Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Weekend Beast: Memorial Day

We got to have an extra long Memorial Day Weekend because Reeder got school off both Friday and Monday, hooray! 

The kids and I spent the first half of Friday at the Springs Preserve. Our pass was about to expire and everyone really wanted to see the butterflies again before we no longer had a pass--so that is exactly what we did! Last time, we got lucky and butterflies landed on everyone. This time, only Lila was lucky. A butterfly landed on her and she didn't even know it! Asher was perhaps the most disappointed about not having a butterfly land on him, but we all survived and enjoyed seeing the butterflies, anyway. After the butterflies, we had a picnic lunch, then enjoyed the rest of the Springs. We ended up being there for FOUR hours!

Ryan was getting off just before we were done at the Springs, so we decided to meet at the mall. And I am very glad we met at the mall, because we got Lila the cutest dress I've ever seen--and it happened to be on super clearance. Yay for us. (Dress pictured below). Truth be told, the children kind of turned on us while we were shopping. They have NOT been good shoppers lately, especially when said shopping doesn't benefit them in some way. Stinkers.

This chuckwalla was cuddled up with the glass. Awwwww.

We've been meaning to get back to the railroad tunnels bike trail out by Lake Mead and knew that if we didn't do it soon, we weren't going to do it because heat would become a major factor--so Saturday, we actually went and did it! The first part of the trail is the worst--it's deeper gravel, so harder to ride through, and it's uphill. Asher was sobbing for the first 15 minutes solid. Nothing we tried worked--I tried giving him pep-talks, distracting him, trying to get him to tell me something interesting, etc., but to no avail. Finally, Ryan suggested we pull off for a minute to check out a cool side-trail on foot. We climbed out on the short trail, which offered beautiful views of the lake, a small cave, and a GIGANTIC lizard sighting, and by the time we got back to the bikes Asher was TOTALLY FINE. Ryan pushed reset on our ride and it worked! The rest of the ride was great! It was especially great when we decided to stop at the gazebo and not ride the insanly steep second portion of the trail that almost takes you to where you can see Hoover Dam. We unwittingly went on the steep portion the first time we rode this trail and while we survived, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone with kids and bikes. The trail was brutal, and not even worth it--because it ended in the parking lot, with absolutely zero view of the dam. And nowhere to leave you bike so you can go see the dam. And getting back to the gazebo, and then through all the tunnels was not something I ever have a desire to repeat.

Anyway, this time we were smart, and the ride was great.

After the ride, we had a yummy picnic, then went to play in the lake--until we discovered that the lake, for whatever reason, is super slimy right now! The mud literally pulled the boys' crocs off their feet. The crocs were recovered, but barely. No one really wanted to play in the slime, so instead we headed to Circle K for drinkie treats, then to our favorite splash pad!

I don't remember for certain, but I'm guessing we ended the day with a movie :)

Giant lizard pictured below. Can you find him?

Our day of rest! Lila wore her adorable new dress to church. I taught sharing time. And we got to spend the day as a family!

On Memorial Day Eve, I was perusing our Desert Companion magazine (it comes to us for free) (that was a disclaimer so you would know we aren't weirdos) (why have one parenthetical statement when you can have three) and saw an article about Seven Magic Mountains. I mentioned it to Ryan, and he said, "Yeah, don't you remember seeing that last time we drove home from California? It's huge and I wanted to check it out..." Um, no, I didn't remember that. I was worried I was going crazy--how did I miss huge, neon boulder towers in the middle of the desert?--until we realized that Ryan saw SMM on his trip with the boys. I was not there. I am not blind. Or crazy. Hooray! Anyway, we decided a trip to Seven Magic Mountains would be cool, because how could giant stacks of painted boulders not be cool?

Seven Magic Mountains was, in fact, very cool. We even made our own kid stack to imitate the boulder stacks because we are clever like that. After SMM, we decided to go to another place that was new to us: The Clark County Wetlands Preserve. I'd also stumbled across this gem in the Desert Companion, and it seemed interesting enough, so we decided to try it out! The Wetlands Preserve is also free, so that may have swayed our decision a bit. 

The Preserve has a great visitors center which we browsed before deciding to walk the trails. The day was kind of hot--I'm glad we didn't go any later in the day or month--but the trails were great! We wound through the wetlands and got to see all kinds of animals, which was fun. We also got to cross a bridge and see the awesome water steps below it, which was maybe the kids' favorite part of the trails--that is, until we came to the "island" and let them use sticks to poke around in the water.

After the Wetlands, we went to grab a quick lunch, then headed to the cheap theater to see Kung Fu Panda 3! The movie was super cute--I liked it a lot more than KFP2. The boys loved it, too. Lila was exhausted, and zonked out for the last 20 minutes of the movie.

After the movie, we were all pretty worn out--but we decided to stop at IKEA on the way home because we are crazy like that. A brand new IKEA just opened up AT OUR FREEWAY EXIT. What luck! The store had been crazy busy, though, so we hadn't mustered the courage to go shopping yet. I'm not sure why we thought the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend would be a less crowded time to shop, but we went for it! The store was pretty busy, but not quite as bad as I thought. And I found new bathroom rugs, so that was happy! We ended the trip with Mjolk Choklad bars, of course.

Phew. We had quite the weekend!

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