We are in Las Vegas!
Five days before we left Australia, we drove through some heavy rain to my Mum's place, needing to take a couple of detours off the highway along the way due to flooding. Finally got there, celebrated Mum's 70th birthday and tried to get home the next day. The rain had not let up though and the highway was cut in at least 5 places. Even the nearest highway across the mountains was cut. So we drove south to Maitland, and turned inland and headed north up the New England Hwy. Nicholas had a fever and wanted me so my brother-in-law drove for me for a while. We were all headed towards Tamworth and my sister's place anyway. The big detour meant that I could stop in and see my Dad and StepMum for a little visit which was wonderful. Caught up on some hugs. The next day we drove up to Tenterfield and across the Bruxner Hwy to Bangalow (so pretty) and rejoined the Pacific Hwy. When driving up the inland road it was dry and a little brown. Such a contrast to the flooded coast.
We had one day to do all of our final prep for the big trip which included a house inspection and a 2 hour trip to the dentist for Summer and AJ. Everything got done, but I didn't get much sleep before leaving home at 6:30am to get the maxi taxi to the train, the train to the airport, the big plane to LA. As we were descending into LA, we went through the white puffy clouds which slowly turned to grey as we moved into the smog that just didn't lift. The only one that had slept was Nicholas as he still wasn't feeling so great. Everything had gone smoothly and we cleared immigration and customs easily. Walking out of the terminal, we found that LA was noisy, dirty and very smelly. So many security checkpoints along the way. I tried to get some change so I could call Cary and the shopkeeper I went to was very rude. Welcome to America! We didn't have to wait too long for our flight to Vegas but arrived there totally wrecked. Wonderful to see Cary but we went straight to our room and fell straight into bed for 3 hours. Went our for some groceries and dinner and then slept for 10 hours. It took several days to catch up but we're all good now.
We've been here two weeks already. I've been overwhelmed by the noise and crowds and shops and smells. I resisted the whole experience here for a while, but being with Cary and catching up with friends has made it really good. Really good. The kids fitted right back in at our old homeschooling group and I've had an absolutely lovely time hanging out with my friends and making new friends.
I realised that I was being very judgemental and decided to let go of that and just enjoy this for what it is, while it lasts.
The thing I've learned from this whole thing is that I have limits and I think I've gotten a whole lot better about recognising when I'm approaching those. I thought I was doing well, but the trip to Mum's on top of the trip here on top of very little sleep was all too much. So when the noise and the smells and the crowds get too much for me or my kids, I'm not going to try and push them or me. It's ok to say no or "we've got to go". It's ok to take time out and not "do" anything in particular. Maintaining my balance is my priority. With that, everything else flows.