Sunday, July 1, 2012

First stop: Las Vegas

Our first stop after landing at the Las Vegas airport was...


I have to say that Chipotle was one of the things we missed most while living in Switzerland. I was so excited for my first Chipotle burrito that I took a picture of it:

First Chipotle burrito in over a year!
At Chipotle with the family

We were greeted at Chipotle by Luke's Grandparents, his aunt and Jack's cousin (second cousin?) Deven. Even though we were beyond tired, we managed to devour our burritos. 

After dinner we said goodbye to the family and went to our hotel and conked out for the night. We were able to stay up until 9:00pm (6am Switzerland time) and were hopeful that everyone would sleep until at least 6:00am (Las Vegas time). 


Lily was up at 2:00am and as I lay in bed with her trying to get her to sleep, she started giggling and woke Jack up. Luke and I attempted to keep the kids in bed, but by 4am we realized it wasn't working. We decided instead to go on an early morning walk around the city. 

Our hotel in the wee hours of the morning
Not much was open early in the morning, but we were happy to find a 24-hour Walmart. We stopped inside and walked around in awe of the considerable amount of stuff for sale at dirt cheap prices.

Afterwards we walked to Einstein Bros. bagels for some breakfast. I can't tell you how much I loved my bagel... but I loved it enough to devour mine, eat a bite (Luke says I ate half) of Luke's and some of Jack's. 
Jack enjoying his bagel
As 7:00 am rolled around and we felt like crawling back into bed, I decided it was time for my first big fountain drink of Dr. Pepper. We stopped in at Carl's Jr. just for that. 

Can you tell by my bloodshot eyes
that I am jet lagged?

I stood in awe of this soda fountain for a while. The caption across the front of it pretty much sums up American culture. You would NEVER find that saying in Switzerland. 
"More choices. More happiness"
We finally made it back to the hotel around 9am, just in time for second breakfast with Luke's Grandparents 
Loving the big American coffees 
After breakfast, Luke's Aunt, cousin and her son Deven came to hang out. Even though Jack and Deven had not seen each other for over 3 years, they were instant friends. 
Jack and Deven in 2009

Jack and Deven in 2012
Silly boys
We had a small party for all of us who had June birthdays

We hung out for a while in the hotel room
Still have the bloodshot eyes

My two baby faces
Then we took the boys down to the pool

So we could relax

But the pool ended up being too cold for Jack
Getting warm with Grandma
Chillin' with Grandpa
After Jack had enough of the cold water we decided to see what fun things we could do inside the hotel. The hotel we stayed at had tons of fun things for kids, including a bowling alley. 

Jack and Deven bowling

As the afternoon progressed, we could tell Jack needed a nap. We decided to go for another walk around the hotel while Jack slept in the stroller and Lily slept in the Ergo. 

Wishing I could be sleeping in that stroller
We decided to only let Jack sleep for an hour in hopes that we could get him on the current time zone. During that hour, we walked around in awe of several things we never saw in Switzerland
Huge buffets
Cheap food
Waking Jack up from his nap was no easy task. Jet lag is hard for adults who understand the concept of time change. But for Jack and Lily, they did not understand what was going on and they were not happy about it. But, the plan worked. And since we woke Jack up from his nap, he was able to get to bed by 10:00pm and he would have slept until morning... if Lily hadn't woken everyone up at 3am. 

The next day, we spent the morning with Grandma and Grandpa 
Lily smiling for Grandpa
Lily's new headband

Only this cute face could wake me up at 3am without serious consequences.

Then we hit up In N Out for lunch 
 We took the boys to a bounce place to play


And we spent more time at the pool 

On our last night in Vegas we went to the Ghengis Grill. Move over Chipotle, this is my new favorite restaurant!

Poor kiddos are still jet lagged

We said goodbye to the family Friday morning and we got in the car to drive to Orange County. We made a pit stop in Fountain Valley to say hi to my Grandma and Aunt and her adorable kiddos.

During the four hour drive from Vegas to Orange County we reflected on what things were different than we remembered in the USA.

1. First of all, we were awestruck by the amount of choices in food. Fast food joints and restaurants seemed to fill every street. We couldn't believe the plethora of food options that were available to us. 

2. Red lights are very annoying. After spending two years with roundabouts, we couldn't believe how many red lights there were. 

3. Everything in the US is big. From the streets, to the cars, to the parking lots. 

4. Jack was shocked by the lack of trees in Vegas. The first morning when we were looking out our hotel window he asked me "where are all the trees?"
View from our hotel window

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