We are so stinking happy to have friends in Dallas. The Granges speak our language and we are so glad to let the kids just play! Last weekend we visited them again, this time just a short three day weekend. They kindly served us dinner twice and went to Sea Life aquarium near their home together.
We left Friday morning after seminary was over. We had just studied a scripture mastery to memorize in class so Jacob got sick of hearing me try to memorize it all weekend. We drove up to Pedernales Falls State Park. Last week it had rained for days! And we were hoping we had driven far enough north to enjoy a hike but it was still pretty muddy. We did, however, enjoy all the tracks we found on our hike. We pointed out the different prints to Anna, deer, racoon, person. And walked to a little pond where we found a great heron. They are so beautiful.
We cleaned up at the hotel before heading over to our friends home. But both our kids were excited to visit. Isaac was rolling all over and playing with whatever he could get his hands on. Anna found plenty to play with and pretend and really enjoyed playing magna-tiles with Andrew and his dad Trevor. I felt really blessed to be able to catch up with Audra again, it has only been two months but it feels like forever, so much has changed.
The next morning we met up at the aquarium. Anna and Andrew couldn’t stop running from thing to thing. They got a book to emboss at each check-point, so Anna was always looking for the next one to stamp. “Let’s go discover something new!” We saw so many fishes. There is an observation deck over a pool of sting rays, there is a 360 degree clear tunnel to walk through the main pool of fish. It was kind of cool having sharks over you and fish under you.
There was always a new fish or color to take in. The clown fish were tiny tiny and the kids loved the video game walls where you had to whack-a-fish with human vision then with hammerhead vision. The shark screen always won. We caught the seahorses during a feeding so they were more rambunctious than usual and Anna and Andrew never wanted to leave the blue submarine room. It had some windows in the floor to see a tank of fish but it also had painted on the walls gauges and levers and the fun of pretend there was too much to pass up. I loved the touch tanks where Anna learned about chocolate chip starfish and sharks eggs. Isaac even got in on the action there.
After lunch the kids went back in to show Ruby all around again and they were just so excited and happy together. I had to bribe the kids out of the submarine room again with a promise of a submarine with a slide in the next room. In the very last room, which we sort of skipped our first time around was a play place and the kids tackled it like nobody’s business. Isaac however was not amused and fell asleep in my arms. When it was time to go we were going to go to a park but Anna wanted to go back to the hotel. We were confused until she fell asleep the second she hit the car. It was a great morning!
We explored a nearby state park that had a lovely restored farm in the middle of it. We felt a bit awkward exploring it because we were visiting during the golden hour and there were no less than a dozen photographers with prop bags (stools, ladders, sheepskins, I don’t know) and their subjects using the lovely barns, fences, and trees as their backdrops. We kept having to weave around everyone, but the park was lovely with a lake and everything.
We made one more stop before heading back to our friends house, a little Christmas store. Anna was grumpier than everything that we were not on our way at that moment to Andrew and Ruby’s home. And I couldn’t leave you without documentation of that attitude.
On the way home we hit up two more state parks. Mother Neff State Park had just the right amount of trail for our little family. We were able to explore two different destinations while stretching our legs, the tower, and a cave. Anna is such a fun adventuring buddy.
Isaac miraculously enjoyed the trip,especially the ride home where he only cried for a bit when we were stuck on the toll road with nowhere to get off. He is a great little traveler like his sister and we are so grateful we can take them with us as we explore! Oh yeah, and no big deal or anything but he started crawling in our hotel on Sunday morning! We didn’t catch a video of it but we did get one of Anna making Isaac laugh. Enjoy.