Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Birthday Bash (Smash?) Weekend!

It was nearing the end of Dominic's Spring Break from school and with my birthday falling on a Saturday, our family went on a short getaway and had the best time, despite the expense and the bruised tailbone injury I faced. It was a full weekend. The boys experienced snowboarding, snowtubing, miniature golf, swimming and bowling - all within hours of each other. Where else can you get that?

We got out of Sacramento at a great time on Friday, the 9th, and headed toward Reno, where we'd stay for the weekend. We stopped at Soda Springs for some fun in the snow. It was our family's first EVER snow trip. The boys haven't ever been to, or played in, the snow. BRRRRRR... what an experience. After a few months of preparing for this day, we had more than enough "gear" to layer onto the kids. Funny how a ski resort's parking lot becomes a huge tailgating party while everyone attempts to bundle themselves and their kids up. We were there well before the crowds came in and it was absolutely gorgeous out. Although a bit chilly at first, once that "nip" burned off, we were very satisfied with the temperature and even started taking layers off because of the warmth of the sun. We enrolled all 3 boys to play at Planet Kids. Donovan wanted to try snowboarding and here was the perfect opportunity. Dominic was surprised to find out that he was going to be doing it too. Smile! Devin, too little to do much, was giddy with just having a snowball built into his hands to throw at his dad. Papa and Grandma Avila were with us to help catch the kids as they came down the hill, whether on snowboard or tube. After a few hours of fun, it was time to refuel our bodies (tailgate party!) and take all of our layers of clothing off (potty time!) and begin the rest of our drive toward Reno.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow:

Stopping at Boomtown, the kids were able to play games in the arcade and try a round of miniature golf. Finally arriving at our destination, we learn that our hotel room is on the 23rd floor and we have conjoining rooms with the inlaws! The kids thought that was fantastic! I'm not sure the grandparents did! Rudy set off to purchase some milk for our stay, while I finished unpacking and getting the boys ready for bed. I was ready for bed soon after, just exhausted and a bit sore from my tumble down the snowpacked hill that the kids insisted on climbing.

We hit up McDonald's for breakfast the next day. What a treat! The boys thought "hot cakes" were an awesome treat to have at McDonald's. They are good breakfast eaters, most of the time. We then took a small road trip to see the Animal Ark Sanctuary. After a mile of a dirt and gravel path, we were pleasantly surprised at what a neat place this was. Obviously not a world famous zoo, but a chance to see wildlife up close and learn about the different species common to our area.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow:

Back again to the heart of Reno, where we visited the Grand Sierra Resort. Here we were able to enjoy a round of bowling as a family, while the grandparents tried their luck at the slot machines. Dominic and Donovan were tickled to be playing their parents in this sport. The grins on their faces were priceless. To see their mom lack any bowling skills was exciting for them. I think I will request that the bumpers be placed in the gutters next time we play, not just for the kids, but for me! I tried to blame my poor score on my tailbone mishap, but they weren't have it. Dominic won the round and Dad fell to a close 2nd Place.

Donovan (L) and Dominic (R)
Devin views out of his stroller window. What a clown!

As if the day wasn't exhausting enough, the kids begged to go swimming. What was I to do? Take pictures I suppose! These water lovers had a splashing good time with dad while I held a camera and raised my blood pressure at the sides of the pool.

Mr. Independent

Loving the personal jacuzzi.

Deep in thought.

I finally got a few hours kid-free to spend with my hubby for my birthday. Grandma was able to put all of the kids to bed (yippee!) while we went out for a buffet dinner and played a few slot machines. No big jackpots here, but no significant losses either.

The threat of yet another winter storm (this 2nd week of April!) forced us to leave pretty early on Sunday morning. It was a smart move as we beat the blizzard-like conditions on the road. It was still a pretty drive home. I'd say it was a successful getaway!

Leaving Reno, heading toward home.

Definitely cold!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Zippity Zoo Days

We're loving our zoo membership and are becoming very familiar with the residents there. Some of our favorites are in the slideshow below. As you can see, the male lion and the snow leopard were very photogenic one day. As the giraffes get accustomed to their new exhibit, I hope they'll come closer to the public for some good picture taking. They are amazing creatures to watch. The boys' favorite are the gibbons. They are fun to watch and mimic their unique call. Yes, I've got a few monkeys on my hands!

Special treats for my sweets.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow:

Sunday, April 4, 2010

March Madness - Round 2!

And more of our March Madness (before it becomes May) ....

Wheee ..... times 3!

Such a good poser!

The climbing cousins.

We went with Gertie to the dog park. I'm not sure who had more fun?

This new yoga position is called "Dog Tired".

Just cruisin'

And sliding...

3 boys on 1 beanbag and no dog :(
(looks like Donovan let loose with his pants) HA!