Saturday, August 8, 2009

I Have A Question

During our stay in TX, we stayed at a hotel. My in-laws graciously covered the cost for everyone who needed one. That helped us out tremendously. I have no question there. No, my question is where do people's manners go when they stay at these places???

I understand that people are traveling, perhaps driving long distances with their kids. I have been there and done that many times with my own kids. Maybe you are one of a few adults on a trip with a bus load of noisy teenagers. Whatever the case may be, is it really that difficult to have a cut off point. For instance no running up and down the halls past 9PM. Or maybe remember that the hotel doors will slam if you don't slow it down. You should realize that just because you aren't going to bed, doesn't mean nobody else is. Likewise, just because you are leaving at o dark thirty, doesn't mean your neighbors are.

I just wonder where people's manners go. Did they leave them at home? Or were they simply that rude to start with? Whatever the case may be, the whole time we were there, we had door slammers, people running up and down the halls at all hours, as well as shouting matches. We didn't stay in a dumpy hotel either. It was a nice one. Brand new in fact, in a good part of town. So why all the horrible manners??? Maybe I can write a book about hotel etiquette!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Eeebie Jeebies!

So Emmy has challenged me again. This time, I am to share one of my creepier and crawlier moments. I could only think of one. When I told my mom which one it was, she said, "I thought for sure you would pick the one when you put the bowl over the spider." My eyes widened. Oh man! I forgot all about that! That was horrible!

I was pregnant with my second child, and I was home alone...isn't that always the way??? My daughter was taking a nap. Thank goodness. I was watching TV or something--this part escapes me--when I saw something on the floor moving. I looked over to where I saw the movement. There was no mistaking what I saw. It was HUGE. Borderline on a tarantula. And they were actually not unheard of where I lived. I stared at the monster spider frozen in my spot. What do I do??? Rich is at work. I can't kill it. It might try to eat me! It might eat my baby girl sleeping in her room. Thank goodness she was sleeping. She is so high strung. I can't imagine where she gets that. But what can I do about this holy terror that is obviously going to take over my house? No men were at home--we lived on a military base. It was wives only at this hour. Besides, Spider-zilla was blocking the path to the door! I called my mom. She couldn't kill the spider either--not form 500 miles away-- but maybe she could calm my nerves and help me find the answer.

My mom wasn't home, but my dad was. I told him about the spider. How big it was, what color and so on. He said it sounded like a brown recluse. Those are dangerous. He also mentioned a wolf spider. Well I don't know what it was, but I did know it was big. Very BIG. He asked me if I could put something over it. I grabbed the first thing I could think of that would be big enough. A crystal bowl. And for added insurance, a book on top of that. Then I just prayed that Kristin would sleep until after Rich got home and took care of the intruder.

When Rich got home, he was bombarded by his crazy, hormone raging, pregnant wife to get rid of the beast that was threatening the life of his wife and unborn child! Okay maybe it wasn't that bad, but it was close. It was big enough that even he didn't want to step on it. After some careful consideration of the situation he looked around for something flat. He finally landed on a 3 ring binder. He carefully slid the binder under the bowl and the spider and then carried him outside and released him back into the wild. Joy filled the land.
This is what I was looking at that day.

So what was the other buggy story? Well, if you are from CA you might know what a potato bug is. If you are from ID, it is something totally different than what you are thinking! A potato bug, is actually a Jerusalem Cricket or Mother of Earth bug. Whatever it is, it is ugly, big and scary! As far as I know, they do not bite or sting. They are not venomous. Their size and appearance alone are enough to ward off any predators. Except for maybe a seagull.

One summer night, we were all hanging around on the front porch. My nephew, Jason was about 7 if that, was wearing his brand new cowboy boots. He was jumping all over the place. The sound they made was awesome to his young mind. He was loving those boots. It was then, that the grown-ups spotted the bug in question. Eeeeeew! Nobody, and I mean nobody wanted to try stepping on it. They are very hearty critters. But nobody wanted it crawling around, or worse getting in the house. So in a moment of brilliance, we told young Jason to stomp on the bug with his boots. Being a boy, a boy with no fear and grand stomping boots, he happily obliged. He took a flying leap and landed smack right on top of the unsuspecting insect. SPLAT! Bug guts and juice everywhere. It was definitely a dead potato bug now. Bleah!
A potato bug, Jerusalem Cricket, Mother of Earth bug. Nasty!

The Wrap Up

July 26 and 27.

The last two days of our vacation were perhaps the quietest. The first surprise was we bowed out of church. I just wanted to sleep in, and let my body decide when it was time to wake up. I even went as far as to buy mini muffins and milk for our breakfast so we wouldn't have to worry about making the breakfast deadline.

Since we didn't go to church, we dove into our scriptures and read for about 30 minutes. Shortly after that, our phone rang with an invitation to breakfast. We also bowed out of that one as we were still in our jammies and not showered. It was nice to be lazy after all the running around we had been doing. We met up with the rest of the family after they came back from breakfast.

We went and saw G-Force as our last full family outing. Afterward,we said our first goodbyes before lunch. Michele, Denise, Georgia and Jack were headed back to Dallas. We hated to see them go. It was a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. The kids were definitely going to miss each other. And the kids that stayed behind would also be missing Aunt Micki and Aunt Denise.

The next day consisted of taking Ryan to the Build-A-Bear factory where he built his first "bear." He chose a Jack Russell Terrier. He was a bit overwhelmed by the whole experience, but in the end he was happy to have done it. Next some swim time, and then dinner at Willie's once again. After dinner we had one more birthday to celebrate, Erin's.

All in all it was a fun and action-packed adventure of a vacation. We truly needed a vacation from our vacation.
Emily and Denise
Kristin and Aunt Micki
And then there were three. Erin, Kristin, and Emily.
The Birthday Girl. The big one-oh!
Ryan's Build-A-Bear. He named him "Jack." Hmmmm...wonder why...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The River Walk. July 25

Another day. Another adventure!

Today we would be going to the San Antonio Riverwalk. Grandpa stayed behind as he has a hard time getting around, and this is a lot of walking and a lot of stair climbing. We gathered in the hotel lobby and waited for Rob and Shelly to arrive as we needed the extra vehicle and hey, they wanted to go too! While we sat waiting, we discovered a very LARGE hornet in the doorway. It was hovering around the first set of doors in between the doors. Nobody wanted to go near it. I am not kidding, this thing was dragon fly size, but it was NOT a dragon fly! My sister-in-law, Michele, finally grabbed a magazine and rolled it up. She was scared to do it, but man she got in there and swatted that thing enough to get it out with out killing it. We cheered her. I think the hotel was glad when we were gone.

Once at The Riverwalk, we started with a little shopping. It was there that Aunt Sandi gave each of the kids $20 to spend. What a good and sweet aunt to spoil her neices and nephews! Hehe. The first store was The Purple Store. Everything in it (just about) is purple! It smelled like grape too. That part was kind of gross, but otherwise it was a fun store.

We did the touristy thing and went on a riverboat. What's the Riverwalk without a riverboat ride? As we waited in line, there were several birds in the rafters above, and wouldn't you know it, one of them nasty buggers pooped ON Ryan!!! Rob was standing closet to me, and we both couldn't see where it went, just that it had come close to or right on the boy. Rob finally found a small smudge of stuff on Ryan's shirt and dabbed it with a hanky. A real one! What a boy scout! Shortly after that, I was reapplying sunscreen and went to put some on Ryan. It was when I went under the collar of his shirt, that I saw that the turd in question had gotten INSIDE of his shirt. That hanky didn't stand a chance. We got most of it up, but in the end the hanky met its untimely demise and Ryan would need a bath that night.

Before we actually took off on our "cruise", there was an entire platoon passing by. The most amazing part is everyone started applauding! It was easily five minutes of cheering and clapping. Yes, we do support our troops!
Waiting to go on our boat ride. Left: Rich, Rob and Erin
Right: Kristin, Ryan, Jack and Michele.
Sandi, Georgia(can't see her much) Denise--is she seasick??--
Marsha(Busi) waves, and Shelly didn't turn around. Haha.
Kristin taking a break while we wait (forever) for our table.
This sign was on a bathroom stall door at The Hard Rock Cafe. I never realized Nuclear weapons in bathrooms was a problem.
Our rowdy bunch--and the kids were rowdy too!
The whole family. Each group had a color. And each shirt was numbered according to where they fell in the age line. I am #9--the youngest adult. I always let my bro-in-law know it!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Family Pictures--July 24, 2009

Friday was specifically set aside for family photos. The entire family as well as individual. It was requested that we all wear white shirts and denim shorts/pants. Well the girls even have white shirts??? Let's face it, most kids clothes have some kind of something on them, even when they are a tweener. Happily, I remembered that they both indeed had a white shirt. Ryan also had one. A white polo. Perfect. I have a few white shirts myself. The one I wanted was dirty and needed washing. No worries, I would wash it and pack it. Fast Foward to Friday morning.

I tunnel through the kids clothes--which I put in the little drawers of the hotel room. I found Emily's shirt and Ryan's, but not Kristin's. Hmmmm. I am positive I packed it. I double checked. Nope it is not there. Don't panic. We can ask Shelly if Erin has an extra white shirt. I go into my suitcase. My white shirt is also MIA. Okay the blood is starting to course through my veins at an alarming pace. Don't panic. I am sure Shelly has an extra shirt for me. In fact she did. She sent Rob over with a shirt for me and Kristin. Saved!

After that little hiccup, we headed to photography studio. Ryan was already cranky, and he simply does not want his picture taken! This day was no acception, except maybe he was extra cranky and whiny. He cried, buried his face, threw fits. We started bribing him. "We'll get you a car!" He loves his cars. Well at least the prospect of getting a car calmed him a little. Soon other family members were saying they would buy him one too. All he had to do was smile. I was getting tired. Rich was getting frustrated. I just wanted to quit. Busi wanted one with all the grandkids. Ryan just cried, "I want Mommy!" He was just so tired. So, with one last ditch effort I cuddled him, and spoke softly to him and slowly brought him to Busi. The very second I sat him in her lap he started bawling. The photographer took two pictures, and we all bought the best one. It truly spoke volumes of the whole experience. We did actually manage a good group photo, and a fantastic one of just our family. Ryan ended up with 3 cars, and big truck to tow his cars.

After pictures, we went to lunch at a little place called "Willie's." It was cool because there was a sandbox on the patio. They had fans blowing with misters. It kind of worked. But the kids loved it.

Next was swimming, and this time I got pictures! Then that evening we celebrated Grandpa Larry's 65th birthday. It was another full and busy day!
Look at that poor baby. He did smile once tho.
The sandbox at Willie's. The food was really good too.
Jack jumping in.
Erin's " Rock Star" dive.
Kristin's "rock star" dive.
A swimmer in the making.
The cake. Each of the grandkids decorated it.
The birthday boy. Grandpa Larry.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sea World, July 23, 2009

Today was Sea World. We got up early despite still feeling jet lagged and already being worn out. Ryan was super cranky at this point, and not much fun to be with, but we pressed onward to our grand adventure! We were very fortunate to be in the company of season ticket holders(Rob and Shelly). They had special discount coupons for everyone. We would have bought some for us as well, had it covered the San Diego park. It doesn't. Just theirs. Oh well. I had the bright idea of renting a stroller so that Ryan could ride. Well he would have nothing to do with it. It was then that realized my telephoto lens was missing. I went back to the stroller place and where we got our tickets neither had seen it. It was in its case and ON my shoulder. How did it get away from me? I don't even remember bumping into anyone. Rich retraced our steps and nothing. It was just gone!

As awful as that was, we started our day. San Antonio Sea World has a water park, and Rob and Shelly rented out two cabanas for the family as their treat to us. And what a treat it was! It came fully stocked with water and pop, towels and even a cabana person! Who's soul purpose was to stay there and make sure you had everything you needed. It was heaven. I could have stayed there all day! We had it for the day so why not??? well, we had plans. it was well planned out actually and we all had a good time--well maybe Ryan was a little unsure most of the day, but he remembers the dolphins and the whales.

By the days end, when the park closed at 8, we were whipped, sunburned and hurting. My poor sister-in-law could hardly walk. I hurt just watching her hobble back to the car. We all stopped at Arby's for dinner, but smart Shelly said, "We are not going in!" Hahaha. That was fine with me, we were grubby, tired and smelly.

When we got back to the hotel, it was time for baths, because tomorrow was picture day! We joked about us all being red-faced and puffy-eyed.
A very tired and unhappy Ryan.
Cousins: Georiga & Jack on the left. Erin front and center. Sisters Kristin and Emily on the right.
Feeding the dolphins. Holding a dead fish is kind of gross, but petting a dolphin is way cool!
Rich's brother Rob and father Larry. Here is one of the cabana's. The other is behind the person taking the picture. The cabana's were great, despite the skunk smell. Oops a skunk got into the park and it sprayed a hello!
Clyde and Seymour the Sea Lion and Walrus show. Ryan and I missed this one.
"Viva" a show of acrobats and fantastic feats between people and dolphins.
Not me. No thanks!
Meeting and petting penguins!
Each of us got a turn.
Ryan wouldn't and couldn't go, so Rich stayed behind.
And what is Sea World without Shamu!

All in all it was a fun day. Ryan finally fell asleep in my arms after the penguin experience. Luckily we were at the cabana, and I could just lounge while he slept. We got a few trinkets from the day and called it quits after the Shamu show was over.

Next portraits!