Monday, September 10, 2012

Vacation Week 5+

This week was filled with leaving Utah and heading towards Texas, land of the bigger and better.   On the way we stopped at Four Corners (totally useless, but very novel and so the kids had to do it.)  Activities included sitting, standing, and laying in all four states, straddling two states, and seeing how fast you can run through four states using the outer loop.  Additionally we stopped at Carlsbad Cavern and Arches National Park and all I can say is A-MAZ-ING.  Seriously go, no pictures I took, or looked at online, begin to do these places justice.  It's another testament of an amazing Creator and God.  And the lyrics "then sings my soul, my Savior - God to thee, how great thou art - how great thou art" come to mind and replay in a loop.  Really both are extraordinary for totally different reasons.
 (Delicate Arch)
Tourist stuff aside, I headed to Texas with mixed feelings.  We had two stops planned, one in San Antonio to visit the in-laws and one in Dallas/Fort Worth to visit a college roomie/bridesmaid.  But through some misunderstandings or poor planning or I still have no idea really...Travis's family wasn't going to be there for 3/4 days we were supposed to be there.  I ended up extending a day so we would have a two day overlap, but felt a time constraint as school beginning loomed in the near future.  I was a bit frustrated and worried about staying at the house without them being there, but it ended up being awesome.  After arriving late and garnering a speeding ticket - I was going four over the limit - who knew that could happen, I stopped to get some groceries to restock the house.  And we chilled out well that's relative.  We stilll went to the Alamo, Riverwalk, and Witte Museum as well as going back to school shopping, went to church, visited with extended family.  And this was great because normally I am so dedicated to wringing every moment of Gpa and Nana time that I don't even get off their property to visit the others despite being next door neighbors.  So second cousins got to play one whole evening uninterrupted, I caught up on the family gossip with cousins, and my second set of In-Laws (Travis's Uncle and Aunt - who are like second parents to him) and I talked and caught up on the passage of time.  And sure enough once Nana and Gpa arrived we hit it hard with them too.  We had a birthday celebration celebrating every birthday since we can never share them with all of our nationwide spread family.  We went to the river to swim, we went out to my favorite Mexican, Gpa took the kids fishing, and Gpa and I every night sat and commentated on the Olympics as if we were announcers in our own right.  It was crazy fun and I'm so glad we ended up going to San Antonio instead of heading straight to DFW. 
 (The Ranch)
Once we hit the road to DFW I was giddy.  Emma and I have one of the longest standing friendships.  I met her my first day of college.  She could tell you a million stories about me mostly embarrassing and I could do the same about her.  We are ridiculous and wildly entertaining.  Upon arriving my kids devastated her house with energy after being in the car.  We sent them out back to the pool and we caught up.  Eventually we got the kids geared for bed and left her hubbs in charge while we headed to Cheesecake Factory for a late dinner and a cheesecake fix.  There I created more memories with her and she has already regaled several with an embarrassing story from that night - suffice to say I am a cheesecake fundamentalist.  But this is what makes her great.  She is the world's most considerate and adventurous hostess.  Her energy is similar to mine and so I can count on her to join me in all my crazy schemes or at least talk her into some of the better ones and she can usually think of one or two of her own.  Her birthday was only two days after I was supposed to leave.  And she was heading to a concert the night before and she tried to talk me into staying and joining the celebration and oh, if I were by my lonesome, it would have been a done deal, but 4 weary travelers later I opted out.  Still missing that fun that I didn't get to have.  While at her house we had another swim day with another college roomie, Ahna and her kids.  We went out boating, tubing, and they taught me to wake board.  Her and her hubby are the most patient teachers ever.  And we got a sitter to go out one more night, the three of us.  Their love of food is pretty close to mine too.  It was the most fun and she is an expert at packing in the fun no matter how short the time.  I love this girl and know that in twenty years we will still be visiting one another annually and creating mischief where ever we go. 

I left Saturday morning.  We originally were going to leisurely drive home visiting Arkansas, Tennessee, and anywhere else we wanted.  But due to travel fatigue we visited one last roommate in Arkansas, really I gypped you - Jen, and then tour a trail straight home driving until 2am the one night to turn around and wake up again at 8 and finish that trip.

It was the best vacation ever and the most fun and best summed up by Bella. "It was the greatest experience of my life, but we don't ever need to go on vacation that long again, Mom." And I agree with her, at least with kids in tow. I hope you have enjoyed living vicariously through me. Look for my final post about the 50 state tour with our final stop to Hawaii next summer. Aloha
 (Ahna, Me, Emma)
 (Emma the Pro)
 (She buys me donuts too!!!)


ambyr said...

oh my WORD! keller? rufe snow donut shop? do you even realize I live 5 minutes from there????!!!! yall need to hit me up next time you come so I can get some pics of your cute family!!!!!!!

Mary said...

WOuld love to, and even if I am without the kids, which is usually annually, I will to we can catch up. Love your butt!