Another wacky finding: tons of Japanese tourists. Huh? If I had to list the top 10 coolest places I'd want to visit in the United States, I'm quite sure San Antonio (no offense S.A.) would NOT be on the list. Unless they are HUGE fans of this guy http://www.peewee.com/ and just had to go ask about the Alamo's basement.
Since we've been trying to use our video camera more, we didn't actually take a bunch of pics there, but this was by far the best part of the whole day spent there.
The boys were and are still very sleep deprived from our little vacation. Because every hotel was sold out within 30 miles of San Antonio, we ended up in a "King Suite" instead of the normal two room places we try to get. Let's just say--nothing sweet about it. Basically we were all pretty much in the same room. We hid the boys' pack n' plays behind this half-wall divider in the "sitting area" and tried to keep everyone else muffled on the other side of the room. Needless to say, no one got their necessary or usual amount of sleep. But they decided to be nice and fall asleep at about 2 in the afternoon, probably in the hopes that one day we'd still be willing to pay for college...or just feed them dinner that night. They were pretty raunchy.
The second best part: Jeremy convinced the kids to ride this big water ride called the Journey to Atlantis---equivalent of Six Flags' Splash Mountain, or an intense Log Ride. Anyway, Alex backed out about three times at the point where you load onto the boat, but finally summoned the courage and said, "I just HAVE to do it!" (This could have possibly been because Maddie was like, yeah, sure-- I'll ride it. Big whoop. And what seven year old boy can be outdone by his four year old sister? Not Alex.
The main drop is VERY steep and we just had to buy the ridiculously overpriced picture afterwards because it just told the whole story perfectly. You probably can't see it very well, but Maddie looks like she's a terrified corpse, and Alex has a death grip on Jeremy while trying to bury himself in his armpit. I don't think they really enjoyed the ride as much as being able to tell everyone they went on it. Since we've been back I keep finding them sitting, just staring at the photo in awe of their bravery.
Aidan discovered cotton candy. He's a fan. Can't you just feel the stickiness? It was worth it--he was quite literally glued into silence during two shows. Avery licked it once, then refused it every time Aidan tried to shove it in his mouth. Must be for those of us with a more distinguished palette.
There was also a bunch of this---there's a reason they call those things "Crackberries". Jeremy had a big motion due to be filed that day and he was editing and stressing over it amongst all the joys of navigating the crazies thru the crowds, dealing with tantrums, and trying to read the dumb pictorial map. More than once it was in danger of being thrown in a puddle of penguin pee. See! I do exist. My kids are going to look back at all our pictures and think I took separate vacations---which is not a bad idea. But I actually made it into one shot with Avery. I couldn't bring myself to think about how many diseases we were all exposed to from the boys dragging their "B"s around everywhere. I can't believe I actually allowed it that close to my face. If I'm dead when this posts, you'll know why.
On the way back home, we managed to visit a big cavern tourist attraction. The kids panned for gems and then couldn't understand why we wouldn't let them take the 70 minute tour of the cave...during which we would have to carry their brothers --who could have easily been, at this point, confused with demon spawn--on slick walkways through the dark.
After quick car naps for the boys, we managed to burn a couple of very methodically planned out hours in San Marcos at the most gigantic outlet mall you've ever seen. I could've spent the whole day in the Pottery Barn/Williams Sonoma outlet alone. But surprisingly the rest of my family does not value finding the perfect lampshade. (FYI--if you live by a Children's Place outlet, I picked up a bunch of cute tights, gloves, stocking hats, socks and other odds and ends for 50 cents each. Might be worth a trip. See # 2 at right.).
We eventually made it home in one piece and as we pulled into the neighborhood, Avery screamed "YAAAY!" and started clapping. And the next morning when we tried to load him up in the car for church, he had flashbacks and screamed "NO, NO, NO!" That's what my bum was thinking too.