Thursday, October 23, 2008

Our Trip to Austin & San Marcos Texas

On October 3rd we went to Austin, TX for Eddie's cousin Ricky's wedding. We were supposed to leave at 8 a.m. but somehow missed the alarm clock and didn't wake up til then, Ooops! We ended up leaving at 9 a.m. We made pretty good time and got to our hotel in Austin around 4:30. We stayed at the Embassy Suites-Austin Central. It was okay looking on the outside, but beautiful on the inside. It had 10 floors and a huge atrium area in the middle with fountains and large rocks. Our room was a 2 room suite with a sitting room and 1 bedroom.

The wedding was at 7 so I went ahead and started getting ready. At 6 we went down looking for his brothers but instead ran into his cousin Jeremy and his wife and kids. We hadn't seen him in over 3 years. It was really good to see him. He is like a comedian, keeps us laughing all the time! He lived with us for a few months like 13 yrs. ago and that was fun times! He and his family were leaving on the hotel shuttle to the wedding and asked if we were leaving yet. We told him we were looking for his brother's and would catch the next shuttle. But a few minutes later he came back to tell us there were 5 spots left on the shuttle so we should go now. We did and got to the wedding early, but that was okay because before the wedding they were having a cocktail hour. So when we got there not many people were there and we got to eat the yummy foods they had situated throughout the mansion!
It was definitely a different wedding. Beautiful, just different then we've ever been to. The theme was 1920's. It was held in an old mansion. They did a cocktail hour before and everyone ate, drank and mingled. Then the wedding was held on the stairs, which was pretty but very hard for everyone to see since it was in the foyer area. After the wedding we were led to the Ballroom for dinner and dancing. At the end all of the guests lined the front walk of the mansion and lit sparklers to hold up as they exited to the limo. It was pretty neat.
We missed the first shuttle back so instead rode with Eddie's brother, wife and parents. Everyone in the wedding party including the bride and groom were going out after so Eddie and his brother went. Of course I couldn't go b/c I had to stay back with the kids. Now I know why Eddie's parents rushed back to their room and quickly shut the door barely saying goodnight! I guess they thought I might ask them to watch the kids...yeah right, like I'd start now. No thanks!
Instead the kids and I went down to my sister in law Chantelle's room and hung with her til about 1 a.m. Eddie didn't get back until sometime around 3 a.m. We didn't get much sleep because we had to meet everyone for breakfast in the atrium at 9. We got there about 9:30, it was an awesome breakfast. Probably the best I've had at any hotel throughout the Country! Omelets made to order, pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs, hashbrowns, pastries, juices...anything you can imagine, for free! The best kind, LOL!
We ate and then talked with family members and then hit the road by 11. We drove to San Marcos about 45 minutes west of Austin. Cute little college town. We went to Wonder World Cave. It's a dry cave unlike the ones I've been to in Colorado, it was actually formed by an earthquake and is called the Balcones Fault Line. To read more about the park and cave tour click the link:
It was pretty cool and the kids liked it. After the cave tour they take you back up in an elevator 190 feet up to an observation tower so that you can look down on the fault line. After that they take you to the anti-gravity house. That was pretty neat! I can't really explain it so read about it in the link above. After that we took a train ride across the street and through a waterfall into a petting zoo. We got to pet and feed deer. The kids like that too.
After we were done there we headed back on the country roads to I-10, but along the way saw something falling from the sky. After driving a little further we realized it was a parachute and a person! We had come up to the San Marcos Skydive base. My Dad had told me about it, but I wasn't sure where it was. He had jumped here when he was in the Army 40 yrs. ago. The airborne guys had teased he and a few other Army guys so much that my Dad and some other guys went and jumped just to prove they could do it! So we stopped and took pictures of the kids. While taking their pictures 2 girls were driving out and stopped to take pics. I asked if they'd like me to take their pic together, so I did and found out that they were the ones who had just jumped! I told them they were brave but crazy!
After that we headed home and made it back to Baton Rouge a little after 10.
Here are some pics from our trip-

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Daytrip to see old friends =)

Today the kids and I got up early, picked up my Mom at 9:30 and hit the interstate. We went to see our old neighbors and great friends Mrs. Sandy and Mr. John. They were our neighbors for 12 years when we lived in New Orleans. They have since moved to Pass Christian, Mississippi, a beach town just a few miles from Biloxi. We were planning to be there for 11:00 but we made 2 stops and I misread their directions and got a little lost on the way! We got there at 11:30 finally and as I passed a large, beautiful yellow house I stopped as I remembered that was the one I saw in their Christmas picture. We backed up and pulled into their long driveway. They were sitting out on their Acadian style porch and their dogs ran up to my truck to greet us. One is a huge sheepdog named Max and the other a mix breed named Dooby.
We went in and they showed us around. When they bought this house it was completed on the outside but nothing had been done on the inside. So they pretty much finished it and designed the inside the way they wanted it. It was very nice and comfortable, a lot of class with a touch of country. I left them inside to talk and catch up and I took the kids outside to go run and play on their land. They had a huge front yard and on one side had a bench and a hammock so we all took turns laying on that. And the kids had a blast playing with the dogs! Then we ate lunch. Sandy had asked if we wanted taco's or roast beef sandwiches. We opted for the roast beef sandwiches b/c I didn't want her to go through to much trouble and just keep it simple. Well, I thought we'd have just deli roast beef on bread, but no, she had cooked a real roast overnight, with bread rolls, homemade potato salad, and chips. It was SO good! After we ate we all went out back on their porch and sat and talked and watched the kids play with the dogs. Oh, and Logan figured out that he could fit underneath their house where the dogs couldn't get him, LOL! That was funny. Well, until I told him he had to come out b/c I was scared there could be spiders or some nasty bugs hiding under there with him. Then we had some brownies for dessert and talked some more. It was really good to catch up with them. The only part I didn't like was when Mr. John tried to bring up the old times of me when I was in my awkward teen years, LOL! Ya know like when I used to wear my Dad's Army camo gear and wore army boots and had pink hair, the rebellious years I guess you would call it! I put an end to that conversation real quick! See I turned out ok and now I've been married 16 yrs. and am raising 3 well rounded, well behaved, smart little boys =)
Around 3:45 we said our goodbye's and headed to the front yard to tell the dogs bye.
The beach is only 15 minutes down the road from them and I wanted to go take a peek to see what the recent hurricane's had done. So we headed down the road. We got there pretty quick and parked and walked through the sand down to the gulf. It was a chilly day so there was no one out there. The beach looked really funny, I guess b/c they had been working on leveling it out again after Hurricane's Gustav and Ike. We let the kids play for a bit, took some pictures and then headed back to the truck. I had wanted to take a drive a few minutes the other way toward Biloxi to see how it's cleaned up since Hurricane Katrina. It was pretty much completely wiped out and I know a lot of places that we used to go to aren't being rebuilt. The main thing being Red Lobster. We used to like to go there and you could see the ocean while you were eating, it was nice. Oh well, maybe another day we'll take a drive down there.
We got back on the road and made it home by 6:30.
Here are some pics of the day-

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Getting behind again! Dad's 65th Birthday!

My parents came into town from New jersey on Sept. 20. The 24th was my Dad's 65th birthday so I planned a surprise b-day party for him that Friday the 26th. That was a busy day! I knew my sister or brother wouldn't have time to help so I ordered everything, double checked everything, picked up everything and decorated. I thought I had it all good to go, but on my second stop to pick up the cake and sandwich tray at Ralph's market she goes and get the cake but can't seem to find the party tray. She kept walking around like an idiot until I finally said to her "your not about to tell me you can't find the sandwich tray are you?" She replies "yep, that's exactly what I'm about to tell you". I was pissed. I had hot food waiting in the truck, and my 2 older kids. I told her I had to have that tray, there's just no way I can get by without it. So she asked if I could wait while she made it. She rushed and got everything and made 100 finger sandwiches in about 20 minutes. I was still pissed though. So then I make it to the house where we had the party about 30 minutes later then planned. I had it at my parents neighbors house. I still had to set up, decorate and get dressed! Thank goodness the neighbor's girlfriend was there. She helped me out a lot. Everyone got there early and at 7:10 my Mom & sister and her kids brought my Dad over (he thought he was coming over for drinks) We were all waiting and yelled out surprise and then sang Happy Birthday to him and let him blow out his candles. He was very surprised and we had a great party with lots of yummy food!
About 40 minutes after the party got started my second surprise walked in. I had invited our old neighbors and great friends from when we lived in New Orleans. They live in Pass Christian, MS now so they had a 2 hour drive. So they walk in to the party and come toward me and we hug and my Mom is sitting at the bar in the kitchen with the funniest look on her face! Seriously, I wish I had my camera on to capture it. She hadn't seen them in so long and she was trying to figure out who they were from a distance. So I turn them around and she finally realizes who they are and she and my Dad were very surprised =) They ended up staying after the party and going back to my parents house til after midnight.
And of course my sister and brother both left early and left me to pick up and clean everything! Figures! Here are some pics below...
Dad with his grandkids...not a great pic but what can I say? It's hard to get them to all smile!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hurricane Gustav's Final Blow

That damn hurricane just delivered it's final blow...our income. Because of that storm my husband missed 3 days of work, but really it was more since the phones were out and most of the city was w/o power for much longer. He works on commision. His check for Sept. was over $3000 less than usual! That is messed up! It has also effected my income, which isn't much but still, it sucks.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Funny Things Kids Do #2

Tonight I came to get on my computer and our bank website was on my screen. It hadn't been signed into but I asked who had been playing on my computer. My 3 1/2 yr. old son admitted to it. I asked him what he was doing on the bank site and he sternly answered, "I was trying to order some money"!
Oh honey, if only it was that easy to just "order" some money when we needed it, LOL!
Wouldn't life just be wonderful?