Las Vegas and a week in Pahrump, NV

October 10-18, 2016
Pahrump, Nevada

We camped in southern Nevada at what was our favorite private campground so far.  Ironically, it was also the largest – something we didn’t think we would like.  But it was very well kept (Brad came back from his first shower announcing, “Guys, the showers are huge & cleaner than our ones at home!”, had a giant heated swimming pool, an exercise room, cheap & clean laundromat, lots of wild bunnies, very friendly people, and the cheapest weekly rate we’d paid so far.  Many of the people who camp at the Preferred RV Resort in Pahrump are “members”, and live there for a portion of the year.  So there were neighborhood socials, meals, classes, and everyone was just generally very friendly.  The girls had so much feeding the fish in the coy pond, which required them to feed a quarter machine, but they didn’t seem to mind.  With the wood shop, the sewing room, the art classroom, hot tub, cafeteria, pool hall, and mailroom, it basically felt like a tiny city on its own.  Each day when the mail arrived, the main office raised a large yellow smiley face flag, which made the fact that we received lots of Sunny’s birthday mail here even more fun. The only negative to this place was they had 15 different wifi hotspots, but none of them worked.  Thankfully we at least at cell reception.

The best part of this campground was the pool – heated year round to about 88 degrees, with a retractable cover for cooler days.

most fun part of the campground!
Night swimming was the BEST! On the night of the full moon, we took all the rest of Sunny’s birthday cake and 5 forks with us. Our family and a new campground friend polished it off, poolside.

It was open in the evening and all the lighting was from under the water, so our family enjoyed “night swimming” about 3 times, once under the giant full harvest moon.  Sunny became more comfortable with swimming under water at this pool than she ever had before, so we had some of those wonderful, memorable days as a kid when you first realize all the fun that can be had beneath the surface.  She was throwing on her goggles and diving under with me to high-five, sit & lay on the bottom, yell words back & forth, do hand signals, and had even mastered a front flip before we left.  This was such a delight for her but also for me – I can so vividly remember the first few times I was brave enough as a kid to start swimming under water.  It was wonderful to get to relive those moments with Sunny is this awesome facility!

We also got to celebrate Sunny’s 7th birthday in Pahrump.  She had been grieving the fact that we would be away from her friends for this special day and unable to have a party, but when the day came she was plenty excited!  We were able to receive quite a few gifts & cards by mail at the campground, she picked the menu for all 3 meals, she got to go ice skating in Vegas (although this was delayed 1 day because Coral was the final 4th to get the stomach flu the day before), and she even received a sweet gift from some of our thoughtful campground neighbors – so by the end of it all she was quite well celebrated!

So much like her dad… At least she didn’t hand out laminated copies.
not sure who is more excited…
ok…Sunny, definitely
thrilled about new super hero treasures
ice skating in that one town…
Birthday Girl!
doesn’t every 7 year old wish for their birthday in Vegas?

We spent one day in Death Valley which I described in detail in my previous post.

We also spent a couple of different days in Las Vegas.  Brad had seen it before, but it was the first time for the rest of us.  So Brad chauffeured us up and down the strip several times while we ate our picnic lunch and took in the sights.

checking out The Strip

We saw castles and pyramids, golden lions and fountains, Lady Liberty and gondolas.  The girls found the most outlandish things to be the giant guitar outside of the Hard Rock Cafe, the giant M&M’s outside of the Hershey Chocolate Museum, and the giant motorcycle driving out of the side of the building.  We actually got fewer questions about some of the more lewd exhibitions than I would have expected, although Sunny thought the billboards that said “Girls’ Night Out” but had only men pictured were hilarious.

Minnie encouraged the girls to have their picture taken, and then approached me. The dude inside said, “I do work for tips, ma’am.” We had jumped out of the car to see the fountain & my phone was the only thing on me. He/She was super annoyed at me. I was relieved that I didn’t get beat up by Minnie Mouse, but none of the other mascots wanted to talk to us after that.
The girls enjoyed the fountain at the Bellagio, and I enjoyed watching them enjoy it.

We got to use our museum membership passport program again at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.  I love how much our girls LOVE museums.

Another little kid kept pushing the button to make the t-rex and triceratops roar at each other & move. At one point she said, “That just never gets old…”
We happened to be there on the 1 day a month that they put on an Egyptian show to teach about mummies!
no thanks
my favorite was the magnetic dust!
stand like an Egyptian
some living animals, some taxidermy, some models, some fossils, some statues…it gets a little confusing sometimes!

We were able to meet up with one of Brad’s friends in Vegas for a delicious home-cooked meal and a swim in their backyard spa/pool.  Nick had heated it to 95 degrees for us, and he could change the water to all different colors!  The girls had a blast in the liquid rainbow. I was a bigger fan of the jets.

super awesome colorful heated spa-pool! unfortunately it was too windy to enjoy the poolside fireplace…
great dinner with friends, and their little dog Fitz!

One funny thing these days is that due to the fact that the girls watched Daddy Daycare over & over & over while Brad & I were sick with the stomach flu (it was the only kids’ movie available on the free shelf at Twin Rivers Campground) our life is now punctuated by Eddie Murphy quotes.  At random times our girls yell out random things…the most common being


“You think that went bad…just wait ’til we tell the kids.”

“No, you idiot!  That’s a death sentence!”

“Loser! Loser!”

As you might guess, there was some language that we don’t use in our family, which is one reason that these exclamations were often met with a strange mixture of disapproval and confusion from Brad & me.

The first few times I would say, “What are you talking about?  How do you even know what that is? Where have you heard that word?”  But finally any new random exclamation was just met with, “…is that from Daddy Daycare, too?”

If we didn’t feel the need to get to Utah before winter does, we might have stayed comfortably in Pahrump another week.  We loved the prices on everything from camping to diesel to groceries.  Brad was able to set up a makeshift office in the woodworking room that included tea he found in the cafeteria, privacy, and a chair with a back.  I was able to work out a couple of times in the exercise room and even swam some laps in the pool.

But, alas….it’s nearly mid-October, and some have said something like “Winter is coming”, so down the road we go…

the newly confident little fish
goodness…what is it about kids in goggles? be still my heart!

5 Comment

  1. Thank you so much for treating us with your visit. It was a delight to meet the entirety of the Fitzgerald family. You guys are great and both Angela and I wish you good fortunes as you continue your trip.

    Fitz says hi, too 😀

    1. sarah says: Reply

      Thanks for hosting! It was a delight for us as well! I’m so glad I finally got to meet you both after hearing your name so much the last few years.

  2. Sadie Knowles says: Reply

    It sounds like you folks are having a time of your life that’s great one thing is I would not hold that snake your husband and daughters are holding no way

    1. sarah says: Reply

      I’m with you there, Sadie!!

  3. Mom says: Reply

    I’m with Sadie, too! Could you put a snake alert on the top of any other blog post for this Grandma?

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