Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Vacation 2014

We took a vacation! This was a first for us, where we didn't have a schedule or anything. We just drove and stayed with friends and family and had a fantastic time.
Here are my boys, dressed alike and ready for a road trip.
This is how loaded the car was. I didn't hear a single complaint the whole way, though! Shannon was pretending to be asleep and Chris always closes his eyes when he says "cheese!"
Our first stop was Las Vegas. There is a lot to do there that doesn't cost any money! We started at the Bellagio and saw the Botanical Garden. It was fantastic! They change up the decorations depending on the season.
No trip to the Bellagio would be complete without seeing the water show. It was so cool! I would love to see it at night some time. Across the street from that is the Eiffel Tower restaurant. I can't believe someone built all of that just for a restaurant, but there it is.

Next we went to M&Ms World. This was my idea of heaven!
Just look at all of those!!!
Chris loves M&Ms as much as I do, so he really enjoyed it as well. Here he is hugging an orange one.
There's even a tiny theater in this store with a 3D M&Ms movie that the girls loved. Chris was freaked out at the 3D, but didn't mind it once we took his glasses off.
The machine to make your own personalized M&Ms.
Just when I didn't think it could get any better, I looked across the street and saw Hershey's World. Naturally, we had to go.
They had giant Hershey bars, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups the size of small pies, and these:
Oh, and every color/kind of Hershey's Kiss you can imagine. The sales person saw me coming from a mile away and pulled out her last few bags (or so she said) of macadamia nut Hershey's kisses. She told me that they are only available in Las Vegas and Hawaii. I couldn't resist that!
Here are my girls, melting in front of the fake Statue of Liberty.
This was the temperature on our way to our stop for the night. One of my college roommates lives in Las Vegas, so we went to her house and had a great visit with her and her husband. It was so good to see them again!
The next morning we loaded up and drove 4 more hours to Rancho Cucamonga, where Matt is from. He wanted more than anything to eat at Vince's spaghetti. It was actually pretty good, considering I don't think I have ever paid for spaghetti. Their garlic bread was wonderful.
We drove to the old neighborhood and got pictures of the house Matt grew up in. We also stopped to see the barber that cut his hair since he was a little boy.
 Next it was off to Aunt Kristi's. We immediately got into our swimsuits and got in the pool. It felt sooooo good after all that driving. We spent the night at my niece's house, then got right back in the pool for the fourth of July. Brock, my nephew, made us hot dogs and hamburgers for lunch, and we were still full at dinner, so we had bread and fresh fruit with cream. We watched "Captain America" projected on a sheet while in the pool and there were tons of fireworks all around us, even though they were illegal. It was the perfect holiday.
 Chris eventually got tired of the swimming, so he went in to watch Mickey Mouse and found the chips and pretzels. He was perfectly happy with that.
On Saturday we got up and packed up for a day at the beach. My niece, Kelsey, and her son, Carson took us. We stayed with them the whole time we were there and had so much fun in their beautiful house. They have three sulcata tortoises, which I didn't get a picture of, for some reason, but the girls absolutely loved feeding them. They are pretty fun pets!
Anyway, Kelsey took us to Santa Monica beach. It was by far the prettiest beach I've ever personally been to. The weather couldn't have been more perfect, and the water was actually pretty warm! Here's a view of the pier:
 Chris, saying "cheese" again.
 Chris loved playing in the sand, but got mad when the water came up and ruined whatever he was making. He kept yelling, "Go away, water!" He didn't love the ocean, but Shannon and Leah actually did pretty well in it. Their faces upon tasting salt water for the first time were priceless.
 This is my great nephew, Carson. These two boys couldn't get enough of the sand. They played like this for six hours! 
 Chris kept climbing onto Kelsey's back when she bent down to kiss Carson.
 So she let him.
 No trip to the beach is complete without getting buried in sand. It blows my mind that people live in those buildings back there.
 We made Leah into a mermaid.
 The boy and his dad. This trip was really perfect. I don't think Chris will remember it, but I hope the girls can remember it for a very long time.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer Recital 2014

Here is Leah performing in her very first recital. She was excited and surprisingly not very nervous. She really messed up the first song, but did pretty well on the rest. Watch carefully, because after the second song she looks at me and winks. It was really cute!
Shannon did beautifully. She loves playing duets with her teacher.