It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything here…have been incredibly busy with life…but we have been doing some traveling with the children.
Christmas was a big 2 week trip back East to visit my family. And recently we hit Vegas!
Vegas with kids you say? Yes! It was actually a fantastic trip. We had both of our Dads there with their respective girlfriends and of course Uncle Brandon lives there, so it was quite the family vacation. We stayed at Mandalay Bay, THE Hotel. Highly recommend this hotel if your going to Vegas with your kids for a few reasons. THEHotel does NOT have a casino so you can escape the chaos (and avoid the nagging “I want to play that game” – ie., the slot machine, each time you pass one on your way to your room – we got this request about a 100 times). The rooms are also all suites meaning you get both a bedroom and a living room – key for nap time. And of course the beach, lazy river and wave pool in The Mandalay Bay is a hit with the kids. Though, children under 4′+ can’t go into the wave pool. And, the rate was incredibly affordable ($139/night…we are paying more for a cabin in Big Bear this summer per night).
We also took the children to the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. Great aquarium and pretty amazing to see the sharks swim above you as you walk through the aquarium.
Stella and I hit Disney’ The Lion King show…absolutely amazing. The opening Act alone was worth going back again to see. It was Stella’s first show and she loved. Sebby didn’t get to go as we thought he was too little to sit through the entire thing but in retrospect I think he might have. Every time we passed the theater they both went wild with excitement and insist on reading the book every night now.
As for dining…there’s not a ton that is both Mom/Dad friendly and kid friendly. We hit a few “burger” joints but the hit meal of trip was definitely brunch at Simon’s at the Palms. Definitely a crowd pleaser from anyone aged 0-100 (our Dad’s really enjoyed)…Not only do they have amazing made to order selections and small but high quality buffet items but they had plenty of healthy options (beet root juice and green drink) and a candy bar…They also have an old school dessert plate (think homemade ho-hos, snowballs, rice krispy treats, caramel corn and cotton candy).
We actually drove this trip which ended up being pretty easy (5.5+ hrs) with no problems except early in the trip on the way out there Stella kept crying hysterically saying “there is a toy stuck in my nose…” Some how we averted a trip to the hospital when I finally got her to “blow” the small ball out of her nose…She later asked when I told her never to put anything in her nose again if she could put something in her ear then…
Anyone who knows us knows that neither Justin nor I enjoy long car journey’s but we figure that if it’s going to take us about the same amount of time door to door to fly then we might as well drive now that we are party of 4!
We also recently broke down and bought a DVD player before our Christmas trip…it was well worth the purchase though I do have to admit Justin and I had a bit of a “smug” sense of pride that Stella was 3.5 and Sebby 1.5 before we actually bought the DVD player and we’ve made hundreds of trips (both car and plane) without one. And even now, it only comes out on long (think over 2 hour) car drives or plane trips.
Here’s my thoughts (and some tips) on why you should postpone bringing out the DVD player on trips as long as possible.
1. Once it’s out…it’s hard to put it away…
2. Part of the road trip or plane adventure is taking in the scenery, learning to entertain yourself with simple things like reading or coloring or writing vs. being entertained.
3. You can use it as a reward for good behavior…now I’m sure I might be getting into trouble here by saying that it should be used for a reward but it seems to work for us…
So, consider turning of the DVD player, kick old school and enjoy a road trip like you used to with Mom and Dad, radio sing-a-longs or games of “I Spy” or “Punch Buggie…” You might just have some fun.
We have a few adventures planned for the summer so I hope to post more soon.
Until then…see for yourself how much Stella and Sebastian enjoyed Vegas….this was shot soon after we returned home.