Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Las Vegas with Kids.....call us crazy!

Call us crazy, but we decided to go on a little mini family vacation to LAS VEGAS!

I know....I know.....not your typical family destination.....but it was the cheapest/closest sunshine we could find!  (I was seriously craving some HEAT!)

Of course....Murphy's law....the weather here in Vancouver was beautiful while we were away.

Of course.

Not *quite* as hot as Vegas, tho ;)

We flew Allegiant Air out of Bellingham, which was a pretty good overall experience, surprisingly enough. We discovered that the open seating system works really well when you have small children because you get to board the plane ahead of the rest of the "open seating" crowd! Worked in our favour both times....we ended up in row 5 (seats that would have cost us $20 each seat/each way I believe)

As for the accommodations.....we found the PERFECT place to stay in Las Vegas! I am not a fan of big, smoky casinos and was so, so relieved that we decided to stay where we did.....at the Signature at MGM. It's a beautiful all-suite hotel (3 towers) connected to the MGM Grand by a nicely air-conditioned walkway....but completely separate from the big casino hotel...and SO quiet!

We were in a 1 bedroom suite, which was perfect for us. It allowed us to put the boys to sleep in the bedroom and enjoy the evenings to ourselves. There were two full bathrooms.....and the master bathroom was HUGE with a big jetted tub and rainfall shower. There was a full, well-equipped kitchen, which was great since our kiddos are on a somewhat restricted diet, it's so much easier to have our own snacks/breakfast, etc on hand. We took a taxi ride to Whole Foods on our first day and stocked up on some good healthy food :)

There's a Starbucks on the lobby of Tower 1, as well as a lounge with amazing food....and an equally great cafe in the Tower 2 lobby (I was addicted to the chicken caesar salad and had it 3 times in 5 days...oh my!). There are three swimming pools for the Signature Hotel....one for each tower.....and the best part is that Signature guests also have access to the big MGM pool complex and Lazy River!  

The kids LOVED the lazy river....and so did we.....because it meant we could just float along at our leisure and the boys were entertained by all of the different waterfalls/sprinklers/fountains along the way. BLISS.  

To top it all off, there was a great indoor shopping strip just inside the MGM, right beside the pool complex, with a BLIZZ self-serve frozen yogurt store, food court, Starbucks, etc etc. as well as several really nice restaurants. 

There are surprisingly quite a few things to do with kids in Las Vegas. We went to Siegfried and Roy's Sanctuary to the the wildcats and dolphins, as well as to the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. Both were definitely a hit with the boys!

We also checked out the Pirate show at Treasure Island, which was a liiiitle bit scary for Toby, but he just couldn't stop watching it despite being a tad scared! :) It's pretty phenomenal!

Komodo Dragon at the Shark Reef (Mandalay Bay)

Fiinny got to touch a stingray.....he was pretty psyched about that :)

The sharks come VERY close!!

Three scurvy dogs in the bottom of a sunken pirate ship!

A crocodile with very large teeth.  (not Captain Hook's favourite animal) ;)

"Leaving Las Vegas..."

The view of the strip from our airplane (MGM Signature at the right)

Our poor little Finny is quite the nervous flyer.....he insists that we're still on the runway for the entire flight, and has to have his window closed so as not to see the clouds. Whatever works for you, buddy....whatever works ;) Sometimes denial is the best solution.

All in all.....we had a great time! And surprisingly, I felt quite relaxed after it all.....which is a somewhat rare feeling after a "holiday" with small children ;)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Captain Hook Pirate Party....Part 3 (the fun)

I'm finally getting around to writing this post....

and yes, I realize it's a little overkill to have so many posts about one party.....

but it was just too much for one post!

Toby is still talking about his party, and how much fun he had.....and the treasure hunt....and the cake......and how all of his friends were there :) 

Makes it all worth it ;)

So....we had a treasure hunt. A "real" one.....with lots of dirt and excitement! Toby's request was that it would be a REAL treasure.....buried in the backyard....by REAL pirates! haha.....

Here's how it started...

yes....we're "that" family. We got fairly into it ;)

They had to "walk the plank" into a swimming pool filled with balls and inflatable sharks...

There were a bunch of "clues" (gold coins) hidden around our backyard (marked on the map) that the pirates had to find before they got to the "X marks the spot".....where a digging frenzy started!

We should have buried the treasure a little deeper because they enjoyed the digging so much!

A TREASURE CHEST was found!! (a.k.a. an old suitcase that I painted)

Inside there was "real treasure". No chocolate coins (not REAL, according to Toby)....just gold coins (plastic), costume jewelry, loose "diamonds" and jewels.....stuff like that.  Then, there was a little mini treasure chest marked with each pirate's initials filled with treasure. (Toby's idea again!)

Of course, we all know how fond Captain Hook is of treasure! well...he was busy loading up. Very busy! ;)

"It's my party....I can do what I want to...." :)

Waiting very patiently for the treasure cake!

All of the pirates got a hat, hook, sword and eye patch to take home. My boys are still playing with theirs!

Pirate Party invitations post here
Pirate Party decor post here
Treasure Chest cake post here

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