Winter Break - 2015/2016 - Part-II

The next day after Christmas we left for our road trip. Just the four of us! A family vacation so much needed.

Our first destination was Las Vegas, Nevada. We didn't expect it to be as cold as it was. I enjoyed the weather so much!

We stayed at The Venetian, right at the center of the strip. It was such a nice, spacious room and with the view for the strip.

The room itself was a vacation for the boys ;-)

                      The Venetian

Caesars Palace

On our first morning Gabe and I went for a walk on the strip. It was about 38F.

A Starbucks stop was a must.

Back to our hotel.


We drove to the Ethel Chocolate Factory in the hopes of touring their line of production but unfortunately it was closed for the day. We then visited the  Botanical Cactus Garden.

Back to the Strip

Outside of our hotel

We spent three days in Vegas. I could stay longer but at the same time I was ready to leave to our next destination.

On our first day in Vegas we found out that our friends from Sarasota were staying at the same hotel that we were staying. Small world! 

The Bizarros, Denise, John Luke and Ricky. So we did spend one afternoon together, and the boys had so much fun! We went to Las Vegas Mini Gran Prix. It was Gabe's first time driving any type of car.


On Tuesday, Dec 29, we drove to Utah.

The drive was very beautiful!

We had to stop to appreciate the view. It was breathtaking.

We made it to the park around 3:30pm, just in time to get out and explore a little before it got dark.

We had reservations at the Zion Lodge, located inside the Zion National Park.

Coming from Vegas this place was such a contrast. So peaceful and gorgeous. I absolutely fell in love with its beauty.

The kids found snow! Oh, were they happy!

The temperature was way colder than in Vegas. I don't think we were dressed appropriately. We were not ready for that kind of weather. Even though I loved the crispy, freezing climate! Back home, in Sarasota the temperature was in the 80s.

I never wanted to leave this place. I wish we had arrived earlier to go for a hike.

I went for a walk on my own and had an interesting encounter with this creature. He was seriously checking me out, and the truth is I don't even know for sure what kind of animal this is. So I quietly went my way.

We came from a mega hotel, with two spacious rooms, with internet and 3 TVs to a Cabin, with no internet connection and no TV, and a fireplace as our heater.  It was heaven! The kids were begging to go back to the hotel room in Vegas.

So instead of devices everyone was reading before we fell asleep. I was the only courageous one to take a shower. It was a cold, cold night.

During the night the temperature dropped to around 8F. But our room was nice and toasty!

Below is our Cabin.

Oh, in the morning! We could barely stand outside. But the kids did find more snow to play around. We head to the Red Rock Grill for breakfast, the only restaurant inside the park.

Sunrise over the rocks.

We had a choice to stay one more night or head back to CA. We all voted to go back and spend one extra day with grandma and grandpa before we headed back home to FL. 

I would have loved to stay at Zion but we didn't have the right type of shoes to hike in that kind of weather and many of the trails were closed due to icy grounds.

We did go for a hike in the morning in 14F temperature! The park offers a wide range of hiking opportunities, ranging from short family-friendly hikes to longer strenuous day hikes and 2 to 3-day backpacking trips.

We stuck with an easy and quick one called Emerald PoolsTrail, right across from the Zion Lodge, where we stayed.

We actually didn't have a chance to go as far as to see the pools because the trail was closed at a certain point due to ice conditions :-(

I will have to come back to this place someday. I loved, loved this place!!!

Back in San Diego. Grandma was so happy to have us back earlier!

Ruffin and I went to San Diego downtown for NewYear's Eve. We drove for over an hour without success in finding a parking spot and decided to leave.

We ended up at BJ's near the Grossmont Mall.

We left the next day, Jan 1st!!!

We took these pictures just before we got in the car to head to the airport.

It was so nice to spend time with mom and dad. We love you guys!

It was a great vacation!

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