Rolling Thunder 2016

Every year on the day before Memorial Day, hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists descend on Washington, D.C. for Rolling Thunder, the world's largest single-day motorcycle event.  Rolling Thunder started in 1988 as a show of support for service members who were left behind after the Vietnam War and has evolved into a display of patriotism and respect for all who defend our country.

We decided to hop in the car last week to go check it out.   Bikes were parked along every sidewalk and street in the DC area.  The kids were in awe with the number of motorcycles.  We got great seats right along Constitution Avenue and arrived just as the police motorcycles lead the pack.  

It was a fun experience.  Jonathan really loved it, but Kaitlyn was not happy with the deafening sounds of the loud engines so we didn't stay too long.  


Celebrations, Awards and a Quick Visit from Auntie Di!

Last week we had lots to celebrate as we watched Jonathan graduate from kindergarten and Kaitlyn receive her end-of-the year awards.  This year has flown by so fast and we can't believe how much they've both grown in such a short time period.  We are so proud of the both of them!

He wasn't ready to crack a single smiles for us.

Each child is given an award and Jonathan received the "Fantastic Achievement" Award

The best kindergarten teachers!  We're so lucky to have had them teach both our kiddos.

Receiving her "Arts and Sports Achievement" Award.  All students who attended or participated in 10 or more sports, art programs or music lessons/events were eligible for this award.

Kaitlyn was awarded with the "Cooperation Award" for her class.

Kaitlyn loved her first grade teacher!

One other fun part of the week was the visit from Auntie Di!  We were so happy to have her here and look forward to her next visit, which will hopefully be a longer one.


Field Day

The kids had their annual school field day earlier this week.  Jonathan's class got to head to school bright and early so they could participate with the rest of the school.  (Our county does half-day kindergarten, three morning classes and three afternoon classes.  Jonathan is an afternooner.)  They had a blast rotating through the stations of activities and I think it's safe to say they loved the water activities the most!

Here's a clip of them in action....

The kindergartners headed to the pool afterwards.


Kindergarten Field Trip: Let's Bowl

Earlier this week, Jonathan went on his first off-site field trip as kindergartner.  Each year, the kg classes go bowling to practice subtraction.  Surprisingly, this was Jonathan's first time ever bowling.  Oops, I guess we just never think to go bowling.  :)

Each student had their own book and there was a page for each frame.

These are the classmates he shared his lane with.

Final scores.

He had such a great class this year!

And the best kindergarten teachers ever!  


Weekend in Las Vegas

A couple of months ago, Ron found out that he may have the opportunity to attend a week-long conference in Las Vegas, NV.  We've both always wanted to take a trip to Vegas and had been considering it for our 10 year anniversary next year.  I was definitely jealous, but excited for him at the same time.  

Once it was officially confirmed that he'd be going for this conference (which meant paid flight, hotel and meals) he started to think we should try to take advantage of the savings and see if I could make it out there for part of the week.  He came up with the plan to have his parents fly to us in VA to stay with the kids and I'd leave the day after they arrived.  After checking schedules, flights, etc. our plan was in place and we had our first vacation without kids since we've had kids on the calendar!  To say we were excited was an understatement!

I had about a week and a half to do research, get the kids ready and pack my bags.  Ron's parents arrived on a Tuesday evening and 24 hours later I was on a flight to Las Vegas.

I didn't sleep well the night before and I can't sleep on planes so I arrived in Vegas already exhausted, but determined to rally and make the most of my first night.  My flight landed at 7:15pm PST and the sun was just setting.  I was surprised to see how close the Strip was to the airport.  

Ron met me at the airport, we grabbed my bags, headed to the hotel where I changed and made a quick stop at the Starbucks in our hotel (we stayed at the Monte Carlo) then we made our way to Light Nightclub at the Mandalay Bay.  The conference was hosting a party there so we figured it was a great opportunity to check out a Vegas nightclub.

They ended the party with a Michael Jackson impersonator.  He was AMAZING!

We had such a fun night!  Neither of us can remember last time we danced (or drank) that hard.  It was great to get out, let our hair down and not worry about having to worry about being woken up by the kids at 6am. :)

Once we realized we were done at the club, we decided to end the night with a classy dinner before heading back to the hotel.  Naturally, that meant dinner at Denny's!
Don't judge us.  The drinks at the club were free and this was our first care-free night out in about 8 years.  Also, we weren't the ones with an infant car seat carrier at Denny's on the Strip after midnight.  That would be the people at the table behind us.

The next morning we checked out Bruxie, which is known for their chicken and waffles.  We opted for the chickenless selection and it was delicious!!

I walked with Ron back over to the Mandalay Bay....
...and relaxed by the pool while he attended his workshops.

They had sand where all the chairs were and a wave pool, which made it even more relaxing.

Ron met me at the pool for lunch and got to relax some, as well.

This was the view from our hotel room.  We looked down onto "The Park" right outside the new T-Mobile Arena.

On Thursday evening, we headed to a restaurant (Beerhaus) to watch the first Half of Game 2 of Miami Heat vs Toronto Raptors playoffs.  They had the most amazing pretzel bites with beer cheese!

We ended up finishing the game at the Sports Book back at the hotel followed by some gambling.  We walked away winners that night thanks to some luck with video poker and Casino War.

The next day was a bit overcast and cool so we skipped the pool.  Ron had a shorter day for his final day and of workshops and once he finished we walked down to see more of the Strip.

Later that night, we made our way to the Mirage to watch The Beatles LOVE Cirque du Soleil.  This has always been a show I've wanted to see since it first began in 2006.  I was beyond excited to finally check this off my bucket list!
At the Bellagio Conservatory on our way to the Mirage.

Video recorders were strictly prohibited in the theater, but here is the official trailer of the show so you can get an idea of what it's like.

It was spectacular!!  I cried several times from the overwhelming joy I felt just from being there.  I can't thank Ron enough for giving me such a wonderful experience.

After the show, we walked the Strip some more and stopped at the Venetian...not quite the same atmosphere as our gondola ride in Venice, so we decided to skip it.

We had our hearts set on seeing the famous Bellagio Fountains, but sadly, we didn't get the show we were expecting.  

For this special show created in honor of the Japanese Kabuki Festival, they used the fountains as a "screen" for projections of Japanese imagery.

While it was still impressive, we were disappointed that we didn't get the true Bellagio Fountain experience.   We ended the night with some more gambling with a lot less winning than the previous night.  The next morning, we had breakfast, bought some souvenirs and went to the airport for the flight back home.  I was happy to be heading back to spend Mother's Day with my kiddos and for Ron to spend Mother's Day with his momma for the first time in 12 years!

We had such a great time and are so thankful to Mom and Dad T for dropping everything to make a last minute trip to watch the kids.  It was a very long-overdue trip for just Ron and I and we're so glad we took advantage of the opportunity.
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