After getting over the initial shock that Peter was losing his job earlier this year, I had asked him if we could try to plan a trip, if the timing worked out. Peter's last day at Thomson Reuters was March 7 (and we knew this for a long time). Brady and Logan's spring break from school was from March 7- March 16--perfect timing for a trip, see?
After Peter accepted the job at Prime Therapeutic, he was told that he could start on Monday, March 17--giving him a week off between jobs to spend with his family--awesome!!
So, using our beloved time share, we began looking at "last call" trips to see what would be available at a low cost. Florida is kind of our "go-to" trip destination, but since we've been there a lot lately and will be going back later this year, we kept an open mind. Plus, we were hoping to take an airplane on this trip, and flying to FL in March with 5 passengers would have cost us a few limbs.
So, let's be honest. If not traveling to FL, we wanted to choose the next warmest weather location that was available through "last call". Las Vegas it was--again!
Airplane tickets to Las Vegas were approximately $250 per person cheaper than to FL--that made it a total no brainer, so I went ahead and booked the hotel, flight, and rental car immediately. To give you an idea what a great deal the "last call" trips are, we paid $269 for 7 nights! Our resort was the same place we stayed 2 years ago, complete with a full kitchen, washer/dryer, 5 pools/hot tubs, free mini golf and fitness center, etc.
Peter and I talked about the trip every night after putting the boys to bed. We decided that it would be completely awesome if we made the entire trip a surprise--especially since this would be their first time on an airplane (and believe me, they ask often).
It was hard work keeping the secret, and it almost got spoiled a few times, but we managed to pull it off.
I had already done about 95% of the packing by Saturday morning, but I needed to finish it up completely, so Peter took the boys out for breakfast to kick off their spring break (they knew that Daddy would be home all week before starting his new job).
While they were away, I completed the packing and loaded up the van.
Uncle Mark came over next (to drive us to the airport), and we told the boys that we were going to Nana and Papa's house for the day.
On the way to the airport, no one noticed that we were heading toward the airport until Logan spotted the light rail--he LOVES the light rail!
I told the boys that we had a surprise for them and Logan started immediately yelling "we're riding the light rail, we're riding on the light rail." Brady was quiet, not really sure what was going on. When I told them that we were at the airport and that we were going to be getting on a plane, they were speechless. Brady gave me the biggest hug he's ever given and said thank you a million times :).
When they found out about the 7 night trip to Las Vegas, they flipped out even more.
I am SO glad that we were able to sneak in a trip before Peter's new job started and that we were able to pull off the surprise for the boys too--it was really fun!
While we were away, we were able to ride a real train at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, drive to California (the boy's first time) to Death Valley National Park, visit the Pinball hall of fame, play at several parks, visit Valley of Fire State Park, and see the Hoover Dam.
The weather was gorgeous, with highs in the 70s almost every day, no rain, and LOTS of wonderful sunshine!!
Here are some of my favorite pictures.
|We LOVE palm trees!|
|Nevada State Railroad Museum and train ride|
|Yes, it was warm enough to swim several times!|
|Hiking up a big mountain at Exploration Peak park|
|82 degrees at the Death Valley visitors center|
|Town Square Park|
|Dinner in the resort. We only ate out twice and did our own cooking the rest of the time.|
|Beehives at Valley of Fire|
|Relaxing by the pool|