June 06, 2012

2012 May Vacation

Family Vacation. For us, it hasn’t rolled around for….well, a really long time.  Sweetpea is 18 months old, so it is safe to say that we haven’t gone anywhere, that 100% fits MY vacation definition, for about 2 ½ years {YIKES}. NEEDLESS to say, we were loooooong overdue!!  When planning  for vacation, we had two conditions: (1) we wanted to drive and (2) we wanted some luxury and an awesome pool.  Our solution?? Driving to Las Vegas. Yes… with a toddler.

In total, our vacation encompassed 2400 miles within 5 states.  We visited the Grand Canyon, Zion and Arches….plus, we had three luxurious nights in a penthouse suite at the Bellagio.

Sweetpea was an AMAZING traveler. We only stayed in the car for 3 hours max – in which she would snack, sleep or play on the iPad.  Truly, she was a happy little camper. She LOVED the hotels and, of course, the pools…. And by the end of the day, she was SACKED out!!!!!

Keeping busy with 'Peek-a-Boo Wild'

From Denver, you could absolutely make the drive to the Grand Canyon within one day – it would be a really, really long day, but you could do it.  We took two days to get there.  Our first stop was in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  It was nice, but not nice enough to ever go back. Been there, done that kind-of thing.  Flagstaff and Grand Canyon is a different story. In fact, Flagstaff is one of the few places in which I would willingly move to.  It was wonderful little city! Plus, the flipping Grand Canyon is only an hour away! It was Andrew’s first time to Grand Canyon and, as everyone else, he was in awe of its grandeur. Heck, I’d seen it before and I was still in awe.  If you haven’t been here – SHAME ON YOU!

Fun tourist area - Old Town in Albuquerque.


Yes, we took our child to Las Vegas. People are always talking bad about people who bring their kiddos to Vegas… and I disagree, as long as you are the type of parent to limit what you do in Vegas.  Some parents are unable to limit themselves and therefore, shouldn’t take their kids to Vegas!! You can’t go to some hotels, you shouldn’t drag them shopping for endless hours, no long days in the sun and early bedtimes….  For my husband and I, we only really care about the grand pools and fine dining. We never took Nora out on the “Strip”, we didn’t take her to seedy hotels (i.e. TI, etc), nor did we stay up late. Instead, we went to the aquarium, the pool, nice restaurants and then back to our suite for bed.  It was a relaxing time for us all! Funny enough, this is no different that our previous trips to Vegas. Can you say party animals???

I’m not going to lie, with a toddler in tow, we took extra steps to ensure that we would enjoy ourselves when staying in our hotel room for more time than usual. Therefore, we booked a suite {Penthouse Lakeview Suite} overlooking the Bellagio fountains. After Sweetpea sacked out {see picture above}, Andrew and I would sip wine in front of the windows and have our adult time.  Getting a suite with extra room, a fridge and a microwave was 100% worth it for us!!

Kitchen / Bar

Refrigerator {in case you didn't know!}

Powder Room
Living Room {with sleeping princess}

Bathroom #2

Bathroom #3

The BEST part -- THE VIEW!
We also splurged for our pool trips by renting a cabana. How else do you handle a toddler in the Vegas sunshine?! A note of warning, if you ever want to book a cabana for a trip be sure that you call way in advance!! Also, Wednesday seems to be the ‘sweet spot’ in Vegas – it is after the previous weekenders leave and before the new weekenders arrive.
Great location!
Comes with mini fridge and snacks.

It WAS hilarious!

Catching up on her reading!

Zion National Park is only 2 ½ hours from Vegas and it is beautiful. The park encourages you to utilize their shuttle service {to avoid having too many cars in the Park} and I have to say, it was really nice.  When we got off the shuttle for a hike, it felt like we were the only 3 people in the entire park.  Andrew and I have mentioned several times that we will be making a return visit to Zion National Park very soon!  The Zion area is within close proximity to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Lake Powell.

Can't remember what this was called, but it's pretty!

Beginning of our hike.
End of our hike.

This was our first trip to Arches National Park!!  It is SO close, yet we never bothered to make the drive?!  Not cool of us. Not cool at all. We didn’t get to spend too much time at this Park, but will likely use an upcoming three-day weekend to do more exploring. From the little we saw, we really liked!

It looks Egyptian to me...
An arch.

It might not look as fantastic as it felt to us, but for the Mitchell Party of 3, it was AWESOME!!! We are actively thinking of how to spend our vacation next time.... does anyone have any suggestions?!?