Friday, November 30, 2012

Our Big Vegas Sendoff

Turkey Day in Vegas was full of lots of cooking and lots of fun.  Cassi and I got everything we could get prepped done that morning.  Our plan was to put the Turkey in the oven, and take our families to Wreck-It Ralph whilst the bird was cooking.  We set the delayed start timer on the oven, and we were so worried with making sure it worked, that when we got back from the movie the oven was sure on, but the turkey was sitting on the counter!  That was kind of funny.  

Wreck-It Ralph was super cute!  I didn't think I'd like it all that much, as I've never been a huge fan of video games.  But the story was so cleverly written, and the characters were so likable  that I actually really enjoyed it.  I might have even gotten a little teary-eyed at the end.  I would definitely recommend it!

The rest of Thanksgiving went according to plan, and all the food turned out super yummy -- thanks to Cassi and my own excellent culinary skills.

Cassi and myself in front of all the food we prepared.

Friday was our last full day/night in V-town, so Cassi and I decided to do it up right!  We decided to get a sitter, and have a double-date night.  Our night began at the Rio where we ate lots and lots and lots and lots of crab legs.  They were oh-so-heavenly.  About 95% of my meal was crab.  I also ate shrimp, salmon, veggies, and sampled from the dessert selection.  Everything was good, the company included!
Jim and me on date night
After dinner we decided our big Vegas sendoff should include riding a roller coaster.  I've never done ANY of the rides in Vegas, so I was in charge of deciding which ride we would scream on.  I thought New York New York would be a lot of fun.  It was 10:45 when we finished dinner, and the coaster closed at 11:00, so we rushed on over.  On the drive we passed the Bellagio fountains which were dancing to the "I'm Proud to Be an American" song.  We rolled down all the windows and belted out the lyrics together.  The four of us made a pretty good quartet. . . even if there were two Canadians in the car.

We made it to the coaster just in time, and I started to get the pre-ride butterflies.  I haven't been on a non-Disney roller coaster in about ten years and two kids.  Let me tell you, getting older makes me a lot  more chicken!!  I was shaking, but excited. . . and a little worried I might need a depends.

Once we sat in the ride I started panicking, and double checking the seats to make sure they wouldn't malfunction and I would go flying out of my seat during the ride.  Luckily for me, the restraints did their job, and we all stayed secure.  

The ride was actually SUPER fun mixed with a bit of terrifying.  I screamed, "OH NOOOOOOOOOO" at every dip, loop, and turn, but when my feet where back on solid earth, I thought the overall ride was quite fun.

The best part of the ride was getting our souvenir pictures.  Jim and my picture made us giggle a little, but was pretty standard.  John and Cassi's picture had us all laughing so hard I thought I might need some depends again.  We joked around saying that since John has to work so early in the morning, every time he sits down he falls asleep. . . coaster included.  We joked that Cassi looked like a foreign lady (we had a Russian theme going that night, talking in accents for reasons I can't remember) who just got into town, and thought she was getting on a taxi ride, but to her horror she was actually on a roller coaster and was TERRIFIED!!  We had the giggles something fierce.

Our big Vegas send-off night was perfect.

Saturday, John and Cassi took us to a Swap Meet which was a lot of fun.  I found a cute vintage tea-set for $8.  The kids also picked out some toys.  When we got back to the Jacobs' abode, it was time to pack up and start our journey home.

We were sad to leave, but can't wait to go back! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Jacobs and the Chocolate Factory

We had a lot of fun the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  During the day we hung out, Cassi, my SIL, and I did some grocery shopping to get ready for Turkey Day.  Jim watched the kids while we cracked ourselves up at the grocery store.  There were some nice looking fireman also doing their shopping, and we were coming up with scenarios to get their attention.  I was doing a Monica (from Friends) inspired bit where I was rubbing a can of chili on my face saying, "Oooo, Mr. Fireman this can of chili is like fire on my face.  Maybe you should put it out."  You would have to be a Friends fan to truly appreciate my foolery.  Mid-bit a lady I hadn't noticed was trying to get by.  She eventually said, "EXCUSE ME!" in the middle of my bit.  She must have thought I was crazy.  That made me laugh even more.  Good times.  

After shopping, we got ready, and everyone headed out for a night on the town.  John, Jim's brother, suggested going to a local chocolate factory as they had just put up their Christmas light.  That sounded good to us, so off we went.

First was stopped for dinner at Jim and John's old family restaurant:  Jimmy Johns.  

Chowing down
The chocolate factory did not disappoint.  The lights were beautiful and chocolate yummy!

All the lights
I love all of Tralee's poses for pictures

I couldn't talk her out of wearing that shirt.  More on that later.  Crazy girl
Silly girls
The candy man can!
Lexi getting her chocolate sample
Sampling some chocolate
Special brothers and cute Lexi-Jo
I love this picture of Tralee and Lexi
Family pic.
While looking at lights we had our first lost child scenario happen.  I told Jim I had to go to the bathroom, so as I was in the ladies' room Cassi came in and asked, "Is Tralee in here with you?"  She sure wasn't!  When I made it back outside, I noticed all the adults in our party looking around for Tralee.  I joined them.  I started to panic as it is NOT LIKE Tralee to just wander off.  I searched the gift shop, and I heard Jim doing our family whistle over and over again.  The whistle in a chickadee bird call, and whenever we do it, our kids come running.  We wanted Tralee to follow the sound, if she was lost.  

After a few more seconds of panic, searching, and whistling ensued I heard John go, "There she is!"  I watched as our little girl ran across the parking lot, tears streaming down her face, into Jim's arms.  I rushed over and heard her little voice tell us what happened.  She said, "I saw a lady walking away sniff sniff hiccup and I thought it was Mommy.  Her hair looked like Mommy's.  hiccup hiccup.  Then she turned around and she wasn't wearing hiccup sniff sniff any glasses and she was old and I knew it wasn't Mommy.  Then I didn't know hiccup hiccup how to find my way hiccup back." 

 Poor girl had followed a lady into the dark parking because she thought it was me!  Then when she realized it wasn't Mommy, she was lost in a maze of cars, all alone and scarred.  We asked her if she heard the family whistle, and she said she did, but sometimes it sounded like it was far away.  She finally decided to go towards the lights, and listened for the whistle, and finally she saw Jim.  I felt so bad for her, and so relieved that we found our little girl!  We love her a lot and kinda want to keep her around for awhile. 

After all the fun and drama at the chocolate factory, we drove to the Bellagio, walked around, and watched a water show at the fountains.   
Lexi and Tralee.  I couldn't talk Tralee out of wearing that t-shirt.  She had colored it oh-so-proudly with her cousin Lexi and wanted to show the world their talents.  I sighed and decided to loose that battle, even though I had a really cute shirt picked out for her to wear.  Oh well.
Chihuly glass ceiling!!
We called it night after all the wee ones started yawing and complaining about tired feet.  It was a fun night (minus loosing a child)!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

We Made it to Las Vegas!

We drove to Vegas the Monday before Thanksgiving to visit Jim's brother, John and his family.  John and Cassi have three kids that are close to my kids' ages, so it's safe to say we all had a blast!  I don't even think I heard from Tralee the whole time we were there unless she needed something or if I was making her do something totally uncool, like take a bath or brush her teeth.  Other than that, she was off playing.

Tuesday was our first full day in Vegas.  We mostly hung out during the day, and went partying on Fremont Street that night.  We had a lot of fun with family.

Cute baby Brynli.  I can't believe this was the first time I met her!  Look at those eyes!  Adorable!
Brody and his new dog


Tralee decided she wants a pogo stick after using her cousins.
Jim and John walking their babies.  They're such cool dads!  
Such a little ham
Trying on the crowns and beads.
Watching the show above.
Isn't Brody a cutiepie?
I don' t think Brynli was all that impressed with the show, but gosh she's a cutie!
Check out Hunter!  He didn't miss a thing!

Here's a video of Tralee dancing on Fremont Street.  She was feelin' it!
You can tell they're siblings, can't you?
Watching a street magician.  Tralee called his floating cigarette a "smoking stick."   That made me smile!  Tralee was also AMAZED at everything the magician did.  She down right slapped both hands on her cheeks, and had a bugged out expression after several of his tricks.  I think I watched her more than the magic show.
Hunter had had enough of the Vegas shenanigans for one night, so he fell asleep looking like Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone.

It was good night.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Zion National Park

We made it to our first destination, St. George, UT late Friday night.  We checked into our hotel, got settled, and slept in until the kiddies woke us up Saturday morning.

Saturday was kind of a hang-out day.  We took the kids swimming at our hotel's pool, ran some errands, and went running.  Later on Jim's sister, Adrienne took me out to a delish Indian/Asian restaurant.  My mouth waters every time I think about it.  I need to go back to St. George, just so I can eat there again -- the company was fantastic too! 

Sunday we all piled into Adrienne's car and drove to Zion National Park.  It was stunning.  We drove through some tunnels, went on some hikes, and ended our night at a yummy pizza place and then candy/ice cream shop for dessert.  I even found some candy cigarettes I used to get on road trips when I was a kid.  I totally bought them, then offered my nieces some ciggies - the bubblegum variety.  I felt like such a rebel!  Next thing you know, I'll need a bubblegum patch to wear to stop my cravings for blowing bubbles. 

All in all, our day in Zion was heavenly!
Just about to drive through a mountain

You can't tell me that that's not beautiful!

The start of our hike
Heading up the trail

Hunter makes a weird face when we tell him to smile for a picture.  Everyone tried to copy it -- even Hunter.

This is the end of the Narrows hike.  Jim has done this hike a few times with friends.  I would be too afraid of flash floods to hike between two mountains, but I'm glad I got to see a bit of it.
Tandra and Cassi, some of my favorite gals in the whole world!  
Tralee was playing Rapunzel in the picture on the left.  She's just being a dare-devil in the one on the right.
Jim skipping rocks, Cassi by the water, and a branch/root Adrienne found that looks like a woman.  Anyone else see it?

Tandra, Jim, Tralee, and Hunter at Weeping Rock
Hunter watching the drops of water fall
drip drip drip
Family photo
She smiles!
Adrienne, Tralee (being forced to smile - she was hungry at this point), Hunter, Jim, Cassi, and Tandra
Yummy ice cream and candy shop.  I bought some salted chocolate covered caramels that blew my pants right off they were so amazing!
"Hey kids, fancy a Lucky Light?  All the cool Aunts nostalgic for their days of youth are chewing them!"