This week Ryan had to go to a workshop in Houston for two nights, so we took the opportunity and free hotel room and went on a little mini family vacation while he was there. It didn't hurt that the workshop was being held at the Omni hotel, which is very fancy by our standards. No free breakfast, but they did give us champagne at check-in so all was forgiven. The morning after we arrived we sent Ryan off to sit in a conference room all day and headed to the beach. As I left, he called to me "You win this week!" We have an informal tally going of whose job is more fun. Some weeks Ryan's is more fun (wind tunnel, fancy catered lunches, etc), sometimes mine is more fun (we get to laze around all morning in our jammies eating crackers until someone feels like going to the pool). Sometimes Ryan's job is frustrating and stressful, sometimes the kids all start vomiting at the same time. You win some you lose some. And I definitely got the better deal this week.
I mean, keeping three kids' heads above water in the Gulf of Mexico is challenging, but it's SO MUCH FUN to watch them play. It didn't take thirty seconds for James to get knocked flat by a wave, but he was laughing hysterically as I plucked him out of the water by the shoulders of his lifejacket. Wes preferred to stand on dry land then run full speed at the water until he fell in. Charlie liked to body surf. I don't have any pictures of this part of our day because I had my hands very, very full, as you might imagine.
We also dug some holes.
And ate lots of junk food. My commitment to healthy, natural eating came to a spectacular end when one of the kids put a package of Little Debbie Snack Cakes and some Bugles in my cart at Target (where we stopped for bananas, peanut butter, and bread containing no HFCS) and I didn't notice until we were checking out. MAN, it was glorious. I am officially off the wagon.
We spent about three hours at the beach and then it was time for another treat at the coolest Sonic EVER. The view from my car:
Ryan was just finishing up when we got back all rosy cheeked and sticky and covered with sand. We had a nice dinner with old friends and then passed out cold back at the hotel. Wes wouldn't calm down enough to sleep near James so we made him his own little cozy nook under the counter that held the coffeemaker. He loved it
And the next day we hit the zoo with my very gracious friend Peter who agreed to help me for the day.
We saw lots of neat things, but what the kids keep telling people is that we saw this monkey go potty right in front of us.
The kids were starting to fade near the end, but I still attempted a happy family picture. When Wes sees this picture he says "I said I didn't want to look at the giraffes." I think it's too soon to make jokes about it.
They got really feisty by the time we got to the car and I was starting to panic since I didn't know the area very well but then a Wendy's drive through sign appeared out of nowhere and the day was saved!
Back at the hotel we checked out and loaded the car then headed to the pool for a quick dip that ended up lasting three hours. In exchange for all that fun I had with the kids, Ryan insisted that I sit under an umbrella, read my book, and order whatever I wanted. I have a new standard for vacation relaxation, by the way. This was fabulous.
Ryan had a slightly less relaxing, but also enjoyable time, from what I could see over the end of my cushy chaise lounge.
We stayed until I looked down from my book and noticed that Wes had fallen asleep mid-trail-mix-bender. And then we stayed probably an hour more. He just looked so comfy!
And then it was time to go. The kids didn't even make it to the city limits.