So, back to my Recap. :)
About a month ago, I started planning a trip to Austin for work - many of the people I work with on one of my larger projects are actually based in Austin, and we had a big design review coming up in mid-July. Normally, we fly everyone to Cupertino but this time I decided to fly a small group of project team members to Austin and present our design to the business there instead. While the days leading up to the trip, the week itself, and this last week back from the trip, have all been ridiculously busy and packed with prep and follow up work, overall, the trip was worth it and everyone was very happy we made the trek.
Since we haven't seen Jon's parents in Texas for awhile (almost 2 yrs!), we decided he and the boys would join me at the end of the week once I was done with my work trip, and make a long weekend out of it, to visit with Papa, Mimi and Granny B. So, early Thursday morning, Jon and the boys woke up before dawn (they had a 6:30am flight) and rushed to the airport. They got to the airport over an hour early, and yet the lines were so long, they just barely made the flight (with ~3 minutes to spare). Phew!
Unfortunately, that was just the start of their bad luck. The flight was pretty bad apparently - full of nonstop turbulence. And, poor Callum has inherited Jon's motion sickness - so he threw up (on himself and Jon) about 6 times, throughout the flight. No bueno. :(
Once they landed (at noon), the plan was that they'd pick up the rental car and then drive to my office to pick me up - since I'd be wrapping up my meetings by about 1pm myself. From there, we'd grab a bite to eat and then head out of town (Nolan and Doy are about ~2 hrs away).
So Jon and the boys lugged everything to the rental car area, grabbed the car, headed for check out, where Jon searched for his license - only to discover, he didn't have it. :( And realized then, that he had left it on the plane (most likely, we think).
I got a call from a pretty grumpy Jon (who can blame him, really) - and quickly packed up my things and headed to the lobby to call a cab. Unfortunately, the office isn't in a particularly busy part of Austin, so I had to wait about 20 min before the cab showed up. Then, drove to the airport (~30 min away) to meet them at the rental car checkout.
I got there, and worked with the rental car people to change our paperwork over to my name so we could check out the car. Meanwhile, Jon headed back into the airport to see if his license might have been found (as it turned out, the plane hadn't yet left and was just boarding the next flight! and, because of the ordeal with Callum's motion sickness, the flight attendants knew EXACTLY who Jon was and where he was sitting, to go back to his seat to look for the license. Unfortunately, they didn't find it - so we're pretty sure it was thrown away during clean up) :( The boys and I sat in the car waiting for Jon to return, everyone whiny, hot, hungry and tired as ever.
While waiting, I looked up the closest best rated food near the airport, since I knew we'd need to eat pronto, once he got back. I found this little divey taqueria that was rated really well, just a few minutes from the airport, so we headed there next.
YUM! The place wasn't much to look at but we all felt much better after filling our bellies with great food, and then hit the road. I hadn't planned on leaving work as quickly as I did, nor driving the entire way (figured I'd be the passenger and could still work a bit that afternoon on the drive!) so I still had quite a bit of work on my mind. Luckily, once we hit the road, all three boys pretty much fell right to sleep, so I got a nice relaxing couple of hours to myself. ;-)
Doy had prepared a delicious dinner for us that night and we spent the evening hanging out, decompressing from everyone's long and crazy day, and just catching up on everything that's been happening with our families. It was so nice to just relax and kick off our shoes and make ourselves at home. :)
The boys took a few minutes to warm up to everyone and explore the house, but it didn't take much time at all for them to relax as well. ;-) Soon, they were demanding game time and playtime of their grandparents (and great-grandmother) - that first night!
Jon and I still had to work on Friday, but not before I snuck in an early morning massage, courtesy of Doy (thank you!). What a wonderful treat for me, especially after such a long stressful work week and driving the family the night before (my back was also thankful). I think every vacation should start with a massage. ;-)
The rest of the weekend was focused on hanging out, playing more games, and trying to stay cool under the oppressive Texas sun! Mimi had bought a few new toys for the boys to play with (since, the last time we were there was 2 yrs ago, most of the toys at the house were a bit younger to play with). One of the big hits was the slip n' slide, kiddie pool and of course, water guns. The boys had a blast playing outside (while the adults tried to keep cool in the shade and not sweat through our clothes!) :)
|Granny B's got the right idea! :)|
|We had first put the slide on a little hill....|
|But it didn't seem to allow the boys to slide very well|
|So we ended up moving the slide to a flatter area instead|
|Out come the water guns!|
|Everyone get Papa!|
|The kids against the adults|
The boys still get a bit nervous around water/swimming pools (although, they ARE getting a bit better), especially if their heads/face get wet. They were also super tentative about the slip n' slide. They weren't quite sure how to slide on it, instead just jumping straight up in the air and landing on their butt or knees rather than SLIDING on it. So, Mimi won the grandparent award of the day when she went inside to change into some water clothes and then came out and did a few slides herself, to show Callum how. He loved that. :)
The other thrill for the boys was their trip to Cavender's for cowboy boots and hats. They both got gorgeous little boots (Mama was jealous!), which they wore the entire weekend. Logan scored a wonderful cowboy hat (Callum didn't get one, he wasn't really interested in wearing a hat, which was fine by us). And then the cherry on top for them was a set of toy guns - we weren't interested in bringing them back home with us though, so we only got them with the agreement that they'd have to stay at Papa and Mimi's house for when we visit. The boys agreed. And then proceeded to take target practice the rest of the weekend at the house. ;-)
|"Suited up" and ready to go outside for target practice|
|He hit his target. :)|
Doy knows a local veterinarian who keeps a few cutting horses at his home so we visited him to meet the horses up close and personal. We didn't stay long due to the heat, but the boys really enjoyed the one-on-one show. I've spent a fair amount of time with horses when I was young, and I know they're large animals, but now as an adult, and as a mom, with your small kids standing up next to them, the massiveness of these animals takes on a whole new meaning for me now! Whoa! :) Still, it was loads of fun - perhaps next time we'll try riding some (these guys weren't for kids to ride anyway).
|Logan immediately volunteered to feed the horse|
|All by himself!|
|Callum was a little more nervous and wanted to be held|
|I think this is my favorite pic of the whole trip :)|
Since Jon (and a little bit myself too) have been so interested in golf lately, Doy secured a sitter for us on Sunday so that the four of us (Nolan, Doy, Jon and I) could sneak away for a few hours and play some golf. I've gone to a driving range maybe 2-3 times in my life (including a couple of weeks ago), but have never actually played a game of golf. It was so much fun!! I really did like it and couldn't help thinking it would be a great sport to share across the four of us once the boys are old enough. None of us played that well, but we all had a really nice time together and amazingly, the weather was perfect too. We couldn't have asked for a better end to our trip (thanks again Nolan and Doy!!)! :)
Everyone had to work on Monday (including Jon and myself). So, we spent the morning just cleaning up, packing up and working/taking calls in between. We met Papa, Mimi and Granny B one more time, for lunch, before getting back on the road that afternoon. Our flight wasn't until later that evening, but with the ~2 hr drive back to Austin and the fact that we'd have to allow extra time for security, we didn't want to take any chances.
Luckily, everything was a breeze. While it took much longer to get through security for Jon - it really wasn't that bad. We must've hit a good time where security was slow, because the boys and I got through in just a few minutes. Jon's check probably took an extra 20 minutes. The boys and I just snacked and waited for him until he was done getting molested. ;-)
Our flight was smooth and uneventful. Both Callum and Logan demanded attention from Jon and I, so neither of us really rested during the flight - but at least we didn't have any more throw up incidents (I also gave Callum some child's Dramamine so that may have helped too). :)
My parents picked us up at the airport once we landed - the kids were a little hyped up when we got home, excited to see my parents and run around and wrestle after being pent up in an airplane for 3.5 hours. But, they also didn't object much when it was time to go to bed, since they had had a pretty long and exciting day (and trip). :)
On the drive out to Nolan and Doy's house, Logan complained (as he always does these days) about why we had to spend FOUR.WHOLE.NIGHTS away from home.
On the drive back to the airport, heading home, Logan asked if the next time we see Mimi and Papa, we could stay for 15 days. I'd say that's a sign of a successful family vacation. ;-)