Just to let you folks know, I’m not a fan of Las Vegas. Justin and I have been here twice, both on our honeymoon as a break from National Parks. The architecture and art of the casino’s and the amazing shows Vegas has are it’s only highlights in my opinion. That being said, they also often have cheap flights and that is why we found ourselves here! We were picking up my lovely Mom to spend a week with us!! Hurray!!! We were so excited!
Our original plan was the check out the National Recreation areas around there such as Red Rock. We thought it would be fun for the girls to show Grammy the environment in which they often spend their time these days. However, unfortunately our country is in chaos and is making very poor choices right now leading to a government shut down which in turn means a close to many federally operated areas. What crummy timing! Come on people! As said by my wise 5 year old, “Can’t they just come up with a compromise? Our president is an adult, right? Even kids know how to make a compromise!” Ah yes. We had a great time with my Mom regardless.
My Mom arrived safely from her late evening flight. Justin and I got to see her when she arrived but the girls had long since been sleeping. We missed her so much and how good it was to see her!! During my Mom’s stay she stayed in the luxurious Dimes suite. She was a trooper sleeping in a less than toasty van with not a lot of space to move around in.
We stayed at the Main Street Station RV Park while in Vegas. The price couldn’t be beat at $21 per night with hookups. It was basically a parking lot surrounded by concrete barriers but the bathrooms were lovely!
That bathroom was the best hands down that we have used throughout our journey so far. It was spotless, had new fancy spa like features, was super warm and the showers were a great size! Plus, nobody was there using them! We practically had the entire place to ourselves!
Showering was a fun event where the girls would take turns taking baths in one stall (bringing the plastic tub we brought from home in from Wobbles) and I showered in the stall next to them as we chatted with my Mom.
Vegas Exploration: The Strip
We thought we should explore the strip while we were in Vegas and decided walking there would be best. After all, we could see the buildings on the strip from our camping spot and thought it would give us a good excuse for a nice walk. Well, we soon found that just because the buildings were in sight didn’t mean we were CLOSE to them by any means. It was a very very chilly morning with high winds that chilled us to the bone. Poor Mom was wearing her flats without socks with a skirt!! Silly Mom.
We ended up getting a flat tire on the stroller and gladly took refuge in a semi-nearby bike shop while the tube was being replaced. This stop gave us the warmth we needed to go on for a little bit longer.
We soon found the famous Welcome To Las Vegas sign at the beginning of the strip.
The girls and I were all sick so our little one ended up falling asleep for a much needed nap in my arms. I later transferred the sleeping one into the stroller and we found a place to eat lunch. Our first couple plans of places to eat fell short, one being that Peppercorn couldn’t fit us through their doors!! Haha. The stroller is just so wide! So, we ended up eating at a mall food court which worked just fine. :). The music at the mall food court was like a midnight dance club. Only in Vegas I guess.
We explored fountains, shopping strips, oversized signs, escalators (they never get old– they’re like a free ride every time), watched gondolas at the Venetian, pretzel making, store window gawking… You name it, we probably did it. It felt like we went everywhere that day.
We watched the fountains of the Bellagio a couple times. They are just so beautiful!
We also went to see the Fall of Atlantis animatronic skit they do at Caesars Palace with the battle of fire vs water. Our 5 year old had a shoulder seat from Justin and I could tell the fire was really frightening her. Every time a big flame jumped out she was teetering on tears but then would recover again. That is, until the end of the skit where the flames were one after another. That’s when she lost it, the poor thing. Ha, good instincts I guess. There aren’t many times we would we be calmly watching as blasts of fire come at us.
Lastly, we saw the flamingo habitat at the Flamingo Hotel.
Man, what a whirl wind of a trip Vegas was. Everything looks so close until you try to get from point A to point B. There are so many pedestrian bridges and blocks and blocks of hotel malls it is dizzying. By the time we had finished exploring the strip we were all pooped and didn’t feel up for the 3 mile walk back to our camping spot. With little ones things take a bit longer than planned. We ended up hopping onto a city bus which took a little over an hour to get us back. We just barely fit on the bus by folding up the bike trailer/stroller, carrying its contents and the kids. Thank goodness Mom was there to help with that. I think I can speak for everyone in saying we all enjoyed the ability to sit and soak up the warmth.
The bus dropped us off within a short walk to the Fremont Experience so we took a pit stop to see that on the way home. For those of you haven’t heard of this (I hadn’t prior to our visit), the Fremont Street Experience is a canopy of arched screens that are positioned over the pedestrian walkway part of Fremont Street. It is apparently the worlds largest video screen. They also have a zip line that goes down the entire stretch of screen above the street. The show that we playing on the huge screen was about robots invading earth. The big screen was neat but the show was really loud and a little too intense for the littles so we moved on back “home.” Honestly, I enjoyed the big screen a lot more when there were just shapes and patterns floating around to the beat of the music.
Zing! What a fun packed and exhausting day. We ended up probably walking 10 or so miles throughout the day. We left at 7:30am and arrived back at our camper JUST in time to start bedtime at 7:30pm. I have to say though, this visit to Vegas beats my other visits there by FAR!! Maybe it was because my lovely Mom was with us or maybe because we weren’t trying to experience Vegas in the traditional night life way. I think it was a good combo and we had fun!
Last two days of Vegas with my Mom: Container Park & Date Night
Fast-forward through other adventures with my Mom (such as Death Valley…) which I will write about in different posts. We ended up back in Vegas to experience another 2 days with my sweet Mom before we sadly had to drop her off at the airport to back to her home.
We ended up staying back at the Main Street Station RV Park with the phenomenal bathrooms!! During our first full day back in Vegas we decided to check out the Container Park just a couple blocks from the “campground” (I feel like you can’t actually call it a park or campground if it’s just a parking lot).
The Container Park is full of huge strange art, little shops within shipping containers and a playground for the kids! The playground was a giant man made tree that had slides and stairways curving within the trunk. I think what the girls enjoyed most though was the turf with giant legos to build with. My Mom and I enjoyed chatting while the girls were busy building and Justin was arranging a date night for us for later that evening.
That evening the girls and I enjoyed an early evening full of bathing! It may not sound exciting but, it was!! We had the entire bathroom at the RV park to ourselves again so we all had a blast chatting while I showered and the girls took turns in the bath. We were warm, clean and having lovely conversation which obviously always happens in the bathroom. If anyone out there has lived with a house of girls, you know this to be true. The only room that may trump the bathroom as best conversations is in the kitchen.
That evening Justin I and went on a date night to see Friends the musical! My Mom was sweet enough to hang out in our camper while the girls slept. Thank you again Mom!! The show was phenomenal!! I had thought it was going to be in a large theater but it turned out it was put on in a fairly small intimate space similar to what I have seen stand up comedians in. It was really neat because we were so close to everything! At first we were seated way in the back. So, I asked the young man who was in charge of seating if we could possibly move closer to the front. And, do you know what? He found two seats in the second to front row! How sweet! Poor Justin was a bit confused when he got out of the bathroom to find me no longer at our previous seat but the young man finally let him in on the change.
The show was over the top but hilarious because of it! I laughed so hard I almost peed twice! And I hadn’t even been drinking a lot of liquids! Folks, if you are a Friend’s fan, which I totally am (Art, I’m talking to you) this is a must see! I couldn’t believe how seamlessly the writer of this play put so many references of different episodes into one sentence! As I was laughing my buns off I looked around a couple times and there were definitely a handful of people who knew all the episodes like the back of their hand but the majority only got the really obvious references. Ah well. They could hear loud and clear I was having a blast. Ha!
On the way back to our camper we stopped at a piano bar to sing a couple songs. It was fun to sing along with a talented pianist. Sadly we didn’t last long though. The bar let people smoke in it, YUCK! It stunk and we were worried that nasty smell would stick to our hair and clothes so we left. Fun while it lasted.
Fairly early the next morning Wobbles had a doctor’s appointment at the Vegas Airstream dealer to fix a couple things. There was a noise our furnace fan was making, there was a leak in our bathroom sink pipe, our floors were creaking a bit, the video converter for the TV was wonky and the key hole flap on the door wasn’t closing to prevent water from entering the lock. Many of these things were little but since it was still under warranty we wanted to be sure to get it taken care of. Justin will write about these things in more detail in a separate post.
Anyway, because Justin was bringing Wobbles to get worked on, my Mom, myself and our two girls were on our own in Vegas for the day. At the time we weren’t sure if it would be easy fixes and we would have Wobbles back to sleep in that night or if they would have to keep her longer and we would have to get a hotel. All of the girls set out for the day with snacks and layers packed and the girls tucked into the double stroller.
We decided it would be a perfect day to go to the Children’s Museum, which was within a short 20 minute walk. On our way we found a really incredible building which we found out was the Cleveland Clinic for Brain Health. It was really ironic that it was a brain clinic due to the architectural choice. The building was created out of bent metal creating the illusion that the building was somehow melting before your eyes. Nothing stood straight, but instead every wall was leaning or bending or curving in some way. Man, it even messes with healthy brains! It also contained a unique garden containing very large pieces of art with various sitting areas along a path. Surrounding the building and inside the gardens were speakers playing relaxing wooden flute music. It would have been a tranquil place if it weren’t for a major 4 lane road bombing a handful of feet away. Unfortunate placement.
We arrived at the Children’s Museum about 10 minutes before the doors opened so we decided to pop over to the coffee shop next door which just so happened to have a variety pastries and muffins. Grammy treated the girls to apple pastries, which they were thrilled about. We also spotted a large bug in one of their muffins, but that’s another story.
The children’s museum was fun!! It was an extremely large place with 4 floors which you could access via stairs/elevator or through the center play structure that ran up the middle of the building. The general layout reminded me a bit of the Boston Children’s Museum. This meant that kids could climb up the center play gym and end up on different floors than the adults. Ha, kept us on our toes!
There was much to play with and explore there! The only thing it was lacking was food. There was very expensive prepackaged stuff you could buy from the gift shop but no cafeteria or restaurant. Luckily we brought food so it wasn’t an issue. The museum had dress up, theater, a battle ship, a water room, play house area, painting, drawings, kinetic sand, wind tubes, climbing structures, ball mazes, build your own lego cars and then race them down tracks you build, black light room, paleontological dig site, winter crafts, giant building blocks…you name it, they had it. So fun!
We ended up staying all day at the museum. We left just a half hour before closing when Justin informed us that the dealer was keeping Wobbles and he was booking us a hotel for a couple nights. Justin gathered our things we would need for the next few days from Wobbles and met us ladies at the Main Street Station buffet. We had eaten there once before for lunch with my Mom and found it to be very tasty so we decided to try it again since time was running out. We all enjoyed a good meal but was wishing it was lunch prices as we ate the same things. Regardless, very tasty!
After dinner we all checked into the Platinum Hotel. It was dreamy! I will write about this and our weekend without Wobbles in another post. Sadly, very shortly after we checked into the hotel the time had come to say goodbye to my dear Mom. It was so sad to see her go. I also wished our goodbye hadn’t been in the whirl wind of bedtime with the girls. I love my Mom so very much and treasured the time she spent with us. We will now have to think ahead to April when we’ll see her again. Thanks Mom for visiting us and telling the girls so SO many stories!! They want you back “Grammy the Great Storyteller.”