with the meet time set for 10:45 on friday morning, we were packed up and making our way up the 15 freeway by 7am.
the drive to vegas is usually pretty long and boring, and this time was no exception. the nice part was that it was so early that we didn't hit any traffic, with wide open roads the whole way.
although we'd sworn last year that we'd stay at a nicer hotel next time, we ended up staying at the orleans hotel because it was just easier to be on the same property as the arena for the competition. and we pulled in with about ten minutes to spare, finding a big group of the girls and their parents already congregated near the front desk. the bean was excited to see her cheer sister, who gave her a big hug right away.
and then it was time to say goodbye for a few hours while she went off for some kid-friendly fun before cheer practice.
the hub got us all checked in, and we headed upstairs to put our luggage in the room before heading out for a few hours of "us" time. our room was nicer this year than i remembered it to be last year, with a view of the pool that's currently closed for the season.
on our way out, we stopped in the "high limits" slot machine area to try our luck. the hub stuck a bill into one of the $5 wheel of fortune machines, and while i'm usually more of a quarter slots kinda girl, i figured it was worth a shot. and as luck would have it, on my second try i got to spin the wheel...and it stopped here:
i went a couple more times before i decided to cash out. not bad for 5 minutes of play, right??
we headed over to the new park MGM, which had previously been our old standby, the monte carlo. that was the first trip we ever took together, so it brought back some pretty fun old memories for me. they recently opened the vegas version of eataly just a couple of weeks ago, and that's where we decided to stop for some snacks.
when i saw this, i knew we had to bring the bean back here later.
speaking of the bean...can you spot her in this picture?
before we knew it, it was time to pick her up from the cheer gym. we knew she'd be hungry, and the hub decided to bring us back to the park MGM. he dropped us off while he went to park the car, and on our way to the restaurant we saw this:
she cracks me up.
she was pretty excited to see that we were having sushi.
and she thought the way they folded their napkins was really cute.
i can't resist a good brussels sprout appetizer, and this one was really good - roasted and served with a really tasty honey-based sauce.
she was super stoked at the sight of this being brought to the table.
while the hub went off to pick up MIL at the airport - which was a surprise for the bean - she and i walked into the new york, new york hotel to pay the hershey store a visit.
we had fun walking through the whole store and checking out all of the goodies.
the bakery cases were full of all sorts of deliciousness that we somehow managed to stay away from aside from taking these pictures.
but we didn't leave completely empty-handed.
this store looked like fun, and it was.
we had so much fun looking at all of the silly novelties in there.
while we were in there, the hub called to let me know that he'd picked up MIL and they were just down the street. we went back to the spot where he'd dropped us off, and it was so much fun to see and hear her excitement when she opened the door and saw her beloved grandma sitting in the car waiting for her. we headed back to the orleans to drop off her luggage, and while we relaxed in our rooms for a bit the old lady facetimed me with molly.
we caught a taxi that took us back to the strip for dinner, and with the crazy traffic we decided to save ourselves some time (and cab fare) and had him drop us off across the street from where we were going.
the bean was stoked to have some prosciutto and burrata.
MIL opted for the rotisserie chicken with some brussels sprouts on the side.
the bean and i shared a huge porterhouse steak:
and the hub had a steak of his own, and brought us a plate of carpaccio to round out our meatfest.
the bean did have a nutella crepe for dessert, but i didn't bother to take a picture of it because while it was delicious, it wasn't very pretty. heh.
she was so excited when she realized that she and MIL were sharing their own room, and with an early call time and a super long day of competition, they called it a night around 9:30. the hub and i were ready for some fun, and caught an uber that took us to caesar's palace. we hung out at the montecristo cigar bar, where we enjoyed some adult beverages, the hub had a cigar and we both played some video poker.
knowing that i had to have the bean ready and up in the coach's suite by 7:30 the next morning, we ended up back in our room before midnight. long day, but full of fun and anticipation for what the weekend would bring. ah, how i love the vegas.