Monday, February 7, 2011

Waking Up in Vegas

I had Katy Perry's "Waking Up in Vegas" in my head all weekend. And not that we ourselves were gambling, getting drunk or eloping....although we did see a lot of that going on...we were there for Brandon's Black Jack gymnastics meet. Still, the song persisted.

"Shut up and put your money where your mouth is
That's what you get for waking up in Vegas.
Get up and shake the glitter off your clothes now
That's what you get for waking up in Vegas."

I don't know why.

(Dinner at Cheescake Factory in Caesars Palace)

Brandon and I flew in Friday afternoon. Bryan met us at the airport having driven down a few days earlier for a rifle class at Front Sight in Pahrump. (The man lived out of the truck for 4 days. Literally. Slept on a foam pad and a sleeping bag in the back of the covered truck. Bought groceries and kept them in his cooler. Warmed up burritos in the classroom microwaves, charged his cell phone during lectures. Didn't take a shower for a few days but claims that when you're in the middle of the dessert on an outdoor shooting range...who cares? It's just like camping! Well...not my cup of tea but I'm glad he had fun. All the same, I'm pretty sure he was immensely thankful for the shower and soft bed at the Hilton when he arrived in Vegas Thursday night.)

Brandon had never been to Las Vegas before. We gave him a little bit of a heads up before we know, that there are tons of great and neat and cool things about Vegas....but also a lot of things that aren't so great, neat and cool. And that if he saw a billboard or ad, he should just turn his head and ignore it. He reacted well. Marveling at the lights and sights..because truly, Las Vegas is pretty unique. But also ignoring the crap, even though I had no doubt he noticed it. And honestly, we were so busy with gymnastics that we had little time to truly take in much of the strip...much to my chagrin. (I'd hoped for some more shopping and sightseeing. Oh well. Another time.)

(Brandon was gaga-faced walking through the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace but this fountain full of mythological gods and creatures especially caught his attention seeing as we are right in the middle of the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series.)

Las Vegas or no, gymnastics was the reason for the trip. We were up and at the sports center bright and 7:30 AM early for Brandon's warm up and competition. Sitting on those hard, metal bleachers for a good 4 hours or so was not overly comfortable but what fun we had watching Brandon! This was a BIG meet. Teams from all over the country were there. Brandon didn't place in any event, but just the thrill of being there was enough for him. He came running up to me when the whole thing was over, to give me a big hug. I asked him, "So...was that kind of fun?" "Kind of??" he asked incredulously. "It was AWESOME!" I'm glad.(Getting stretched by Coach Gabe before his turn on pommel horse. That's cousin Davis standing in front of the pommel waiting for the judge's high sign to begin his routine.)

(Look at those pointed toes!)

(Getting feed back from Coach Adam after his floor routine.)

(Johnny, Brandon and Davis at lunch at California Pizza Kitchen after the meet. Gabe and Adam also joined us and there was a whole lot of silly hilarity going on. Release of competition pressure, maybe?)

Later that night we came back for the Winter Cup. A competition for the big boys....for the college teams, etc. These are the guys that will compete for the honor of being on the Olympic team in London 2012. In fact, Jonathan Horton, from the 2008 team, was there! Because of a broken thumb he couldn't compete. But he did sign autographs. Brandon was desperate to get an autograph but we didn't have a pen or anything for him to sign. Not one to give up easily, Brandon found some one with a marker and had Jonathan sign his SWAG Black Jack shirt that he had received after the meet earlier and was wearing. (He refuses to wear the shirt now. Is concerned the multiple trips through the laundry might make the autograph fade. He insisted I hang the shirt up on his bedroom wall....) The Winter Cup was AMAZING. I can't count how many times my jaw dropped open in amazement at the things these gymnasts can do. WOW...for lack of a better word.

(Brandon and Davis watching the Winter Cup. How awesome for these boys to see what they have to look forward to if they keep up the hard work.)

(Completely zonked out at PF Chang's after a long, busy day. Heck, it was midnight before we left the restaurant. I had a half a mind to join Brandon in his nap on the bench.)


Mindy said...

What a fun experience for him! The picture of you guys at the C.F. is very cute.

Anonymous said...

What a fun time you guys had! I always have that same song in my head too when I go to Vegas! :)

MELISSA said...

really, can you get cooler than my nephew? Not sure you can.