Updates: Vegas, Boston, Dutch Wonderland…

Just popping in to say hello and post some updates. We have very limited childcare right now, though I am hoping that situation will be resolved soon. In any case, here’s what’s been going on.

I went to Las Vegas! I had never been to Las Vegas before, but since it’s a big conference destination, it was about time. I spoke twice at an event last week, and since I was staying at the Mandalay Bay Resort, I took advantage of the location. I went to the Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson One show and really enjoyed it (especially the music…says the girl who grew up on late 80s/early 90s pop music…). I went in the lazy river and the wave pool ALL BY MYSELF and ate sushi both nights. That place seriously has the best hotel restaurant scene I have ever witnessed. I could have stayed for weeks and eaten everywhere.

I went to a live taping of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. We listen to this podcast in the car on family road trips. Since they were taping at the Mann Center in Philadelphia, I decided to take the two older children who are home. Sadly, it was a bit of a bust as the sound system meant it was almost impossible to hear the main interviewee. We wound up leaving early, though there was a Rita’s water ice booth, which salvaged the situation for my kids.

SHU came to visit! She was visiting her parents in Philadelphia so she (and G) came over for the afternoon. We recorded an episode of Best of Both Worlds and did a lot of playing in the playroom.

We went to Boston. We stopped to pick up the 15-year-old at camp (he could leave for the 4th since he didn’t have class) and then went to visit cousins outside Boston. While there we did a lot of pool time, saw a 4th of July parade, and went to some fireworks. The toddler came along, even though he hadn’t had a nap, which was courting disaster. He fussed for a bit, then proceeded to fall asleep on my husband’s shoulder and stay asleep through the entire fireworks. I mean loud explosives. Incredible. Then, of course, he was up from about 2-4:30 a.m. that night in his pack-and-play…

Our van crossed 100,000 miles. Then it proceeded to start leaking from the roof during a rain storm. Hmm… Unfortunately the for-sale supply of Toyota Siennas around here is very thin. Looks like we’re holding on for a few thousand more miles.

It’s Camp Mommy Week. I took the kids who are home to Dutch Wonderland today. While I do need to work at some point, I’m also realizing that camp for four kids is expensive (given that usually I’m paying for childcare for the toddler too). I might do fewer weeks in future years and either take them to amusement parks or pay someone to take them to amusement parks because if you look for ticket deals it is honestly comparable or cheaper. The toddler was just a hair past 36 inches tall, and so he got to go on one of the kiddie roller coasters at Dutch Wonderland and he LOVED it. I mean big grin, whooping it up. That was a great moment. The fighting over prizes at one of the games? A less good moment. But we survived.

Book news: A few friends have books out this week! Check out KJ Dell’Antonia’s new novel In Her Boots (I wrote about her and the writing process in this month’s newsletter). And Katherine Chen has a new historical novel out called Joan about (you guessed it) Joan of Arc. She has an amazing way of bringing historical or fictional historical women to life and making their stories fresh. Please check both books out!

Photo: Sashimi sampler at Kumi at Mandalay

9 thoughts on “Updates: Vegas, Boston, Dutch Wonderland…

  1. We have the exact same van you do (well, at least it looks the same in pics you’ve posted- ours is a silver 2012 Sienna Limited) and we have surpassed 150k miles! Still going strong and planning to hang on as long as we can! Fixing/replacing things here and there still works out to be cheaper than purchasing a brand new one. 🙂 It still looks pretty darn good overall and I like not stressing about the kids messing up a newer vehicle on road trips!

  2. We limit camp to 4 weeks per child. With 4 kids I am still paying for 16 weeks of camp. We fill the other weeks of summer with a vacation, some make-up martial arts lessons (our studio offers one week of 1/2 day sessions for every month of lessons missed in the summer which works out great for my sleep away campers) and coverage from our au pair. I am sure August is not any of our au pairs’ favorite month, but we do try to help them make it fun with days trips. My kids are out of school for 10 weeks this year and they have 4 weeks of camp, 4 weeks with nothing and 2 weeks of family vacation.

    1. @Gillian – as I am looking at this, I can see that each kid only has 4-5 weeks. So we’re probably doing something similar. Everyone will just go feral the last month before school starts.

  3. I hope your van can hold on for longer. It is so hard to find a car right now! We debated selling our Camry sine we would get what I paid for it when I bought it new in 2016 which is just bananas – but I got a very good deal on it when I bought it and it only had something like 30k miles on it. We are trying to buy a Rav 4 Prime and they are impossible to find so we decided it wasn’t worth it to sell one of our cars and be limited to one car for potentially a long time…

    Time alone in a hotel sounds pretty dreamy to me right now!

  4. I’d have that leak fixed if your van still runs okay. I have a 2011 Chevrolet Traverse and I’ve just reached 223,000 miles on it. You have lots out miles to go – LOL!

    My daughter took her the kids to Dutch Wonderland a couple of weeks ago. She was shocked that I’d heard about it before she did! Said it was PERFECT for her kids – 4, 5, and nearly 8. She intends to go again this summer!

  5. We are trucking along with two Subaru Foresters a 2008 and a 2012, each with >100,000 miles. They both still run well, but it does make me nervous for longer trips in them. We’ve been looking into buying a new car, but there isn’t much available out there, and it is taking forever, so we have elected to hold on for a little longer. I feel fortunate that we could buy something new at a premium if we had to, and also that we haven’t reached the point of “have to” just yet!

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