We spent the weekend an hour south of here, which for some reason makes it South Texas instead of Central Texas, hence the Espanol. It was fascinating to me how the river we played in looked so different than the rivers at home (an hour away) and it made me want to bring my Earth Science students down here in the fall to show them. I had a huge awesome lab all planned out in my head and then remembered that I have more than forty students, which might make such an endeavor slightly challenging in the logistics department. Still have to think that one over.
Anyway, my parents gifted us two nights in a cabin at this campground on a river. We finally were able to make it happen this weekend, even though we had to strap a feverish and nauseous Wes into the car Friday afternoon and hope hope hope he felt better in the morning. Fortunately, he managed a half grilled cheese in the car, fell asleep upon arrival, and woke up good as new.
We woke up too early to use the pool (and also before the camp store opened, much to my chagrin, because in spite of remembering to bring a veritable CVS of children's medications, I FORGOT TO PACK THE KEURIG, so by 10:30 I had this CRAZY HEADACHE that only felt better if I closed one eye and looked away from the sun. At 10:30 we made it back to the cabin and camp store and I went in to find FREE COFFEE. I've never enjoyed drinking coffee in the eighty-three degree sunshine more. Also: we also forgot to pack beer, but remembered to pick some up at a gas station just outside of camp. Priorities.). Since it was too early to use the pool we decided to go for a family walk to see the river, which my sister had described as too muddy to swim in.
James says PISH POSH MUD:
This activity was made even more exciting when I saw a SWIMMING SNAKE on the opposite bank. The opposite bank part was vaguely reassuring until I saw the same snake SWIM ACROSS THE RIVER AND INTO SOME GRASS NEAR WHERE WE WERE WADING.
I did not tell Charley about the snake because he would have wanted to catch it and I was not interested in anyone being airlifted to the nearest hospital for antivenin.
Until he decided to walk right through that very patch of reeds and then I screeched "OMG GET OUT OF THE GRASS GET OUT OF THE GRASS GETOUTOFTHEGRASS."
Mary was happy to sit on a towel and watch for a while, then whined pitifully until I asked her "Do you want to get in the water?" and she said "YEAH!"
After lunch she napped and the boys, including Ryan, spent nearly three hours in the pool while I drank coffee and read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (sidenote: OMG.) on the shady porch. This activity was made considerably more enjoyable by the George Strait cover band that was playing nearby for (I think) a BBQ cookoff that was happening at the campground. Hashtag Texas.
Everyone needed some down time after three hours in the pool so we loaded up in the car and drove into town for ice cream at a place we saw on the PBS show "Daytripper". I had "goat cheese and raspberry jam" ice cream, while the kids and Ryan enjoyed banana pudding, s'mores, and chocolate milkshake flavors. SO GOOD. And the place was built into an old alley so the six of us took up the entire seating area. Strongly recommend Rhea's Ice Cream. So fun. Also fun, negotiating city streets with four kids and no stroller. We have lots of practice to do before our Griswold's Family Vacation to NYC this summer.
Back at camp we enjoyed lots more playground time and convinced Mary how fun it is to stay on the porch, so Ryan and I could relax too. The playground was visible from our porch, so the boys could all run free, this is a genius way to travel.
Dinner was hot dogs, fruit, potato salad, and s'mores. Mary kept climbing things and falling off, so she had to go to bed before s'mores.
We were all in bed by 8:30 and slept soundly until the sun shot laser death rays through our window around 7:00. Ryan and I packed up the car and then headed to the playground where I struck up a conversation with another mom who turned out to be a NASA engineer with a NASA engineer husband. Ryan and the dad talked about motor control for nearly an hour while pushing babies on swings, which was adorable. When I told Ryan in an offhand way that the mom worked on a humanoid robot that lives on the ISS, his eyes got really big and he exclaimed "ROBONAUT?!" You guys. Charley even had his Goddard Space Center shirt on. WE ARE TOTAL SPACE NERDS. Serendipitous!
We finally tore ourselves away from that conversation with promises to catch up via LinkedIn (Ryan) and headed back into town at a taco restaurant also recommended by the Daytripper. We had to delay breakfast by a few minutes because James had a tantrum in the parking lot and we were waiting for him to calm down (which he declared emphatically he would NEVER EVER EVER NEVER DO) but Herbert's Tacos did not disappoint. It was off the beaten path with great food and great atmosphere. It was empty when we arrived but the line was out the door when we left. My migas were out of this world, the salsa was fresh, and the kids' meals were huge and filling. We loved San Marcos and mentioned several times the large state university in town and wondered hmmm... We really really really love our current city. It's a struggle.
After breakfast we got back on the road and drove an uneventful hour north to our house, uneventful except for the massive blowout Mary had in her carseat that had Charley hanging his head out the open window as we pulled into the neighborhood. Ryan had to hose her off as soon as we pulled up. Her carseat will never be the same.
Then we shared the kind of gut it out just make it to bedtime post-trip afternoon we were expecting. Except in addition to the five loads of laundry and unpacking the car, we also had a Cub Scout meeting, exams to grade, and a dinner for the seniors to attend. But we made it. We were grouchy but we made it. Phew!
VIA CON DIOS!