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This way please, for a tour of Texas... Walters style

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Just got home from what we're calling a vacation.  But y'all, it was just hot and exhausting.  Lesson learned.  If you already live in Texas and it's 107 degrees at your house, don't go further south in Texas where it's 108.   It was simply a week full of roller coaster emotions and way too much living out of a suitcase.



Here we are sweating it out at the Alamo.  My theory being that the Texas heat is what prompted the battle in the first place.  I am however, not a historian.  

This way please, for a tour of Texas... Walters style.  

Day one...Is that a prostitute or Dolly Parton?

Trying to get the house travel ready, and verifying all our safety precautions.... Husband actually told me, yes he did.... that I did away with all the low watt light bulbs.  Of course I did, honey, in a giant light bulb conspiracy because those low energy kind make me look bad.  He gets totally travel stressed on the morning we actually leave. 

And I have no idea what we said after that conversation, but then we ate a quick breakfast before leaving where kid 3 told me in all seriousness, You have something in your hair.  Oh, it's bacon.  And again, of course. 

And we made it about an hour out of town when we decided we needed a quart of oil and half a dozen chocolate glazed donuts at the Carl's Corner truck stop.  Apparently as did a young girl that I thought was a prostitute, but wearing very expensive shoes.  She also reminded me very much of Dolly Parton but much more tanned.  And because I happen to be awful, I followed the gal out into the parking lot and gave a little head nod to husband to look so we could talk about her later.  But Fireman Dave pointed out that he doesn't believe the young lady to be a working girl at all, but instead a young Baylor University student on her way to school in a cute little BU green dress and 100 pounds of mascara.  And I was shocked.  Shocked I say.  Because I thought she was about 20 years older than that, and even more shocked at the level of commitment she has undertaken to maintain that hair color.  Then I went deep into myself, looking inward at the girl I once was with the same tanned and platinum blonde facade, and felt like I had let myself go all to hell standing there holding a half dozen donuts in a truck stop.  But promising myself from that moment on that I will commit to more eyeliner.

And then we sat forever in traffic headed toward Austin long enough to cover such topics as:
1.  I terribly need a pedicure
2.  Husband doesn't care for fake eyelashes.

And we ended day one in Austin, Texas sharing a hotel with the Meldelsonn family Bat Mizvah which was not nearly as rowdy as an anniversary trip husband and I took one year where we shared space with a drunk wedding guest singing Super Freak outside our bedroom door.  Our kids also upset a mother of two little princesses in the pool and I feel sure we were put on a watch list from that point on.  Her littles wanted to be delicate in the water and our clowns wanted to play Dive Bomb the Piece of Mulch.  And as I believe was often said in the wild, wild west, This town's not big enough for the both of us.... so mulch diving prevailed and the mad mom gave us the evil eye on the way out. 

Day 2 - Kristi sunbathes topless.  For all of 10 seconds. 

We went to the Barton Springs pool which the boys said was much colder than the 5AM polar bear plunge they went on at scout camp earlier in the year, so I chose a non swimmers stance of sitting on a blanket and people watching for a couple of hours.  And I sat there and listened to a teenage girl talk about how her grandfather wants to donate his body to science.  But only at Harvard because they apparently do better work with cadavers there.  Then I watched a girl strip down to topless and do a few rounds like this.... swim naked in the freezing water for a minute, get out and write in her journal while still naked.  Swim some more, write some more, and occasionally sunbathe topless to warm up.

And I thought it odd that she was the only person in the entire place going topless and took the great leap of faith to discuss this with Fireman Dave -  who then made me mad in about one eighth of a second.  Acting like I was prudish old Aunt Alice come to the big city and not understanding the ways of the modern world.  So I declared topless as the order of the day for us all, but only for a few seconds - long enough to prove a point and make husband embarrassed that he brought me there that day.  And for the record,  in case you plan to go there soon... our sweet niece in Austin checked the rules.  You may, by all means, sunbathe topless to your heart's content.  I, however, have done it already and can now mark that off my to do list.  



Days 3 and 4 - the Hyatt Regency Hill Country resort. Where Fireman Dave says he felt poor the whole time.  But I could nap by their quiet and shaded adults only pool every day for the rest of my life given the opportunity.  That pretty much sums it up.



Day 5 - Homeless in San Antonio

This is the day of the trip where we left the gorgeous Hyatt Regency resort where you can get a $200 massage and the squirrels sit happily in squirrel sized lawn chairs eating corn.


And we landed in San Antonio in what looked like the set of the old TV show Roseanne.  


Complete with cigarette smells masked by antiseptic cleaner.  The boys just said it smelled like public library.  I just wanted to use my sinus rinse asap.  

We were put on the 7th floor with a small balcony overlooking the side wall of the hotel next door and a sliver of the San Antonio Riverwalk if you turned your head just a hair down and to the left.  But the mom in me screamed danger as well as something or other about us ending up on the news as I watched my 3 fellas out there seeing who could lean over the furthest before mama said no. 

So the saying, If mama aint happy, aint nobody happy was applied.  



And here we are sitting in the room that nearly made me cry as husband called all around San Antonio looking for another place to stay.  The boys were mad at me  because despite the sad state of affairs on the upper hotel floors, the lobby lured young men in and off the streets with the promise of a free hot buffet each evening from 5-8.  And my kids never met a chicken strip they didn't like.  


So we ended up back at another Hyatt in town in a tiny room with all 5 of us trying to relax and share a teeny bathroom.  The bathroom being so small that if the toilet seat were down, the door wouldn't close.  A man definitely designed that one.   

I used to have a framed photo in my kitchen that said Love grows in small houses.  And I agree to an extent.  Depends on what you're calling small.  I think some people around where we live would think our house fits into the smallish category.  Maybe so.  But I tend to think it teaches us to look at each other, to talk to each other and to get along with each other.  Or in the case of sometimes,  to go the the furthest point away in our confined area and shut a door.  And I think that's okay, too.  

And despite it all I needed the time away from work.  I'm ready to go back with a new attitude and start doing what I love again.  And we're one week away from some big changes around here.  Kid 1 is starting high school and kid 3 is starting middle school.  Kid 2 is still in middle school for one more year but he's been on a big growth spurt this summer.  I hardly recognize him.  

So last week we spent our days traveling together and staying in places that I think we've really outgrown.  And with all the growing and changing going on around here, I've had worries that we're on the way to outgrowing us.  But back to the idea of love growing in small spaces....  We got home Friday night and settled back into our natural roles and places like we never left.  Which is the beauty of home.  

post script.... we did fun stuff too!  


We shared this gigantic cinnamon roll at the Pioneer Baking company restaurant in San Antonio and that alone brought my mood up immensely. 



And we went to the historic Gruene dance hall and I dreamed that Willie Nelson would walk in and sing just to me.  If I were to ever think of marrying an 82 year old man, Willie would definitely be the one.  



And I watched the kids swim and play, celebrated Kid 3 turning 12.... and I slept close to everyone I love each night.  The end.  

(oh...here's how to play Dive Bomb the Mulch in the pool... one kid throws in a piece of mulch taken from a nearby landscaped area that probably has a sign saying do not touch.  Then the other two have to jump into the pool and on top of each other scrambling to see who will be the first to grab it and not drown.  And while playing you should make as much noise and the biggest splashes that you can.  Also you should have an adult nearby ready to call 911 in the event of whatever.)

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