Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vacation Memories

Can I just say... "ahhhhhhhh." Short pause, then a big smile.  That's what happens when I "tell about our vacation."  I guess it was much-needed? I didn't realize it was, but it was.  Here's the recap: (Warning: ridiculous amount of pictures in this post, but I narrowed it down as best as I could!)

State Farm held their agency convention in Las Vegas this year.  This usually an every 3 year event, although because of the economy, it has been 5 years since the last one.  So, this was Kreg's first time to experience it with the Good family (and obviously, Westin & Tucker's also!).  We left early on Sunday morning & headed for Las Vegas! It's an easy 1 hour 30 minute flight out of Denver.  I'm really glad we decided to fly instead of drive. Westin was just as excited for the airplane ride as he was for the rest of the trip, I think :).  

We got to Las Vegas early Sunday morning & checked into our hotel.  We stayed at the Wynn, which was awesome.  My parents' room was in the Wynn tower on the 60th floor, over-looking the golf course.  Our room was in the Encore tower overlooking the strip-- I couldn't get enough of the view.  It was perfect!  Westin enjoyed sitting in the wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows and watching the view below!

We grabbed some lunch & headed to the pool, where we would spend lots of fabulous r&r time.  Just what we needed! 

Later that evening, we ate at the Rainforest Cafe at the MGM Grand hotel.  Westin enjoyed that immensely :)

Monday's highlights included more pool time & seeing the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur hotel. (I think everywhere else it's known as Medieval Times) Westin fell asleep on our way to the show, and didn't wake up until the show started & everyone started clapping.  He promptly sat up & said, "thank you. thank you. thank you, guys!" I guess he thought all the clapping was for him :) Anyway, the show kept his attention the entire time & he LOVED all the horses & fireworks & singing.  It was great! 

Westin found some "kid games" inside Excalibur! Let me just say, Las Vegas is a SUPER FUN place to vacation, but you just have to be careful.  It's hard to explain to a 2-year-old why he can't "play the games" that we walk past constantly (in the casinos!).  So, finding an arcade was just perfect.  Kreg & Westin played a few games & I would say came out a whole lot further ahead than the majority of people who come to Las Vegas to "play games."

After we left, we "walked the strip" just taking in the sights & all the free shows along the way.  We enjoyed the pirate show at Treasure Island, watched the gondolas at the Venetian, the fountains at the Bellagio, and took a brief stop inside the shops at Caesars Palace.  It's a crazy, crazy city with constant lights & noise... I can't even begin to imagine the kind of electricity it takes to keep the city running 24 hours a day! 

Tuesday called for more pool time :) One of my favorite random memories was of Westin & the elevators.  Up & down 60 flight, we spent a lot of time in the elevators.  He always walked in, straight to the back & HELD ON to the rails :) so cute!

We also hit the Buffet at the Wynn that day which was all it was cracked up to be... we stuffed ourselves on very good food. Here's Wes, Kreg & Taylor & part of their yummy desserts:

Tuesday night my parents took Westin & my brother to State Farm's final night event, which sounded like a lot of fun!  They fed them, brought in a big parade, one of the former Eagles members for a concert & the most spectacular fireworks show they had ever seen.  Westin got to see the "stars" of the Disney/Pixar show "Cars" & came back with a souvenir... an airbrush tattoo which he called his "pet" and showed off proudly all week... oh, great!

Kreg, Taylor, Tucker & I got to go pick up Kortney from the airport who flew out from Arkansas to join us for the second half of the trip! It was so, so good to see her and spend time with her! We ate at a pizza place inside the Wynn that sits on the lake next to the waterfall. It was a GREAT time to just to catch up with the siblings and relax on the patio in the perfect weather. 

Wednesday we got up, got our cars & drove to California! Our first stop was In-N-Out Burger for lunch (of course.) 

and then we headed to Newport Beach, where we met my grandparents, aunt, uncle & cousins & played on the beach.  We took the opportunity to get some family photos!

The boys enjoyed some frisbee action & my uncle caught a crab :) Personally, I enjoyed sinking my toes in the sand, listening to the ocean, and being with my family.  

We ate at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Newport Beach & then headed in to Anaheim where our hotel was.  We checked in & headed to the hot tub :) 

Thursday we spent at Disneyland!  I am sure I will never be too old to enjoy that place :).  It took on a whole new life for me this trip with my boys! We did all the little person rides again & watching the excitement and enjoyment on my Westin's face was more fun than I could have ever imagined.  There are just no words!  I know he probably won't remember this trip, but I will... and I am SO glad we took him at this age and so glad I have the memories we made. 
 Kreg, Tucker & I almost there!
 Westin spots the castle, which is what I had been telling him was "Disneyland" :) now he knows where he is & he is EXCITED.
Tucker LOVED it's a Small World.  Who would have known? :)
 He's been talking about the Dumbo ride for weeks, even though he didn't know what it was.
 Westin was SO excited to meet Mickey!

We stayed at the park until it closed, then took the bus back to our hotel & ordered pizza to our suite.  It was perfect-- we were all a little more than exhausted!

Friday we did California Adventure.  The last time I was there was in 2003 and it was so new that it didn't have a lot of rides yet.  I'm telling you, late September/early October is the perfect time to do these parks.  Perfect weather & small crowds! We did all the fun rides & spent some time in "A Bug's World" where all the kiddie rides are.  

 I just love that I got to spend time with all these wonderful women! OH, and glad I gave in & bought a moby wrap.  I bought it for a wedding I was shooting when Tucker was 4 weeks old... it has been used many times since then!
 Westin & Kreg on the ladybug ride!
 Kreg got his turkey leg! Yay!

We ate at the ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney for dinner that night, then Kreg & I did some Christmas shopping for the boys there in Downtown Disney.  

We went back to California Adventure for the "Wonderful World of Color" show, which was awesome! We headed back to our hotel after the show, got a little sleep, & drove back to Las Vegas early Saturday morning to fly home.  

AND, I have pretty much spent the past couple weeks catching up & recovering:) HA! Funny how that works.  We actually came back to a lot of photo shoots & other miscellaneous things that took up a lot of time.  So when I say I'm just now catching up, I'm telling the truth :) I can finally see the floor of my laundry room & all my bathrooms have finally been cleaned.  But it was SO worth it!!