Ken has been working out of town a lot the past few months. It’s been quite a transition for all of us and the boys and I miss him like crazy. So, a few weekends ago when I learned that my friend was heading to Phoenix for a soccer tournament, very close where Ken happened to be, I jumped at the chance to make it a group road trip. It would be perfect… it was a long weekend and we’d arrive in time to see Ken for Valentine’s Day. We piled all the kids into one car and headed out on a long drive. Thinking the kids may be wowed by Vegas, especially arriving at night, we booked a room and decided to break the trip into 2 segments. I was so excited for my boys to see the Vegas lights and the “Castle” (Excalibur) where we were staying. I pictured them going crazy once they saw where we got to stay. Perhaps it was the long drive, or the downer when I told them we wouldn’t be swimming that night but they weren’t quite as impressed as I imagined them to be. They were excited and it was cool, but they didn’t go crazy. I was more energetic than they were, trying to invoke the emotion, “Ooohhh, look, the lights! Ooooh, look, were staying in a real castle!” They smiled and appeased and headed to the room to watch a movie and hit the hay.
The next morning was more exciting. Ricky was so excited to see the Statue of Liberty (we’ve since been looking at pictures of the real Statue of Liberty online, regularly) and Nolan and Benny were excited about the various statues… the knights outside the Excalibur, the M&Ms outside the store.
The excitement that I had envisioned came, it just came unexpectedly. The crazy, eyes popping out of their heads, “WOW, mom!” moment, came when Nolan and Benny spotted Bumblebee the Transformer as we walked down the strip. Nolan made a mad dash and bear hugged each one of those Transformers with no warning at all. I’ve never seen this before in Vegas. At first I wasn’t sure who or why they were in costumes, but quickly realized after seeing the wad of cash in each of their hands that this was a job and I now owed them. I owed them cash because they hugged Nolan, but my debt increased after I took a picture of them. “Fine,” I thought, “no big deal, afterall, this was the excitement I had been hoping for.”
But it continued another 10 feet ahead. Woody and Buzz (“kind of creepy” Woody and Buzz as Ricky pointed out!) were next. Nolan went crazy, “Buzz, did you know you’re my favorite.” And so we forked over more cash, hugged and snapped more pictures.
Minions?… Nolan needed more hugs. These guys weren’t shy about letting you know you better dang well break out the larger tip if you plan to take a “FOTO”.
This continued with more characters, more tips and with my boys continuing to hug “kind of creepy” men all the way down the strip. But they LOVED it.
Soon we arrived in Phoenix for absolutely perfect weather. It didn’t take long for the boys to hit the pool.
The boys were so happy to be with their daddy. Below, one of my favorite pictures from the trip. Nolan hung out hanging on to Ken’s arm for most of the afternoon.
Not only did we swim in the afternoons, in the mornings, but also at night. Both pools featured color changing lights which were so cool.
The weekend was filled with soccer, swimming, and playing / cuddling with Daddy.
The following picture is another favorite of mine. We have the typical sibling bickering often in our house, but my boys also have sweet, tender moments that melt my heart. This moment was one of those. Benny was so tired after swimming and being in the sun all afternoon and was whining like crazy when Ricky said, “Oh Benny, I’ll carry you.” And Ricky, who really isn’t that much bigger than Benny, carried him all the way to the car.
It was a fun, perfect little getaway… not too mention quite tiring on all of us!
And now, we’re counting down the
days, hours now, HOURS!, (he’ll be home tomorrow night) until we get to see Ken again.