Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Our Texas Trip - Summer 2007

Our Spontaneous Vacation
As we were sitting around the table eating lunch one day, trying to figure out how our schedule could accommodate a vacation, we came to the realization that it would have to be now or never. Literally! We finished lunch and went to packing. By dinner time we were on the road headed to Texas. Ryan has two sisters living there and we thought we could surprise them.

Our adventures along the way:

Mel & the boys at the state Line.

Ryan & the boys at the state line.

We watched an incredible lightning storm during our night drive through Texas.

Preston & Parker were excited to see an intersection in Texas, where both streets carried their names.

We spent a lot of time on the road and the boys were in urgent need of a bathroom break.

No Bathroom, No Problem! We're in the middle of nowhere, just go fellas!

But why is dad getting out? Oh no, he's got a camera!

Like always, Mom's behind the wheel. She gets carsick when Daddy drives.

We spent so much time in the car, the boys were getting stir crazy!

First stop: Austin, TX - To visit the Estradas

We drove to Austin first to visit John & Angela Estrada. We had fun swimming in their pool and playing with cousins. Their son Austin is an incredible swimmer. We enjoyed watching his swim meet. We also went to San Antonio and visited the Alamo and the River walk. The boys enjoyed the boat ride on the river. While we were there at the river walk mall, we enjoyed an Imax show with them as well. Before we left town, we found a river with a smooth rock bottom to play in. We enjoyed sharing father’s day with the Estradas.

Preston swimming under water in the Estrada's Pool.

Parker swimming under water in the Estrada's Pool.

Austin, Preston & Parker watching a movie together at the Estrada's house.

All the boys climbing on the toys at the park in Lakeway, TX.

Preston & Parker with cousin Austin after his swim meet. He won! Congratulations Austin.

The whole family worked together to make us a great father's day breakfast. Thanks gang!

We found an incredible swimming spot in Austin. This river had a smooth limestone bottom that kept the water clear. In some areas it got deep to form swimming holes. Preston jumped over a 10' waterfall to a deep pool below. We all had fun playing & swimming for hours.

Our day trip to San Antonio:

Our family in front of the Alamo.

Melanie & the boys at the Alamo.

Preston got a whistle and a stern look from security for sitting on the chains in line. He has such sensitive feelings, he took it very hard. He'll remember the Alamo for certain.

Preston & Parker on the tour boat at the San Antonio River Walk.

Stop 2: Roanoke, TX - To visit the Luna-Llanes Family

After we left Austin we headed north to Roanoke. It’s a nice little suburb of Fort Worth. We rolled in late to Emily and Roberto’s house and went right to bed so we could start early. All of Emily’s kids were surprised to awake to a house full of relatives. We all decided to head north to Oklahoma and spend the day swimming at Turner Falls. The water was perfect and we spent the day swimming, diving, sliding, catching crawdads and splashing Mama. All the cousins enjoyed hanging out together.

Turner Falls - Oklahoma

Dad convinced Preston that the crawdad was harmless so he would hold it, then gave him a little scare from behind.

Parker didn't mind holding the crawdad. (After he saw big brother do it)

Melanie was suited up and ready to swim but felt the water was a bit too chilly for her taste. She spent the day on shore chatting with Emily. She and Emily get along swimmingly.

Here's some fat guy going down the slide at Turner Falls. Oh wait, that's daddy!

On day two of our North Texas trip we went to Woodbine to visit where Daddy grew up. The place hasn’t changed much. Ryan was eager to show the boys around the woods he played in as a boy but after a few minutes of being eaten alive by bugs we decided to see the abridged version. We headed back to Emily's house to find something else to do. We found a Cabelas and we all spent some time walking through it together. We said our goodbyes to the Luna-Llanes family and headed out to get started on the road home.We drove through Gainesville and saw the zoo and park that Ryan remembered as a child. The boys enjoyed the fancy new play area the park recently installed.

Woodbine, TX

Our family in front of the house that Ryan grew up in.

Daddy had told the boys about peeing through the lattice onto the bushes beside the porch.

They had to give it a try.

This is the play equipment that Ryan's dad built (grandpa Jack) for them as kids. Now years later, our boys are swinging on it too.

Cabelas with the Cousins

All the cousins had fun looking at all the animal mounts at Cabelas in Ft. Worth, TX.

They all tested their aim at the shooting gallery in Cabelas.

At the Gainesville Park

We stopped by the park in Gainesville where Ryan came as a child.

Ryan & Melanie got in on the action at the Park.

Preston & Parker enjoying the new play equipment at the Gainesville Park.

Our journey home

On our travel home we stopped at Mount Capulin Volcano in New Mexico and walked the entire rim of that. It was enjoyable and a welcome break from the car.

Mt. Capulin Volcano

Melanie & the boys atop Mt. Capulin volcano in Capulin, New Mexico.

Ryan and the boys found a cool spot in the shade to rest as we climbed to the top of Mt. Capulin.

Again we find the boys needing to go when there's no toilet in site. Good thing they're not bashful.

At Grandma Jan's

We also enjoyed stopping by Ryan’s Grandma Jan’s house for a brief visit. She is looking healthy but lonely. She does have two big dogs that keep her company. They were very friendly and the boys enjoyed playing with them.

Parker gets a little embarrassed when Great Grandma Jan's dog gives him the once over sniff.

Preston enjoyed petting and playing with the dogs.

Here's the whole gang with Grandma Jan at her house. Mel and I enjoyed seeing her and the boys enjoyed meeting her.