For the Labor Day weekend, I took Timothy on a road trip to Las Vegas for my 10-year high school class reunion. As soon as we got home, we both came down with colds, so we’re still recovering – ten days later!
I’d originally planned our trip to take three 7-hour days each way so Timothy and I wouldn’t go crazy in the car, but at the last minute, I was invited to an event Wednesday evening, the day I’d planned on leaving. So we left Thursday morning at 5:20 AM and drove 15 hours to Gallup, New Mexico through West Texas. I hadn’t gotten as much sleep as I’d wanted – leaving much of the packing to the last minute – so it was a long day. Timothy was amazingly good, just entertaining himself and watching a couple movies in the backseat. He is such a great traveler; I am so blessed by that! We also had plenty of snacks, so we didn’t stop for lunch or dinner, just to fill up on gas. We paid $3.09 at a Shell station just east of Moriarty (one of several reasons I don’t usually buy from Shell), and I felt completely ripped off. (Little did I know that I’d have to pay $3.29 on our way home in somewhere, Arizona.)
We finally made it to our motel right when the sun was going down. I’d “cleaned” our windscreen at the Shell but discovered once we got off the freeway in Gallup that I’d only made it worse. The sun was shining directly into my eyes – too low for the sunshade – and glaring on the yuckies of my windscreen. For a few minutes I considered pulling over and waiting a half hour for the sun to actually set; that’s how bad it was. Then the road turned, and I literally thanked God! We checked into our motel and were both so exhausted we just ate some fruit for dinner and crashed. The next morning we had a leisurely breakfast downstairs in the motel before heading out.
And between Holbrook and Flagstaff, Arizona, I got my first traffic ticket. It was just an overall bad experience, so I won’t go into it, but needless to say, it ruined most of the rest of the day for me! After that I was pretty ticked off when we had to go on a long road-work detour that added almost an hour to the trip. The cool part was that we got to see Hoover Dam!
We pulled into the hotel parking lot in Las Vegas around 4:30 PM but had to wait for almost a half hour to check in because the line was so long. Poor Timothy was so glad to be out of the car that he was running all around the tiny check-in area, driving Mommy crazy! After finally getting checked in, I had just enough time to take a bath in the huge bathtub before we left for the airport to pick up my BFF from high school, Laura (above).
After I got Laura, we met up with our friend Linda, who drove us to join our classmates at the MGM Grand (left). Because of Laura’s flight, though, we’d missed dinner with the group, so the three of us (and Timothy) never did get dinner. I ate someone’s leftover pizza before the plate was taken by a waiter, and I did end up buying Timothy a pretzel dog downstairs, which he hardly touched. The rest of that night is a blur of exhaustion and hunger. I think the others got drinks, and then we went over to the Golden Nugget for more drinks. I don’t drink anyway, and of course I had a two-year-old in tow (fortunately in the stroller that I’d foreseen would be my salvation), so I never did get to sit down and visit with everyone…the whole weekend, actually. That night Timothy and I sat and watched the shark tank for an hour or so and chatted with two of my classmates, Becky & Meaghan. We were both so tired, but we had to wait for our ride back to the hotel. Finally, I couldn’t sit down any more without falling asleep, so I pushed Timothy round and round the shark tank pool in his stroller. We finally left around 12:30 (2:30 Texas time!). By that time I just wanted to cry!
Saturday we slept! Timothy didn’t sleep long enough, but Laura was awake in our suite, so she took Timothy into her room and let him watch cartoons while I slept another hour. (Bless you, Saint Laura!) Once we were all up, we grabbed Linda (left) and went to the nearest pool for a little swim before noon. At lunchtime, a bunch of our classmates decided to go to the food court at a mall. This was a great idea so we could all choose our own food, and it was ideal for Timothy especially. We had a nice lunch there, but Laura and I had the hardest time finding my car when we were leaving and so were told to go to the Venetian and wait for the others, who would be coming there to shop.
We took Timothy to the Venetian and loved the shops inside with the canal and all. Such a fun atmosphere! I’d promised Timothy we could get him ice cream, so we found a Haagen Dazs and got him a cone. He took about four bites and then was finished. I hadn’t brought the stroller, just his harness, so I spent the next 20 minutes (while Laura and I ate our ice-creams as well as Timothy’s) holding onto the harness for dear life and dealing with an obstinate child. At first he just played on the chairs, but then he tried to crawl away and ended up lying facedown on the floor and crying. Oh yes, I got lots of fun looks from people. I would have felt bad if it had been a quiet place otherwise, but it was so noisy that Timothy’s crying couldn’t have been much of a bother to anyone. I think they were just shocked that I let him lie there and cry. He hadn’t had a nap and by this time it was late afternoon, so I completely understand his losing it!
Our friends never did show, so we finally went back to the motel to lie down for a bit before meeting the rest for dinner at 7 at a Korean place. I made sure I drove this time so that I’d be able to leave whenever I wanted. Dinner was yummy! We cooked our own food at our tables (after being shown how), and even Timothy enjoyed it. It was a little awkward that while I was the second person to sit down at a table, I was only joined by Laura and the guy I liked in high school, while the other tables were overcrowded – two tables for four seating at least six. Is it me, or is it Timothy that makes people not want to talk to me? It’s probably me. I was never popular in high school and was always one of the smart, prudish “good girls,” so I guess that hasn’t changed at all. At least the food was good!
that, never having been to karaoke before in my life, but it ended up being a bust for me. I’d already decided I wanted to leave wherever we were by 10:30 (for my sake as well as Timothy’s), and even though we got to the pub by about 9:45, they had just started the first song when I left at 10:30. So I had to miss that. But there are lots of photos of it on Facebook.
Laura left early Sunday morning, so Timothy and I were on our own. We went out to a buffet lunch with the others, but I didn’t feel great, and Timothy was restless. Even with help from Linda, I still went crazy with Timothy. Everyone got to sit and eat and chat, and I ended up leaving and fighting with Timothy for a half hour because he wanted to play arcade games, and I had to go to the bathroom! Finally I couldn’t take it anymore, so we went back to the hotel and stayed there the rest of the day. In fact, we didn’t leave again until we checked out the next morning. I was just so fed up! I cried and cried and had a good chat with my husband to cheer me up. And Timothy really wasn’t being bad. It was just frustrating for me to have to handle him by myself in an unfamiliar place where I had hoped to get a chance to actually talk to people.
Now I know why my friends with kids stayed home or left the kids at home. There is no way I could have left Timothy at home, so maybe I should have not gone. I don’t know. Part of me feels like it was a waste of time since I was still an outsider and didn’t get to talk to many people. But another part of me is glad I went, since I did get to spend time with Laura and Linda. I don’t know. I guess it was an ambiguous trip!
We did take three days to drive home, and it was so much better that way! We missed a huge tropical storm we’d have had to drive through if we’d done the drive in two days, and I’ve never been a fan of driving in the rain or on flooded roads! Better yet, because we took our time, the power was back on when we got home, after having been off for 30 hours. So we could forget about the dead cockroach in our motel room in Lubbock – almost.
Even though this is not really home, it was still nice to get back to our house here (except for the weather) and take David to dinner. Timothy has free rein in our home, which just makes life so much simpler!