It's starting to become somewhat of a yearly tradition to travel to Las Vegas each February. Brandon's Blackjack gymnastics meet is what takes us there, of course...but turning the trip into a bit of a family vacation has been a lot of fun and something that looks to continue yearly for the foreseeable future.
Bryan was in Syracuse, New York for business Monday through Thursday so the kids and I packed up the truck and drove the 6.5 hours on our own Thursday afternoon and met him at the Las Vegas airport a few hours after checking into our hotel.
Can I just say, this weekend in Vegas was all about too much to do, too little time. I wish we could've stayed a few more days. Mostly I feel bad we didn't do the shopping we had planned. Especially since this weekend was also doubling as a birthday celebration for Julianne and shopping specifically was high on the list seeing as I had not brought any birthday gifts with us assuming we would be buying said gifts once we arrived. And though our weekend was packed with great sights, sounds and tastes....I think Julianne felt a little gypped on the birthday side of things, despite the fact that I tried to make Friday all about her. In my defense, Julianne did turn down a "Happy Birthday" rendition from the servers at Serendipity 3. I guess when you are turning 15, attention like that is a little bit unwelcome? Or maybe she didn't want to embarras herself in front of John Travolta who had just walked in. (Seriously...Julianne is the one who first noticed him.)
And okay...we did window shop our way through the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian...but we didn't buy anything. Maybe we should've splurged on this hat...it does look rather stylish on Julianne's head, yes?
Remember Siegfried and Roy? The illusionists of the white tiger fame playing at the Mirage? The white tigers are still there in a little sanctuary that they call the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. I never saw Siegfried and Roy's show back in the day, but I don't think dolphins had anything to do with it. All the same, dolphins share this sanctuary with the white tigers and we were pretty thrilled about it because they were really neat!
And of course no trip to Vegas is complete without a stop at the Bellagio Fountains. Or a dip in the heated Tahiti Village hotel pool despite the 52 degree (chilly) temps outside.
Saturday was all about gymnastics. Brandon's meet in the morning went well. A huge meet that had teams from all over the country. The competition is fierce and the judges, strict...but it's a ton of fun and Brandon took 3rd on P Bars, 4th on High Bar and 10th All Around. Later that evening we attended the Winter Cup where the college teams and elite gymnasts competed. Any wonder that Jake Dalton and Danell Leyva, our Olympians, got an extra amount of cheering? We've seen them compete live before, but I have to admit, I was rather starstruck (even more so than when we saw John Travolta...if you can imagine that) and very excited that our seats afforded us a ridiculously up close and personal view of rings and parallel bars.