When planning for Lucy, we were fully aware that things would need to change for a while -- helping her and the boys adjust was top priority. We assumed that date night was a thing of the past, never mind a night away sans kids.
But the reality of 24/7 with three kids four-and-under and giving up couple time is much harder in real life than it is in theory and, frankly, we. needed. a. break.
So when we were asked to celebrate Jeff's only brother's (aka Uncle Scott) 40th birthday in Las Vegas, we did what we could to make it happen. We eased Lucy in to it by having the sitter come once a week -- having meals and doing nap time together to make it easier while we were gone.
So off we went Saturday morning. After the anxiety-ridden ride to the airport -- hey, I didn't leave without guilt and mom-nerves -- we parked the car and took the shuttle to the terminal. Wait a second, all I had in my arms was a purse? Jeff and I brought only the necessities and it fit into one carry on bag. It felt liberating, yet completely awkward to walk through the airport security without the sweat and tears that come with dragging kids out of a stroller, removing all backpacks and shoes and prying the new, favorite toy out of their little traveling hands.
Now what? We had a few minutes before boarding.
You know those crowded, energetic airport bars? Without kids, we were actually welcomed with smiles when we walked in.
Do I want a drink? Like a drink, drink? But it's noon! Um, yes... yes, I do.
We boarded the plane, buckled up and then heard we'd have to wait 30 minutes before taking off. Wait, we'd have to sit here, buckled up and not leave for a half hour? That's OK, we don't have kids! We chatted up the pilot (well, not THE pilot of our plane, of course) sitting next to us (Hi Steve!) and enjoyed having an adult conversation. Although it didn't come without someone whining for food. Yeah, I never did get to eat breakfast that morning and I was so hungry! Our new BFF Pilot Steve walked up to the front of the plane and got me not one bag of peanuts, but an armful, and dropped them all in my lap. No matter what would happen in Vegas, I had just won the snack jackpot. Thanks again, Steve!
We arrive in Vegas and forgo the $60 cab ride and opt to wait for the hotel shuttle. Might as well grab a little lunch so we head into another overpriced airport eatery and order a sandwich to split. $17 later, we had one cold turkey sandwich, wrapped in cellophane, and two sodas. At least we saved on the cab, right?
We take the shuttle to our hotel and check in. If you've never been to the Red Rock Hotel in Vegas, I definitely recommend. Pretty far off the strip but has everything you need right there, including a movie theater and bowling alley.
We take the elevator -- complete with dance mix music blaring from its speakers -- up to the 10th floor. We walk (and walk... and walk) the hallway to our room. We were so amused by the length of the hallway, we actually timed how long it took us to casually stride to room 10,151 -- two minutes, 22.7 seconds. Can you imagine doing that one with three small kids?
After a fun afternoon/night of friends, family, dinner, drinks and music -- with the tiniest bit of gambling -- we hit the sack around 12:30 a.m. -- the first of the group to call it a night.
6:00 a.m. came around quickly and we were up showering, grabbing coffee and catching the 7:00 shuttle back to the airport. Nothing like a horribly turbulent flight (it was so bad that the flight attendants never even got up) and 24 hours of grownup time to make you want to get home and hug the kids.
When we arrived home, the kids were so happy to see us and, although we were tired, we were rejuvenated by the break and ready to go.
Of course the honeymoon phase ended quickly when Brady proceeded to get sick in every room upstairs through the rest of the night.