Monday, June 29, 2009

The road trip begins

Today we began our road trip to visit my parents in Colorado. Things got off slower than expected. Natalie spent the morning finishing packing while I watched the kids and did some cleaning around the house. We rolled out of Yucca Valley around lunchtime and grabbed some lunch on our way out of town. Thank you Carl's Jr. for those delicious bacon western cheeseburgers.

The afternoon drive went smoothly. We saw a few dust devils spiraling through the desert north of Lucerne Valley. Had a quick pit stop in Barstow and stretched the legs at Home Depot, and then made the long push up the I-15 to Vegas. While the kids napped, we listened to messages by Bryan Chappell and John Piper, and Natalie started reading the missionary biography Sensei. We rolled into town shortly after 5 pm and went straight to the Mandalay Bay resort, where the Shark Reef Aquarium is located.

After scanning a few restaurant menus, we quickly realized that food at the Vegas resorts is very pricey. Thankfully, the aquarium offered a discount where you could purchase ticket admission and get dinner buffet for a discount. Even better, both the meal and the aquarium are free for kids 4 and under. So, while the tickets were still expensive, it was a pretty good deal considering both kids were free.

After dinner, we spent about an hour and a half strolling through the aquarium. We saw a komodo dragon, a crocodile, pirhanas, tiger fish, a sea turtle, an octopus, and of course, lots of sharks. There was also a touch pool with manta rays. It was a great little aquarium. Just right for the attention span of two toddlers. I think Dylan's favorite was the jellyfish. My personal favorite was the sawfish. God sure shows a sense of humor in some of His creatures!

At one point, as we watched a shark swim toward us, Dylan asked me if it was going to "get us." I assured him we were safe on the other side of the glass, and that it wouldn't hurt us. It was a reminder to me that Satan may frighten us, our enemies may threaten us, and evil may surround us, but we do not need to be afraid, because God is with us, and He will always protect His children from the evil one. "Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).

Photo credit: Eli Tucker

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