This year our Laguna trip started out with a stop in Las Vegas. Bret found us a room at the Rio which was perfect because he really wanted to eat at their Seafood Buffet for dinner. This is the kids waiting for Bret to checked us in at the hotel. We couldn't wait to jump in the pool! The second we got to the room, the kids threw on their swimsuits, and we were off to the pool. Much to our dismay, the wind was blowing so hard that we were completely miserable the entire 30? minutes we were at the pool. Kind of a bummer . . . so we went back to change and then headed out to feed the kids before our hot date. The Millers got a room at the same hotel, so we met Kim and Jason (leaving all the kids in the rooms . . . Shh! Don't tell) at the buffet for a night full of all-you-can-eat crap legs and lots of other yummy stuff. It was heavenly!
After dinner we went back to get the kids and then headed out for a little fun in the big city. We piled all 13 of us, Millers and Clarks, into our van and headed to the Bellagio to see the fountains. It was fun to watch the looks we got from people when we all piled in and out of our car.
After a quick walk through the Bellagio gardens inside, we headed out to see the awesome fountains. It was fun to have the Millers with us. The fountains are always a magical thing to see!
The next morning we were up early and out for the rest of the drive. No troubles really. . . other than we ran out of gas right at the top of the Laguna Canyon. There was a ton of traffic headed the same direction we were, so we had to make a detour back up a little ways, on fumes, to get gas before we could head the rest of the way down the canyon. But the second we got there, the kids headed straight for the ocean. I think Jenny was the most excited because she hardly got out of the water the whole time we were there. She loved every second of it!
Tyler was really hesitant to jump waves at first. But after much "force" by Dad, he figured it out and ended up loving it. He ended up having tons of fun in the ocean all week once he realized how much fun it was and that he could do it all by himself.
The tide was really low this year. Lower then we've ever seen it, so there was quite a bit of seaweed in the water. Everyone found a little something to do with it.
Bret loved starting seaweed wars . . .
Bret showed Shawn how to pop the little poppers on the seaweed, which he loved, but he didn't like having it around his neck. That just made him mad!
Shawn played a little in the sand, but he mostly wanted to hang out with Mom and run up to the Hot Tub.
Tyler was one of the cutest cousins for the little boys this year. He dug lots of holes, found sand crabs, caught kids jumping in the pool and babysat. And he loved every second of it.
Katy was so excited about sand crabs this year. She couldn't stop talking about it before the trip even started. She spent lots of time finding them and putting them in the buckets. It was so fun to watch her and see how excited she got when her collection got bigger and bigger.
One little crab to show me. . .
Uncle Jason rigged up these two with their noodles for some fun swimming races. They thought it was pretty funny to have the noodle threaded through their suits.
We were extra lucky this year to have Grandma Clark give Shawn a few swimming lessons. It didn't take long before he was swimming across the pool. He is one funny kid!
Thank you Grandma! Shawn loved every second of swimming with you!
It was so fun to spend some time with our cousins. There is nothing like the love between cousins. But not a second went by without us thinking about the Thompsons. We missed them and wished so badly that they could have been there with us. It just wasn't the same.
By the end of the week, Shawn figured out how fun it was to play in the ocean water. He loved playing with his Dad the most!
Shawn is one lucky boy . . . he is loved!
Bret telling Shawn stories while we waited to get into B.J's for some pizza one night!
All the kids being good sports but one! (and one sexy leg in the corner!)
Inside . . . waiting for our pizza!
We were pretty lucky this year to have 2 nights where we had adult-only dinners. Dax, Jace and Grady came up to our room to play with the kids while we headed out. It was so fun to be with Bret and enjoy a yummy meal. I love being his sweetheart!
We can't let a trip to Laguna go by without a walk down to the bakery for an early morning doughnut. There was a lady spraying off "our" bench outside with a hose so we didn't get to feed the birds with our leftovers. But those doughnuts always taste SO GOOD! Especially with a cold glass of milk on ice!
After we finished our doughnuts, we decided to walk back up the beach to the hotel. We stopped at the playground to let Shawn go down the slides a few times.
He wanted to pose for all the pictures . . .
Tyler ran UP the slide and Jenny was close behind . . . BUT it was so steep and slippery, she couldn't quite get to the top. All we had to do was tease her a little bit, and she wouldn't stop until she did it. Jenny won't go down without a fight! It was funny!
I love each of these little faces! These days couldn't get any better. I would like to push pause and keep everyone exactly as they are today. If only . . .
These days are the best! Thank you Gwen and Jamie for taking these pictures for us. They are ones to treasure forever!
Grandma was so excited to help each of the kids find a treasure to take home this year. Jenny and Emilee found these earrings on the very last day. They came walking up the beach with them on right after they bought them . . . so proud and excited . . . and Bret's first comment to them was, "I see you stopped by the chandelier store on your way back." It was pretty funny. They were so proud and couldn't wait to model them with their sunglasses on for the rest of the day.
It was Shawn's first year to go with all the boys down to the candy store with Grandpa. He didn't really know what was going on, but I can imagine what his face looked like when he walked into that store. They said he spotted this giant lollipop the second he walked in and he wouldn't change his mind . . . no matter what. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for the giant sucker and the fun memory. He will remember that forever!
Jenny thought it was pretty awesome too! She couldn't resist taking a picture with it.
On the way home we met up with the Millers for one last shot on the famous giant rocking chair at Dairy Queen in Beaver. Thank you everyone for the fun trip. We love you all! Thank you for the fun memories. Thompsons, we missed you. Matt, we missed you! Heaps, we can't wait to see you again.