Monday, August 4, 2014

LaRetta Visits & I Turn 29

The other week my sister, LaRetta, came out to Texas to spend nearly a week visiting and having fun.

Our adventures began at the pool. It makes me happy that my kiddos are water babies and LOVE swimming and floating and playing in pools. We spent time jumping in the water, splashing each other, blowing water out of the pool noodles and catching up.

The following day we made it to Sea World. I took advantage of our once a year Waves of Honor program so the kids and I got in free. We will be buying our season passes though... I can definitely see us going back repeatedly.

We saw the Shamu show and it was just okay. It's not the same now that the trainers aren't allowed to be in the water with the orcas.
Will got to go on his first real "ride"... the Rio Loco (a rapids type ride). Lana was sad she wasn't big enough to go on it but recovered well enough.
We checked out the penguins and puffins.
We saw another show. It was very good. It was called Azul and the dolphins and belugas were so-stars in a Cirque du Soleil type show. There were people diving from the ceiling! That was probably my favorite part.
notice guys in green costumes near the roof -- they were diving from up there!
A majority of our time was spent at the splash park.

To end, the kids got to go on a couple rides and then we checked out the dolphins and headed out.

Despite being lathered in sunscreen and reapplying it, I got sunburned. Boo! I knew it would happen... oh well.

Friday was my birthday. My sister had picked up a Groupon for us to do glow-in-the-dark mini golf at a local mall. It was surprisingly fun. From the looks of things the kids really seemed to enjoy it as well! I will have to share photos later... once I can get them off my phone (if that ever happens).

Then, since I hadn't been to a mall in several months, we wandered around and window shopped.

After arriving home, the kids and aunt Retta finished decorating the cake. I thought it was pretty funny that the cake kept falling apart while they were frosting it. To me it didn't matter what it looked like, as long as they had fun making it and it tasted good (which it did).
Later that evening, Retta and I ran out to the movies and I finally saw Maleficent.

Saturday Ryan and I left the kiddos with my sister and he took me to my birthday present: a facial and body massage. Ahhh... so relaxing and refreshing. Afterwards we grabbed some food, pet some animals at the pet store, and eventually made it home.

After church on Sunday, Ryan kept the kids while LaRetta and I went to downtown San Antonio and explored the Alamo. It was much smaller than I thought it was. I will say, it might be worth the $7 for the audio tour because they are seriously lacking in providing reading material on what you are actually looking at. Also, I realized I didn't know much about what the Alamo was and what it stood for. It didn't matter, it was still kind of cool.

From there we made it down to the Riverwalk. We did the whole loop! By then we were starving so we caught an early dinner at a quirky Texas restaurant along the water. We had a fun waiter who had time to chat with us since we came before the dinner rush. Food was decent. I could see me going back there again.

Our final full day together was Monday... and it was a big day. My sister had picked up 2 additional Groupons. One was for a nearby McKenna Children's Museum in New Braunfels and the other for Tubing on the Comal River.

The Museum was fun. There was a lot of imaginative play that allowed for exploration and education. William really liked an air tube that made the snow cone cups fly. Lana had fun with the dress up clothes. Will put together some plumbing for the pretend house while Lana decorated the walls of it. We checked out the pretend farm, the bank, and the caves. Then we headed outside. Will immediately planted himself at the water/river table and kept himself occupied for the rest of our time there. Lana had to sample everything: climbing, playing with the water, fishing, building with foam pieces, and posing on the animal sculptures.
We finished up our play time, enjoyed our packed lunch then headed down the road 5 minutes to where our tubing place was. We signed our waivers, got the kids sunscreened up, got their lifejackets on, picked up our tubes, and caught the bus which took us down to the Comal River entrance.

I have to admit that I was a little uneasy about taking the kids tubing. I wasn't sure what it would be like... I was thinking rapids and crazy stuff. It was not like that at all! It was super smooth! And the kids had a blast!

We tied our 4 tubes together. Will and Lana had the tubes with bottoms so they could sit and play easier. We brought some water toys (2 water cannons and 2 water misters). There were a few chutes we got to go through and a few times we got out of our tubes to walk or swim down the river and the kids thought it was absolutely awesome that they could just float with their jackets on. It was fun, relaxing, energizing, and tiring all at once. I'm so glad we went. We would float by people and Will would ask to shoot them and many agreed, which just made his day.
There was a downside though. We had put our phones in a ziplock bag which we then placed in another bag that was not water proof but would prevent a ton of water from getting in and that bag was placed in a mesh bag to tie on our tubes and keep it raised above the water. Well... we either did not close the ziplock bag entirely or it had a hole in it and basically our phones were sitting completely submerged in water. Not good. At that point there was nothing we could do... once back at our car we set them out to soak up some sun and once home put them in rice.

As of the writing of this post my phone is a goner. We have a temporary solution (Ryan's old, working perfectly iPhone 3) that will at least provide a phone until the new iPhone is released in September and the iPhone 5 prices drop dramatically shortly thereafter. There is still hope that I will be able to retrieve the photos from my 4s eventually... but for now they are stuck. In the future I will be backing them up on the cloud!

Despite the damaged phones and some rudeness while trying to get on the bus after the river float, it was a great day. The kids went to bed wonderfully as well.

Tuesday we took our time to get going then I showed Retta what Lackland AFB was like and wandered around the BX. While driving around and trying not to get lost we ended up going by the tent city that has been set up for all the illegal immigrant children from the border. Kind of sad...

Anyway, she was sent back to Cali with the best of wishes and a hope to return again sometime. Then the kids and I headed home and began preparing for the arrival of my best friend and her kids who were coming the next afternoon.


No comments:

Post a Comment