Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sparks, Nevada or Bust!

I'm not sure how many we've gone to, but I'd say for the 20 years they've held this event, surely we've been to close to 10 of them! And this year was bigger than ever for our clan... after recruiting the in-laws a few years back, along came Rudy's sister and brother and their families. Adding to our group this year are Grandma and Grandpa Gertie (my parents). Whoo hoo! We sucked up the high gas prices, grabbed the opportunity to stay at John Ascuaga's Nugget (the host hotel) for the weekend and tried our luck at slot machines and craps tables.

We got a late start to our trip on Friday. I worked until 12:00, met Rudy at home, who was doing yardwork and still had to pack up the car. We left the house with a screw in a tire, so went to get that fixed before picking up Papa and Grandma Avila. Oh, of course, Rudy had to stop by the bank first. So, needless to say, our hopes of getting "on the road" by 1:00 p.m. were shot. A small stop to purchase a Lotto ticket before the freeway and we once again find ourselves behind Ben and Kristie. They ALWAYS find some way to get ahead of us!

We arrived in Sparks, NV ready for ribs! I was hungry. After checking in and gathering the gang, we braved the crowded streets in search of the best ribs. Awesome Aussie's were my personal favorite. The kids enjoyed frozen bananas while we walked to the end of the street for a sit-down break (and a funnel cake! - for Bianca). Back up to our rooms for getting the kids ready for bed. The big boys went in search of a lucky craps table, while the little boys and I sunk into our beds (...or tried to!)
We woke up Saturday morning for a Breakfast Buffet and headed out to historic Virginia City. It's a "Long and Winding Road "(who sings that?) and out in the middle of nowhere. No jackpots were hit for the adults. The kids scored their own jackpots with ice cream, a mechanical horse ride and a smushed penny souvenir. Grandma Gertie bought Donovan a sombrero. It may never get worn again, but it was good for pictures!

Back to Sparks for some swimming with the primas, more ribs, and some pooped-out parents. This time I got to try my luck at some slot machines with my mom while the boys went to the arcade to play games and Papa Gertie guarded Baby Devin up in our room. Thanks Dad!

Another day, another buffet (paid for with Rudy's slot winnings)! Off to Circus Circus in Reno to gather our bags full of stuffed animals (the treasured bedtime stuffies). The girls got their faces painted and were pretty in pink. Bianca was too cool in blue. Not really thinking my boys would be willing to get their faces painted too, knowing full well that pink and purple would probably not be ideal, Dominic was enthusiastic when I asked him. Donovan made his decision while we waited in the 1/2 hour line. I couldn't convince him to be a tiger or puppy. He wanted to be like his brother. So, we settled for a smaller version of Dominic's half red half black Spiderman for him. After a few hours of being in disguise and frightening people coming out of elevators, their Spidermen faces turned to Spidersmear faces. Finally we hit Boomtown before officially heading back to Sacramento. The boys slept the majority of the way home. Even Papa and Grandma caught a few winks.

Another Labor Day weekend down and another day full of laundry to do!
Here are more pictures of the fun we had...


jag said...

What a wonderful trip! I just love what you do with your blog page. The pictures are always adorable and the layouts are perfect.

Joan said...

What a fun trip that looked like. We are currently debating a trip ourselves. Not sure if we will stay the night but Andrew is certainly itching to play in some sand.

Loved the wester pics you put together..