Las Vegas - here we come

We have ventured into Las Vegas! Leaving the beautiful breeze and warm sand in Oceanside was hard to do, but I have a feeling we'll be back! I really felt for that little beach town! The traffic getting into Nevada was the worst of our summer, with that stretch of our trip being the worst part -- by far-- of our entire driving excursion. There was so many accidents with lanes shut everywhere, and for some reason, other drivers felt that blinkers aren't required -- maybe they're not-- what a pain! I caved and we ate fast food, complete with garbage carbonated beverages. I feel gross, what was I thinking! Oh yeah, that I wasn't making time for real food because this drive was already taking more time than it should. 6 1/2 hrs for a 4 1/2 drive!?!
With that said, I'm glad that driving portion is now in the past. We have checked into our spacious 2 bedroom accommodations and settled in for the night.

The kids swam a little-- the pool is pretty sweet- plus they have life guards- so I was able to read a book!!
The new day greeted us bright and shiny. We started early , there's so much I wanted to show the kids, and #3 requested we go to Pawn Stars. So we did. The guy working there remembered me from the last time I went in , (which was January on my family's girls trip!) and made #3's visit awesome. He talked about the old swords and guns with him, #3 was loving it!

After that we went to eat at the best breakfast restaurant ever-- Hash House A GoGo. I know the name sounds peculiar, but it's a restaurant based on "from farm to food". The portions are huge, the food is out of this world, and the fact that #1 saw it on a show - so he was on board for going- made it so much better. We had so much on one dish we all brought back leftovers and have breakfast for tomorrow! Yum!

Then I promised them that I would take them to the pinball hall of fame. The last time Husband and I were there we had such a blast. So we went and it was just as much fun. We enjoyed playing pinball games from the 1940's until current time. It consumed over 2 hours of our time and we only spent about $12!! #2 and #3 even used some  of that to buy fake mustaches for 25cents each. #3 wore one all day, all over Vegas, with a fedora on. He received so many compliments!

Then we went to the M&M store to look around. I let each kid create a small mixture of M&M's. #2's came to $1.17, #3's totaled $1.57. They both listened , it was just to get a few different colors. What does #1 do? Fill his bath with almost $8 worth of candy. I wanted to make him put it back , but once the mix is created , it's yours. Leave it to #1 to try and take a mile, in public so I wouldn't react, when I've given him an inch! I don't normally let them get junk like that! So I made him regret it-- he had to share!!! We stumbled upon "Red" and the kids got their picture taken- perfect timing!

When leaving that store, the kids saw that Coke had a store too and wanted to peruse it. So I entertained them and let them. It was after dinner so we went to a value market and picked up some stuff to make dinner.
Then all of us changed into swimsuits , gathered the pool toys, and made our way to the pool, to find it was closed. Not going outside, just observing the Closed sign from inside, we go to the desk to ask why. They call around and after about 10 minutes, we're told, there was lightning. It will reopen in about 1/2 hour. So we have to push the limit and ask if we can at least go play the out side chess game that's by the pool. Again conversations are held as  to whether we can. It comes back it's a go- so we head out. We are greeted by large raindrops falling from the sky. Why is it raining in the desert!!!! So now we are stuck inside- guess it's going to be an early bedtime!!!

#2's Birthday!

It's #2's birthday and we started it off with her opening her presents and then going to the local farmer's market-- which was the best I have ever been to! Plus it was a bonus the town had a business fair going on so there were a ton of booths giving away stuff. The kids thought it was like Halloween where they could go to each one and hold open a bag! So not only did we get the yummiest fruits and veggies , but lots of gluten free goodies too, along with all the freebies, and fresh flowers for the room . What a wonderful way to start the day!

Then we hung out on the beach for the entire rest of the afternoon.

Finally leaving when we were starving, so we could go to the night time Farmers Market that was more like a festival with tons of hot food booths set up along with live music all over. We made sure to bring a few homeless care packages to distribute too. We ate so much fried goodness-- I feel gross! Now to pack because tomorrow we leave. I really enjoyed our time here. The beach was so relaxing!

New Room Pics

Here's our new room... Super nice...

 New view from our deck
 Something is just a bit out of place here!
 This one is going to be the cause of a premature heart attack!

Room Change Day

Still in Oceanside, but we moved to another room. I loved our room, but the only way we could stay longer was to switch-- oh well.We have been here for 4 days already and have got into the groove of beach living! On the pier there is a little diner that is so delicious, we have ventured there for dinner and today we went there for breakfast because we had to change rooms. The breakfast was out of this world! Before we went into the diner we watched dolphins in the ocean. It was the neatest, there were tons of them!
 Kids in the diner.

There is also a bait shop on the pier as well, so #1 grabbed his pole after breakfast and spent
the afternoon fishing. He caught 6 small fish and 2 bigger ones.

 Then we had to ask how to "prep" them for cooking. A nice local gave #1 a verbal tutorial and off he went.
#3 decided to try and make friends.
 But it didn't want to be bothered!

While we were fishing our phone call came that our room is ready. Yay!
How beautiful it turned out to be, but we still liked our first one the best!

Another Oceanside Day

While on the deck #3 spied some street dancers and asked if I'd take him to watch. Of course I did. He didn't settle for just watching, not him, he instead became an active participant! He rocked, the dancers gave him a buck for his dancing skills, and people were giving him high fives! It was awesome!

On to Oceanside

So we have left San Diego after having much fun, and made our way to stay at the beach in Oceanside. I love it here too!!! It's like a self contained area. I can park my car and not have to leave for anything that's not in walking distance! The room is amazing! We can see the beach from every room.....
 The master bedroom....
 The living room..... It even had a porch to see the ocean
 The other bedroom....
Even the kitchen looked out at the ocean. I Love it!!

It's so relaxing seeing and hearing the ocean from each room. As soon as we put our stuff somewhat away we went to the ocean, which is just across the street.... So convenient!
 #2 enjoying the water
 1 & 3 ... thanks children for bringing me a sea gift! Eww it was slimy and gross and they left it by my feet!
 1 & 3 just splashing around.

The Pacific is a bit colder than the Gulf of Mexico, and the kids had a hard time getting used to that, but the weather was so beautiful, warm with a breeze.. Amazing!

Leaving San Diego

This morning, after getting ready, I went down again, like each morning, to get coffee from the lobby, but I also gave the guy at the desk my mail to send, and he asked if I worked there. I laughed and replied No .. Why? He responded " You look like you would, your dressed up, you gave me your mail, and you get your coffee each morning in a real mug".  So I walked away smiling, thinking -- I guess if I look like I fit, they might hire me.. maybe staying is possible! I do know a ton about the timeshare and how it works! Hmmmm....

O.K. It's time to checkout. Bye friends, I liked this place. They even open the door for you and close it when you get into your car! I could get used to that! But it's time to go. We planned to explore Coronado Beach today before moving to our next location.

Coronado Beach is stunning. I love driving the long bridge to get over to the island. The island gas prices are not stunning though. They're $4.20 a gallon. Thank goodness I filled up yesterday at only $3.75!! On the beach we kept seeing dogs, thinking that a lot of people have them. Then when we walked back to the car, we saw the "dog beach" sign. Duhh... we went to the wrong section of the beach, but it was all good,! Not many people wanted the kids to come near their pooches-- so I told the kids they were snoots and to remember that for their future behavior. We found a pretty park too, right next to the Navy base, so they got to see tons of soldiers going in and out. After a while it was time to depart... I'm excited! Here we come Oceanside! We are ready for the beach!

 Coronado Beach
 Coronado Hotel in the distance

Pretty view on the dog beach

San Diego Day

Today we spent the day at a state park by the water. It was astonishing. There was grass to run and play on, plus numerous playgrounds with big beautiful trees everywhere, sandy beach areas, a walking path that lead to eateries and a pier. We saw filming of some sort going on. Very cool. The weather is delightful.. only about 80 with a breeze. It's truly warm and sunny! I had trouble getting the kids to leave. They finally agreed due to being hungry. I loved this tree, so...

I made the kids hug it and recharge their aura's!

 We set off to find a recommended Italian bistro in Little Italy.
 Which was easy to find, super tasty, except the pizza is completely different than east coast style, it's fat and doughy, but it was very good- and filling. It was easy on my wallet as well, with large servings!
After eating we walked around a little, I was reflecting upon how much I enjoy this city, could I really make the move, and I look up to cross the street and this is the name of the street we were crossing.

 Do I take it as a sign? Not at face value, but a sign from something more....
After our stroll, we were walking back to the car, and saw a barber.. So we got #1's mane buzzed off. The barber was a female, and she was SO rude. A man came in after she started cutting his hair, and she spoke to him in Spanish the whole time, as if we were not there. When she finished his hair she continued her conversation paying us no mind. I handed her $12 bucks and walked out with the kids telling them loudly that they should never behave that way, it's very improper business behavior. Hopefully I gave her enough! His hair does look super nice though. All the crazy color is gone.. I got my good looking kid back! Yay!

While driving back to the room , we passed the harbor, seeing all the big ships. Tons of people ride around those 4 seat bicycles offering rides. We saw a guy dressed like a pirate and #2 tried to get a picture of him so she could show her Uncle, his wedding was a pirate theme. We laughed that he could use his costume for a career change, but the picture didn't come out ot show him. Bummer!
 Here's pictures of our room. I love this hotel. They only have studios, but we didn't spend much time in our room. The staff is the friendliest we have ever encountered in all our Wyndham travels.

After relaxing a little bit, we made up more homeless bags and went and distributed them. I'm overwhelmed at how many there are here. I feel as if I need to come back and get more involved in helping them. The kids feel the same!

Flagstaff, AZ

We have arrived at our next location... Flagstaff, Arizona. It's beautiful! To welcome us, the skies parted and gave us a brief rain shower that ended with a spectacular rainbow. It seemed the end was right over our timeshare!! 
 This was some stuff we passed driving. The scenery is just so different than what we see at home.
 This was a storm we saw. It was neat, we could see it in the distance. It didn't hit us until the end of our day's drive-- thank goodness - and it wasn't that bad either.
 While driving we passed the petrified forest. I wished I would have planned that into our travel time, but it was almost closed at the hour we cruised by... bummer.
 When we arrived I was shocked at how spacious the unit was! Pleasant surprise. We had a 2 bedroom lock off which is two 1 bedrooms adjoined. So I propped the door in between open , and told the kids the TV was not to be turned on, past the door opening.. meaning my side.. and turned the radio on!!It worked, they only watched that stupid box on their side!!

 How cool is it that the bathtub has it's own room. It was more like a mini pool. That' where the kids swam for the few days here due to the on and off rain the whole time.
 This was their side
 #1 was very hungry and opted for a large bowl of pasta for dinner!
The whole time we were here we just hung out. We found the post office and traveled on historic Route 66 for a bit. We drove around to sight see since it was raining. The kids were a little worn out from traveling and packing in two museums and 4 hours driving in one day, so I let them relax. It is summer.... I keep trying to convince myself that down time can be good... but there is soooooo much to see , and so little time!