July 13, 2009

God blessed texas

We have just returned from our pilgrimage to the Lone Star State to see family and friends. Patrick's brother John and his family came from Idaho, his sister Allison was able to come from Atlanta for the holiday weekend, and his grandparents (Pop and Polly) flew in from Ohio for the week. We all converged on Patrick's parents' house in Grapevine for a family reunion of sorts.

Sunday, July 5 - We returned from Ridgecrest (NC) on the 3rd and had the 4th at home to rest, do laundry, and repack. We left for the airport on schedule (amazingly) at 6:30 am on Sunday. We wanted a non-stop flight on Southwest, and so we chose to fly into Austin and drive to Dallas. Also, we wanted to see friends in Austin (more about that later). Austin's airport is much easier to navigate than DFW, especially with a 17-month-old. We were able to quickly claim our bags and get our rental van. (Patrick scored a Toyota Sienna - thanks Priceline!). We met up with the Youngs and the Batemans at Chuy's - one of our favorite TX restaurants (coming soon to the Nashville area).

We continued our trek north only to discover that I-35 had slowed to a crawl due to the holiday weekend. We stopped to show Adam the bears in Waco, but they had the holiday weekend off. After our three-hour drive became a five-hour trip with a grumpy toddler, Mommy needed some Target therapy. I dropped the boys off at the grandparents' house and went to the Super Target for the week's provisions. After a quick bite to eat at the house, we checked into our room at the FedEx terminal, I mean, the Hawthorn Suites. Our room was great, with a full kitchen, separate room for Adam, and a bathtub the size of a Volkswagen. The only bad thing was that the FedEx trucks honk before they start backing up, but it got to be comical by the end of the week.

Monday, July 6 - The whole clan converged on the Watts' house Monday morning before heading out to the Ft. Worth Zoo with Allison's friend Laura and her three-year-old, Noah. If you are keeping score, that is 14 people. Adam had fun in the aviary, but seemed disappointed when the birds flew away when he tried to pet them. Patrick's cousin Lynne met us at the zoo for lunch (bringing us to 15 people).

After lunch, Adam needed a nap, so we headed back to the hotel. Monday evening, the Patrick cousins and Aunt Linda came over to the house for dinner. We arrived late due to Adam's nap.

Tuesday, July 7 - On Tuesday, we mainly hung around the house and played with the kids. We celebrated Reganne's birthday (a couple weeks late). That evening, we went over to Farmer's Branch to see our friends, the Finks, and their new house. They fixed us a great meal with vegetables from their garden!

Wednesday, July 8 - The cousins got to play together more on Wednesday morning before it was time for the Idaho Watts to head back home. We had a relaxing afternoon while Adam napped at the house, and we did some laundry. Patrick and I even had a little date at the Super Target Starbucks. After dinner, we drove to Arlington to see the Death Star, I mean, the new Cowboys Stadium. Impressive.

Thursday, July 9 - We had a little more time with the grandparents and great-grandparents Wednesday morning before piling in the van again to head back to Austin. We stopped in Ft. Worth to have lunch with our friend, Lyn. He gave us a tour of BNSF headquarters where he works. It was way cooler than I expected. He also treated us to lunch to Rosa's Cafe. The tortillas were life-changing.

Thankfully, Adam took a good nap on the way to Austin and watched lots of Signing Time while he was awake. By the end of the week, he started requesting Signing Time (using sign language) whenever he saw the van. When we arrived in Austin at 5:30 pm, the van thermometer read 105 degrees.

We got settled into our room at the Holiday Inn Express Pflugerville and ordered a delicious pizza from Austin's Pizza. We had no desire to go back out in the heat. Adam had fun exploring yet another hotel room.

Friday, July 10 - We had a lazy morning before going over to the meet the Bateman girls for a swimming play date. We had a blast, and Sarah even got me to go down the "dark slide." We met Giles for lunch at Mighty Fine Burgers, another fine Austin eating establishment. Adam shared his grilled cheese with Lucy. They were quite adorable.

After nap on Friday, we went to Ikea for shopping, dinner, and some quality family time with Swedish furniture.

Saturday, July 11 - We crossed one more Austin restaurant off the list before leaving on Saturday - Kerbey Lane Cafe. The Batemans met us for brunch there, and Lucy and Adam shared food once again. We had a delicious meal, and too soon had to say goodbye to the Batemans and head for the airport. Time with good friends is always too short.

I decided Adam needed another box of goldfish to make the trip home, and so we stopped at Fry's Electronics. Made sense to us. Adam was great on the flight, and did amazingly well considering he didn't have a nap all day.

We had a great time in Texas, but are glad to be home for a little while before our next trip!

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