Sunday, August 26, 2012

Texas Summer Vacay!

Mike and I have frequently talked about how we'd like to take his nephew and niece, Landyn (8) and CJ (5 then, now 6 at the time of this writing), for a week or so over their summer vacation. Since we're in San Antonio, there are SO many things to do with them! Earlier this summer, Mike mentioned that he had a "free" 5-day weekend for the 4th of July if he stayed in town. I suggested that this would be a perfect time to have the kids come visit and he agreed! We quickly made arrangements with his sister to meet them halfway and bring the kids home with us.
We met Courtney and the kids in Beaumont, TX so no one had to make the full 8-hour trip!
We brought the kids home on the 4th of July and boy did we hit the ground running. Only Mike and Veronica Holtz would drive halfway across Texas in the morning and host a 4th of July party that evening for 20 guests complete with sprinkler-playing, s'mores with homemade marshmallows, and fireworks! There were some other kids at the party so we broke two sprinklers and the cat and chickens were thoroughly terrorized.
I got the four of us matching Old Navy flag shirts and made them all wear them to the party. I'm so my mother's daughter! :) (Hey, at least I don't know how to sew everyone flag shorts...)
There's a whole series of shots like this as we were egged on by the kids and onlookers.
In the days that followed we took the kids... the San Antonio Children's Museum at least 5 or 6 different playgrounds (a few more than once!)

...on a drive-through Wildlife Safari! a petting zoo at the Wildlife Safari

...spelunking. (Note: children are sometimes scared in caves....also sometimes claustrophobic aunts, too.) Sea World

...on a Riverboat tour the Alamo

...on bike rides the Witte Museum (they're on-air meteorologists with floating heads!)
Swimming was a VERY popular activity while the kids were here. Mike and I belong to a gym with a crazy splash pool and ginormous water slide. We really don't use this amenity much (there was that one time we went down the slide in our tri gear, goggles and all), but we were so grateful to have it for them. We may or may not have gone overboard with pool gear at Target. :)
Snozzles and Googles! (Snorkels and Goggles)
Landyn must have gone on the slide about a billion times
Another popular activity was ice cream eating. Aunt Veronica was quite the enabler...

The kids ended up staying with us for two and a half weeks. We put them in day camp at Lackland AFB while we were at work. They got to do things like go skating and swimming. We checked out a bunch of books at the library and we would read a couple books every night before bed. We even got Landyn to read a couple to us. :)

The second weekend the kids were here, we decided to take them to the beach in Corpus Christi. CJ had long wanted to go to the beach and it was on my summer bucket list, so why not? We stocked up on beach toys at Target (everything was on clearance!), loaded up the 4Runner, rented a canopy when we got there and had a blast!

On our way out of town, we stopped at Rudy's for some BBQ.

And then we stopped for some ice cream on the drive home. :)

Mike's Mom and Step-Dad, Mr. Bo, came to pick them up when it was time for the kids to go home. Mr. Bo has had some health issues recently so we were very happy they made the trip out to see our home and enjoy San Antonio.
Mike, Mr. Bo and Landyn hanging out at the Pearl Brewery during the  Farmer's Market.

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