Sunday, July 22, 2018

Summer 2018 - Week 8 (Day 1)

After months of planning and waiting, it was finally time to begin and take off for our summer vacation.

July 22
That morning, we packed the remainder of our belongings, food cooler and the dog into the car. We were off to Las Vegas to spend time with Heidi.

We made a few pit stops, but made a major stop in Mesquite to each play our $10 in free play.

Continued on our way to the house Heidi was living at. Amanda and I went grocery shopping, then came back to make mahi-mahi tacos. I wanted to take Amanda to see the Bellagio Fountains and have Heidi come with, but Heidi let us have fun by ourselves. So we took off for The Strip and parked at Bellagio. Walked around inside, and then walked outside to watch the fountain show, then loop back inside to get to the car so I didn’t have to pay.

The night was still young, so I drove over to The Flamingo to park since I thought they had free parking (like all the times I’ve visited before).... nope, they charge too. Well we walked through The Flamingo, head north along The Strip, and over to Casino Royal to gamble and win a little bit. With it now getting late, we headed back to Heidi’s place after grabbing a bite to eat at In-n-Out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


I’m going to explain an inside/group joke that I may have posted here and there before, but it may have made no sense at all at the time I posted it.

Every time I travel great distances with someone, I tell everyone in person or through social media “Crystals. We forgot the crystals.

Confused? Don’t be. No, I don’t own any crystals, nor was I needing to pack any crystals for that past or any future trips... The quote comes from the 2nd Commentary on the second release of the Napoleon Dynamite DVD called the “Napoleon Dynamite - Like, the Best Special Edition Ever!” released back in 2006 [blog post link]. This secondary commentary included the cast who played Kip (Aaron Ruell), Pedro (Efren Ramirez), Deb (Tina Majorino) and Uncle Rico (Jon Gries). As you can see in this video that includes the commentary, Aaron Ruell tells the story involving his family behind this “time machine” scene.

The first time I think I said it was back in 2009 [Twitter post]. Point is, every time I travel long distances and I’m thinking after it’s too late to turn around and grab whatever it may be that I have forgotten, I'll say this quote... only if I didn’t forget something.

I guess it’s now kind of a tradition to just blurt it out.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Summer 2018 - Week Сeмь (7)

This was the last week (excluding the two days in the following week) where the girls would be in Salt Lake before our trip to California and returning them back home after.

July 15
On Sunday, it was Zoey’s Birthday. I requested the evening off so we could go to her party as a family. However, I still had to work a morning shift at Home Depot before the party. When I clocked out, I came home and the two of us (Amanda and I) went over to Amanda’s moms house to help where we could. My mom drove over with the twins a little later and met us there (Reminder: the twins spent the night at grandmas).

We sat around and ate burgers chicken, let Zoey open her presents, then sang Happy Birthday before eating the birthday cake and ice cream.

We helped clean up and then came home with the girls.

July 16
I worked.

July 17
Before heading to work, we planned to meet up with Amanda’s mom, sister and Zoey at Sea Quest at Layton Hills Mall. We arrived earlier then them, so we walked around checking out the mall before they arrived.

When they did arrive, we paid to get in and get feeding tokens.

After we left Sea Quest, we walked over and through JC Penny to look at clothes. With it being lunchtime, we agreed on a little Mexican restaurant near by to meet at and eat.

It was now getting close to the time for us to head home because I had needed to get ready for work before taking off to work. So the twins said goodbye to Zoey, because this would be the last time they would see each other for the summer and until the next time they came up to visit (which I’m hoping is Thanksgiving).

July 18
I had to work my normal shift at Fresh Market, but that night I (and other employees) got a heck of a deal on ice creams. They were discontinuing a few items, so they pulled them from the shelves and put them back in the freezer in back. Well, all that you could fit (of these discontinued items) in a paper bag would only cost $2. So with my “mad bagging skills” (which I’ve been told by multiple guest), I filled up 2 bags. I would have done 3, but when I brought all the ice cream home and Amanda helped me put it in the freezer, out freezer was packed (with all the other frozen foods we had in there before).

July 19
If you go back to July 3 in the Summer 2018 - Week Cinque (5), you may notice some of it crossed off... that’s because I goofed. That appointment was for something else, because the arm appointment I wrote about was on this day. I won’t recopy/repost what happened at the appointment to make you reread it again. I will however, post the picture I took of the miniature model of the hospital for ants they had on display there though.

With the evening off, we promised the girls we would take them to do s’mores with them before we called it a summer. We asked them where they would like to do s’mores this time, and they wanted to go out to the Great Salt Lake again. So after dinner, we packed all the stuff we needed in the car and drove out. We still had some time to kill since we didn’t bring sunblock and it was nice to relax at sunset and do s’mores, so I took everyone to check out the Saltair.

When it was just right time, we headed to the spot we were at last year. We had trouble lighting and keeping the fire lit, so we were not there as long as last year. We cleaned up our mess, headed home and all cleaned up because we smelled like camp fire smoke and/or big spray... plus sticky from the s’mores.

(Left picture taken in 2017 / Right, all that remains of the bricks in 2018)

July 20
I slept in, but had one last closing shift for the week.

July 21
Jasmin was kind enough to trade my night managing shift for her cashier shift. Why? This allowed it so we could make sure everything was packed and ready, to take the girls over to my moms so the girls could spend a few nights with her (and fly out with her), and to get the rest I needed before waking up early the next day and driving all the way to Vegas.

So like I said, I came home from work and made sure everything was ready. We then made and ate dinner together. We had some time to kill, so we drove over to Hatch Park near our house to let everyone play (including Destiny). When we knew my mom was home, we drove over to her house and dropped the girls off.

On the way home, we stopped at Walmart to return the fishing poles we bought the girls since they had no interest in fishing earlier. When we were entering the store, it was starting to sprinkle. When we leaving the store, it was pouring.

When we made it back home safe, we loaded up my car and then went to bed. Tomorrow was a big day.