On December 18th, 2009, Brad and I were released from work and school and real world obligations and were able to spend 2 wonderful weeks free from everything.
It was wonderful.
Unfortunately, we're entering the world again on Tuesday, but before that happens let me tell you about the last couple weeks!
We started out our vacation by heading down to my hometown of Desert Hot Springs, CA to spend the holidays with my parents.
After a short stop at Brad's sister's house in Utah to spend the night, we arrived in sunny California just in time to attend my home wards Christmas Party!
Lots of food and singing and laughing.
On Sunday was the ward's Christmas program, where Brad and I giggled to ourselves most of the time because, well, let's say my home ward is quite eccentric.
We didn't do a whole lot the following week, which was so nice.
Life had been so busy for so long that this was all a much needed break.
Speaking of busy, I tried to get a picture of my growing tummy, but nothing was working very well, so here's one, kind of.
On the Saturday after Christmas, we went on a short little hike with my parents at the Morongo Preserve.
I don't care what any of you think, but the desert is one of the most beautiful environments to me.
I took this picture of them taking a break (with my dad and his new hat).
Then Brad tried to take one of my on the bench with my parents.
Obviously i'm the better photographer. Lol.
Here's a candid shot of Brad that I LOVE.
Doesn't this look like some indie band photo shoot kind of thing?
This bird was a gorgeous blue color, but it didn't really come out in the picture, obviously.
I think it's a nice silhouette though.
We left California on Sunday afternoon and checked into Circus Circus in Las Vegas on Sunday night.
We stayed there for three nights as a kind of mini anniversary vacation thing.
Our anniversary is actually this Sunday (tomorrow. eep!) but prices were much cheaper to go last week.
On Monday, we spent the first part of the day in Circus Circus' Adventuredome, which is their indoor themepark.
I know, I know, "You're pregnant! You're not supposed to go on roller coasters and rides and what not!"
Well you know what, I'm just fine and the fun was worth the tiny miniscule risk.
These are our all day ride wristbands.
Later on Monday, we decided to walk the strip.
Probably not the best idea for a hungry, pregnant woman with swollen feet in non-supportive shoes, but it was still fun.
We had planned on first stopping at Treasure Island to watch their singing/dancing pirate show, but apparently it was closed for a few days, so we headed on down to the Bellagio for the fountain show.
It was starting at 5:30 (they run every half hour) and we got their at 5:35, just in time to catch the water falling from the very end of the show.
We went ahead and just waited for the next one, which was awesome.
I filmed the whole thing, but it's a pretty big file, so I didn't upload it here.
Afterwards, I was feeling AWFUL.
Sick, tired, sore, you name it.
But we ended up going to eat at Denny's, where I got a french toast slam, and felt so much better afterwards.
We also got to watch the volcano erupt at The Mirage, which was right outside our window at Denny's.
The volcano was something I don't remember every watching before and it was pretty neat.
Smoke and fire going crazy!
The Denny's was across the street, but we could feel the vibrations and even the heat from it!
It was awesome.
Tuesday was Stratosphere day.
I've been wanting to go up that tower and ride the tall ride since it opened up YEARS ago, so this was a bit of a dream fulfillment.
The ride wasn't quite as exhilarating as we expecting (it's one of the rides that shoots you staright up and then lets you drop down), but still fun and what a view!
We spent a bit of time on the observation deck just looking out at the vast valley.
Here we are taking a break from observing and just chilling on some couches.
We were able to find the Las Vegas temple through one of those telescopes that you pay 50 cents to use.
Then, with the zoom on my camera, Brad took a picture of it.
You can see all the little spires up against the mountain!
That night we got foot-long hot dogs at a place my dad recommended just outside of Circus Cirus called the Snack Nook.
I forgot to take a picture of em before we ate them, but you can see the remnants here.
We also went to the Midway in Circus Circus on Tuesday night to play some carnival games and watch the free circus acts.
We only had 3 quarters to spend, which didn't result in very many tickets to redeem at the pirze booth, but we ended up with lots of tootsie rolls and jolly ranchers!
The circus acts were pretty neat too.
First was a The Golden Duo who did some od the high-flying acrobat kind of stuff.
I wanted to watch the next act (which was 40 minutes away) and since the small bleachers they have there fill up FAST, we ended up finding some good seats and sitting and waiting the whole time.
The next act was pretty neat though, a kind of magic act, so it was worth it.
I knew that Brad wouldn't want to wait for the next one, so we headed back to the room.
Wednesday was our last day and we had to check out by 11, so we checked out around 9 (to avoid the rush) and headed out to Fremont Street for a breakfast buffet at Main Street Station.
It's one of the cheapest buffets, so you can see whay the poor married kids would go there. :)
It was yummy though, so everything was fine.
We then drove up to the temple, where we were married almost an entire year ago.
I had been planning on going through the temple, but since I forgot my temple clothes in Rexburg, it didn't happen.
It was overcast outside, and therefore a little chilly, so we didn't stay long.
We just walked along the grounds and reminisced about our wedding day.
It was nice.
Then we headed up to Utah to stay with Jenna for a couple days.
The drive was pretty interesting.
At one point, the car just stopped running.
Brad pulled over to the side of the freeway and just restarted everything, and it was running again.
Later, when I was driving, my knee bumped the keys, which turned the car off.
We got it started again and soon Brad took over driving again.
When we were maybe 20 miles outside of Amercan Fork (where Brad's sister lives) our car said "low fuel."
We wanted to see if we could make it the whole way and we were doing pretty good, until 8 miles away from the exit when our car went ahead and quit.
We pulled off the road right behind someone else who was having car trouble and called up Jenna and Travis.
After a while, the people in front of us came back and said they had a small amount of gas that might be able to take us to the next exit, which was only 1 mile away, so we poured it in, made it off the next exit, coasting most of the way, and ALMOST made it to a gas station.
This picture shows just how close we were!!
Anyway, it was pretty funny.
My sister-in-law drove up soon thereafter and gave us a gas can.
We put a bit in, then pulled into the gas station and filled up the rest of the way.
Quite the experience.
We stayed in Utah until New Year morning and then finally came home to Idaho.
Despite the cold and snow, I love being home.
Now, this post is super long and Brad and I REALLY need to go grocery shopping, so i'll end for now.
The next post, in about 2 weeks, will most likely be announcing the gender of our baby, so stay tuned!