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Spending Time With Family – The Best Gift of All, Day 98

Spending time with family is something we have always cherished.

Whether we are hanging out at home with our adult children watching our favorite sports team play on television, or attending a holiday event with our extended families, we realize that each and every one of these moments are truly special.

In fact, like many of you, the only thing that we ever ‘ask’ for at Christmas is to spend quality time with our loved ones.

camper with vegas sign
The camper with the Welcome To Las Vegas sign.

And now that we have been away from our family for over 3 months, we were ready to spend some much-needed quality time with them.

And this week, we had our first family member visit us while we are on our 1 year journey across the country.

Our First Chance To Spend Time With Immediate Family

On Thursday we had the chance to have both lunch and dinner with Bob, Jim’s brother. He flew out to Las Vegas to not only meet up with us, but also to celebrate his birthday.

bob and jim spending time with family
Jim and Bob taking a minute to call Mom so they could talk to her together.

It was fantastic to see him and to get caught up on what was happening back at home. We enjoyed a slow, leisurely lunch, laughing and sharing stories.

Then we met him again later that evening for dinner and to celebrate his birthday. Finally we capped off our first night spending time with family by attending a Comedy Show at the MGM Grand.

What a fun night it was! But lucky for us, there was more to come.

On Friday, we convinced Bob to go hiking with us at Red Rock Canyon. I think all 3 of us enjoyed the afternoon hiking up the red rocks enjoying the views and working off the meal that we ate the night before.

enjoying time with family
Bob decided to join us off the strip for some hiking at Red Rock National Recreation Area. Here he sits for a minute to take in the magnificent views!

After a day spent together exploring life off the strip, it was time to say our goodbyes.

Although it was hard, we knew that we would be talking to him again soon, and eventually see him again when we make our way back to Ohio.

And lucky for us, we had a second family member coming to visit the very next day!

The First Visit From One Of Our Children

Many months ago, when we knew that this trip was truly going to happen, we made a deal with our kids.

We would fly each one of them out to meet us somewhere on our trip. With their very busy schedules, they were to let us know which state that would work best for them to come and visit.

Wes on Vegas strip
Our first visit from one of our children. Wes joined us in Las Vegas and will head to Phoenix with us later this week.

Some visits might last up to a week, and others may be closer to a long weekend getaway.

Whatever state they would choose, we would make it work. But the funny thing is, they all chose Hawaii!

We quickly clarified, that the visit must occur within the continental 48 states.

And this week, our first visit came from Wes. He is a Senior at Ohio State University and just finished his semester finals and started his Christmas break.

Caesars palace
Wes was amazed at the beauty of the architecture and designs in Vegas, and especially in Caesars Palace.

He flew into Las Vegas for the very first time on Saturday. We met him at the airport and I am sure it was longest and hardest hug he has had in a long time.

An Unexpected Gift From Home

Before we headed out for the evening, he had a little surprise for us. He bought us a gift from one of our favorite local restaurants, roasted cashews.

He knows that Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl is one of our favorite places to get not only ice cream, but hot, roasted nuts as well. And to have a little taste of home while we are thousands of miles away was incredible!

tom's ice cream bowl
Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl has some of the best roasted cashews and we were so happy Wes brought us some to enjoy!

After an eye-opening visit along the strip, a ride on a roller coaster, and multiple strolls through various stores, we finally had a chance to catch up.

Although we talk to him a few times per week, there is nothing like having a conversation in person. It’s amazing how much more emotion you can see and feel when you can watch someone’s body language.

With walking over 35,000 steps today, it was time to treat him to a delicious Vegas style buffet!

spending time with family at the casino
This was Wes’ first trip to Las Vegas, and of course in the casinos.

What a wonderful week it has been spending time with family! Lucky for us, Wes will be with us as we move on to our next state, Arizona. He will hang out with us for a few more days before heading back to Ohio.

And with a 5 hour drive ahead of us as we head towards Phoenix, we will have plenty of time to talk, reminiscence, and probably drive him crazy!

Here is to spending time with family, and loving it!!!

Happy Traveling! Jim and Mary


  • Day 98 of 365
  • States : 12 / 50
  • National Parks / Monuments : 14
  • Stayed In : Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Miles Driven : 0
  • Total Trip Miles To Date : 10051.8
  • Total Gallons Used : 742.36
  • Biking Miles : 0.0
  • Biking Miles To Date : 142.5
  • Hiking Miles : 12.7
  • Hiking Miles To Date : 228.5
About Our Living Simple Tour

On September 9th, 2019, we set out in our NuCamp T@B 400 Teardrop Camper to travel to every state. You can check out all of our dates here : Dates for the States

Follow along by signing up for our twice weekly email updates at the bottom of the page. You can also follow us on Facebook : Live Simple Tour Facebook and Instagram : Live Simple Now Instagram Page.

Anne Redman

Tuesday 17th of December 2019

Made me smile you guys having visits from your family. Enjoy your time together. Our daughter who’s 30 still loves to go camping with us.