Surprises you learn only when vacation with people
We just returned home from a great trip to Las Vegas and California with our friends the Bates family. This was the first time vacationing with another family that wasn’t our own relatives and it was AWESOME!!!
We started the party in Vegas the “city of sin”, an unlikely place for two young families. We stayed off the strip at a casino, smoke and gambling free hotel, but the best part of this hotel was the amazing breakfast buffet!!! We ate like kings every morning! I love a loaded egg white omelet. Give me every veggie you can find, dump it in, grill it up, throw pico on there and I am in heaven! Not to mention the family favorites of: french toast, oatmeal, pancakes, cereal, bagels…you get it. I am a “more bang for your buck’ kind of gal so this started every morning on the right foot.
We went to Michael Jackson One which was an INCREDIBLE show!!! This was so nostalgic for me-I listened to MJs records (yes records) day in day out growing up. I even listened to Weird Al Yankovich’s renditions…this was how much I loved those songs- I’m Bad vs. I’m Fat or even Beat It vs Eat It! As a kid I would often say that aside from my religious leaders Michael Jackson was going to be one of the first people I would want to meet in heaven. Forget George Washington, Albert Einstein it was straight to the King Of Pop. Every person in that theater was singing, clapping, dancing (ok maybe that was just me and Loretta) and having a great time. The dancers and performers were so so so good. I was an incredible tribute. My kids have me playing his songs over and over, all day, every day and my son has officially mastered the moonwalk.
We did the Vegas staples-Cheesecake Factory, fountain shows at Bellagio (Brian and my favorite stop), In n Out, kids play area at the outdoor mall…and of course the standard talk with the kids, “DO NOT look at the people handing out cards…eyes forward!!, buddy system, stay together, DO NOT take pictures with the creepy characters bc they WILL want our money” they followed the rules perfectly. We even got to share the stage while in Vegas-Zumba style! We had a master class together at the Zspot which has such a great energy and ambiance. Eva Brammer, our friend we met at the DVD shoot in Miami hosted us and put on a party!! It was great to workout too, being that our attempts at this point had fallen fat, oh did I say fat! I meant flat. 😉
From Vegas we rented an 11 passenger van and with Brian at the wheel, made our way to California. I felt like a spectacle. This took my van experience to an entirely different level as I am used to a mini van and not one that can fit a small village. It was AWESOME!!! We sang Disney songs the whole way there. Loretta knew every word, I was amazed actually as I usually mumble through lyrics she could re-sight with such speed and accuracy. It was impressive to say the least, I realized at that moment that Disneyland may in fact be more of an activity for her than her kids. 😀
A have known Loretta for a few years now. Being that this was the first time we were together for an extended amount of time and not work related I felt like I could really get to know her, the mom, the wife, the woman, the kid at heart. I can see why she is so successful. I can see why she is adored not only at work but at home. I can see why she is so happy. I can see why I loved her from the start.
The first time I met Loretta was via skype while preparing for the Rush DVD in Exhilarate- Zumba’s consumer DVD collection which was in 2010 (I think). She and I would practice our songs together which always made me laugh b/c with the time delay we were always off and out of synch. Then we were roommates during the shoot. She and I would talk and talk. She has always been encouraging and helped me get on my feet while starting out as a ZES. I had loads of questions for her and she is a task and detail oriented person so I counted on that strength for my lack there of. I love working with her.
Even after knowing her for these past few years here are some things I learned while we vacationed together:
The girl loves candy-Hot Tamales and Red Hots are at the top of the list.
She has an answer for evertyhing-if she didn’t know it off the top of her head, she will quickly look it up and give you the answer.
She loves Mexican food
She is a roller coaster junkie
She walks at a much slower pace than I. When there was a ride we wanted to hurry to (which seemed to always be my plan) I would say “Come on! Let’s walk MARTIN style!” Everyone would pick up the pace and then ultimately a kids would say “Let’s walk BATES style!!!”
We did three days at Disneyland and California Adventure. We hit every ride, every snack station, every Disney character we could find for autographs. My feet burned for 72 hours straight. My voice hoarse from screaming on the roller coasters. My cheeks ached from smiling. We learned clapping games and songs to keep us and the kids entertained during longer lines as well as lyrics to the Pirates song, we watched the parades, the fireworks, light shows. I dare say we did it ALL!
Coming home from all the adventures is always bitter sweet. I love pulling into the driveway and having that feeling of Home Sweet Home. I love the comfort of my neighborhood, the stores I frequent, my “second kitchen” Cafe Rio 😀 but I love being away from the typical distractions and responsibilities for just concentrated, fun loving time with my three favorite people in the world, and for this trip in particular, the added “sprinkles on top” of the Bates family.
Until next trip!!! Which is already being planned. ;D