Whew...I am almost recovered from a 9-day trip, 7 of which were in Las Vegas...3 nights at 3 different clubs (The Bank, Tao and Pure), 2 different shows (Lion King and Phantom) and no night earlier than 1am. Have I mentioned that Claire and I are both morning people?
The trip started with a flight into Vegas on Christmas Eve. Claire and I flew separately and arrived in Vegas about an hour apart. By the time we got our car and luggage, it was 915pm and we started the 3 1/2 drive to Orange County.
We secretly pulled in at 12:45am Christmas morning, just after everyone in the house went to bed...my sister Katherine snuck out of bed and let us in. Claire and I went to bed on the couch under the tree and proceeded to fitfully sleep.
The surprises started around 730am when Sister #3, Jessica, said she thought she was dreaming when she heard my voice. "I could not figure out what man was in the house. I sat up, but figured I was just having a dream." No TaTaTa, it was not a dream...Surprise.
The next shock for the fam was around 830 when my sister Erin (sister #2) popped her head out from the top of the stairs...When she saw us her eyes got real big, she yelled "SHUT UP!!" and ran away...
Mom's surprise was the best. I had a dream that night that mom saw us and fell down the stairs. It was very troubling, so I made sure Claire and I were hiding under a blanket until she made it all the way down. Once she was safely down the stairs, we threw the blankets off and said "Merry Christmas!!" A blank stare. For a long time. She did not blink. Did not move. She just stared. It seemed like forever. We actually had to walk over to her before she moved. It was great.
Finally, Esther (Sister #1) was so taken aback, she "almost vomited" when she saw us. How glorious is that?!!
The rest of the day was full of food and merriment. We had ham and gumbo, pancakes and pies. Claire and I even had time to get some sun, laying out by the pool and enjoying the 74 degree weather. Oh how I miss SoCal, especially in the winter.
Pt 2 starts with brunch in San Diego, dinner in San Clemente and a nightcap in Los Angeles.