Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Family Side of Vegas (Part 1)

This week was Spring Break. No school. Good times.
We have a Timeshare that we bought many years ago, and we got a letter to let us know that one of our weeks was about to expire. We had to use it before the end of April, or we would use it. So, we figured Spring Break was the perfect time for a vacation, but we didn't want to go anywhere very far. So, we looked for an exchange that was close enough to home that we could drive. What came up was Las Vegas.

Las Vegas. Not exactly known as a vacation spot for families. Smoke-filled casinos. Lots of alcohol and strip clubs. hmm... could we really make a family vacation work there? We set out to do just that, and I think we did a pretty good job.

Day 1: The Drive
The typical route from Phoenix to Las Vegas involves crossing the Hoover Dam. There were signs several miles out that said "expect delays at Hoover Dam: Spring Break". So, I guess we were not the only ones with the idea to spend Spring Break in Vegas. We opted to take a different way and drive through Laughlin instead. It may have taken a little bit longer, if there wasn't any traffic, but it really wasn't bad at all. Total of 5 1/2 hour drive - including a stop for lunch along the way (In Wikeup, AZ - at pretty much the only restaurant in town). The kids were very well behaved (we were well stocked on snacks to keep them occupied) and it was a rather enjoyable trip.
We checked in to our home for the week. In case you've never had the chance to a timeshare, you should check it out. It is NOT a typical hotel. We had a fully equipped one-bedroom apartment, complete with a full kitchen, a jacuzzi tub, and a pull-out couch for the kids to sleep on. Pretty nice. We had brought food with us from home that we put in the fridge, saving us the need to eat out every meal. (I'm all about saving money - even on vacation!)
That night, we did go out to a buffet. (It's Vegas after-all). Brandon's parents were spending the weekend in Vegas for his Dad's birthday. Papa Floyd did not know that we were there, and we surprised him by meeting them for dinner. It was fun, and we all stuffed ourselves silly!

Day 2: Sunday in Sin City
We found a church near our place and attended Sacrament Meeting. We arrived a few minutes early, and several people came over and said hello. At least four people asked if we had moved in, and when we said we were just visiting, they gave a very disappointed "ohhh." I guess they don't have very many new families? Anyway, it was very nice and we enjoyed it.

After church, we had lunch in our apartment with Brandon's parents. It was nice to see them.

After lunch, we drove out to the Las Vegas temple. It is set up on a hill, looking over the city. The flowers were beautiful. We had fun walking around.

Day 3: St George
My brother and his family live in St George, Utah, which is about a 2 hour drive north of Las Vegas. We figured that since we were so close, we should take the time to see them.
Thanks to Daylight Savings time, we forgot that we were no on a different time then them, so we got there an hour later than we planned on. Whoops. But we were still there in time to have a fun picnic lunch. They took us up to Snow Canyon, right outside of town. There were lots of sand dunes there, which the kids LOVED! It was like being at the beach... but without the water. Each of the kids, and daddy, took a turn getting buried in the sand. Unfortunately, when we walked to the dunes, we left the camera, and the sun screen in the car. So, we didn't get any pictures of the event, and left with very red faces. My brother had his camera with him though, so maybe some time I'll get to see those pictures (hint hint).

After our sandy adventure, we went back to my brother's house. The kids watched a movie and we played cards. FUN! Then we had a dutch oven dinner and played some badminton. It was great to see them!
A very pregnant Anna (thanks for putting up with us!)



Caranna said...

Oh my, poor Anna, she looks so much bigger than she did at Thanksgiving!
I'm so glad that you were able to see so much family on you trip!

hillari said...

We do that drive often, and let me tell you, you were smart to go through Laughlin. We have spent as much as 2 hours crossing Hoover Dam. Not exaggerating. And Wikiup, huh? That is a pretty small town. How was the food there? The LV temple is beautiful--it's where we got married! What a fun surprise to see Brandon's parents! Very fun trip. :)

The White House said...

We'll send you pictures soon. Sorry we haven't done so. Sounded like you had a good time. Thanks for giving us new ideas on what we can do in Vegas.
Thanks for coming out to see us. We all had fun. The kids did really seem to enjoy those sand dunes. I think we might try to go more often, with sunscreen!