Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Baby's First Road Trip: Down the Vegas Strip

When talking about our future children, one of the things AJ and I looked forward to was being able to go on adventures and explore new places as a family. That being said, at 2 and 1/2 months old, we took our little Boston on his first long road trip to Las Vegas (about a 6 and 1/2 hours drive south of Orem). It probably wasn't the ideal road trip destination for a baby but it was a nice half way point for my mother, who was coming from California to meet her first grandson for the first time. Plus, this trip would be my mother's first time to Las Vegas which is pretty exciting because to be honest, she needs to get out more. We were excited that this would be a new adventure for my mother, and you know how much we love adventures!

Because we packed some essentials, we had a successful ride down with baby (see list here). Honestly, we were a bit worried about how it would be to travel with baby for the first time on a long car ride. We prepared for all sorts of situations (as best as we could), but were thankful for the outcome of a peaceful and cheerful baby. The motion of the car kept him well-rested. Sweet baby...

The first stop in Vegas was our hotel. We stayed at La Quinta near the airport, which was perfectly wheelchair accessible. (Be sure to book ahead of time over the phone instead of online to ensure you get an accessible room). We unloaded our belongings and headed over to the airport to pick my mom up. Once my mom laid her eyes on Boston, it was love at first sight. For the rest of the trip, she was there to tend to his every need, wish, and desire. My mother's love knew no boundaries. It was cute yet overwhelming at times. It led to a few interesting experiences like these:

In the middle of the night, when Boston woke up and got fussy, I would get up to take care of him (like I normally do). Well my mom, with whom we were sharing a room with, would wake up as well, take him from me, rock and feed him until he went back to sleep  even when we had things under control. But the story gets better. Every time Boston started crying while she was napping, she would wake up frantically, look around for Boston, and roll out of bed like the Beverly Hill Ninja and come grab him from our arms. It was SO FUNNY to see. We really did have things under control, Mom, but thanks for the assist! haha. And baby? He was as cute and comfortable as can be. He was such a good sleeper through the night and a happy camper as we traveled. Although, there were several times while en route around Vegas where he was fussy because of a messy diaper or it was mum mum time (frustrating while driving). We almost stopped a few times, but persisted. So prepare by feeding and changing baby before the car ride, especially for longer trips.
Our adventures in Vegas began with visiting the Filipino shops and outlets and ended with a trip down the Strip (that was about all we could physically handle, haha). We parked at Treasure Island  and began our way down the Strip towards the Bellagio (I dream of a weekend getaway here someday with AJ. It's so extravagant and classy -- just how I envision a Great Gatsby party to be).  There were lots of things to see along the way like buskers (street performers/artists for tips), musicians, spray paint artists, shops (M&M World), etc. But that's expected because this is Vegas, which is much bigger than little Orem, UT. 
The frigid November wind down the Strip was so strong that baby uncomfortable and fussy (he really hates the cold) even as bundled up as he was. So we hid him using our Carseat Canopy cover and stroller hood. We didn't get to show him all the cool stuff, but there's always next time. Thank goodness we had our Graco Fast Action Click Connect. It was easy to pull out of the car, click baby's carseat to and smoothly get around everywhere. The big wheels are made for jogging and they allowed us to easily maneuver and get over curbs and the tons of people on the Strip. He really enjoys it and so do we.  We also checked out the volcano water show at the Mirage along the way. I think my mom liked the Strip but it might have been more comfortable if she had appropriate walking gear. I would definitely recommend sneakers.

I love going through the Bellagio's lobby to see the colorful blown glass covering the ceiling, Fiori di Como. There are always different exhibits at the Bellagio in their conservatory and botanical gardens. They are different artistic take on events like Halloween. This one was packed with large glowing pumpkins and talking trees. It was an eerie but vibrant walk through which might have been a bit better if there weren't so many people packed into the area. I felt like I had to rush to get through faster, which is usually the case because I don't want to run over too many people's feet or have them fall atop of me because they weren't looking. We made it out alive and it was nice nonetheless.
We ended our night with water show is always exciting to see with all the cool shooting effects and I love the music accompaniment. It's always nice to end on this musical note.
On the walk back, I wanted my mom to know how cool it was that she was walking on the Strip because it's iconic of Vegas. She responded with, "Oh Strip, is that where people are dancing around naked." It was SO FUNNY!!! I had to make sure I corrected her so she didn't go back to Fresno with the wrong idea, and maybe she would realize why her friends made funny faces when she said she went to the strip, or to avoid using the word "strip" in a sentence all together. 

Overall, it was a pleasant trip for our family. I definitely recommend overpreparing for travel with baby (check the weather ahead of time and pack accordingly). Bring a stroller to the Strip for sure. It's worth lugging it around in the car as opposed to lugging baby on the long trek down the Strip. And please bring comfortable walking shoes.

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