September 8, 2009

Our Labor Day Weekend Getaway...

(photo by Roadsidepictures)
We decided that we wanted to get away for the long Labor Day weekend. The only place that was really affordable was either Los Angeles or Las Vegas. I'm really glad we chose Vegas because there have been really bad fires up in LA.

So we left at 1:30pm on Friday. We arrived in Las Vegas at 6:30pm. Lil'D slept a good 2 hours of the way and just entertained himself the rest of the time. It was a really great drive. I worked on the new design of my blog. It has almost been a year since I've redesigned so I figured it is time. We stopped at the Flying J in Barstow to get gas and stretch our legs.

Once we arrived in Vegas we checked into our room. We got a really great deal at the Riviera. It was the main reason we decided to go to LV. Very affordable!! We headed over to Circus Circus for dinner and games on the midway. It was all about skeeball. That boy loves skeeball. It definitely wasn't that crowded for a Friday night and Lil'D was in skeeball heaven. We headed back to our room at about 9pm. This was unusually late for Lil'D.

Our first room was in the new tower on the 15th floor. It had luxurious new bedding, flat screen tv and 2 full beds. We were really hoping that Lil'D would have no problem sleeping by himself. But momma got suckered into sleeping with him. I didn't sleep very good because I worried all night that he was going to fall off the bed. These beds were really high off the ground. The next morning Lil'D got in trouble after trouble after trouble. The problem was the structure was built inexpensively and every step Lil'D took made a boom sound. It was 7:30am and the people below us had to be really angry at us. I was scared that they were going to complain. Lil'D just couldn't remember to walk gently. I might as well have been telling him to sit still and not make any noise, it just wasn't going to happen. Because I was so worried about him falling off the bed we decided to see if there was a room available with a king bed. There was one available but we had to wait until later for everyone to check out.

So we headed over to New York New York and Excalibur to check out their games. NYNY's games were for older kids. They only had 2 lanes of skeeball at 50cents per game. They did have a good basketball game, but it kept eating quarters and it took forever to hunt someone down to get my money back. At Excalibur they had 6 lanes of skeeball at $1 per game. Ripoff!! We let Lil'D play a few times and knew that we needed to head back over to Circus Circus to play skeeball. They had 10 lanes of skeeball at 25cents per game. Awesome! He just rotated from lane to lane to lane. We went into the Adventure Dome where all the rides were but it was so loud. Lil'D does not like really loud noises. The rollercoaster track is really close to the ground and he was so paranoid that it was coming. We decided to leave.

We headed back to the hotel and got our new room with a king size bed. This room was definitely bigger and the bed was bigger but it was an older tower. The bedding was old, the tv was itty bitty and the bathtub was not installed properly. There was definitely water underneath the shower floor. It was really weird. The really good thing about this room was the structure was much stronger than the new tower because Lil'D could run across the room and you couldn't hear him at all. So, we could definitely deal.

(photo by Cazwell)

Lil'D ended up taking a 3 1/2 hour nap. I was really glad because we were probably going to have another late night. We decided to go to MGM grand to check out the lions. They weren't doing anything exciting and Lil'D got restless. The alligator at Rainforest Cafe kept Lil'D's attention for a long time. Lil'D really loves watching the alligator. (its fake, in case you didn't know) It sits in a little pit of water and fog comes out. Then the alligator growls, opens it's mouth, raises up on it's lets, opens it's mouth again and then sits back down.

(photo by Ruy Vasco)

After we pulled Lil'D away from the alligator we went to the Grand Canyon Store. They have a helicopter inside. To get to the helicopter you have to take an escalator up, cross a wood plank bridge over a waterfall and walk really fast through an aisle of inappropriate gag gifts. Lil'D checked out this helicopter thoroughly. The rotors, check. The tail, check. "Momma, where are the wings?" Good luck finding the escalator down. It takes you a couple circles around the 2nd floor to finally find it. We only know now because we have been there before.

Next was the M&M Store. That store is always packed. They have a new item that I really want but just can't justify.
This is called a MITZ bag. It is made of recycled Mars candy packages. It's a coin purse, 6.5" x 3.5" and it's $40.00. It does benefit low-income families. I really love the colors and the look of it. It is definitely an original. If you want to see the styles available go here. If you want to read about the MITZ social project go here.

Getting back to our adventure. After the M&M store we headed back to the car. There was a fire truck parked in between the MGM Grand and the Grand Canyon Experience Store. They had their boots out collecting donations. Lil'D walked over saying "Hi fireman, hi fireman." One of the firemen dropped everything to pay attention to Lil'D. Lil'D asked about his fire truck. The fireman made a point to call it a fire engine. It was also yellow instead of being red. The fireman came over with some stickers, but all Lil'D was interested in was showing him the rollercoaster across the street. It was funny.

We decided to go back to Circus Circus so that Lil'D could play more skeeball. It was super crowded. Bad decision. We didn't stay long. It was getting late anyway, so we went back to our room and got to bed. We still had one more day.

Lil'D woke up at 7am the next morning. No sleeping in for us. We got ready and had breakfast. After breakfast we went to Circus Circus. We wanted to get there early when no one else was there. Unfortunately, there were only 3 lanes open because they had blocked the other 7 with stacks of boxes for all the toys at the ticket collection booth. Today must have been restocking day for all the prizes. That didn't stop Lil'D. He played and played and played on those 3 lanes for at least an hour. One of the lanes had extra balls so instead of playing just 9 balls he got 9 extra ones. He had a blast. We turned in all his tickets and got a hot wheels race ramp and a Thomas keychain. We were done playing skeeball.

We went to the Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood to look for a place to eat lunch. We walked around a bit and someone gave us a buy one entree get one entree free coupon for Hawaiian Tropic Zone. We decided to try it. Jeremy ordered a steak salad, I ordered shrimp tacos and we ordered Lil'D a PB&J sandwich. They brought us our food but forgot Lil'D's sandwich. Lil'D was all about my tacos and had a couple bits of Jeremy's salad. We told the waitress that about the PB&J, but cancelled it because Lil'D was eating our food so well. The manager gave us free dessert because they had forgotten the sandwich. We ordered the caramelized banana split. What a great free treat! Lunch was excellent! The food was really good. I'm glad we tried it.

After lunch we headed back to the room for Lil'D's nap. He was a pill to get to sleep, but after an hour he finally did. When he woke up we headed out for an evening of a lot of walking. We parked at Harrah's and had dinner at Panda Express. We watched the volcano erupt at The Mirage from across the street. Lil'D was a little nervous about how loud it was going to be. I just pushed his one ear to my cheek and covered his other ear with my hand. He really liked watching the fire. We walked down to the Palazzo (a new part of the Venetian) and were searching for a dinosaur exhibit, but it had already closed for the evening. We did find the Blue Man Group store and bought Lil'D some drum sticks. We also found out that there is not an age limit for their concert. Were were planning on taking him to see Blue Man Group for his 5th birthday. We may take him next year. He really loves Blue Man Group. We went across the street to Caesar's and went up the curved escalator's and walked through FAO Swartz. Our last stop was the Bellagio fountains. Lil'D didn't want to have anything to do with it. He insisted on leaving. I gave in because there were so many people around. On our walk back to the car we could see the Bellagio fountains going from afar. "Wow!" was what Lil'D said when he saw them. Then 10 seconds later, "All done." I think it is the noise that the water makes when it lands. Lil'D is pretty brave dare devil and isn't scared of anything but loud noises. If he hears something strange he always asks "What was that?"

On Monday morning Lil'D slept in til 8am. We got up, showered, packed our bags and got on the road to get home. We knew that traffic was going to be a bear. We got to the state line to eat breakfast. Everything was crazy crowded. Since we were there we went in to the outlets to check out what The Children's Place had. We only spent $16.00. I got Lil'D a pair of jeans, 4 shirts, swim trunks and a floppy hat. The original price for everything was $64.00. Got to love it when you get a great deal like that.

The drive home ended up taking about 7 hours. I designed my new blog background and header. Lil'D was pretty restless, but he made it. We were very glad to be home. It was a nice getaway, but you can only do so much in Vegas. I only took 22 photos. If you know me this is highly unusual. I usually take about 250-400 a day when we are out and about somewhere. I guess I just needed a break. So, that is why I had to use other's photos above. Here are a couple of the photos I took. They were all of Lil'D playing his favorite game in the entire world...SKEEBALL!!

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