Thursday, August 29, 2013

End of Summer

It's amazing how fast the summer flew by. While I looked forward to new routines and having the kids away each day to school, I held on as long as I could to keep summer going as long as possible.

My friend with whom I hung out moved away to another state (her hubby got another job) and now, I feel sad that I won't have anymore spontaneous texts to go see a movie in the evening or someplace to hang out during the day while her kiddo takes naps (and watch a movie.) I love that I became close to someone enough to really miss them when they aren't here anymore. However, I will definitely make a roadtrip probably in the summer to go visit her and her family. Since our kiddos attended the same school, it seems even lonelier not to be able to discuss what's happening at their school too. Waaaah! I love that we have so much technology that we can email, call, text, send pics/videos, Skype, etc and use snail mail so that we can keep contact with other people. I remember the days where I had a pen pal and didn't know what 'long distance' calls were.

We squeezed in another jaunt out of town to visit my younger daughter who moved away and enjoyed some fun outings while there. I wanted to be able to see where she lived and picture where she went to work. She was sweet enough to let me sleep in her bed while we stayed there two nights (the kiddos and her slept on the floor in her bedroom.) She and two other roommates share an apartment. While we were there, she took us around to really cool places. One of the coolest was to watch the bats fly out from under the Congress Street Bridge in Austin, TX. "The Congress Avenue Bridge spans Town Lake in downtown Austin and is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America. The colony is estimated at 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats. Each night from mid-March to November, the bats emerge from under the bridge at dusk to blanket the sky as they head out to forage for food. This event has become one of the most spectacular and unusual tourist attractions in Texas. The most spectacular bat flights are during hot, dry August nights, when multiple columns of bats emerge." We parked our car behind a building and walked up to see many flying out. The best time was a little earlier but there were still thousands that still were coming out as we got there.

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And we visited the state Capitol.

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We also went on a tour to visit some nearby caverns. My third grader loved the tour and really paid attention and asked relevant questions. Other than the hour walk in the very humid caverns that made you sweat profusely, it was very nice.

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This is a line of flint within the limestone rock.

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On the way home, we stopped a couple of places including a bakery and gift store. The bakery had excellent Czech Shortbread and fabulous pecan pie thingie with the best crust ever! Luckily, I didn't taste them until a couple hours later while I was driving or I would have bought more, lol! While we were in the gift store part of the bakery, there was a little tractor that my kindergartener's monkey had to ride! They were precious talking about how much 'Monkey' loved riding it so I had to take a picture.

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Tomorrow is the end of the second week of school and my kindergartener still clings to me as I thrust him out of my vehicle and I watch him start to tear up or cry as he is walked to his class by my older son. I know he'll get into the routine soon's hard for the both of us....but I love his big smile and happy conversation as I pick him up in the afternoon! Bring on the fall!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

George Ranch Visit

I had a Groupon certificate to the George Ranch Historical Park near Houston, Texas and we finally visited there last week. We were on our way somewhere else and it was on the way so we stopped. We had forgotten how HOT it was though so we didn't stay very long. We will definitely return to see the rest of the Park. Luckily, we arrived just before the cattle demonstration. The park itself is still a 20,000 acre working ranch and the demonstration showed how they rounded up cattle and some of their practices they used in the last hundred years or so. There are cattle all over the place around here in Texas where we live and I've always wanted to stop at one and look around. This was the next best thing. And my son loved to see his favorite 'amazing' animal, the Texas Longhorn.

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And then they showed how they used to dip the cattle to eradicate a certain type of tick that killed many of them during the last century. It allowed us to see some cattle (and real cowboys) up close.

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There was a wagon that carried you around to the different residences on the ranch or you could walk around. We chose to wait until we return to see all of them but we did notice a warning sign if we chose to walk around, lol!

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And, my kiddo decided that even though he wanted to grow up to be a Navy Seal, he thinks being a cowboy seems even more cool. He loves the thought of using all the farm equipment as well as riding the horses to round up the cattle. Of course, he has now been browsing the internet looking for ranches where he could go and learn how to be a real cowboy next summer. Both my hubby and my kiddo got cowboy hats while there. Here is a pic of my kiddo the next day in front of my SIL and BILs tractor. He loves this blue 'working shirt' and wears it ALL the time! The new cowboy hat totally completed the look he wanted.

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Monday, August 05, 2013

TVs at restaurants...

It's my pet peeve, so to speak. I don't mind them, per se, but I happen to have family members who can't resist looking at them, even when they're muted. We went to a restaurant a couple of weeks ago. I noticed these two watching not one, but two different flat screen televisions that were on the walls. They were reading the subtitles or watching whatever was on (Full House reruns!!)I just figure that if you're at a restaurant, you're there to eat or visit. I don't want to watch tv there. At one point, I actually took a picture, lol! I definitely learned them away from the screens next time. It happens at home too so I can't blame them...too much!

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However, there are times, I do the same thing, in a way. If I am at home and am browsing through the tv channels, if I come across certain movies like Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually, You've Got Mail, any of the Bourne trilogy, I'm done. I stop whatever I'm doing at the time (or adapt so that I can watch too) and finish watching the movie.