“I promise, Nate…the Easter Bunny will know you’re in a hotel room in Tahoe.” A very skeptical Nate, “How?” “Well…” I stall for time, “the same way Santa knew you were at Grammy and Grandbrad’s house last Christmas.” Nate thinks for a minute. “Oh! I get it! Santa’s gonna tell the Easter Bunny we’re at Tahoe?”  “Uhhh…Yup. Santa’s gonna tell him.”

Somehow, a family trip to Lake Tahoe sounded great. I love Lake Tahoe, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. Let me clarify that statement: I love Tahoe in the summer. There’s no snow, ice or cold in the summer. Surely it would be at least Spring like this time of year, right? Wrong. Still snowing, still freezing. It would snow at night, then get above 32 degrees during the day and all the snow would melt. Not good news for my 4 year old who’s been telling everyone who would listen (and some who wouldn’t) that he was going to “play in the snow and snowboard UP the mountain because I would be very good at that.”

The hotel sent a limo for us which makes Nate very happy. He loves limos and thinks we should ride in one everywhere we go. I try to explain to him that it’s  just on special occasions and he shouldn’t yell out, “Hey! Where’s our limo?” every time we walk out of the hotel.

Richie Rich and his Mommy enjoy the hour long limo ride from the Reno airport up the mountain roads to Lake Tahoe.

Richie Rich and his Mommy enjoy the hour long limo ride from the Reno airport up the mountain roads to Lake Tahoe.

What’s the first thing you have to do when you get to the hotel? Unpack. I can’t do anything unless everything is out of the suitcases and put away in the closet and drawers. It’s my thing. I can’t help it. My brother calls me “Monica” from the show “Friends”. I consider it a compliment. We have a system when we get to the hotel. I unpack the bags,  Mark lays on the bed, trying to recover from his plane/limo motion sickness and the boys explore every nook and cranny of the room.

Nate & Zeke try out their bed...I'm kidding! Only Zeke could fit in that drawer.

Nate & Zeke try out their bed...I'm kidding! Only Zeke could fit in that drawer.

After the clothes are in their proper place and the nausea has subsided, we decided to go exploring the hotel. We stopped by the concierge desk to see what kind of things there were for families with small children. The young woman behind the desk exclaimed, “There’s an arcade with lots of video games downstairs!!” Nate’s face lit up like a…well…like a video game. He started jumping up and down and clapping his hands, “Mommy, Daddy there’s an arcade downstairs! Can we go? Can we go?” “Apparently, you don’t have children.” I growled at the girl. “You don’t say words like arcade or video game…you spell them.”  “Mommy? Can we pleeease go to the arcade?” He’s only 4, but Nate already knows how to do the sweetest, you-can’t-possibly-resist-this-smile, smile. “What do you think, Mark?”  I ask my nearly 40 year old husband. “Yeah!  Awesome! Let’s go to the arcade, Nate! High five!” {sigh} So I take all 3 of my boys to the arcade.

Halfway down the elevator,  Nate turns to me and asks, “Mommy? What’s an arcade?”

Zeke's first ride by himself! I ran around in circles beside him in case he fell. Around and around...I almost puked.

Zeke's first ride by himself! I ran around in circles beside him in case he fell. Around and around...I almost puked.

We’ve tried to go into several arcades before, but when we saw that all the games were shoot ’em up, monsters, blood, gore, murder and violence, we always left. We got suckered into playing one game. It was called something like, “Endangered Species”.  “Awww..that’s nice, let’s play that one” I told Mark. He put the token in and Nate started driving the jeep into the jungle.  Suddenly, a Bengal Tiger appeared on the screen. “Look how cute he is, Mommy!” Then the game started yelling at Nate to “Shoot it! Shoot it!” and another jeep appeared on the screen with a hunter who blasted the tiger to pieces! We picked our jaws up off the floor and carried our screaming, animal-loving, wants-to-work-with-Steve Irwin son out the door. Needless to say, we were overly cautious about going into the arcade. We were surprisingly greeted by a sweet little carousel. Luckily, there was an entire section for tots in this arcade, so it ended up being a great time for us. After $20 in tokens, we realized that Nate’s “favorite game” was driving the race car. We never put a token in. The game continually ran a demo showing how the cars race and Nate thought he was actually driving it! He “drove” that game for 35 minutes. Best deal we got all week.

Zeke was transfixed by this video jumping game. I remember looking at Pong that way.

Zeke was transfixed by this video jumping game. I remember looking at Pong that way.

A sweet little popcorn game! I kept waiting for the corn to start screaming, "AAAHHH! It's hot! You're popping us! Please don't pop us! I guess we have post-traumatic-video-game disorder.

A sweet little popcorn game! I kept waiting for the corn to start screaming, "AAAHHH! It's hot! You're popping us! Please don't pop us! I guess we have post-traumatic-video-game disorder.

Nothing more fun than the ticket-eating machine! As long as you have tickets to put in the ticket-eating machine, 'cause when the tickets are gone the fun stops and the whinning starts.

Nothing more fun than the ticket-eating machine! As long as you have tickets to put in the ticket-eating machine, 'cause when the tickets are gone the fun stops and the whinning starts.

DAY 2:  We decided that the Easter Bunny was coming early this year. That way, the boys could play with their new toys all weekend and help keep their mind off the arcade that was calling to them.

Look at that proud boy. Nate found his Easter bag! (bags fold up and fit into your suitcase...baskets, not so much. How smart is that Easter Bunny?)

Look at that proud boy. Nate found his Easter bag! (bags fold up and fit into your suitcase...baskets, not so much. How smart is that Easter Bunny?)

The boys survey the "take" and divvy up their shares.

The boys survey the "take" and divvy up their shares.

The Easter Bunny was very generous this year. He hid eggs filled with stickers, stamps and socks. (oh, my!) Their easter bags had a few large eggs that hid special little trinkets and toys. Nate got a small kite (that he tried to fly in the hotel room and nearly choked his father with the string.) and a Diego car. Zeke got a talking egg and a car from the movie, “Cars”. The most fun was had by taking the eggs apart and putting them back together again one million times. Nate wanted to find more eggs, so we just kept hiding them for him. You run out of places to put them in a small hotel room after about 3 mins.

What a backdrop! The mountains around Lake Tahoe.

What a backdrop! The mountains around Lake Tahoe.

That night, when Nate was saying his thankful prayer, he told me, “I’m thankful that Santa told the Easter Bunny that we were in Tahoe.  And I’m glad that he told the Easter Bunny how to get into our room without a chimney.

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