Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Texas--day 4

Tuesday.  Nice relaxing day around the house.  Too cold to swim (but Sarah pushed Noah into the pool anyway). 
 Mike and Noah played catch.

 Stan took Sarah for a walk.

 Stan and Noah played ball.
Mike took apart the guts of the cooler, which died at an inopportune time.    

We took Stan and Milt to the park.  Note Milt watching me nervously.  He never did trust me fully.

 At the park, we noticed this killdeer putting on a huge show, acting like it had a broken wing, fluttering and squawking and creating quite a diversion, so I suspected she must have a nest nearby. 

A little searching, and we found the nest.

Wish we could be here to see them hatch.

 While everyone else left for a Texas Rangers game, Sarah and I went exploring in Rockwall.  We drove by a house with a beautiful field of bluebonnets in the back yard.  I rang the doorbell and met the lovely lady who lives there and asked her if we could run through her field and take pictures.  

After visiting the bluebonnets, we drove into town and did some shopping.  I found a replacement part for the cooler, bought a few essentials, and took Sarah to some stores she wanted to visit.
 Uncle Matt, Aunt Kathy, and Noah at the Rangers game.

It was a nice breezy night, and Noah had fun even though the Rangers lost.

Texas--day 3

 The two dogs who slept with us all night wanted petted first thing in the morning.  Zoe on the left and Stan on the right.
 Stan going for a lick on Noah

Sarah getting kisses from Zoe
Mike's sister's husband plays in the Dallas Symphony, and he a gave us a very interesting tour of this place.

  a model of the building

 Gouge marks in the floor of the stage where the bass players sit. 

 Sarah doing a handstand on the stage

 beautiful pipe organ

 All the marble from the lobby came from the same quarry in Italy.

 Noah by Uncle Matt's picture

Walking downtown, heading for the food trucks

We ate lunch in this park that was built right over the freeway (see next picture).

 Then back to Matt & Kathy's for more fun in the pool.  Noah is pretending the water noodle is his horse, and he has a pistol in each hand. The bad guys chased him until he had no choice but to jump off the cliff.

We finished the night off with a few rounds of bananagrams.  
Sarah made "Kathy & Matt rock!"

Texas trip--days 1&2

After the tournament, we headed south a couple hours and stayed in Rolla, Missouri.  Apparently nothing interesting happened because I didn't take any pictures.  We pretty much ate, swam, and slept.
4/27/14 (Sunday)
8:00 a.m. We left the hotel after a quick breakfast.
9:20 gas stop at Marshfield, MO.  $3.35/gal x 14.9 gal = $50.06
10:30 Noah appears to be asleep!  But maybe he's just listening to music.  Mike is bored.  He's reading all the road signs out loud, being weird, and waxing philosophical about Pink Floyd and armadillos.
10:50 gas at Joplin, MO.  $3.29/gal.  I think we only got about 3 gallons, but that's the cheapest gas we've seen in along time.
11:35 $4 toll in Oklahoma.  We must have crossed into Oklahoma while I was passing out food, because I didn't notice.  There was a sign at the toll booth that said to ask for a receipt if you're exiting at Big Cabin, which we were.  Mike said, "Can I get a receipt, please?  We're exiting at Big Ben."  Dark clouds swirling around ominously.   Just a few spots of rain.  (Found out later that a tornado went through this area a few hours after we did).
12:04  p.m.  I just yelled, "Oh, look!  A little calf running!" then realized it was just a dog.  5 dead armadillos on the road so far.
1:00 Sarah needed a pee stop, so we stopped at this little Amish store. 
 When we pulled in, Noah said, "Is this Uncle Matt and Aunt Kathy's house?"

We tried a sample of this (delicious!!) and bought a bag for Matt and Kathy. 

2:45 gas at some hot, dirty place in the middle of Oklahoma.  Atoka, I think.  $3.39/gal x 10.8 gal = $36.56.
5:00 arrived at Matt & Kathy's, took a tour of their awesome house, and got right in the pool. 
 Too hot for us northerners!

Noah is wearing pajama pants and shoes, because he wasn't expecting to get in the pool. An unheated outdoor pool is still very cold in April! Mike shoved him in, and he came up smiling.  He's such a great sport!  

Noah making tacos and Sarah making lemonade.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

St. Louis tournament

tournament overview

Sarah got first place in forms!

Noah introducing himself to the judges

Lots of boring waiting time

The millisecond before his ankle collapsed and he fell in a heap.

Noah being a great sport on the podium all by himself, because the judges messed up adding the scores and cut him out.  After review, he finally got his much-deserved medal. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

St. Louis trip

I was scurrying around, doing last minute trip preparations this morning and asked Noah to read me the email I'd sent to myself in the middle of the night about things to do/pack.  He read, "Ummm...the first thing looks like some sort of misspelled swear word...."

9:00 a.m.  We're leaving, and we're traveling with one hoarder and one crafter.  The hoarder packed several bags (including one bag full of hats..?) of enough stuff to last all year, and the crafter packed tacky glue, scissors, markers, who knows what else.  They both packed lots of chocolate and candy.  I prayed for a safe trip, which caused Noah to launch into a Tim Hawkins routine ("A hedge of protection?  Really, God?  A hedge?  Is that the best you can do?  I'm pretty sure the devil has shears!")  Sarah is making up a song about Marty barfing.  Now we're listening to "Mr. Stinky Feet's Roadtrip".

Sharing a set of earbuds

9:25 a.m.  A bald eagle just flew right over the interstate and gave us a great show!

9:40 a.m.  gas at BP in Lincoln (7.4 gal @ $3.52/gal=$26.39) and drive thru breakfast at Steak N Steak (5 tacos and 2 parfaits=$7.50)

birds' nests
11:00 a.m.  I'm regaling the occupants of the van with information on St. Louis history from a library book.  Mike is listening (partially), but I don't think anyone else is.  I learned some interesting things!

11:48 a.m.  arch!  $6 parking.

pretty trees on the walk to the arch

 1:18 p.m.  We blasted through the arch in an hour and a half.  $30 to ride the tram to the top.

The tiny door to the tiny capsule that took us to the top of the arch
Sarah didn't like the noise

1:48 p.m.  Arriving at the Crowne Plaza in Clayton, MO.  When our GPS (Sally the Satellite) forgets where we are and gets confused, we call her Opal, because we still love her and wouldn't want to be without her.  Our room isn't ready, so we hit the arcade and restaurant.  The arcade has some good old games from the 80s like Frogger and Ms. Pacman.  Then we go to the hotel restaurant, which has good prices for kids' meals and pizza.

4:40 p.m. Going to the pool.  The water was nice and warm, but it was pretty gross.  Lots of mysterious filth floating around and this giant hairball on the side: