Jacob has been missing our road trips this winter. So at the end of January we booked a hotel room in Houston and took off for a few nights. Anna was a road tripping pro and only said a few times that she was bored. She drew us pictures on her doodle pad, sang songs to us, and ran around at Buc-ees, the only stop between here and Houston. Her drawing of herself reminded us of the work of one of our favorite cartoon bloggers, Allie.
In Houston, we grabbed lunch and headed to the local arboretum. I’m sure the nature walks would be more interesting in the blooming months, but we still appreciated the pretty place to stretch our legs, found some tadpoles in the pond and climbed on some of the children’s ropes course. Afterwards we picked up some small kitchen necessities at IKEA and played there too, seeing the theme?
Then Jacob found in the hotel lobby that the city’s children’s museum has free nights on Thursdays, how convenient for us. Anna shopped and cashiered at a little HEB and played vet to a bunny. She painted, drove cars, and climbed all sorts of things. Oh, she did not want to leave. It was great.
In the hotel that night, Anna and Jacob chatted about the day.
A: I had fun with you
J: Remember the bridge at the park?
A: And it was a little scary!
J: Remember the museum where we got to measure the bunny’s ears?
A: And we even pinched them, with you!
Friday we woke up early and headed to the Houston Space Center. We must have talked it up quite a bit because the first thing we heard Anna say when she woke up was “astronauts are cool!” She tried her hand at an EVA jet pack simulator, we met an astronaut who told us all about his career and experiences, and we shared a space ice cream sandwich, aka a sweet cracker. There were rovers to control, a blast off ride, a moon rock to touch in the vault room and a mock up of the International Space Station. It was surprisingly disconcerting to see rooms at all angles. We saw inside a shuttle and visited the Houston Mission Control.
I can’t believe we actually stayed there for so long (over 5 hours). Anna even fell asleep on our tram tour, Jacob had to carry our sleeping, and I’m sure he would add enormous, toddler around the Saturn 5 rocket stop. But we all had a good time and felt so touristy. No really, we even bought a Christmas ornament. You would have thought we were at Disney with the princesses by how much Anna enjoyed herself. I guess she really is our child.
Jacob treated us to more fun after we rested. We visited a local monument that is taller than the Washington Monument and has a cool 9-pointed star on top. We found some chocolate at See’s Candy and Anna was exposed the the pure joy of childhood that is Chuck E. Cheese. So many things to put coins in, she was in heaven.
We found several places to stop and play on our drive home Saturday. Jacob took us to a park in Katy, TX. We fed some ducks and played at the park for a while. Anna took the time to make some adorable poses for Jacob.
Closer to home, we found a mall (with a carousel!) and even enjoyed a very fancy rest stop near home that had a play area (with instruments) and a nature trail. We just played and played. We seriously needed Sunday to recover from our wild extended weekend, thank goodness it was stake conference.