Catching you up on the first leg of our journey... Phoenix and Las Vegas.
Let's start at the beginning - Gatwick. Keeley and Kevin will be pleased to know that after our last minute panic about suitcases being too heavy, which led to Keeley donating one of her light-weight suitcases that was thankfully living in the loft, Norwegian didn't end up charging us for overweight baggage. Somehow, five flights later, not a single airline has charged us despite both bags and both carry ons being at least a couple kilos over each time. Olly's argument is that because he only weighs 55kg, he gets a higher allowance than the average joe!
A few days relaxing at home with my puppy Chelsea was followed by making the four hour drive north through the desert to reach Las Vegas. We went with my mother and my sister (who stayed in the room most of the time; no surprise to anyone who's met her). When we told people we were going to Vegas with my mom, most of them understandably said "oh, you'll have to be on your best behaviour then!"
These people have not met my mother. If you're as young as you feel, my mother has been 21 since the 80s. At one point, she and I were running arm in arm down the Strip trying to catch Olly who had surreptitiously tried to sneak away from us out of embarrassment. She also dragged me on to the New York New York roller coaster (with Olly's full support of course) and decided to buy the overpriced photos afterwards. I'm glad she did - they're fantastic. (Note: Olly and my mom switched seats after the first photo was taken. So though it looks like there's no one next to me in one of the photos, it's actually my dear old mother doubled over trying not to puke.)
She sings, she dances, she fills her giant litre-sized water bottle full of wine to bring across the street to the kid-friendly, alcohol-free "get to know your neighbours" event. I love my mother. Thanks for an amazing trip to Vegas, Mommy!
Other highlights of the Tempe leg of the trip were Chelsea wanting to steal Olly's bacon that my dad freshly prepared for him each morning (along with a Starbucks-quality cappuccino and avocado toast complete with tomatoes fresh from the garden) and taking my dear old grandmother out for dinner. For those of you wondering, she didn't end up weighing Olly this time, but she did take me aside and ask if I still weigh more than him. When I told her that at last weigh in I came in at about a pound less, she smiled, said "good girl!" and slipped me some money.
Stay tuned for the Hawaii blog - Olly sent a lovely email to his nan and granddad that I'm going to steal and post here. We also have some videos of fire dancers and a hike with amazing views that we want to edit and post!