amy “what beautiful children you have!” They are beautiful (non-biased opinion), but one lady went off, like she had never seen a “miniature human” before. “They’re called ‘kids’, lady…”
Stopping to Smell the Roses
The “miniature humans” had had about enough of this and were anxious for food and bed. So at this point we decided to head back to the car (a mile away) and go meet up with James and get some yummy I-talian food. I carried a lanky, 38 lb 4 year old most of the way…I DESERVED my ravioli and spaghetti & meatballs!
Viva Las Vegas
Here’s the crew on the Strip: (l to r) Jenny, Abby + 5 month old male fetus, Matt on top of Chris, and Amy holding sleepy Jake.

Dinner was yummy for us, but torture for the kids. It was one hour later to their little biological clocks and they were little cute ticking time bombs. I ended up in the car with an inconsolably crying Matt trying to pacify him with a terrifying movie. Thank goodness for mini-DVD players. He was asleep before the opening credits.

It was tres triste to say au revoir to Abby and James. I really, really, really miss them. But I will see them in July when the male child is born. Can’t wait!

We had stayed overnight in St. George two nights because there was a huge nerd convention going on last week and a huge retail convention going on this week; Vegas was BOOKED. Even the EconoLodge was charging $300 a night.

We got up Friday morning, and Amy and Chris wanted to hike before we drove home. Chris took us up a beautiful canyon (Snow Canyon?) and we found an easy hike down to some lava caves. Jake practiced saying “igneous”. The caves were neat-o; Jake and I saw a bat.

Then I carried 34 lb Matt the WHOLE way back. He actually fell ASLEEP on top of my shoulders. I treated myself to a Krispy Kreme doughnut, 3 flavors of potato chips, an Almond Joy, and a Caramello for my act of valor.

Hiking with a 34 lb pack.

We had a good time. I don’t know why I don’t do road trips more often… Summer’s a comin’!


Kacy said...
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Kacy said...

Have you ever slept on top of someone's shoulders? I might try doing that to Christian at the u2 concert. I have sore muscles just from reading about your so-called vacation.

mo said...

Was there ever an aunt as wonderful as Carrie-aunt? I think not. I'm with Kacy, your idea of vacation makes me feel tres fa-tee-gay. I would be willing to go with you to the Bellagio for that week of spa-ing and shopping. How rich do we have to be?

Suzie Petunia said...

No, there has never been an aunt like Carrie-aunt! Will you come with us on our road trip next week? Pppleassse?

I'm all over an adults-only Bellagio trip. You DID say "adults only"? Right? Am I just day-dreaming again?

I love that you know the kids weights exactly... You can feel every once of them when you're walking the strip. We took W. when she was 6 months old, but they wouldn't let us take her through The Star Trek Experience at the Hilton, so we had to go through it one at a time, alone, while the other stayed with W. How pathetic is THAT? (I know what you're thinking..."That you went to the Star Trek Experience, or that you had to go by yourself?"...very funny.)

JP said...

I love how you're carressing the Channel appropriate.

And let me get this have amazing fashion can travel...AND you're the grooviest aunt EVER?!?! How can the rest of us even keep up???!!

Marcy Dibbleblotts said...

v. cute dress.

Sarah Marinara said...

I think we TIE for grooviest Auntie ever... I'm just saying.

I can't wait to see you again this summer... I SO want to go shopping with you. And when we are rich and famous I will spend WEEKS poolside with you at the Bellagio.

Amy Lynn said...

So I'd like to bear my testimony about how much I love Carrie from the bottom of my heart and with every tiny fiber of my being. I COULD NOT raise my children without Carrie. She is the fun, stylish, groovy aunt that every niece and nephew adores. And she is the reason why I can even consider a road trip to Vegas with a 4 year old, 2 year old, and 4 month old. Yeah, a 4 month old in Vegas. Dumb mom.

Christian F said...

I'm not a fan of Vegas. It's too hot and smokey. But Vegas with kids? That sounds awesome.

Moragh said...

I just want to road trip with Carrie, I don't care where!

Carly said...

This trip makes me almost want to go to Las Vegas again. Last time I went it was for my cousin's Bat Mitzvah and I couldn't stand the smoke. Then the time before that we stayed at the Golden Nugget. Imagine a mother and two adolescent girls walking through a ritzy hotel, carrying all of their belongings in plastic grocery bags. We don't really fit in there at all. But your trip sounds totally fun. Luckeeeee.

Lisa M. said...

As someone who grew up in Las Vegas it is always a wonder to see how other people enjoy the city.

Thank you for the lovely pictures! It sounds like a LOT of fun!

I only have one sister, and she is miles away. I miss the interaction we once had, and that our children don't know each other well.

I might not be part of the family, but I could live poolside at the B. Too!

*smile* All we need is ONE of us to be rich and they can vouch for us all, right?


PS I do have a cousin who works at the B, we could stay at Motel 6, and just hang at the pool ? *grin*

Moragh said...
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