A Halloween Howl

We were awoken early this morning under starry skies in Death Valley National Park to a chorus of coyote howls. It was the perfect way to start Halloween. For five of the last six Halloweens we have been on the road and it is always fun to fit that days location and destination into our Halloween festivities. Being in “Death” Valley definitely started this Halloween off on the right foot.

Thanks to our early morning wake up (courtesy of the coyotes) we headed to Zabriskie Point to watch the sun rise. We then put on our Halloween costumes and headed to Las Vegas for a stop-off at two of our favorite Vegas attractions, Ronald’s vegan donut shop and the Pinball Hall of Fame.

Our hippie, werewolf, and super-knight had a blast enjoying amazing vegan donuts and playing some serious pinball. While Ronald’s Donuts didn’t feature any specially decorated Halloween donuts we played plenty of spooky pinball machines including The Adams Family, Monster Bash, and Ghost Busters. All in all it was another howling good Halloween on the road.

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This is How We Roll

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Yesterday, Five Spice and Five String found the perfect ingredients for their anniversary: vegan donuts, Miyazaki movies, and roller skating. Over time our anniversary has morphed into a family fun day, and we found plenty of family excitement here in Las Vegas.

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We started our day stopping by the very well-reviewed Ronald’s Donuts. The bakery has a charming “old-school” feel, and we had an impressive assortment of vegan donuts, muffins, and fritters to choose from at reasonable prices. While all of the items we sampled were delicious, the chocolate-glazed doughnuts and apple fritters were the best of the best. While we did have some leftovers (which we got to take home in the bakery’s signature pink box), needless to say they did not last very long.

After picking up some groceries, we returned to our apartment for a mini-Miyazaki marathon. Our local library (linked to all the libraries in the Vegas area) is pretty well stocked, and we enjoyed some of our favorites including Howl’s Moving Castle.

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Later at 6:30 sharp, we headed around the corner to the Crystal Palace Skating Center’s Family Skate night. This was an amazing deal: three hours of skating for the entire family, including rentals, for $12 total for us all. The Younger Fives had never laced up skates before, but they all had a wonderful spirit of adventure and did an incredible job finding their skating legs. We definitely had our share of falls, but by the end of the night Five of Hearts and Five Ball were gliding across the rink entirely on their own without the support of the wall, and High Five was skating while just holding one parent’s hand.

All in all, we could not have asked for a better place than Vegas to spend our anniversary. While this was actually our second time having our anniversary here (the first was before kids), this was definitely the one that will always stand out. While much of the skyline of the Strip is different than we remember, it is wonderful to know there are some places in Vegas that feel timeless. From cash-only family-run bakeries to roller skating rinks still playing the Hokey Pokey and having limbo contests, this anniversary felt both excitingly new and warmly familiar at the same time.