On Tuesday afternoon, I took Iyla over to her Auntie Sheri's to begin Camp Gleason 2014.
Upon arrival, I found my Aunt had created a kids' Wonderland- having purchased a ball pit, chair, stroller, dolly, & Little People set for Iyla. Didn't take my girl long to figure out that this wasn't going to be such a bad deal after all! She was so excited.
Checking out her new loot with Auntie Sheri
Evening walk through her new neighborhood
It was a lot of work packing, unloading and setting up all the toddler supplies! It still amazes me how much basic STUFF this kid needs. To include:
*One Pack n Play (with extra mattress & sheets)
*Clothes & diapers and jammies and sleep sack and pacifiers
*Bath supplies and snack supplies and bottle supplies
*And of course dollies and books, though she probably isn't touching them now that she has all those new fabulous toys!
After putting Iyla down for bed and giving a big THANK YOU and goodbye to my Aunt's family, I high tailed it home to get packed & prepped for leaving the next morning.
As I started to pack and go through my closet, I found myself asking with each piece of clothing: "is this Vegas?"
Which is hilarious because admittedly I have no idea what "Vegas" is. I surprised myself at the image that was creating itself right before my eyes. Most of my Mama uniforms didn't make the cut. Instead, I found myself filling my suitcase with skimpy dresses and feisty little heels! Who was this person packing?
Look out BC, me and my
gazillion pairs of shoes are coming for you!
The next morning was a whirlwind, getting the house prepped and instructions set for our kitty sitter. I got a message from my Aunt saying that Iyla has slept soundly through the night, woken up happy, and had a great breakfast. That's all this Mama needed to hear to fill her heart full!
THEN I WAS OFF!
I can't tell you what an insanely giddy sense of freedom it was to be driving myself to the airport, en route to my first baby free vacation. It felt like there were fireworks shooting through my veins. I was exhausted but completely jacked up on adrenaline.
And being the nerd I am, took a selfie on the plane. With my new Vegas haircut!
Upon arrival, BC had instructed me to request that my cab driver take the Strip route into town, so I could fully take everything in. Unfortunately my cab driver had a mind of his own and while I couldn't completely understand what he was saying, there was something about traffic and how the Strip took longer, etc. So I had to settle for seeing everything from afar from my 'faster, less traffic filled' highway route. Oh well.
We finally arrived to The Mirage. This place is insane, and apparently par for the course with Vegas hotels. They are small cities unto themselves, with multiple restaurants, casinos, stores, shows, etc right inside of them. Our hotel plays host to Cirque du Soleil's Beatles "Love" act!
After standing in a 30 some person line to check in, I arrived to my room to find the cleaning cart parked outside the door. Of course! At least the room would be clean…..
I then promptly settled in to do a whole lot of NOTHING. Which included checking email, ordering room service, reading, & taking a nap. Heaven.
After my nap I went downstairs to browse the stores. The Vegas I had packed for was Hot Weather Vegas, and unfortunately the reality was I needed clothes for Cold Weather Vegas. Which of course meant I had to shop.
Hotcha-cha! Lots of this kind of thing in the stores.
Fun to try on, but not something I was willing to pay $70 for!
It was then time to get back to the room and start prepping for BC's arrival and a night on the town. Vegas is two hours behind Austin, which- when you are used to going to bed by 9pm CST- means you need some artificial stimulants to get the party started:
Behold, my vacation staple
Then BC arrived! We jumped up and down and danced around the room in anticipation of our very first baby free vacation together.
We started with cocktails in the hotel lobby. Two Red Bull vodka drinks tallied up to $42! Absolutely insane. I then learned that if you gamble they serve you free drinks, so the plan now is to put $5 or so into some slot machines and have them bring us free cocktails. Makes SO much more sense and who knows? We might just come out of it with a profit.
We headed out to The Eiffel Tower in 'Paris' for dinner. Only in Vegas!
We had an excellent view of the Bellagio fountains below
BC pulled one of my infamous moves, telling the restaurant it was our anniversary (which was actually last July. And which we totally forgot). This saw us getting a free little dessert. Good work, BC!
This probably would have cost $50
Meanwhile, my Aunt had been posting pictures of Iyla Grace on Facebook- showing our little lady having an absolute blast:
A new slide just for Iyla!
If this isn't heaven for a 16 month old, I don't know what is.
Lots of kisses from Uncle Vince
Wheeling her new dolly in the stroller
It felt like I was in a completely different parallel universe.
Here I was with BC, feeling just like old times- completely engulfed and present in the fabulous adventures we were having together. Cherishing this time to rejuvenate and reconnect.
Then I see the pictures of Iyla and my heart swoons with delight. That adorable kiddo smiling and playing is our daughter. There was no sense of mourning, just pure joy at seeing HER joy. Don't get me wrong- I can't WAIT to see Iyla again- but I know she is having so much fun and is being loved and spoiled to no ends.
It is so clear to me now how badly I needed this getaway! I am seriously luxuriating in every.single.second.
Like the view from our room at night:
And the fact that on my first night in Vegas, I outlasted BC (haha):
9:47pm Vegas time
Today? I have another day of a whole 'lotta nothing planned. Starting with this:
And a little of this:
Then a massage, nap, and date night on the town with my love!
Life is good, and I am ever so grateful.