Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Vegas and Ziplining

     It seems like vacations are rare in our family, but in the past two months we've made up for it.

    The first trip was back in November.  My mom and I have been talking for years about going to Vegas for a girls' getaway.  We finally made plans for the trip and left the day after Thanksgiving.

     It was my first time ever going to Vegas and I was so excited.  You'd be amazed at how much there is to do there.  A friend had told me that it's like a grown-up Disneyland and I have to agree.

     Mom and I did some shopping at the Venetian (that's my mom in the foreground) first. 

Found a great shirt that ended up coming home with me because I found it too funny to leave.

  And I was thrilled when we came to the Thomas Sabo store.  Thomas Sabo is a jewelry designer that I first discovered while we were living in Germany.  He makes some great stuff, but only has three stores here in the US... two of them in Vegas.  Yes, I hit them both.  :)

     The rest of that first night, we walked around to do some shopping and just see the city.

Shopping in Caesar's

Inside the Shops at Caesar's Palace.

Ceiling of blown-glass flowers.

The fountains at the Bellagio.

   The next morning, we were still pretty wiped, but not so wiped that we couldn't find some new friends to hang out with.  This here is Kotton Kandy.  Kotton Kandy told me to watch for him (her?) on the next season of "America's Got Talent"... so get ready, folks! 

First time I'd ever had a man yell, "Grab my titties!" 

    I don't know if I've ever laughed so hard in my life.

    My next friend was a bit fluffier and didn't require any weird posing.  I loved the Coca-Cola bear.
But then he ate my head...

   When we left the Coca-Cola store, Mom and I were pulled into a street performer's magic show.  After helping him out, we continued to walk around.

Jelly Belly Statue of Liberty

Statue Performer.  He was really cool.

    We eventually went to bed and woke up the next morning to head down to a fantastic buffet at Bally's.  I'm seriously drooling just thinking about it.   Will not torment you with pictures...  it would be too mean.  Crab legs, lobster, crepes, lamb, little miniature desserts, honestly, the best breakfast I have ever had.  Thanks, Mom!

     The rest of the last day was a bit more walking around and getting ready to leave.  I'm already wanting to go back so I can show Travis everything!

     The next trip was a ziplining trip that Travis set up for the whole family.  We left this past Friday to stay in a cabin at Banning Mills.  It's only about an hour and a half away from us so it was a really quick drive.  We waited at the main lodge to check in...
At the lodge.

Once we were checked in, we went to see our cabin. 
    It was built on a stilt frame, overlooking the creek.  A lot roomier than I had thought it would be.  I was really impressed.  It was a nice cabin.
    We went walking along the trails for a bit and then settled in for a nice, quiet evening.

     The next morning, Travis had signed Cam and me up for a ziplining tour.  Now, both Cam and I are terrified of heights... TERRIFIED.  It took a lot of guts for us not to throw up all over everyone.

     After getting our safety brief/instructional course, we climbed up on a rope bridge that connected to the first tower.  Once across, we climbed up the rest of the way to the first zipline.  I spent a while trying to coax Cameron off before I decided that maybe he should watch me go first.  He happily agreed.

Me trying to coax Cam off the tower.  (Cam in red, I'm in gray behind him.)

Better view of the first tower.

     Once I went, I talked to him over the instructor's radios and he followed about 30 seconds later.  After that first zipline, the rest were a breeze.  The course was about 10 ziplines in all, zipping from tree to tree in the woods.  It was so much fun!  We had some trail riders on the forest floor beneath us and it was funny to see the people gawking up from the forest floor and the horses just plodding along... not caring a bit.   (You could tell that the horses were veterans of the place.  People zipping over their heads was not a big deal.)

     After that, it was off to the spa while Travis took the kids to play miniature golf.  While walking back along the trails to get home, apparently Kai fell in the creek (not surprising) and was not a bit happy about it.  I got back from the spa to see his clothes laid out on the cabin porch to dry out.  Scarlett was thrilled to tell me about him falling in but Kai didn't look so happy about it.

    LOTS of fun!  For being a weenie about heights, you'd be amazed at how fast you get over it when zipping around like that.  I highly recommend it!

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