Well, giving me a three day holiday sure puts me in a tail spin, never to catch up to real life. I have three loads of laundry in the tv room beckoning me to be folded and at least four more that need to be cleaned TODAY for fear the boys will begin their Saturday baseball extravaganza with grass stained knees BEFORE the games instead of just AFTER. But we are nearing the end, folks. There is light at the end of the tunnel. But then the tunnel just burrows underground again with football starting up in a mere two months time.
Las Vegas was great! We actually left only 30 minutes after our planned departure time. Made it there in time to make our kids's lives miserable by dining at Panera for lunch instead of the much lusted after McDonald's. (Forget the fact that beef bullion is in the french fry oil, I'm thinking maybe they've added crack, or some other very addictive drug for this type of insane kiddy behavior. And why are they always so excited to get the toy, when it's some cheap plastic thing that is fun for maybe five minutes, never to be oggled again?) Oh the trauma of having to eat a utilitarian sandwiche and GAWD FORBID - organic yogurt. My middle boy, the eight year old, refuses to eat sandwiches unless they are in a narrow spectrum of sandwiche-dom - grilled, cheddar cheese, period. So he opted for the chicken noodle soup which he only ate half of, and most of that was hand spooned to him by his desperate mother who would very much love to stick an IV of butter into his scrawny little arm. The reason for his refusal to eat the said soup? It contained 'mucus'. I don't even want to know what was going on there.
Then on to the Strip. Which, let me tell you folks, I don't care how many tourist boards tell you 'Vegas is for kids', it is most definitely not. It is for parents who are desperate to go to Vegas and feel guilty. While yes, there are attractions and roller coasters and 'shows' (I am not forking out $60 per seat to a 'kid show' when I have five kids. Whatever,..) We hit the Mandalay shark reef and that was nice, if very crowded and humid. Tough for the mom to be whom we were visiting, I'm sure.
They have these cool little tv changer looking contraptions that you can program and listen to information about the display you are looking at. But you add nice gents at the beginning of the attraction giving ALL the kids their very own + overloaded stroller full of sweatshirts, dollies, blankets and toys = mommy trying to get to elevator to leave being almost thrown in jail for stealing said contraptions.
After fighting my way through a standing room only crowd just to get to the elevator with stroller beeping furiously (don't your strollers beep? I thought nothing of it, always being surrounded by sound such as I am), I am stopped by security agent demanding contraption. Find one contraption and hand it over. Security guard turns to leave. Stroller still furiously beeping. Feel under more strata of child stuff - find another contraption. Yell at security guard, "here's one more!" Hmm,.. stroller still beeping,.. Go deeper still,. find another contracption. At this point, security guard is so far away, have to involved crowd in calling her back. Finally stroller stops beeping and can get to the elevator. Where is my family? They have escaped down the escalator, chortling as they go, whispering to each other they are so glad no one knows I am a part of their group. How embarrassing for them. Thanks, guys.
Drive to Bellagio and look at amazing flower atrium displays and dancing fountains. Very nice. Decide to cross street to Paris hotel. Mistake. Have to cross insepid path of girlie hawkers and their scantily clad cards of vixens strewn all over the sidewalk as we make our way to the Eiffel tower. 11 year old holds his eyes and exclaims they are burning! Argh! Middle child says "I tried not to look, but I just HAD to!" Eyes are popping out of his head like some sort of cartoon cat. He asks me, "WHY are naked women such a big deal?!?" I say, "Well, let's have this conversation some time later." To which he asks me in puzzlement why and I say something along the lines of trying to explain monogomy and the beauty of the human body just seems wrong when you are walking the Strip in Las Vegas with your eight year old. Freak out 11 year old who thinks I'm giving him 'THE TALK.' I assure him, no, not quite yet. He is thankful as he tells me the kid can't quite handle it yet. I've got my work cut out for me apparently...
Go back to bro and sis in law's condo for grilled steaks. Best part? The boys spend the night there, so we only have to purchase one hotel room and deal with only two kids during the night. Yowza!
Next day do the Church thing, then the older boys take off for golf. I opt for the pedestrian to us mere adults, but fabulously exciting to small kids tasks of lunch at McDonalds and then toy shopping at Walmart. Don't tell me I don't show my kids a good time! Hit McD's, stand in lunch line, order half the required amount of happy meals when smallest boy informs me his brother has thrown up in the kiddy habitrail. Nice. Shut down habitrail, check out kid who seems fine and hungry (this is the skinny one - must feed him at all costs), commence with lunch and go to Walmart.
Then to the pool, where baby thankfully falls asleep in stroller, boys swim happily and little two year old happily paddles around hot tub. I stay in hot tub too, as we seem to have an ice age happening here in Nevada and Southern California.
Then, to grilling hamburgers and off to the new Indiana Jones movie which was totally AWESOME, even if 8 year old found out that Indy is actually 60 years old, the same age as his grandmother, to which he exclaimed, 'That is just weird!" Then fantasized about Grandma marrying Indy and how rad that would be to have him as his grandfather. Hint, hint, I guess. Start writing those fan letters now, Grandma!
Why is the return trip from vacation always three times lengthier than the trip there? Made it home pretty much unscathed, but mood brought down by the thought of three days worth of laundry trying to explode out of the suitcases.
Wednesday evening the fam did a presentatio at Church to the little Church school kids about our journey to Indonesia. It was very fun and we think they enjoyed it fo rthe most part - tough to talk to first through sixth grade and keep everyone engaged. But afterwards, had a few kids come up and tell us how 'cool' we are, so I think it wasn't a total loss.
'Kay, that's about it. Pictures coming sometime when I have the brain capacity and time to upload to the computer. Enjoy your weekend! Sleep in for me!