Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Celebrating Summer Vacation - Part 1


San Antonio, TX - River walk
It is officially summer!!!  Sophia's last day of preschool was Thursday, so we kicked off summer vacation by packing up the car Friday morning and hitting the road to San Antonio.  Our plans were to arrive around lunchtime, soak up some sun along the River walk and take the kids swimming at the hotel pool.  For the first time ever, we took our new babysitter nanny, I will call her Miss K, with us on our short vacation. 

Since Sophia is out of preschool for the summer, we had to find arrangements for some part-time child care.  When I brought up the idea of sending her back to Tallen's in-home daycare, she declared herself too old to go there. 

"They take naps at Mrs. L's house.  I'm too big for naps, that is just for babies!" she told me. 

So, Miss K is Sophia's new "nanny" for the summer.  I just like saying a nanny because it sounds way more exciting than babysitter.  Miss K will be coming to our house three days a week (about the same hours as preschool) and her main job is to make sure Sophia has a lot of fun while both her parents are busy at work.  To let Miss K get to know us and the kids better, we invited her to come with us on vacation. 

Let me just stop for a moment and say this... If you have young kids and you have ever taken them anywhere for vacation, then you know that at some point during the trip... someone is going to have a meltdown.  It could be one of your children at a time, both children at once, or even the kids and one of the parents having a meltdown.  So, in essence, in order to let Miss K get to know us and how our family works, we brought her along.  (Shh!  Another reason we brought her was so Trey and I could have a night out on the River walk while she stayed back at the hotel with the kids.  Family vacation AND a date night?  Whoohoo, count me in!)

About an hour into the trip, the kids started asking for snacks and yelling for someone to pick up the toys they kept dropping and could not reach from their car seat.  I sat calmly in the front seat of the car with my shoes kicked off, sipping my chai latte and blocking out the noise enjoying the scenery while Miss K was hard at work, retrieving lost toys, dispensing my carefully packed snacks and spending most of her time turned around backwards in her seat to take care of the kids.  Did I mention that I get carsick very easily, especially when I have to turn around and look at the kids?  I almost reached over and kissed my husband to express my gratitude for his genius idea to bring a nanny with us on vacation... but I didn't want to spill my latte.  Note to hubby: Best Idea Ever.  I think I even took a nap during our five hour drive through Texas. 

Yes, there was a double child meltdown at some point in the car (probably when the Scooby Doo DVD was over) but it was expected and we all survived.   

Once we got to San Antonio, the kids were full of snacks (thanks Miss K) but the adults were HUNGRY.  We were pleasantly surprised to find that our hotel room was ready for check in when we arrived at 12:30 PM (when does that ever happen?) so we quickly dropped off our luggage and headed down to the River walk to find a place to eat lunch.

We can never get Tallen to actually look at the camera when we take his picture.
I think we made it less than a block before we settled on the closest restaurant with outdoor seating.  Although the food was fine, the smell from the birds doing their business was pretty strong.  Sophia even noticed and told us loudly several times, "It smells like bird poo!"  We didn't linger long after lunch, but walked next door to buy tickets for the boat ride down the River walk. 

Little T and Little S are deep in conversation.  Maybe they were planning their next double meltdown.
Have you ever tried to get a just turned-two year old to sit still on a boat for about 30 minutes?  I'm sure the people around us were thrilled that Tallen was moving around the entire time. 

NO!  I will NOT sit down!!
We were squeezed in there pretty tight while he decided to play Goldilocks on our laps the entire time. 

He would climb onto Daddy's lap, TOO HARD, so he climbed back down. 
Then he would climb onto Mommy's lap, TOO SOFT, so he climbed back down.   
Finally he climbed up into Miss K's lap, and decided it was JUST RIGHT (for about 30 seconds then he would start all over again).

After the boat ride we headed back to the hotel so the kids could cool off at the indoor pool.  Then we took advantage of the "non-Mommy approved" free food at the hotel; hot dogs (choking hazard), nacho chips (covered with that strange melted cheese product) and popcorn (yet another choking hazard).  However, the food was FREE and we did not have to take our overtired kids (no naps the entire day) out to another restaurant for dinner.

It also meant something really exciting for Mommy and Daddy...

Trey and I saying, "We escaped from the kids!"
After a quick shower, getting Tallen to sleep and putting on a movie for Sophia, we left both kids with Miss K and headed out on the River walk for a date night!  As much as I LOVE my kids, I loved my husband first and we really enjoy our date nights.  Getting a chance to walk along the river without worrying about a child falling in the water or hearing one of them ask for ice cream 7,000 times in a row was... well, it was actually enjoyable.  
No strollers, no diaper bag and no kids to keep from falling in the river!
We could stroll along at our own pace, check out the shops and vendors along the way and choose a restaurant where we wanted to eat, and not one based on the quality of their kid's menu.

Strolling along, searching for a place to eat.

After lots of walking and working up an appetite, we chose an Italian restaurant overlooking the water.  Although we were eating Italian, a local mariachi band was playing to the customers eating dinner in the restaurant.  They stopped by to see if we wanted to be "serenaded"... Trey knows that this is my nightmare.  If a mariachi band would ever just walk up to our table and start playing for us (with the entire restaurant staring, I might have a panic attack on the spot.  So he quickly told them, No thanks, and they moved on.  Whew, crisis averted.

Good Night San Antonio!
After dinner we walked some more, did some people watching, and checked out a few places for drinks.  Sadly, we knew we had to get up early the next morning so we did not stay out too late.  We brought some leftovers from dinner back to Miss K and Sophia (who we knew would still be up) and were in bed before 11 PM.  I know, we really know how to live it up!  Keep in mind, this was still our family vacation and we had a busy day planned for SeaWorld! 

I am pretty wordy today, so I am going to save Day 2 of our summer vacation for tomorrow.  Check back to see why I could have used a second pair of PJ's for a one night vacation (hint: night terrors) and for a recap of SeaWorld.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Enjoyed reading about your family vacation. I just kept thinking how proud your grandma Patty would be of you and your family.