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So it's the
end of August mid-September January and I'm finally sitting down to write about our little vacation in July. The delay is mostly due to wanting to add photos, of course, but it's so time-consuming having to go back through the 500+ (or possibly more) photos I took during that week and even more of a pain to upload. But here goes. Oh yeah, and don't forget the lack of time. Maybe I'll even upload this entry before August is over! Ahaha. No.
We got all the kids ready to go on July 14th. Gave them breakfast, stuffed the bags in the back of the truck and got all 7 kids in the truck. We made at least 3 trips back into the house because we forgot this or that, Jorge stopped by Taco Palenque for tacos for us and then we took off for Austin!
[caption id="attachment_2371" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Our brood ^_^[/caption]
That was the best photo I could get , believe it or not, hehe.
It was a quiet ride for the most part, as the kids slowly nodded off one by one. Jorge and I took turns picking songs to listen and sing to and then we get to the Falfurrias, TX check point. We wake all the kids up and like always, make jokes about them not being smart asses and saying something that'll 'cause them to think we're smuggling children 'cause there's so many (what with all the smuggling going on these days).
We pass, "US citizens?" "Yes, sir, " and they wave us through.
Jorge jokes, "Alright, we made it!"
Jorge: *breaks into Mexican anthem* "Mexicanos, al grito de Guerra. . . "
Always a laugh-fest with him and the kids ^_^.
We stopped to eat at McDonald's in San Marcos at noon. People are usually pretty impressed with how efficient our orders are and how well-behaved our kids are ^_^. We let them have some time in the play area (well, the little ones, anyway) and then we were back on the road.
We made a few stops along the way, checked in at the hotel and finally made it to Dina's around 5pm. Everyone passed around hugs and welcomes and we settled in. The first place we would be visiting would be the Micki Krebsbach Pool, so we got all the kiddos ready in their swim suits, packed coolers, and we were off.
[caption id="attachment_2373" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The girlies, posing![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2375" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Jules and the spout![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2376" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The boys on the obstacle course[/caption]
Eenan is going to kill me if he ever sees this photo on the interwebs, heh. All 4 of the big boys are in this photo ^_^.
The kids had so much fun and reluctantly changed into their dry clothes asking when we'd be back.
We got back to Dina's and ordered Domino's. The kids were getting tired so we went back to the hotel. It was a tight squeeze with all our kiddos, since the room was lacking the sofabed it was supposed to have, but we made it work :). After showers were had and everyone put to bed, I pretty much crashed out.
I was the first to wake up the next morning and took Emily with me to get some breakfast. Nobody else was awake, or wanted to go. So I had my coffee and oatmeal and she happily ate her cereal.
Jorge eventually woke up, as did the boys and Alaethia and they all kind of lazied around playing on electronics. That's what I love about our vacations: we're not really in a hurry and everything's calm :).
Jorge took some of the boys to get breakfast. I'd brought some pastries and yogurt and Alaethia, Eenan and Justin were ok with that. We got ready and started our day by getting a few groceries and things we'd need for our second pool day. We get back to Dina's and start getting the kids ready. We couldn't find Julien's trunks anywhere, so we put him in some shorts that LOOKED like trunks and hoped for the best. We packed the bags and coolers once again and took off.
We get to Micki Krebsbach Pool. . . and it's closed!! Jorge makes an audible growl and is kind of quiet on the way to the next place Briana knows about in Round Rock called Rock-n-River Family Aquatic Center. We arrive, we pay and
settle into the nearest, empty picnic area. But not before they stop us. . . because Julien's trunks aren't trunks. Ugh. Jorge's patience was sliced very thin by now, but he kept his patience. And I'm glad, too, because the manager lent us trunks. Briana said they'll usually kick people out!
The kids have barely  stepped into the water when they blow the whistle.
[caption id="attachment_2381" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Storm coming in. . . [/caption]
Darn thunder and lightning are threatening to make their way over and everyone's told to get out of the water. We have to wait 15 minutes before getting back in. If they blow the whistle again, it's another 15, and so on.
So, we took photos to pass the time :).
[caption id="attachment_2382" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The family, minus Jorge![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2380" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Jorge and I :)[/caption]
The kids were becoming antsy so we gave them snacks. We waited a pretty long time, maybe an hour, and they continued to blow the whistle. They finally tell us they're closing for the day and there's an uproar from all the families that had arrived around the time we had and didn't even get to get into the water. They gave us vouchers, but it was pretty crappy because we wouldn't be around to use them because they'd be closed Wednesday and we were leaving Thursday. Ugh. So we gave them to Briana to use with the kids.
We get to Dina's and she had just arrived from work. A drama show starts after a phone call from Jorge's boys' mother, who riled up Julien and he was inconsolable afterwards. Kept saying his mom had left him and he missed her. Heartbreaking. The boys confirmed that she'd not been home most of the week so he hadn't seen her. It was sad, and Jorge was annoyed, so we gathered all the kids and went to the hotel.
we scanned the entire local phone book looking for take-out and couldn't agree on anything with the kids so we just ordered pizza, from pizza hut this time. The kids were all thrilled, so that was great :). Can't go wrong with pizza. Well, maybe for Eenan, but he was okay with it :).
We ate and joked around. Justin's a clown!
[caption id="attachment_2491" align="aligncenter" width="168"] Wondering why he took so long in there LOL[/caption]
(Hope he doesn't flip because I posted that, haha!)
We got everyone showered and I was the last one. By the time I got out of the shower all the boys were fired up and hyper. . . and I find out Jorge let them have Capri Suns at almost midnight *sigh*. They were laughing their butts off, including Jorge! I finally had to switch to Strict Mom Mode and shush them all up!
The next morning only Jorgie and I were awake, so we sneaked off to get coffee for ourselves and Jorge. We watched TV while slowly each little head popped out of the covers. Some of the kids wanted breakfast from the diner, the rest wanted cereal in the room. So everyone ate, got ready and then we headed over to Dina's, where we took an opportunity to get a group photo :)
[caption id="attachment_2386" align="aligncenter" width="300"] An awesome bunch![/caption]
Briana does a great job looking for stuff for us to do! This day, we'd visit . We usually take a hike with the kids at Walnut Creek, but this was different and AWESOME!
[caption id="attachment_2762" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Pointing out the fishies[/caption]
Throughout our hike, Julien would ask, "We see the dinosaur now?" and we'd say, "No, Pa, I don't think we'll find any. . . " and then we see this:
[caption id="attachment_2763" align="aligncenter" width="300"] DINOSAUR!![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2494" align="aligncenter" width="168"] Julien, in awe![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2496" align="aligncenter" width="168"] Cute little gnome home![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2497" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Kiddos and Grandma![/caption]
Jorge, Julien, Emily and I got separated from the group because the little ones needed to pee. We met up later at the butterfly area/children's area. It was beautiful there!!
It was hot and the little ones were becoming antsy, but it was on to the next part of the trip: the Elizabet Ney Museum.
The kids thought they were visiting a castle, but they got a bit of a history lesson, heh. I was proud of how well-behaved they were :).
[caption id="attachment_2504" align="aligncenter" width="300"] With all the kiddos. SO sunny![/caption]
We went back to Dina's apartment and ate, then packed our bags to go to the Micki Krebsbach Pool. Besides Jorgie dropping his phone in the pool and an initial stall because his in-grown toenails had become INCREDIBLY infected (and he never told us!), it was a great, great time. All us adults even went down the slide. Briana and I had to encourage each other, 'cause we're both terrified of deep pools, but we eventually got on, TWICE!
Jorge and Javi went, too. Jorge was a bit terrified, only because he was afraid he and Javi would clear the turn and fly off due to their weight, haha, but they were fine!
I had a photo of Jorge doing the obstacle course (he kept "pish-poshing" when the kids would fall and said he could totally do it, but couldn't LOL), but he'd kill me if I posted it :D. He did admit that it was harder than it looks, hah.
We finished the day at the pool and headed back to Dina's. Everyone was exhausted after our long day. We gathered all our things after dinner (details are hazy now, but I think we ordered Chinese) and Jorgie spent the night there so we'd return to say our goodbyes in the morning.
We woke up, had breakfast, then checked out of the hotel. We picked up Jorgie and said our see-you-laters.
I wanted to visit so we Wazed the directions and after a slight wrong turn we found it. But only after passing by this bridge:
[caption id="attachment_2764" align="aligncenter" width="300"] A bridge and a swing. "In case of emergency, use swing"[/caption]
All the guys stayed in the car while Alethia, Emily and I browsed through the nursery.
I was in heaven :). The girls each picked a succulent and I picked two:
[caption id="attachment_2768" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Top 2: mine. Bottom left: Emily's. Bottom Right: Alaethia's[/caption]
I drove around with them everywhere we went and prayed they'd make it home. They did. (But now that it's been 6 months since I bought them, the one on the top right has since died, waaah! No wonder they sold it to me for $1 =\. )
We were going to drive home, spend the night and then leave to South Padre Island in the morning. But instead, we decided to drive to North Padre Island straightaway. We got a great rate on the hotel and were relieved to rest. Jorge went to Walmart to get sand toys (since we'd left all of the beach stuff at home), towels and I stayed with the kids and did some laundry. Jorge got back and since the kids wanted to walk over to the beach, we did.
We got back and washed everyone down and I finished laundry while Jorge ordered in Domino's. And then, sleep!
Woke up the next day and we fed everyone. We made sure to gather all our things, pack our coolers and checked out and headed to the beach. It was a really nice day :).
[caption id="attachment_2773" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The little ones[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2774" align="aligncenter" width="226"] Alaethia the mermaid[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2775" align="aligncenter" width="169"] Emily the mermaid, and Jorgie[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2776" align="aligncenter" width="169"] Jaylen, buried[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2777" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Bewbs. Terrible, I know![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2778" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Nano[/caption]
And of course, he remembered:
[caption id="attachment_2780" align="aligncenter" width="300"] *sigh* BITSY LOL[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2779" align="aligncenter" width="300"] All the kiddos, squinting![/caption]
A storm was rolling in and we left right on time. We got everyone washed and changed in the bathrooms nearby and then we tried finding a park on Waze. No luck, after circling the island forever. The kids snacked on stuff and then passed out:
[caption id="attachment_2782" align="aligncenter" width="300"] So sweet![/caption]
And that was the end of our vacation. And it only took me 6 months to write about it, heh!