Thanks to my amazing job, we were able to stay two nights in Vegas as well! Marriott is my hero that way.
The car was filled with my mom driving, my 13 year old sister Melissa in shot-gun (not fair...), my older sister and look-alike sister Jessica and Steven and I switching it up in the back seats. Jess's boyfriend Miles was going to come too...but didn't want to pay for his own hotel room. We left about 5pm Friday evening and spirits were high! Hooray road trips!
Steven was such a good sport throughout the whole weekend. I really don't know what got into him that made him so happy and agreeable, but somehow he didn't go crazy spending over 24 hours in a car with me and two sisters and my mom for a whole weekend. He was AMAZING. Definitely giant brownie points.
It took us until about midnight Nevada time to make it to our hotel that night, and it was so nice to be there! Marriott's are all smoke-free, and I don't know about the siblings, but Steven and I had a GORGEOUS hotel room! It was nice to have all the hot water we wanted as well, because at our apartment our water tank is REALLY small, and we'll run out if we flush the toilet while showering. haha.
I settled right down and helped myself to some late night TV (something else we don't get at home) and Steven used the free internet to do some homework!
The next morning we enjoyed the complimentary breakfast and then all took a dip in the hotel pool which was surrounded by palm trees!
After that we were off on the road again.
As we were passing through Nevada into California, we kept seeing these giant billboards for "Alien Fresh Jerky-FREE SAMPLES". We'd see one almost every mile, and finally we decided that we would have to check it out.
Soon enough we reached Baker California, home of the world's largest thermometer, AND Alien Fresh Jerky.
|Alien baby in the backseat|
|Alien on the roof that waves at you|
|"Space Troopers" parked in the parking lot|
|Aliens driving the "Space Trooper" taxi|
Then, inside the building...
|An Alien fortune teller!|
Then we continued on, finally making it to San Diego!! It was the first time I was seeing my new nephew Cory! Yay!! And Steven got to spend some more time being an uncle with our nephew Jason. :) We had a family pizza picnic at a park and everyone played on the playground. :)
That night Jess and Elizabeth stayed with Jen and Matt, and Steven and I and Mom AND Dad (who had joined us from Oregon) spent the night at my uncle Rulon's house. Steven and I got this sweet room with mirrors down the full length of one wall. ... 'Nuff said! :D
The next day was Sunday; the big event! Cory's baby blessing was lovely, followed by an interesting sacrament/testimony meeting, followed by the best dinner of our lives hosted by Jennifer's in-laws, the Neals! Their was BBQ chicken, salads, fresh fruits, sparkling cider, veggies, and the BEST ROLLS OF OUR LIVES!!!! Yummm! I think I ate 6.
Also on Sunday we caught a quick half hour at the beach.
Then, back on the road we went! This time we attempted to use my laptop to watch a movie, but this poor thing only stays on about an hour if it's not plugged in, and even less time when it's trying to play a movie...but we were still amused for the time being as we watched "The Testaments" in Russian, which ended up being a very good call on Jessica's part, because Korihor is even freakier when he's speaking in Russian. :D
This particular evening we took Steven's patience to a whole new level when we introduced him to some of my family favorite road trip games.
1. The "What if" game where-in someone chooses someone else and asks, "If (person) could...(insert three totally random things) which would they choose?" And then the person has to think about it until they know which one they would choose and when they've got it, we all guess, and then they tell us which it was.
Ex: Jessica says, "If Rebekah could wake up tomorrow with 1. A moustache that grows back every day even if she shaves it, 2. Being enormously fat, so fat that she can't get through the door, or 3. Bald and not allowed to wear a wig, which would she choose?"
or, I said, "If Mom had to 1. Have a snakes body from the waist down, 2. Live in a bathtub for the rest of her life or 3. Be inside a giant plastic bubble, which would she choose?"
It's a way fun game, and we played it for like two hours.
Second fun game that Steven was introduced to was a singing game. Someone starts singing a song and then they stop on a random word in the song and then someone else has to think of a song that has the same word that they stopped on in it.
Ex: "I like to look for RAINBOWS..." ... "Someday we'll find it, the RAINBOW connections, the lovers the dreamers and ME..." "very very popular like ME..." continuing on for...oh...probably another good two hours. hahaha. Sorry Steven. :) But, again, he was such a good sport about it, and even participated quite often...my favorite being when the word was "Man" and suddenly Steven belted out, "I am just a man!!!" From Josh Groban. :D haha. I love Steven.
Finally, about 1am Sunday night after driving back and forth on the Las Vegas Strip, we arrived at our final hotel.
Monday it was back to Utah with one quick stop at the Cheese factory so Jessica could buy some squeaky cheese. Gross.
It was a super fun weekend and we really enjoyed spending so much quality time with our family and each other without having to worry about work or school or laundry or dishes. It was a nice break.