Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Las Vegas

We left The Grand Canyon and drove toward Las Vegas. It was a really long day of driving. I was very thankful that Jackson feel asleep soon after we left the canyon and I fell asleep soon after. Poor Matt was stuck doing the driving.

We came in over the Hoover Dam at night. It was really neat to see it all lit up. Not long after we passed over the dam, we were back driving in the dark and in the distance we could see the sky lighting up from all of the lights in Las Vegas. It is so dark out there and then right in the middle of nowhere is the huge city.

When we got there we drove down the strip. Jackson loved looking out his window to see all of the bright lights. We were tired from the drive so we decided to check in to our hotel and get some sleep.
our hotel - New York New York

The next day we slept late and then got up to do some sight seeing. We both didn't even think about it being St.Patrick's Day until we got to the lobby. There was a lot going on even at ten in the morning. We decided early on that we would go back to the hotel early that day. The first thing we had to do that day was go to M&M World. Jackson spotted the giant M&M billboard from our hotel window and was really excited about it. He loved seeing all of the candy in the tubes on the back wall. He had fun choosing M&M's to make his own bag of candy.
Later that day we toured several of hotels, and went to the Forum Shops at Cesar's Palace. The weather was perfect making it a great day for all of the walking we did. Jackson was such a good boy - he had plenty of interesting things to look at.
outside the Forum Shops (taken by a nice gentleman who offered to take our picture and then proceeded to tell us that he greatly appreciated tips for his photos - :)
a restaurant inside the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace

outside Paris Hotel

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is truly something you have to see in person to truly appreciate. I had heard people say that before, but I really didn't understand what they meant. It is amazing!

We tried to be prepared for taking a two year old to The Grand Canyon. We had forgotten Jackson's great monkey backpack that has a harness, so we stopped and bought a different one on the way there. By the time we got to the scenic overlook Jackson was ready to get out of his stroller. We were only able to console him by telling him we would let him out as soon as we got his harness ready. Matt worked on it for about ten minutes while I tried everything to distract him and keep him out of meltdown mode. Matt got it ready and we put it on him. Jackson was so excited to get down and walk. He immediately took off at a fast pace and to our surprise the velcro on the harness just let go! We weren't far behind, so we quickly grabbed him and decided that was not going to be a safe option. If he were older I would have let him just hold my hand and walk, but being two still makes him very unpredictable and The Grand Canyon is a really big hole! I'm sure you can see where this is headed - we had to pick Jackson back up and carry him. He was so disappointed and furious! I felt so bad for him. We were far from the car so Matt had Jackson and I folded up the stroller and carried it (thank goodness it has a carrying strap). I am sure we looked ridiculous - me loaded down with the stroller, backpack and camera, and Matt carrying Jackson screaming - but I was determined we were going to take in the breathtaking beauty and have some great family pictures to prove it!

(click to enlarge to see Jackson's enthusiasm for my photo shoot)
The pictures weren't perfect but I still love them. This one cracks me up, even with the meltdown it was a special memory.

Vacation - Part 1

I have been holding off on making a post because I like my blog in chronological order. I have some really great pictures from our first day of Spring Break that I cannot find on my memory cards. I am sure Matt or I downloaded them and put them in a very appropriate place - I just can't find them right now. So, I will just randomly post them when I find them.
We had a great spring break. Two weeks before spring break we made the decision to take a trip. Matt did a lot of the planning and decided we would go to The Grand Canyon, on to Las Vegas, and then do some more sight seeing on the way home.
On our first day of travel we made it to Amarillo. Of course, we had to eat at The Big Texan. We had to wait a while to get a table. And then when we did, Jackson had a dirty diaper. I guess he wanted to keep with the Big Texan theme - everything is bigger in Texas, because he surprised me with the biggest, dirtiest diaper I have every seen! I made the mistake of trying to change him in the front seat of the car, and after 20 minutes of wrestling, diaper changing, finding another pair of clothes, and then me getting all cleaned up, we made our way back to the table. You would have thought I would have lost my appetite by now, but after two years of motherhood - not such a big deal. And, I had been traveling all day and hadn't eaten in a really long time. I don't know if I was just really hungry or the food was really that great. We had the best Chicken Fried Steak I have ever eaten. For entertainment during our meal, a guy decided to take the Big Texan Challenge and try to eat a 72 oz. steak. It was the biggest steak I have ever seen. When we left he only had 30 minutes left and hadn't even eaten a fourth of the steak, not to mention the salad, baked potato, or shrimp! I will have to check their website to see if he was able to eat it within the hour time limit. CRAZY!

The next day we drove through snow in New Mexico. It wasn't really sticking or making the roads hazardous so it made for a pretty drive. I really don't have any great things to report that we saw in New Mexico other than the what seemed like hundreds of billboards for truck stops that made you think they were going to be really great, but when you finally get there you discover it is a gas station with a great selection of "Authentic" Indian jewelery, moccasins, shot glasses, dream catchers, T-shirts and lots of other fantastic souvenirs.