Texas Wedding Roadtrip-May 23, 2013

(click here for today's pictures)
Learning about George W.

  • Whitman woke up around 5 this morning and quickly sucked down his bottle and went back to sleep. Robby and then I both had to go to the bathroom so that meant that we each had to squeeze into the bathroom and shimmy past Keaton's pack n play to get to enough of the potty to meet our needs.  She was sleeping sound because she didn't even stir when I flushed the toilet and quickly slid out of there.
  • Around 6, Graham joined me in bed and he had a slew of questions.  He wanted to know what city we were going to today, how far it would be, if we had ever been there, what was the name of the hotel we would be staying out.  I am not really big on talking before 7 (or really before 8) but I obliged and answered everything while rubbing his back hoping he would go back to sleep.  He eventually did in Robby's bed for a few more minutes.  For our upcoming big trip, I am going to have to make Graham an itinerary with maps and details about every day.  
  • Everyone started stirring around 7 and soon Campbell was telling me that she wanted fruit loops for breakfast if they had them.  She added "it is okay if they don't have any though."  Sure enough as soon as she walked in the breakfast room, she saw those fruit loops.  Graham saw the pancakes and Anderson bee lined to the cinnamon rolls.  Actually, everyone had cinnamon rolls and Robby and I said that we could have had another one but there were only 2 left so we didn't.  We kind of felt bad for our family coming in and cleaning out the breakfast!
  • We were packed before we left for breakfast and Robby loaded the car while the rest of us started our breakfast.  The kids could have stayed and eaten and eaten but eventually it was time to go.  The first stop of the morning was the Bush library.  Our silly GPS has seemed slow on this trip so it took us a bit longer to get there than it should have.  But we were able to see the farmer's market and it looked really neat-always need something for the next trip.
  • The Bush library was new and impressive.  It did cost to park unlike Clinton's library and did cost twice as much but was still worth it.  I am pretty sure that Robby and I have now been to all of the presidential libraries.  In the lobby of this library, there are huge screens on the walls above and they put on a pretty good little show. 
  • September 11th was a big part of the library and the kids were really interested in the videos and the twisted beam from one of the towers.  We have been to the Pentagon and seen pictures before of that day and have explained it previously.  But today we had to explain that day and terrorism all again to them-kind of sad what our world has come to.  Lately, I have seen a quote on pinterest about whenever you see something bad on tv, always look for the helpers.  So we did lots of finding of finding the helpers in those pictures and video clips that we saw today.
  • They had an area with children's books that you could sit down and read-kind of neat to have something to touch for the kids to do.  Unlike Clinton's oval office, you could go into this one and even sit at his desk which was neat.  They had a few hands on computer screens for the kids to touch as well which helped pass their time.  
  • After a potty stop, bottle for Whitman and a magnet to be turned into a Christmas tree ornament, it was time to head to Houston.  Back in the car we passed out snacks and juice so the kids lasted for about 2 hours before we had to stop for lunch.  
  • Not a whole lot is around here and our plan was to have a picnic so we spotted a rest stop on the map.  When we made it we drove a bit looking for a spot and then spied a playground.  We drove towards the playground looking for a spot and they were all full.  By the time we made it that far, we couldn't back up or turn around and the road then went straight back to the interstate.  Imagine all of the questions and comments that came from the back seats as we drove away from the playground without stopping.  
  • Thankfully there was a bridge about a mile away so we turned around and headed back.  The rest stop on the other side of the road was just as nice with the same playground so we stopped there.  That still left us with a bit of back tracking after lunch but driving for 10 more minutes was worth this stop.  The kids ran off to the playground leaving Keaton behind.  Graham came back and then sweetly walked with her to the playground.  She wasn't able to see where they were going down the sidewalk because of the trees and when she saw the playground, she was so happy and waved and waved at her brother and sisters playing.  
  • We had lunch at the picnic table nearby-pimento cheese, turkey and cheese sandwiches, cheetos and oranges.  The kids were more interested in playing than eating so we let them run off some steam before loading back up in the car.  
  • After another hour, we stopped at a Buccee's gas station.  Apparently this is a chain of huge gas stations around here.  It had at least 30 women's potty stalls.  But more importantly, they were giving away free samples of fudge and all of my crew walked away with icees.  The weather was pleasant in the shade so we just set outside and the kids finished their icees while Whitman finished his bottle
  • That baby so far is a really good traveler.  I don't think that he has fussed at all in the van yet.  He is probably just trying to convince Robby to take him to Hawaii with him (Robby has threatened to only take Reagan to Hawaii so she can mark that state of-taking the rest of us would be too expensive.)
  • Some time during this afternoon, Campbell shouted to me "Mom, I forgot to eat a pancake."  I guess that she had just realized that she never went back to get a pancake at breakfast.  She had told me that she wanted one and I told her to finish what she had and then she could.  But I guess she forgot for a few hours!
  • At 5, we pulled into downtown Houston and were soon at the aquarium.  The aquarium was pretty neat.  Walking through the aquarium made me realize how much the kids didn't retain from science this year.  We studied animals that live in the water and they along with I didn't remember near what we should have.  Hopefully, we will do better this year learning about the body.  
  • The aquarium was neat.  Keaton was pretty mesmerized by the fish swimming around and Whitman's eyes were wide open as well (though I am not sure how much we could really see.)  At the end of the aquarium tour, they had white tigers.  Even though we didn't really remember our science from this year, I am still pretty sure that a tiger is not an animal that lives in the water.  Even though I am not sure what it was doing at the aquarium, it was still neat to see.
  • The aquarium also had a few rides out front and we were able to do them as many time as we wanted.  Of course one was closed due to maintenance.  It was open minutes before we walked up but I would prefer to not put my kids on an unsafe ride so that was fine by me.  But we were able to ride the carousel 2 times and the ferris wheel 3 times.  The neatest ride was a train like at the zoo-but it went through a shark part of the aquarium.  And then near the end of the ride, a shark burst out of the water spraying water into the air.  The first go around, Robby almost jumped out of his seat.  And the second time, Keaton was just as surprised as Robby was.  During the first ride, Keaton rode with me but on the second she rode with Reagan.  Keaton wanted Reagan's hand on her leg the entire ride.  She would even move it back to her leg if Reagan moved her hand. 
  • Back in the car for a drink and a short trip to our hotel.  It was already late so the kids were tired but they were also starving.  Once we found the hotel, we couldn't find any fastish food nearby to drive through.  So we checked in and I unpacked while Robby hunted down supper.  He picked us up a pizza at Mario's and by the time he came back, pajamas were on, everything was unpacked, dishes were washed and the kids were happily playing-all except Keaton who was nearing a breakdown.  
  • The pizza was good and Keaton was much happier after eating nearly 2 pieces of pizza.  We all were happier in fact.  The kids played for a while longer and then it was time for bed.  Oh, yes, this room.  Just like I had predicted, this room is smaller than last nights.  It is still generous for hotel standards but it is just a hotel room.  Reagan is sleeping with me, Robby in the other bed, Anderson between the beds, Graham at the foot of Robby's bed, Campbell under the table, Whitman on the other side of my bed and Keaton is snoozing in front of the sink.  We had to prop up the ironing board and cover it with the blanket so she couldn't see us.  (and to just use the ironing board to prove Graham wrong that we wouldn't use it on the trip!)
  • Despite our close arrangements, it didn't take long for everyone to go to sleep.  Tomorrow is a big day and I am as tired as the kids were-just have one load of laundry to fold and then I am going to sleep as well.