“Adulting” in Vegas

Last week Kyle and I were lucky enough to go visit one of our favourite vacation spots, Las Vegas, for the second time! My mom was kind enough to watch the girls for the four days that we were gone, so we were able to “adult” and have some much needed alone time!

We flew out of Kelowna and had a short layover in Calgary before landing at McCarran Airport Monday afternoon. Instead of breaking each day down individually, I’m going to recap our trip in categories.

Where we stayed:
We booked a room in the Julius Tower at Caesar’s Palace through Expedia back in August. The prices were good and I’ve always wanted to stay at Caesar’s Palace, so I figured why the heck not?! The rooms were decently priced too. When we went to check in our room wasn’t quite ready, so I asked if there were any complimentary upgrades were available so we didn’t have to wait. There was! We got a very nice room in the Palace Room for no extra cost to us – woo! The biggest upgrade was the bathroom – there was an ENORMOUS jetted tub, a double-vanity and a separate toilet “room.” It was definitely worth asking for.

My only gripe about Caesar’s Palace was how BIG the resort is. It took forever to walk anywhere inside; while I’m happy we got to stay there I don’t think I’d do it again just based on that.

(L to R: Upward view from the pool; the Statue of David; the Fountain of the Gods at the Forum Shops)

What we did:
We decided to prebook a couple of shows while we were still in Canada so we could ensure we’d get good seats when we got to the show.

On Monday night (after an obligatory trip to Walgreens) we booked tickets to see Penn & Teller at the Rio. We weren’t particularly hungry but arrived way too early to wait in the theatre, so we ended up playing a quick round of Kiss by Monster Mini Golf. It was incredibly cheesy and not a great mini golf course, but it was an okay way to kill an hour before the show.

Penn & Teller’s show, however, was really good! There was a lot of “traditional” magic (slight of hand, card tricks) and our seats were great so it made it that much more entertaining. It wasn’t a big, over the top production and that, I think, it was made it stand out. We even had the opportunity to meet Penn & Teller after the show and had our picture taken with Penn!

We did a bit of shopping in the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace and the Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood; I bought some new lululemon leggings and Kyle found a couple of shirts.

We also visited Seigfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and while it was just okay it was still pretty neat to see the big white lions and tigers. We picked up souvenir white tigers for the girls and they were a hit when we came home.

Tuesday night we went to see Fantasy at the Luxor. We had seen the show before but had nosebleed seats, so this time we prepurchased tickets back in September. What a difference! There were new dance routines but the comedian unfortunately had the same acts which was disappointing. Still – it was a great show overall!

Of course, we did a bit of gambling; we managed to find $5 Blackjack tables at New York New York and while we didn’t win big, we didn’t go broke ;) I even won $28 on a dorky side bet and $7 on a slot machine in the airport before we left! Kyle won $25 or so on a slot machine as well :)

We played Top Golf, which is located behind the MGM Grand! It’s a super fun interactive driving range and we really enjoyed it! It would’ve been even more fun with a couple more people because you could really make an afternoon out of it. I definitely recommend trying it out if you ever get a chance!

And of course, a Vegas trip isn’t complete until I watch the Bellagio Fountain Show at night! We stopped by to watch on our last night there and it was the perfect ending!

(L to R: Sunset on the Strip; meeting Penn; Top Golf; our last night on the Strip in front of the Bellagio Fountain)

Where we ate:
It seems like all I wanted to do on this trip was eat, haha. We ended up stopping at the BubbaGump Shrimp Co. on Monday and it was just okay. I think it compared to any other fried seafood restaurant out there.

We went to Carnegie Deli inside the Mirage on the recommendation of Kyle’s uncle and it did NOT disappoint! We split and ENORMOUS sandwich and a plate of fries and were both stuffed. And our sandwich was “small” in comparison to some of the other options on the menu. ;)

We returned to Slice of Vegas pizza place as well this trip to grab a bite before the Fantasy show. Kyle has gone there every trip so I guess you can say it’s a tradition now to go there. We split a pizza and I had an “adult” root beer that was so good!

Of course, we HAD to hit up a buffet while we were there, and Caesar’s Palace had a deal where if you opted out of room service to “go green” you’d receive a $10/day credit towards any CP-affiliated eatery. We decided to use the credit on the Bacchanal Buffet and it was SO worth going to! While the “entry” fee was pricy, the food choices definitely made it worth it. We stuffed our faces until we couldn’t move and then headed back to our room to digest, haha.

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The a few of the dessert choices at Bacchanal Buffet!

In a nutshell …
We had such a wonderful time and it was so needed. It was great to be able to be together, just the two of us, and kind of reconnect as a couple. Life has been crazy busy and we haven’t had a lot of time to ourselves (obviously), so it was nice to be “Kyle and Kara” for a few days instead of “Mom & Dad.” We were asked quite a bit what we were going to do when we were there and our answer was usually “adulting,” and while our trip was pretty tame as far as Vegas standards go, I’m pretty sure we “adulted” to the fullest.

Of course, it was great to come home and see the girls. As much as it was nice to have some time away from them I still missed them a lot!

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August Recap

Oops, I did it again? I totally didn’t mean to only post four stinkin’ times in August but what can you do? Life was either busy or I just didn’t have the oomph to sit down and write. But – here I am now updating you on what else we got up to during the second half of the month.

My dad turned 60 this month, so Isla, Norah and I headed out to Vernon for a couple nights to help him celebrate. My brother also flew in from Vancouver, so it was a fun, family affair! We spent our full day there visiting Davison Orchard in the morning and then after lunch/Norah’s nap we headed down to the lake for a couple of hours. Two of my aunts came into town to help celebrate as well, so it was good to catch up with them a bit!

We also made a quick jump over to Old Navy in Kelowna as well so I could do some back to school shopping for Isla.

Vernon

My brother hitched a ride back to Kamloops with me so he could visit with my mom for a couple of days before bussing it back to Vancouver. It was good to see him since we probably won’t see each other again until Christmas!

Last weekend we were invited by some longtime friends of ours to be tourists and ride the old steam train that’s in Kamloops. Named the Spirit of Kamloops, it takes you on a short journey across the river and back. While it wasn’t quite what I had expected, it was still pretty neat and the kids all had a blast, so that’s all that matters! Plus it was great to catchup with our friends; we’ve known each other since high school and have grown up so much since then!

Train

Finally, on Tuesday and Wednesday the RCMP Musical Ride was visiting Kamloops and the horses from the ride were being boarded inside the sports centre on the North Shore. The public was invited to come and “meet” the horses, so I thought it would be a good way to kill a couple of hours with the girls. While you weren’t actually able to meet all of the horses individually, there were a couple horses tethered near open Exit doors and you could pet them from the exterior of the building. Norah just adored them and even Isla got into petting the one. Even I thought the horses were stunning and pet them, and I’m slightly apprehensive around them. (Long story.)

RCMP

Now it’s the long weekend and we have no plans! Lets call it the “calm before the storm” as Isla starts kindergarten on Thursday. *sob face* I can’t believe how quickly the summer went by, but I’m impressed by how much we managed to do considering the forest fires.

How was your summer? Do anything special?

Road Trip Recap

Warning: This post is wordy!

Once a year my mom and I try to make our way down to the Vancouver area to get some solid family and shopping time in. This past weekend we loaded up half of my house our stuff and headed out for a fun, four-day visit!

(Seriously though – I drove our truck down because we had SO MUCH STUFF. Between our regular luggage and everything I needed for Norah, it was necessary to take the truck.)

The girls did great on the ride down only having to stop twice, once just to stretch our legs and the other time to have lunch. We were lucky enough to have great driving weather and once we got down to the Fraser Valley the traffic wasn’t even that bad. When we arrived at my grandpa’s we were welcomed with margaritas! Can’t say no to that ;)

After dinner we went for a short walk up to the park where the girls had some fun on the swings and teeter totter. Soon it was time to walk back and turn in for the night, as Saturday we had a busy day planned out!

My grandpa drove us to the Skytrain station where we hopped on the train to go right into downtown Vancouver and meet up with my brother! He met us at the stop closest to his apartment and we picked up some lunch from Freshii (which I’m still drooling over) on our way to his place.

After lunch we headed out towards the Seawall and walked along there until we got to the Aquabus dock. We hopped on the cute little ferry and went across False Creek to Granville Island and checked out the Public Market and Kid’s Market! Isla was having a ton of fun and she was SO sad/upset when it was time to leave, but we had a lot of walked left to do to get back to the Skytrain station and head back into Burnaby. (I think my brother said we walked just over 15,000 steps, according to the app on his phone.) I’m so glad I was able to borrow a Sit & Stand stroller, because Isla wouldn’t have survived the trek back to the station.

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Sunday was our shopping day and we headed out to Ikea (conveniently only 10 minutes away from my grandpa’s) to BUY ALL THE THINGS pick up a few items. I bought a bookshelf for Norah’s room and some new dishes, as well as a couple odds & ends because Ikea. I was also able to meet up with Callie, which was wonderful as we don’t get to see each other very often! (Especially in her neck of the woods!) We all went back to the house afterwards for some lunch and then my grandpa dropped us off at the Skytrain station so we could hop on the train and head to Metrotown to do some more shopping!

Old Navy just so happened to have an amazing sale on baby and kid’s clothes (BOGO free!), so I stocked up on some summer gear for Isla and Norah. We also visited the Disney Store where Isla REFUSED to leave, (can you blame her?) and I got suckered into going to Lululemon by my brother:

Him: Don’t you want to go into Lululemon?
Me: I don’t really need to. I don’t need anything.
Him: Well, I want to look at shorts for running.
Me: Okay, fine. 
(I buy a new bag, my brother buys NOTHING.)

It was time to head back to the Skytrain, and that’s when the hilarity begins. First, we ask Isla if she needs to use the bathroom, which is at the complete opposite side of the mall from the Skytrain station. (Of course.) She says no, so we head towards to station. We get to the exit, and what is Isla doing? The potty dance. I walk/run allllllllllll the way back to the bathroom with her, then we walk/run allllllllllll the way back so we can get on the train. One just pulled up when we got to the platform, so we rush and get on the train only to realize after it takes off that we got on the headed in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION of where we needed to go. Ugh. So we get off at the next station, get on the train going the RIGHT way, only to realize that we were on the train going to SURREY, not our stop. We rode that train until we couldn’t anymore, then FINALLY got on the train that would take us to the station where my grandpa was picking us up. Thankfully the Skytrain “regulars” could tell that we were total newbs and were so wonderfully helpful in making sure we got on the correct trains.

Needless to say, I was happy when my grandpa busted out the margarita machine when we got back!

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Isla would’ve rode the train all day if we let her.

Monday morning we loaded up the truck (which took some planning out due to all of our shopping) and we were on our way home. It was bittersweet leaving because we had such an amazing time, but the girls were starting to get a little restless and needed to get back to their normal schedule. They did SO well though – especially Norah – and neither one of them made me regret driving all the way down to Vancouver for a few days.

We can’t wait to do it all again next year!!