Vegas for the Holidays

I look forward to walking, make that running for dear life out of the office on the last day before Christmas Break more than anything else all year.  It's 10 times better than my my Birthday.  It's peace out I'm a free woman for almost two weeks, and it's pretty much the best thing ever.  This year I wasn't at home the whole time doing my normal staycation thing, but when we got back from Las Vegas I still had a week left and it was AWESOME.
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I didn't even realize people were still getting pictures done at J.C. Penny's until my mom made us an appointment there to get family photos done.  I rolled my eyes a little at that, but if mom wanted us to do family pictures on Christmas Eve at Penny's in holiday color coordinated outfits then that's what we were going to do. Unfortunately, MJ didn't have red or green and the madness that is holiday travel had other plans for us so we never made it to Penny's at all.  Little sis and I were fine.  Our flights were from San Fran and San Diego just a short flight away, but big sis came all the way from North Carolina and if one thing goes wrong with your flight this time of year there is a good chance you will have a much longer layover than you planned.  She missed her connection, couldn't get a flight out until the next day and didn't arrive until late on Christmas Eve more than 24 hours later than she was scheduled to arrive.  We missed our appointment so we improvised.  On Christmas day we drove to a park with a tripod and made it work.  We did a few test shots then popped off our jackets.  MJ ran back and forth between us and the tripod until we got it right.  It was really hard to seven people to look good at the same time with the wind and cold working against us, but I think we pulled it off.  We were freezing do death through those smiles but I think hid it pretty well.

MJ got really creative with one of my gifts
My nephew is just the cutest, with his little voice and sweet face.  He's grown so much since the last time I saw him.  He is a really good listener.  If you ask him to do something he does it, and he is quite the hugger.  He hugs people at the grocery store.  He hugged the flight attendant.  Probably because he was so thrilled that they finally let him get on after sitting for hours at the airport.   Present opening that morning was crazy.  I think I went into a trance or something because I hardly even remember it.  There was trash everywhere.  The lens cap for our camera disappeared.  I think it got thrown away.  One of MJ's present was a riddle so I was engrossed in that and then I was trying to see what everyone else was getting and figure out my new fitbit.  DJ was all over the place.  My sister was setting up his new tablet. I don't know what happened, but it was fun.

Just in case you were wo
MJ helped out a lot at Christmas dinner and it's a good thing because I don't know what went wrong with me and my sisters, but we are not kitchen people.  My mom asked us all to contribute a dish.  Big sis volunteered for chips and guacamole.  Little sis did a spread for bread.  I contributed a husband who volunteered to make brussel sprouts with bacon, and two sweet potato pies.  This is him making some last minute gravy.  Just in case you were wondering pancake mix is a perfect substitute for flour in gravy.  When he went to make cookies later he discovered what he thought was the flour container was full of pancake mix.  I guess it tasted fine, because nobody noticed.

The Rents
Sisters in pea coats at Caesar's Palace
Normally I go to Vegas to party.  Well, party one night and hang out at the pool for the rest because I don't have the energy for much more than that!!  Preferably during the hot summer months when you can walk around at night in a short dress and sit outside at Fat burger shoving fries in your face at 2 am without being cold.  This time was different.  It was my first time visiting my parents since they moved.  Could I go to Vegas and not set foot on the strip at all?  The answer is no.   I have a thing for the lights and the energy of the Las Vegas strip.  It was freezing, and there would definitely be no clubbing but we were there and my older sister doesn't get out much.  We had to.     If it had been summertime I'm pretty sure I would have wanted to party a little bit because I can't help it, but with freezing temps and a pregnant person in tow all we could muster was grabbing dinner on the strip and a stroll through Caesar's Palace.  We did a little bit of shopping and after three hours we were ready to go home. Dad dropped us off and then we took an Uber back.

Our flight left at 6:00am (yikes!!), but we had five nights there and I really enjoyed it.  You realize even more how special it is to be with family for the holiday's when everyone moves away.   We didn't do much.  I think we spent the majority of the time in pajamas watching those cheesy Hallmark holiday movies that were on all day long back to back commercial free.  We also watched the first (and sadly the last) season of the Ballet drama Flesh and Bone on Starz in a single day.  We delivered cookies as a family to the neighbors (much like a Hallmark movie).  On Sunday morning while the guys went to a casino to watch football we went for a walk (minus little sis who couldn't get up).  On our last night we went to my Dad's favorite Chinese restaurant for dinner.  Just good clean family fun.  I didn't want the visit to end, but I knew it had to because otherwise we would be in our 30's living with my parents and no jobs.  We had to go home.  But I didn't want to.

A photo posted by Cece (@mahoganydrive) on

We went to see Star Wars at Cinepolis the day we got back.  I took naps.  I was prepared, but alas a 10:30 pm start time is still too late for me.  It was good, but I fell asleep at the end.  New Year's Eve was really low key.  We picked up the expensive steaks we love for dinner.  We watched a movie and watched the ball drop on TV.  My retired parents were out dancing until 2am and then went to Denny's afterward while all their three kids spent NYE on the couch. 

One of the best things about my time off is that it didn't go by fast at all.  Now that I'm at work, it seems like it did because it's over, but while it was happening every day seemed to go on forever and that's just the way I like it. 


Lauren said...

I've been to Vegas at Christmas and it's freezing and not as fun! Sounds like you guys had a nice, family-filled trip though, and that has to be a great change of pace. Good tip for the pancake mix, though I don't think I will go out of my way to try it...

Faith said...

This sounds like such a great time with your family. I think your family picture came out much better than it would have at Pennys :)

I can't believe how big your nephew is! I know that he and my nephew are the same age because I remember when you were blogging and he was a baby so was my nephew. He is so cute!

It really is so cold during this time of year and it blows my mind that Vegas can get cold.

Oh an MJ is the man with his cooking skills, love that!

Glad you had a great time celebrating with your family. Have the best week!

Kate said...

It really is nice to spend time with family during the holidays--I know I miss it so much when I don't get to see them at Christmas or Thanksgiving!

Law_Fal said...

Looks like a busy but fun vacation!!!!!!!

Tomes Edition said...

The family pictures still came out pretty nice. Only recently i talked about spending Christmas in another country so this post is right on time. Looks like you had an amazing time with your family.

jackie jade said...

Sounds like a fun visit with your family and that family photo turned out great - you guys don't even look like you're freezing! It's always fun to get together with family once you're all grown up and moved away.

Shannon said...

It's really good spending time with family. I've personally never been to Vegas but I hear that it's lots of fun. A visit to Vegas is on my bucket list.

I think your family photos came out really nicely!

Happy New Year.

Renae said...

Your parents are so cute!!

Ashley R said...

Your family is seriously the cutest!