Las Vegas, being the popular tourist destination it is, along with its handy distance between California and Utah, means we usually have a fair share of house guests stopping by. I love it. It is totally awesome to regularly see friends, cousins, friends of friends and cousins, and enjoying "touristy Vegas" every now and again. My favorite part is talking my siblings into taking their three day college weekends to come see me. It works just often enough to be great.
But the funny part about our guests is they always tend to come in waves. We will have no one for months and months and then suddenly we will be barraged. The frequency has increased a bit since Sam and Kyle moved away. I would like to think we were dividing the Vegas visitors pretty equally, but I am pretty sure I was very regularly the second choice to the Miller residence. It's high school all over again... but hey, she's gone now and look who has the most popular Earl bed and breakfast now!
Just kidding Sam.
Though my favorite thing is when I get a message on my phone or email from a cousin I don't regularly hear from, looking for a place to crash. They always feel the need to apologize for the lack of contact and somehow squeezing in their actual request in between paragraphs of apologies for asking anything of me in the first place. Generous, but incredibly unnecessary. We are family, people! That is what we do! I would expect the same hospitality for my family if any of you lived anywhere interesting.
Just kidding cousins.
Anyway, February was one of those house waves. Our first guest were these lovely people:
The Jason Earl's were taking a little drive break on their way to California for the week. I love the cousin visits. We always have a million things to talk about, even if we haven't seen each other for long periods of time.
Pros of their visit: I had a fantastic time chatting with KaeLynn and I am in love with Brooklyn and her suddenly young woman adorableness. They somehow fit eight people (mom and dad Morrison came too) in my house without inconveniencing us in the slightest. And Scarlet now has a new girl crush known as Eliza. She has decided Eliza is the greatest creature that has ever walked the planet and was devastated when she left the next day. She now tries to convince me daily that Eliza might live kind of far away but she still would definitely want to come over for a playdate if only we asked nicely.
Cons of their visit: They left very quickly.
The next evening, our longest house guest visitor to date arrived.
Alysha spent a good two weeks with us while she did some kind of pilot-y thing. I don't really understand when she starts using airplane words so I just smile and nod.
Pros of her visit: It was like having a sister or awesome college roommate again. We just chatted and chatted, usually staying up way too late, never running out of things to talk about. My kids adored her. It took them probably an entire week to learn her name but even when she was referred to as "mom's friend" she was a very popular visitor.
*** side story *** I have referred previously to my children's love of beans of all shapes and forms. Obviously, Alysha is not as well versed on my blog as she is on her pilot stuff. She sat down at the kitchen table with a bowl full of edamame, a dish my children lovingly refer to as "squeezer beans". Scarlet spotted the snack and was immediately at Alysha's side, politely asking for a bean. Alysha gave her a funny look and said, "Do you know what these are? I don't know if you will like them."
"Oh, liking them is not the problem here," I warned her. "She knows exactly what those are and she will eat your whole bowl there if you let her."
Alysha was mystified. The only way she could satiate her curiosity was to let my two children go to town on her snack, just to prove how right I was. In case you were wondering, I was really right. My children's eating habits continued to impress Alysha all visit long.
*** side story over ***
Other pros: Alysha made me feel like a domestic superstar, asking me about my cooking, my parental methods, my grocery shopping habits. Seriously, my cousin-the pilot-made my life seem really cool. Plus I am always a fan of another adult around to cook for. There is nothing like a good house guest to make you feel appreciated in your culinary skills.
She even talked Brandon into coming up for a way too short visit. Alysha and I have a lot in common and it turns out our husbands do as well. But Brandon ditched out on us shortly after arrival. That part is not a pro, that is a con.
Other Cons of her visit: I still have no idea what 75% of her pilot words mean and I only slightly grasp what she was doing in Vegas in the first place. Plus, I got so used to having her around, I had a tad bit of Alysha withdrawls at her departure. Boo.
The day after Alysha arrived, these two lovely people also made an appearance.
Do you know how few picture of just the two of you are located on your blog?
Gotta love irresistible hotel deals. My dad and mom got to spend a few nights at the Wynn Encore resort. It was seriously cool.
Pros of their visit: My children have finally realized how fantastic my parents really are. They have gotten past the "I'm going to act shy for a day or two and then remember that I love you right before you leave" phase and get straight to the loving. Plus I got to see inside a room at the Wynn. Like that was going to happen in any other situation. And all the usual benefits that come with parent visits, going out to dinner, enjoying their company, etc.
Cons of their visit: Scarlet & Rhode could not understand why Grandma and Papa were not with us constantly, as they kept ditching us for their sweet hotel hook up. They also were miffed when they were not allowed to stay in the hotel after visiting. Not that I blame them, I was a tad miffed myself.
Right at the tail end of Alysha's visit, Kylie and some roommates joined us for President's Day weekend. Another visit successfully achieved.
Pros of their visit: Kylie has a fantastic group of roommates and the two that joined her were just a ton of fun. My kids instantly loved all three of them (maybe a little overly loved) but had those three college girls hysterically giggling most of the day. Another benefit, college students are almost universally grateful for all home cooked food. There is no one that will make you feel more impressive in the kitchen than kids who have had to feed themselves top ramen and cereal for the past 5 months.
Cons of their visit: They spent most of their time hitting the town and hanging out with other BYU visitors and enjoying their vacation and not nearly enough time entertaining my children and me. I have almost forgiven them...
Once our onslaught of guests headed back to their home, our family hit the road to be house guests ourselves. Gotta share the love, right?
So, planning a trip to Vegas? Need a quick stopover on your way out of town? Are you someone I like? Then, come on down! The accommodations are the most affordable in town, the cereal is plentiful, and the company is downright fantastic, if I do say so myself.