Saturday, February 13, 2016

thirteen in the desert...

Though we always hear that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...I'm about to spill the beans.  We had such a good time there this past week...thirteen women from my family...and I am quite willing to share a bit of it with you!

It was last fall that my niece Gillian came up with the idea of having a 'girls only' reunion in Las Vegas...bringing together seven cousins and their six aunts from all parts of the country (two countries, actually).  She did all the advance and while we were there....and it all unfolded as it should!

We flew in from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Iowa and Texas...and we all had flights of about the same length of time. We knew we would be in for quite a ride...when we all found ourselves on the roller coaster that first night.  How did that happen? Those nieces of mine can be quite persuasive! If I ever go on one again...remind me to remove my glasses first.  Just saying!

One of our first stops when we arrived was the grocery store where we picked up breakfast foods and we wouldn't be spending all our time in restaurants. We just had a few special meals together as a group...including Mexican food one night.

The following morning all thirteen of us piled into rental cars and headed for Valley of Fire State Park, which is less than an hour north of Las Vegas.  The plan was to follow-the-leader and arrive there at the same time.  We should have known that with a population of more than 2 million people...the traffic through the city would be crazy.  And it was!  We soon all parted ways...and arrived at the park at different times and different places.  With no cell phone took over an hour to 'find' each other once we arrived.  It's a great place to visit!

Some of us went to see Le Reve ~ The Dream at the Wynn Hotel one night.  Though I must say I'm not always the best at figuring out the story was an amazing show from beginning to end...featuring stunning performers who danced through water and fire in a round theatre with a pool and stage in the middle. 

Later we wandered through some of the incredible hotels...all decked out in live flowers for Chinese New Year...which happened to be during our stay.

The Mandalay Bay Resort features an aquarium called the Shark's Reef...which was worth the visit. While some of us toured hotels and aquariums that day...the rest spent an afternoon around the pools...playing games or floating down the lazy river. 

It was the last night we would all be there...and so we had made plans to visit Gordon Ramsey's Steakhouse for dinner that night.  It was not until sometime that day...that we realized it was February 9th...which was my mom's birthday.  Though she passed away many years would have been her 90th birthday that day.

(Bev, Jeanne, Dot, Lauren, Jamie, Kathy, Gillian, Paulina, Mary Ellen, Heidi, Kim, Brittney and myself.  l-r)

And so we...her five daughter's, one daughter-in-law, and seven granddaughters from here, there and everywhere...met for dinner on her 90th birthday.  I'm sure she would not have chosen to have her birthday dinner in Las Vegas or at the Gordon Ramsey restaurant...but she would have been thrilled to have us all around the table! 

The Gordon Ramsey restaurant is in the Paris Hotel...across the street from the Bellagio which is an Italian-inspired tower behind a large lake featuring fountains set to music.  Quite lovely, actually.

Those are just a few of the highlights of our 'reunion in the desert'. But what mattered most about our time together was not what we saw or what we ate...but that we got to know each other in a new way.  I know that I have a great bunch of nieces...and sisters too, for that matter! 

I'll just add a quick postscript about what was happening back home while Heidi (my daughter) and I were a way.  Hubby had volunteered to watch Maggie and Lucy for several days while their dad was at work...and mommy was away.  And so he took Lucy to ballet...and got a little more than he had bargained on.  It happened to be costume fitting day...and all the moms helped the girls into their costumes.  All the moms...and one grandpa!  Then Lucy announced that she needed Valentine cards for her pre-school party...and so grandpa took her shopping for valentines. Oh...we laughed quite hard when we heard these stories!  But it seems a good time was had by all.

And so ends my mid-month post...a re-cap of a reunion in the desert.  Where the sun always shines and one does not need an umbrella.

Have a wonderful weekend!



  1. I knew you'd have a great time - it is just one big people-watching-dining-over-the-top place! Everyone should go to Vegas and I would imagine that a girls-only trip must have been a lot of fun. Your pictures are really good - how I'd like to see the display for Chinese New Year at the Bellagio.

  2. What a great idea to get together as aunts and nieces for a few days! I love that picture of everyone around the table and you had dinner on what would have been your mom's birthday! Who knew you could have so much fun in Vegas and by pass what others go there for? I met my daughter there once when she was living in the States. There is so much good food to enjoy and beautiful architecture to see!

  3. Hats off to your dear niece who planned this wonderful girls only getaway! What fun. Glad you all finally found each other in the desert. We could spin quite a good fiction novel around that...
    The Chinese New Year decorations were great.

  4. Elmer did all that? He's amazing!

    Loved, loved, loved seeing you with your daughter, nieces, and sisters all enjoying Las Vegas together. It's all about making memories. And what a God breeze to all be together on your mother's 90th birthday. That is extra special and not just by chance either. What a heritage!

  5. So good to read about your happy reunion. I dream of having a girls getaway with my daughters and d-i-l but so far we still have nursing babies...I laughed at your understated remark about your mom not choosing LV--I can just hear my Mom and Grandma in that, but they were also the first to the party. People are more important than place! Amazing organizational job your niece did. And how wonderful to have sunshine in Feb.!

  6. Good for you all to get out there and have fun . Looks like all did to . Lovely looking bunch of gals . Wonderful photos . Thanks for sharing , have a good weekend and a Happy Valentines Day .

  7. Your all girls reunion sounds like fun.

  8. What a great idea! And from the looks of it, you all had a fabulous time.

  9. Sounds like a wonderful trip and I am so glad you were able to go and have fun. Thanks for sharing your details with us

  10. What a beautiful and special time you all had together in the desert. It sounds quite wonderful and exciting. I've never been to Las Vegas and don't really have the desire to visit but everyone I know of who goes there seems to love it. Happy Valentine's Day to you!

  11. Glad you had a great time! Happy valentines! xx

  12. What a perfect way to spend time with the gals....Lauren obviously did a great job in planning. What tree did she fall from? Is Lauren you daughter? Anyways Judy, it looks like you all fit perfectly together.
    Next time you'll take the grown grand gals and they will push you in wheelchairs!!!

  13. Oh what fun! Such a great idea to have the gals in the family do this together - memories made. The Chinese New Year decorations look amazing. I remember visiting the Shark's Reef too when we were there. Marg's image of your next trip with the grand daughters made me laugh.

  14. I just love that you were able to do this with all the girls of your family. I can't get over how much you look like the girl sitting behind Heidi. You could be sisters!! =) Also, I just love how you celebrated your Mom's 90th birthday by mistake. You could almost convince me to visit Vegas.

  15. Well that was a memory-maker for sure! and how fun!! The sweetest picture is all of you around the table and on your mom's 90th! How special is that!

  16. What a great idea! How special that you all could gather in one place, at one time, and then to realize that you were all together on what would have been your Mother's 90th birthday. That is just the best! I really enjoyed reading this post and as always, you add touches of humor to it all, leaving me smiling as I read. I think the picture of you all around the huge table, is priceless!!!

  17. Oh how fun that trip looked! I'm getting ready for my annual cousin trip...such great memories to be made.
    Loved hearing about Elmer, what a sweet grandpa he is!!


  18. What a fun getaway, Judy. I can imagine all the talking and laughter that was shared. How sweet that it happened to fall on your mother's birthday! Elmer gets the star grandpa award!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson