Wednesday, October 24, 2007

There's No Place Like Home

There's nothing like a road trip to make you appreciate being home, no matter how fun your trip is, you know?

Here in Oklahoma the schools have a fall break, so the girls had a five-day weekend this past weekend. Since Jerry is saving up his vacation days for our first real family vacation in November, he stayed and worked, but the girls and I went road-tripping to Texas to see our now-closer family. We stopped the first night and spent the night at Grandma's house, and then headed down to Houston to spend time with Aunt Amy, Uncle Brad and Cousin Will.

The first day we mostly hung out in the backyard. Gracie found a little baby toad in the first 15 minutes, so we made him a habitat in a big bucket and watched him until nightfall, when we made the kids release him back into the wild of the backyard. The kids also took great delight in picking all the limes off of Amy and Brad's lime tree - they picked 68 limes before the weekend was over.

Friday we got the kids and their car seats all crammed into Amy's backseat and went to the Zoo. As soon as we got there I realized that I had left my camera at the house - ugh! We had a great time at the zoo, but have no pictures to show you. The Houston zoo has been updated quite a bit since I had been there last. The girls liked the sea lions, and we got to see a baby giraffe getting bottle fed. Mind you, the average size zookeeper had to hold the bottle above her head to get it to the top of the baby giraffe, but it was still a very small giraffe! We also got to hear some of the monkeys giving a free concert - they were whooping to each other, and they had chin pouches that stretched out as they made noises, just like a bullfrog. On the way back to the car we stopped and rode the Hermann Park train. I was amazed that I had spent several Saturdays in Hermann park when we lived in Houston, but I had never seen or known that there was a little train that ran through there. How did I miss that? Of course, there were many new things to look at as well, such as the light rail, which was being hotly debated when we lived there. The Astros no longer play at the Astrodome, and the place where the Rockets used to play is a church now - a new big arena has been constructed for them. AstroWorld is GONE - totally demolished. It's not the Houston we knew - it's even BIGGER - and I really didn't think that was possible.

Saturday we went to a Pumpkin Patch west of Houston, Dewberry Farms. This place not only has a pumpkin patch, but a barrel train, and a corn maze kind of like Sutherland Farms in New Mexico did, but this corn maze is huge! It's around 7 acres, and you really can get lost in it. We didn't go through the maze, but maybe when the kids are a bit older we will. We had plenty to do without the maze. We started off in the play area for kids. They had lots of tractors and trikes to ride around the area - Will was in heaven! The girls especially liked the rubber duck races. You put your duck in a trough, and then used a hand-pumped water pump to float your duck down the trough into a big tub.

Next we went to the barn to see some animals, and then it was time for the pig races! After that we were pretty hungry, so we went to the pavilion for some eats. The girls and I had a cold lunch, but Amy and Brad waited in the hot lunch line, so I took the girls and Will to the hay barn while they were finishing up. Will definitely has the right name - he is a very strong-willed little boy! He knows what he wants to do, and by gosh, no one is going to stop him! I told him that when he was with Aunt Suzy he had to hold hands. He didn't care for that, and kept pulling away, but I kept up with him and kept holding hands. It was hot, and he was SO tired - eventually he threw himself down on the grass, I think perhaps his original intent was to throw a fit, but he found the grass so comfy he just folded his arms into a pillow, closed his eyes and took a five-minute power nap. I just stood over him, shading him from the sun, and watched that cutie-patootie look around every few seconds before closing his eyes again. It gave everyone a much-needed five minutes of downtime. After that we rejoined his Mommy and Daddy, who were wondering what we were doing out there in the grass, and went for more fun. We played on the barrel train, swings, play fort, carts and roller slide before heading to the pumpkin patch to pick out our perfect pumpkins. My original intent was just to get each girl a

miniature pumpkin, but they were so adamant that they get big pumpkins I told them that if they found one they could carry, we could get it, so they both picked a medium sized one, and for the most part, they carried them. By the end of the day we were all dusty, tired, and I was sunburned. We had a good time.

The next morning we headed back to Grandmas house for another stopover on the way home. We were supposed to stop by and say hi to Mimi at work and Nanna at her house on the way back too, but Maggie woke up the next morning with an apparent stomach flu. We abandoned the rest of our visits and made a beeline for home. That night she seemed to feel better and was finally able to keep something down, so we got a good nights sleep in our own beds and headed back to school on Tuesday. A whirl-wind tour to be certain, but lots of fun!

No comments: