Last weekend we ventured to Las Vegas for a long weekend. James, Kristen, Logan and Dominic flew in from the Bay Area. James’ cousin Matthew and his girlfriend Erin flew in from Richmond, VA and we flew in from Salt Lake City. To make the stay easier with three kiddos, we opted to rent a house rather than get hotel rooms. We probably won’t do this again though. The house wasn’t very clean and had some of the world’s worst mattresses. I think if we go to Vegas again, we’ll just share a suite somewhere. Lesson learned.
Erin and Matthew arrived on Tuesday and spent a couple of days exploring the sights. The rest of us arrived on Thursday evening after tiring days at airports. The Yeom’s flew through Long Beach and caught the very last seats on the leg from LGB to LAS. Bill, Tommy and I were screwed on any Southwest flights. Well, not entirely. We decided we didn’t want to spend hours in Reno hoping for a few open seats. So we opted to spend a few bucks and pick up some interline passes on Delta. Our bags still flew Southwest and we ended up arriving before our bags. Then our bags were delayed in Reno for a few hours and we ended up having to go back to the airport after dinner to pick them up. Either way, we all made it there in one piece.
Dinner on Thursday night was had at the Hofbräuhaus. It’s a little bit off the strip, across the street from the Hard Rock Hotel. I love this restaurant. It’s loud, boisterous and serves yummy German food. The beer is pretty good too. Supposedly, it’s a replica of the Hofbräuhaus in Munich. Every time I have visited there’s been live music that usually involves a tuba and accordion. One of the musicians started playing an alphorn at one point. I never knew those things made more than fog horn noises. I imagine it’s played the same as a bugle.
For an appetizer, we shared a giant pretzel. It had to have been ten to twelve inches in diameter. It came with a couple of mustards, a flavored cream cheese and a spreadable liver mousse. All of them were really delicious, but the liver mousse really surprised us. It was SO good. Even Tommy really liked it.
Tommy and our waitress. He shamelessly flirted with her.
Friday we hung around the house having breakfast together and then the kids napped. After naptime we ventured out to a new resort that’s way south of the Strip called the M Resort. Bill knew their buffet was pretty good so we gave it a try. It was a really good buffet. And a little less expensive than one of the main strip hotels would have been. Tommy enjoyed munching on all sorts of new food and thoroughly enjoyed the cup of raspberry gelato he got for dessert.
On Saturday, Bill, James, Matthew and Erin left to attend a shooting match while Kristen and I hung around the house with the kids. Tommy flat out refused to nap all day, so by 2pm we headed out to explore the hotels we thought Logan would enjoy. When deciding where to have lunch, we let Logan decide: castle or pyramid. He chose pyramid so we dined at a café at Luxor. After lunch we walked around Luxor and took an indoor walkway to Excalibur. We finally ended up at Mandalay Bay with plans to visit their Shark Reef Aquarium. We sat down to have some frozen yogurt while James, Bill, Matthew and Erin joined us. Apparently the shooting match they were attending was so poorly organized that they decided to leave after waiting around for over four hours without ever getting to shoot. Boo! We all walked down to the Shark Reef Aquarium and after seeing that it was $18 for each adult to visit, decided that just Kristen and me would take Tommy, Logan and Dominic inside. I have to say, it was pretty cool. They had some really cool animals including a Komodo Dragon. The shark tank was really neat with the sharks swimming all around you. Definitely not worth $18 per person, but still fun.
For dinner we stuck around Mandalay Bay and ate at Red, White and Blue. As we were walking in, Tommy started nodding off. I enjoyed a delicious tuna melt while he slept in my lap. Even though he was super warm and weighs thirty pounds, I loved every moment of it. He doesn’t sleep on me that much anymore.
After dinner we walked back to Luxor where our rental was parked and drove to the Bellagio. All weekend, we’d promised Logan we’d take him to see the fountains at the Bellagio. We parked and walked around the conservatory for a little bit snapping photos. I love coming to the Bellagio in January when it’s decorated for Chinese New Year.
Afterward we walked outside to see the fountains. We stuck around to watch two different shows and Logan said this was his “best day ever!”
The last big boom of the fountains combined with getting hit with some mist scared Tommy a bit.
Coming home on Sunday proved to a challenge. The Yeoms made it home with only a little bit of worry of not getting seats. But apparently we gave them all of our stand-by juju. Flights on any of the airlines we could take were full. We tried to take our chances on another Delta flight only to find out that there were five open seats and over twenty people in front of us on the list. The next flight only had three open seats. Sigh.
Rather than deal with spending more and more time at the airport we were faced with two choices: rent a car and drive home or find a hotel room and stay another night. Tommy was already not sleeping well because we weren’t at home, I just wanted to get home. So we opted to rent a car and drive.
It’s about a six-hour drive. We stopped in Mesquite, NV (just about at the Utah-Arizona border) for dinner. Tommy was really wonderful, sleeping in one and two hour stints. Bill drove until we got to Beaver, UT (home of Butch Cassidy!) and I drove the rest of the way. About three miles from home, Tommy started getting really upset. I figured he was really tired and could no longer get comfortable in the car seat to sleep. We pulled in right at three o’clock and as I was pulling Tommy out of the car seat, he threw up all over me. Since it was about 30 degrees outside, I rushed him inside, cleaned him up and put him in our bed. He was asleep within minutes while Bill and I cleaned up the car and car seat. At first we thought Tommy was car sick or perhaps got an upset stomach from crying for the last few miles. Nope, he had a stomach bug and was a mess for another day or two. Bill caught it on Tuesday night, Bill’s mom on Wednesday morning, then it hit me on Wednesday night. Bill’s dad was spared.
Driving home wasn’t the most ideal way to get home, I’m still glad we did it. I didn’t want to deal with a sick baby on an airplane, even if it was only a one-hour flight. It was a fun but exhausting trip and we’re almost fully recovered from it. Almost.