I love Vermont, and how we get to experience all 5 seasons (for you flatlanders, the 5th is mud season), but man, this winter has been tough! It’s been below freezing for two months straight, which means we can’t go outside for too long and add in the fact that I work from home, so I rarely get out – well it has caused some serious cabin fever. It’s March, a week away from the first day of spring and this is what it looks like outside…
So you can imagine how thrilled we were when we left that snowy wonderland behind us for the warm west coast! So on a wintery wednesday, I spent the morning packing a bag with short sleeve shirts, capris, and sunglasses (later dubbed ‘Averyators’, thanks to Robin).
So that afternoon, we spent our first hour (of many for this vaca) in an airport headed for warmer climates…
Since we flew out of VT, it’s a small airport and we had to transfer, so two flights, and a couple zzz’s later…
(we flew over Vegas on our way… a little foreshadowing…)
We were in the sunny OC!
Avery stayed back with MiMi and Grampy while Steve and I (who have been planning this for mooooonths and talking about it since the summer, before we were dating) visited our friends from high school, Robin and Nate. Now let’s preface this big reunion vacation with a little backstory…
Robin, Steve, and I went to elementary school together. Robin and I were the bestest of friends – my family practically adopted her. She went camping with us when we vacationed. Her pet rabbit lived with my rabbit at my house. She ‘taught’ me how to ski. She called my Dad ‘Chef Boyardee.” Good times. (Oh and maybe this is a good time to mention Steve and I went to before/after school daycare together where he sneakily stole my first kiss!!! But he broke up with me on the school bus – a bunch of times, so needless to say, that didn’t last long)
When Robin went to a different high school than Steve and I, we kept in touch, but then I met Nate (he had gone to a elem school in another town)… why or how Nate and I became close friends is beyond me. But when Robin transfered to our highschool, I introduced her to Nate. They fell in love, and after graduation, moved to California. So essentially, I lost both of my best friends. We all lost touch over the years.
Fast forward ten years, Robin and Nate (finally) got married last summer – in Vermont. So to my surprise, Steve was there too. We hit it off and started Friday Night Wine Nights together – so all summer we caught up (and tried some good and bad wines), and what do you know, we eventually fell for each other(Awe). It was only fitting that Robin and Nate repaid the favor I did them 10 years ago 😛
Soooo ever since their wedding, we had been playing around with the idea to visit them. And so, we did. We booked the flights and flew out there with no agenda… no plans whatsoever.
We stayed with Robin and Nate’s in their adorable house…
We met their two pets, who Avery was more interested to see when I face timed with him than me. Abby:
We had four fun-filled days with them. Some of the highlights…
Fried Pickles! After hours and hours on planes and in airports, Nate and Robin picked us up late Wednesday night and we went to dinner and introduced them to our fave app.
Drag Racing Nate’s New Car! After meanduring around a mall for the afternoon, the men endulged in some racing fun.
We look so happy in this pic… at this point we didn’t know we’d be stuck in the car for 6 hours days later.
Nate and Steve found this place with a drag strip where you can race your own cars. They signed their life away and Robin and I watched from the stands as they tried to beat other cars.
We rode down to the beach in Nate’s fancy smancy Camero.
We walked around and checked out a few stores (I got and sent two post cards to Avery and my Grandma), then walked the sandy beach.
We sooo lucked out with weather. It was litterally 90 degrees warmer than in was in VT. 70s in Cali and -20 to -30 in VT.
To say we were happy was an understatement.
We were in loooove.
We picked some seashells for Avery (he loved them and brought them to school to show off)
The water was cold, but bearable. I mean, common, we spent hours at the beach in February!!
Awe. Aren’t the newlyweds too cute! (Nate was actually trying to push her in…)
We loved it so much, we thought we would just stay and buy this fixer upper…
We washed up and had some drinks and food right on the beach.
When we got back to their place, we were raring to go out to the Lakers game that night….
Before heading to the game, we visited my second cousin Kellee and her two kiddos and two dogs. She’s the daughter-in law of my Uncle John, the one I’m buying the house from. It was so nice to finally meet her in person! Then it was off to fight traffic on the way to LA.
Robin and Nate had got us all tickets to the game that night, and not just any tickets…
Yep, we were THAT close.
mandatory ‘We’re Sitting THIS Close” photo to prove it.
We had drinks and prezels and smoozed with Denzel and Mark Walberg. (no, really, they were there!)
And we even made it on the big screen!!! I was waving and smiling and Steve was like what?
The game was very close and exciting. I’ve been to Celtics games, and even sat in box seats thanks to my company, but these seats… amazing!!!
Oh and on our long ride into LA for the game, we decided, hey, we don’t have plans for the weekend, so let’s go to Vegas. And…. we did.
6am the next morning, we were on the road headed to Sin City!
Steve had never been, the rest of us had, so we were on a mission to show Steve what Vegas was all about. The ride was just over 4 hours… lots of nothing to look at on the way….
A random pitstop along the way…
We arrived, and stayed at the Aria, one of the new hotels. I wanted to stay at Treasure Island, but they had been booked – can’t blame them, we booked a hotel the day before going!
So smansy, we walked into the hotel room and the window curtain opened up and music turned on… we weren’t in
Kansas Vermont anymore!
We went exploring on the strip, and our first stop was the M&M store!
I got Avery these M&Ms, personalized with his name (he was thrilled when I brought them home)
“Oh hey, we’re in Vegas” selfie with New York New York behind us.
After lots of exploring, we sat down for some food on the strip.
After some napping and slot machine fun (not! we lost $11 and called it a night), we headed off to Fremont Street.
So many lights… and so many people!
Nate and Steve did the Zip Line…
Then it was back to the strip to visit the Bellagio fountains and atrium.
And then we did what any kid-free couple does late at night while in Vegas…. we grabbed some food, a six-pack, and headed back to our hotel room.
I think my fave part of the trip, other than all the laughing between all four of us all vaca, was relaxing in bed the next morning… ahh sleeping in is sooooo nice.
Before we headed out, we endulged in some more candy and chocolate….
Then began our 24 hour journey home. We drove back to the OC, which took forever! We were tired and sick of sitting before we even got to the airport. Demonstration… Left, on the way TO Vegas. Right, on the way BACK from Vegas.
Other than oodles of traffic, we saw a fun road sign.
And it didn’t rain allll vacation, until we got in that car to drive back. Good timing.
Our flight back to Newark was delayed a little bit, then 4 hours later in Newark (now morning on the east coast), we had a 6 hour layover thanks to a delayed plane.
When we were on the final plane ride home, we were a bit excited… and tired!
We finally got into VT 24 hours after we had left Vegas. We only had a few hours of sleep while on the planes (I cannot sleep on planes) and it took us the next week to catch up on sleep I think. I was excited to see Avery when we got in though. MiMi had kept him home from preschool so he could meet us at the airport – he ran up to me and told me about the planes he was watching and he wouldn’t let me go. Such a fun vacation, but we will be VERY happy if we don’t see an airport for a while… good thing our next visit with Robin and Nate will be here in Vermont after we buy the new house this fall!