After weeks of procastinating I finally spent some time yesterday to reorganize my closet to make it winter-ready. I bid a sad farewell to my summer dresses and greeted my sweaters with a warm welcome. P thought I was losing my mind when he caught me saying sayonara to my summer clothes while i neatly folded them and tucked them away on the top shelf. Am I the only one who does that?
Las Vegas would probably be the last city you'd want to visit for a family vacation with a toddler. You're probably thinking, they didn't call it the Sin City for nothing. But despite all the cautionary tales from countless CSI reruns, we still went ahead and celebrated my birthday and our anniversary in Las Vegas early this month. P and I have always been curious about The Strip and wanted to experience the excess and grandeur for ourselves. As it turns out, there were other adventurous parents like us who were brave enough to bring thier kids along to a weekend in Vegas.
I would say the trip was a success. We were able to see what we came to see while making it as enjoyable as possible for the little one. If you're planning a family vacation in Vegas here are some kid-friendly tips that might come in handy:
If you're vacationing with minors, only walk the strip while the sun is out. Once it gets dark the crowd gets rowdy (probably because by this time most people are drunk) and all the sex peddlers come out. Not even a stroller will stop them from handing out their flyers.
The hotel buffets are a good choice for dining with toddlers. For one, they eat for free. Secondly, there's a variety of food to choose from so you have options for your picky eater. The buffets are very casual so you don't have to worry about your little one making a bit of mess during meal times.
the buffet at the Paris Hotel
Entertain yourselves for free by touring the different themed hotels. The lobby at the Bellagio is something you wouldn't want to miss. While we were there their lobby was transformed into an enchanted forest - enchanting both young and old. Other must-see free attractions are the water show at the Bellagio fountain which starts at 6pm everyday and the lion feeding at the Lion Habitat at MGM Grand everyday at 4:30pm.
enchanted forest at the Bellagio Hotel lobby
Choose your accomodations wisely. I recommend the Venetian for families for several reasons. One, the suites are very spacious. Two, there is a food court in the hotel, convenient for buying food especially since rooms don't have microwaves. Third, they have heated pools so you have the option to just have relaxing family time in the pool area. Fourth, there's a Walgreens in the hotel if you need to get supplies. Believe me, that's a real consideration if you have a toddler in tow. The next closest place you can get water and other miscellaneous items are from Walgreens and CVS near MGM Grand (which is like a mile away). Another family-friendly hotel that we want to try on our next trip (if there will ever be one) is Mandalay Bay. The hotel is situated at the end of the strip so it's close enough if you want to join in on the action but far enough so you can also enjoy some peace and quiet. Plus they have a great resort with a wave pool.
Last but not least, relax and enjoy each moment together.
We caught the cold bug that's been going around. Buddy and I are both feeling lousy and congested, not to mention sleep deprived! My mother-in-law's arrival couldn't have come at a better time. I'm so thankful for the extra set of helping hands especially since P working in Dallas again this week. With that said, I bid you adieu and I will be heading off to bed for a mid-day nap while the little boy is asleep.
p.s The cold didn't stop us from shoe shopping yesterday. Gap flats were on sale. Who could resist?
Everyday I treat myself to little luxuries like a piece of pie, a tall cup of chai latte, a scoop (or two) of ice cream, a new piece of clothing or accessory, etc... You get what I mean. Well, today it was a 45minute afternoon nap. P flew in from Dallas earlier than expected so I was able to take a much needed break from mommy duty.
It just occurred to me that we've been living in the US for almost a year now. This is the longest we've been away from home since we started moving around. In the previous assignments we would fly home every 3 months but now it's a different story. Oh, how I miss those regular fly backs!
That's why I was super excited for our Las Vegas trip. Aside from admiring the man-made marvel that is the strip, I was looking forward to visiting the Jollibee store to have my Chickenjoy and Jolly Spaghetti fix. And indeed I did! We even rented a car on our 3rd day in Las Vegas just to go to Jollibee (after our quick tour of Hoover Dam).
I know it's sounds cliche but being inside the store really felt like we were back home again. The store interior looked exactly like the stores in Megamall. The crew were speaking Tagalag. Even the show on their LCD was TV Patrol World! Of course, as expected, the food was langhap-sarap! Even Bud loved the chicken and spaghetti. And you know what else he loved? The mascot! He was smitten as soon as we walked in the door. What is it about this big red bee that makes it so lovable?
All this reminiscing is making me hungry!
If you're ever craving for Jollibee (like me), check out www.jollibee.com.ph for a list of their international stores. You might get surprised that there's one near you.
The past couple of days have been unusually warm for fall so we took advantage and spent the weekend outdoors - swimming in the lake, apple picking and shopping! Okay, so the last one wasn't exactly an outdoor activity but it still got us out of the house.
A gorgeous Friday afternoon at Bryant Lake
An enjoyable Saturday picking apples (and feeding ponies)
step #1: Taste the different variety of apples and choose which ones you want to pick.
step #2 : Once you have decided, pay the corresponding amount at the cashier to get your plastic bag. Each bag is approximately 10lbs worth of apples.
step #3: Get a map of the orchard to locate your apple trees.
step #4: Start plucking and fill up your bag.
step #5: Enjoy!
Shoe shopping on Sunday
Finally, after weeks of searching, I found the one! Let me introduce you to my Water Row booties from Clarks. I know, Clarks sounds so granny-ish. I was also pleasantly surprised when I found these darlings in piperlime. And because comfort is really top priority for me when it comes to shoes, I had to go to Mall of America to try it on before purchasing. True to it's promise, it was amazingly comfortable and the silhouette is very sexy. I'm so excited to strut in style (to the grocery) this fall!
I have so much to be thankful for this week. For one, I just turned a year older. Not that I claim to be any wiser but I am definitely feeling my metabolism slowing down and my wrinkles getting more visible, haha! But seriously, I think more than the age, it was motherhood that made me more mature (and gave me all the wrinkles).
Also, P and I had just celebrated our 4th year anniversary as a married couple. It feels like we've been together forever. I guess there's some truth to that considering we've been boyfriend-girlfriend since 1995. Yes, we were college sweethearts. And yes, we waited 10 years before getting married. We were young, we wanted to focus on our careers and save for the future. I am so glad we waited until we were really ready. Marriage is a decision and a commitment and I couldn't have chosen a better partner than P. He's reliable, generous, thoughtful, smart and funny. Not to mention a great cook!
The last four years has been quiet a journey. We've had our share of adventures and challenges, more than enough to keep our children and grandchildren entertained during story time.
October 6, 2006
p.s. As my birthday resolution, I have decided to shun away all pastries and sweet treats in the hopes that it will help me get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. How I wish I could look the way I did on my wedding day.
Remember when I wrote here about the wasps that we found in our house when came home from our first Dallas trip? Turned out they were not wasps but yellow jacket bees. Mr. exterminator found a hive in one of our air vents on the ground floor, yikes! Good news is they're gone now.
Bad news is we have new guests. We were greeted by a swarm of boxelder bugs when we arrived Thursday night from our latest Dallas trip. We were told they're harmless but still they're a nuisance. We couldn't open our windows and sliding doors because of their sheer volume!