Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Part II

So where I left off, Thomas and I were driving into Burbank to pick up my mom, dad, Malachi and Kadi Jo. We arrived Tuesday afternoon and picked them up at the airport to head straight to Lancaster for that evening's baccalaureate services! The kids were fantastic on the trip and received many compliments from other passengers on both of their flights!  The next morning, my mom, Dad and Logan all got up and went off to Commencement while Kadi Jo, Malachi, Thomas and I took our time and headed to Downtown Disney for lunch!  It's an outdoor mall right outside Disneyland and when we found out there was a Rainforest Cafe there, we knew we had to take the kiddos for lunch!!

Here's my handsome big and little man getting ready to walk around and head to lunch!

Kadi Jo and Malachi at the entrance to Downtown Disney!!

Rainforest Cafe - which Malachi was NOT a fan of!!!  Those moving animals freaked him out a bit!

Buzz and Woody!!!

Because they were both so stinkin' adorable in their new mouse ears...they needed ice cream!  (We may or may not have washed off in one of the fountains afterwards!)

We headed to our hotel around 3:00 and met up with Lolli, Pop and Logan to head to Huntington Beach!!  It was a little overcast and chilly, but the kids had SO much fun!!!

That water was COLD!!  Lolli playing with the kiddos!

Lolli, Pop, Malachi and Kadi Jo!

My parents watched the kiddos for a little while so Thomas and I could go for a sunset walk along the beach!  It was so nice!!

Malachi finally bundled up after all the playing in that cold Pacific water!

We still have sand in our car after that adventure!  haha  But, it was a blast and the kiddos had SO much fun splashing around and building sand castles!!  We got back to the hotel, shoved some food down our throats and slept that night in preparation for our next, and the most amazing adventure, DISNEYLAND!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

What happens in...

VEGAS!  Last week, Thomas and I had the opportunity to spend some fantastic time just the two of us on the first leg of our 2012 Vacation Extravaganza!!  We were headed out there because my little brother has completed his one year Bible Certification at West Cost Baptist College in Lancaster, CA and we wanted to be there to celebrate with him and drive him back here for the summer!  So, we drove out on Sunday to Las Vegas and spent Sunday night, all day Monday and Monday night there before heading into CA to the airport pick up my parents, Malachi and our "niece" Kadi Jo for the rest of the week!  Because I took approximately 260 pictures, I'll just post about the first leg of our vacation...Las Vegas!  We had been warned about the nature of "Sin City" and knew (we thought) what to expect.  But even still, it was more than we were comfortable with.  Suffice it to say that from the hours of 8:00a.m. to 4:00p.m., it was a lovely place.  After that, had we not had a reason to be out (to see the Phantom of the Opera), we probably would have holed up in our hotel room!  Definitely not our speed and way more in your face than we ever expected!  We had our fill and it will be a good long while before we go back...if ever!  (I'd be happy to explain exactly why if you're interested...just shoot me an e-mail!)  However, as I said, we are very thankful for the time we had together and genuinely had a good time looking through all of the hotels and seeing the sights!

As I said, we left Sunday morning around 5:00a.m. to head out and drove the whole way to Las Vegas...which landed us there around 5:00p.m. their time! THIS is what my bed looked like on Saturday night!  Not only did we have to pack for ourselves for a week, but we had to pack Malachi for Saturday night, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday for staying with Lolli and Pop.  Then, we had to pack his bag for the time he would be with us, from Tuesday afternoon through Saturday night!  So, yes, it was a little chaotic getting everything together!  I'm happy to report, though, that I only forgot my razor and picked one up at the Walgreens near our hotel in Vegas! 
Our first major stop prior to Vegas was the Hoover Dam and we are SO glad we did! It is absolutely amazing to me that such an amazing marvel was constructed from 1931-1936 without the major machinery and technology we have at our hands today! Over 100 men died in its construction (though none are buried in the concrete as is rumored) and cost $49 Million to build in 1931 dollars! Since September 11, you can no longer travel between Arizona and Nevada on the dam. A new bridge has been built apart from it for security reasons and that's the bridge you'll see pictured!

The Dam itself!  The white area along the bottom of the rocks on the right side of the picture shows how low Lake Mead's levels are right now because of the extreme drought situation! 

My hunky hubby and I in front of the dam!  (For the record...although I LOVE rollercoasters...I did NOT love being this high!) 

How high were we you may ask?  THIS high!  This picture was taken from the dam itself as we drove across and prepared to turn around!

Finally, we arrived in Las Vegas and, after a brief respite to clean up and change clothes, we headed out for our first night!  From our room we could see the Eiffel Tower of the Paris Hotel!  (This picture was taken at street level)

Here I am waiting to utilize the public transportation system to get to breakfast on Monday!  (Eating on strip is RIDICULOUSLY we headed down to Main Street for a $6.99 buffet!)

My sweet hubby standing in front of the New York skyline!  I just LOVE the juxtaposition of the New York sights with the palm trees!

This was a beautiful indoor garden area in one of the hotels!  I think it might have been the Palazzo?

Of course - no trip to Las Vegas would be complete without a trip to M&M world!! 

Thomas eating at the Cheesecake Factory before we went to see...

The Phantom of the Opera!  Now THAT was incredible!  An amazing experience and one we're SO glad we splurged on! 

The next morning, before leaving for California, we headed over to the Pawn Shop made famous on  History Channel's "Pawn Stars!"  Behind me you'll see a "WT" brand from West Texas State University (now WTAMU) that was pawned a few years ago by some WT professors!  I attended there for 2.5 years before we went to Texas Tech!

And here's my husband in the signature "Pawn Stars" pose!

And, while we were sad to see our time together end, NOTHING could prepare us for leg two of our journey...Huntington Beach and DISNEYLAND!!!

To Be Continued...