I arrived in Las Vegas for the big Bachelorette weekend several hours before my cousin Leah, as I dragged my feet figuring out my transportation and Leah’s flight sold out. I was initially mad at myself for missing the option to get on her plane, but then I realized I could get into the hotel, get a bit of work done, and even nap before she arrived.

As I made my way to our hotel, I had one of those “parent moments” that you hear other people talk about – where you start seeing things through your kids’ eyes. I’ve been to Las Vegas dozens of times and while I appreciate the spectacle, I’ve seen it all several times over. But as I moved down the strip I started thinking about what James and Annie’s faces would be like as they took in the shiny gold buildings, the pirate ships and water shows, and especially the giant castle.

view

Excalibur

When I made it to our hotel, instead of working I met up with two of Leah’s bridesmaids, Mai and Aza. The best part of the weekend was spending time really getting to know the people who are important to Leah, and these two were no exception. After eating and having drinks, the three of us went to our room to wait for Leah and the rest of the bridal party to arrive…and we all fell asleep. And while some of the girls were able to rally and go out, I wasn’t. My head had hit the sheets and I’d tasted the sweet freedom of sleeping without having to listen for any children. That kind of sleep is priceless. Also, they stayed out until 5AM, LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE.

Because I’d slept through the first night of festivities, I was excited to celebrate the next day. We spent hours by the pool, with Leah decked out in a veil and other Bachelorette regalia. I tried to not be too annoying with my repeated insistences that everyone reapply their sunscreen and stay hydrated. They were all nice about it and only jokingly called me Mom a few times.

After a delicious Chinese/Mexican fusion dinner (sounded weird to me but was completely amazing), we had our big night out…the one I’d been so worried about. And I really had no reason to be worried at all. Leah had no interest in going to some crazy over-packed trendy dance club. Instead, we went to a much more relaxed sports and games themed bar where we got to play and hear great music. It was PERFECT for us.

bridal beer pong

Leah takes a shot…

pong

Bridal beer pong!

I was determined to stay out for as long as Leah, since I’d missed the first night. Mike gave me a pep talk and reminded me that I usually am up until 2AM working. But, there’s a difference between staying up late working in your jammies at home, and being out at a loud bar. Every now and then I’d catch a glimpse of the clock and be like, “I’m doing it! I’m out late! CHEST BUMP HOOOO-AAAAAH!” However, since the majority of the bridal party had stayed out until 5AM the night before, Leah and the rest of the crew ran out of gas at 12:45! Leah sweetly said, “Would you be disappointed if I wanted to go to bed.” Awww. Also, NOPE.

We didn’t have much time on Sunday before we had to head back, but we did make it out for breakfast, where we indulged in ridiculously yummy bloody marys, and literally the most delicious bacon I have EVER TASTED.

that man behind us is soooo jealous

maple syrup bacon, GET IN MY BELLY

Walking back through the hotel our breakfast was in, I was struck with another wave of “OMG I wish my kids could see this.” It had some of the most amazing flower sculptures, and I knew my kids would be wide-eyed at the sight of them all.

made of flowers

made of flowers

a magcial flower path

My number one goal for the weekend was for Leah to have fun, and she had a blast. We made sure she had everything she wanted all weekend, plus lots of bridal attention! As much as I’ve gone to Vegas in the past, before this trip it had been several years since I’d been in Nevada…and I’m going again next month, for the Britney Spears concert Mike gave me tickets to all the way back in December. Even better, Mike, Leah, and her soon-to-be husband Ted are coming along, too! Britney here we come!