We decided to take a trip to San Antonio for my birthday and our anniversary. To make the car trip more fun, I made some new car games that I discovered via pinterest. Carlee from Ladybird Ln's magnetic car activities:
I added a few games -- a tea set, some cute little fairies I found, a road for a toy car to drive on ... It made for a quieter, happier ride for everybody!
Our first stop was in College Station, to stay at my all time favorite hotel: The Hyatt Place. They have the best customer service, the most comfortable beds, and the cutest polka dot logo :) But we got lost on the way. Google Maps, whom I have relied on for years, finally betrayed me late at night and sent us down the wrong road-- at least the kids were sleeping soundly in the back! We bought an old fashioned map at a gas station and charted our own course. It brought back memories of us trying to navigate around Washington DC early in our marriage. We arrived at the hotel around midnight, to warm showers and soft beds.
The next day, we took the kids to PetSmart. Cheap thrills are great :D It was almost like going to the zoo. Every cat, dog, mouse, guinea pig and bird was adored. They were forbidden to adore the rats, so some did it just to tease me (Joseph!). He gets that from his Daddy.
At some point on the trip, Stephen declared out of the blue "I want a nocturnal pet." I told him he probably deserved one just for knowing what nocturnal meant at 5 years old.
After the pet store, we spent some time at the Half Price Books. The kids loved that, too, and we bought each boy their own comic book and each girl their own princess book. Also got a cool science experiment book that's going to be fun to use with the kids next semester.
We arrived at the hotel in San Antonio much earlier than the previous hotel, and were able to enjoy it more. The next day, we found a play ground nearby and spent the day there. The kids seem to really benefit from being able to run around for hours and having a race with Daddy. Even Gideon wanted to run in the race. He desperately wants to be like the big kids.
Here, Stephen declared: "I'm going to decide when my wife's birthday will be. It's in March, like Mommy."
We thought it might be warm enough to take a swim in the hotel pool. I've never been so wrong. The kids enjoyed freezing. I sat on the edge and just held Gideon, who splashed away. We didn't do that again.
The next day, we went down to the Alamo/Riverwalk area. We were going to take the kids inside the Alamo and also go down to the Riverwalk and ride on one of the boats. I gave the kids a choice on which to do first, and they all quickly decided on the Alamo. Oh, what good little Texans I have!
I was very impressed with how well behaved and respectful they were inside. They learned all about the Alamo and Davy Crockett, and Joseph was particularly impressed with the models. We ended up buying each boy a coonskin hat and each girl a bonnet.
We did take them on a boat ride the same day. Gideon wasn't too impressed (it was his nap time), but the rest enjoyed it. Especially Mary. The Riverwalk seemed more crowded than we were used to -- note for next year: avoid San Antonio during spring break season! So there were lines everywhere. But the kids were real good about standing in line, and we got to watch pigeons and ducks while waiting. We ate at the Casa Rio right there on the river, and Joseph insisted on sitting next to the ducks.
The next day we headed home by a different route, and stopped at a beautiful little rest stop for the kids to run around some. The Hill Country is so pretty. We gave them some confetti eggs to smash, and they spent the rest of the time there hunting for rolly pollies.
It was a great little trip, with a lot of fond memories made. No pictures yet -- my digital camera is on the fritz and I had to buy a disposable camera. I haven't had to get pictures developed in years! Hope I can remember to do that soon :)