I thought long and hard about what I wanted to write to honor my Dad on Father’s Day and after having such a wonderful vacation with him a few months ago, I decided I needed to write down some of my favorite moments so I would never forget them.
While on vacation I found it humorous that whenever my husband, Rodney would share a random fact, my Dad was so quick to believe him. However when I shared something, my dad would always respond, “nuh uh?”. In the car rides my husband would share these little nuggets of wisdom that he gained from watching countless hours of the discovery channel and I would always challenge him and turn to google and he would usually be right. I would dig and dig for my random knowledge and both my dad and my husband would always question me. It turned into a joke our whole trip.
One of my favorite moments in our car rides was when my kids taught their grandpa how to play “Yellow Car”. We would laugh and enjoy playing it. At one point in the car ride my dad was quiet for a long time and had his sunglasses on and was snoozing. Out of the blue and in the dead silence of the car he declared, “Yellow Car!”. It startled us and made us all break out laughing because it was so random and we thought he was sleeping.
When we arrived to our hotel in Vegas, it was so surreal. I have been in a casino before but here I was in the motherland of casinos. We arrived super late and my dad was starving because he hadn’t ate since lunch. Although I was exhausted as well, I was running off adrenaline and just happy to be with my dad. My husband and kids settled in and went to bed and my dad and I went downstairs and ordered food from the hotel restaurant. We sat there talking and catching up at 2 am, we also spilled an entire cup of pop all over the floor and laughed about how many things must have been spilled on these carpets. We also people watched and this began the humorous joke of whenever my Dad saw a scantily clad women he would whisper to me, “She’s a call girl”. I would laugh and say, “no she isn’t, that is just how these women dress to go clubbing”.
One of the nights we were in Vegas, I asked my Dad if he wanted to go down to the casino or if he was too tired from our day. He was ready to go! I decided it would be nice if he could say he went to one of the famous casinos in Vegas, so we grabbed our jackets and I ordered an Uber to take us over to Caesar’s Palace. The uber arrived and the whole time my Dad is like “what is happening, who is this stranger picking us up, this isn’t a cab, how did you do that on your phone, why didn’t you pay him?”. Our uber arrived and it was a mini van and the inside was decked out with neon lights and he had a huge t.v. playing Journey’s “Don’t stop believing”. It set the tone and made me feel way cooler than I actually am. We hopped out at Caesars Palace and walked in and I told my Dad, “Teach me your ways”.
I have only been to a casino once in my life and it was when I was underage (long story on that one). My Dad was thrilled to be able to teach his daughter something new. He took me over to the change machine and broke a $20 bill into 1’s and then said, “Let’s find the penny machines, I only use the penny machines”. We walked around together and he told me to pick one that was calling out to me. I picked one where there were two identical machines next to each other. We sat down and my Dad explained how the machine works. I had fun putting my dollar in and seeing my balance go up and down.
It is a very stimulating environment, the lights and bells, etc. Even though I am an introvert I was not uncomfortable, besides the cigarette smoke and the ashes that were on some of the machine buttons. I sprayed hand sanitizer on my hands numerous times.
It seemed like we were only there for about 10 minutes but when we looked at our phones it was already 3 am. I told my Dad, "let me do one more machine". I sat down and put my last $2 in the machine (I gave myself a $20 budget), hit the button and my balance started climbing. We couldn’t exactly figure out what the goal of the machine was, but I kept pressing the button and my balance just kept going up. My Dad looked at me and laughed, “Maybe the machine is broken”. So I sat there and kept pressing the button. I cashed out the machine at $27. I made all my money back and walked out of Caesar’s Palace $7.00 richer. I was happy with my win. Hahaha.
We grabbed an Uber back to our hotel and stumbled quietly into our room at 4 am, trying not to wake up Rodney and the kids. It was fun sneaking out with my Dad, and sneaking back in with him in the wee hours of the morning.
We had a great day trip to the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. My Dad was finally beginning to question Rodney’s navigation abilities as we got closer and closer to the Grand Canyon and it started snowing. My Dad was like, “I think you took a wrong turn”.
The Grand Canyon was insanely cold, snowy and had frigid wind. I had flip flops on because it was hot and sunny in Vegas. My Dad was like, “forget this!”, and went back to the car and insisted on giving me his shoes to wear so I could go get more pictures of the Grand Canyon. I think we were there for less than 5 minutes. Ha!
I wasn’t sure how well my Dad would handle Disneyland because the last time he was on an amusement park ride was when I was 12. Our very first big ride in Disney was Indiana Jones and my Dad and I sat in the front together with Rodney and the kids behind us. This was super nostalgic for me because I grew up watching Indiana Jones with my Dad, and we always enjoyed all the one liners. There was one part of the ride where I was scared and reached out and grabbed onto his arm for the rest of the ride. After the Indiana Jones ride my Dad was a whole new person. He came out of the ride as a kid again and was super pumped for our next ride.
You know you crossed from child daughter to adult daughter when you are more worried about how well your Dad can handle the rides than your kids, but he tackled Disneyland like a champ. I really enjoyed hearing him holler, yell and laugh on all the rides.
I was reliving my childhood dreams and really enjoyed being able to share these special moments with my Dad. He bought me a mickey mouse shaped ice cream cone and I felt like I was 6 again. Laike was being spoiled by her Daddy and I was being spoiled by mine. Laike and I shared and experienced our Disney dreams together.
One of our last rides we did was Soarin’ and this was my Dad’s favorite ride, he said he wanted to do it again. So we capped off our Disney stay with riding Soarin’ again and I was able to see my favorite part I missed the first time because I was talking and not paying attention. Haha.
This vacation changed me and really made me wish my Dad lived closer. I told him that we should plan a Father Daughter Trip together to anywhere in the world. Stay tuned for our next adventure….
I am a 30 something year old single mom of two. I have a 16 year old son and an 14 year old daughter. They are keeping me busy and on my toes in this new phase I call "Teenagedom".
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