Mini-Vacation to San Antonio & Austin – August 2016

We, thankfully, got to take a trip to Austin to visit the in-laws with the kids this year! My wonderful mom-in-law spear-headed the entire trip and we were so grateful. Of course, Briana (who is the queen of finding things to do in Austin!) planned activities and even had an itinerary ready for us. She’s seriously that. AWESOME!

So in our usual fashion, we were running late for everything. Some of the laundry wasn’t ready so we still had packing to do. I even forgot to pack my pillow and my blanket, which I hate to leave the house without on trips. BUT, the kids were super well-behaved (and entertaining when they weren’t asleep LOL), and we only made about 2 bathroom trips to gas stations.

Our first stop was Drury Inn and Suites, which Briana chose for us. It was seriously one of the best hotels we’ve ever stayed at. The staff was super friendly, too!

So after checking in, we all went to Slab BBQ for dinner. It was SO GOOD! Of course, Briana and I started with the picture-taking :D.

My Sis-in-law and I at Slab BBQ!
The Littles!
The Boys!
Jules and Dina!
Pork Belly Nachos!
Pork Belly Nachos!

Naturally, I got nachos. And like usual, I didnt finish even a third. When we were done, we stopped by the apartment to drop dinner off to Javi. Even though we’d all just stuffed ourselves silly, we headed to Jump USA with the kids and hoped for the best (i.e. no barfing!).



Eenan stayed with us mostly; he wasn’t too into having to go play, nor be followed around by the 13-14-year-old girls following Nick and Jorgie πŸ˜† .

We got back to the hotel and the kids took brief showers and we settled in for the night.

The next day, we got ready as quickly as possible to go to Six Flags Fiesta Texas. My kiddos had already gone this summer for a day with their dad, and Jorgie and Justin went with their school but Jorge hadn’t ever been and Julien hadn’t either. I hadn’t gone since the boys were toddlers!

Google Maps managed to find the “better” route for us to Fiesta Texas, but we were still in a terribly long line for about an hour. Then came the long wait for bag checks and buying an additional ticket. When we finally broke through the crowd, our first stop was bathrooms, and then Briana and all the big boys, except Eenan, broke off to find the Superman roller-coaster. The rest of us went to get some lunch for the little ones.

Funny little squirrels! We’re used to the little brown ones!

After some drama waiting for the train ride and we finally got to get on, we went for 2 consecutive rides.

And then we waited for the tire-float river-ride thing…for 1.5 hours!! Briana and the kids followed, but were about 80 people behind us!

Lol at Jaylen’s Expression!

We waited to catch up and snap a photo!

Jorge hadn’t gotten on any rides (and I’m not one for roller-coasters! I’m too short and feel like I’ll fly out–worst feeling!) so I told him to go with his sis and the boys to get on rides. Eenan stayed behind with me and the little ones, whom we spent the rest of the time taking to the smaller rides.

And then we all met up after the Batman ride, which Jaylen, Jorge and Briana went on. The ride was so intense they were all pretty sure they died for a few minutes and came back to life πŸ˜† .

Since we hadn’t been able to get a photo of the kids all together, we took the opportunity to take a few before we left.

We weren’t able to see at least half the park (or more) and didn’t get to see the shows because there were just that many people there trying to get just one last vacation in before kids returned to school.

The next day, we had breakfast and we all went to Voodoo Donuts, a famous donut shop that’s even been featured on Food Network (or Travel Channel, I forget). Javi was treating us.

Too sunny!

The Voodoo Donut!

The line to order was long, but the donuts were totally worth it. I had thee best Bavarian Creme one! The decor was cute AND there were chalkboards in the bathroom stalls!

It started to drizzle as soon as we went outside, but that didn’t stop us from continuing with our original plan: checking out the murals!

Javi said the girls were doing a ‘prison pose’! Buahaha!

Jorge got a photo with Mr. Nelson:

Next stop was an eclectic little old-fashioned candy shop! On the way there, we were playing PokΓ©mon Go, of course, and saw a Gyrardos out “in the wild”! How unfair is that?!

We finally found the candy shop and it was a dream! The kids had a blast checking everything out πŸ™‚ .

Big Top Candy Shop – 1706 S. Congress Ave.
Dina and Jaylen
Jorge got us some chocolate Covered Bacon – THEE BEST!

A few stores down was this adorable boutique with this rainbow wall of dinosaur succulent planters! Dina bought me one!

It started getting drizzlier, and we were hungry from all the walking, so we made our way to IHOP. Needless to say, we had pretty bad service πŸ˜• . They failed to tell us they were out of just about everything (avocados, soup, mac-n-cheese for the kids, I forget what else), 30 minutes after they took our order. But, I have to admit I was pretty happy with my plate.

We went back to the hotel after lunch to chill out and then a few kids stayed with Dina and the rest of us went to Pokemon Hunt at a park.

It would have been even more awesome had the ground not been so muddy, but we still had fun. All the Littles needed to go to the bathroom so we headed back to the hotel. We made it just in time for dinner at the hotel, which was included with our rental! I was still full from lunch, so I snacked.

We continued with the Pokemon Hunting later that evening. A little difficult to do with all the busy streets and parking, but we found this pretty cool spot near Franklin BBQ.

The next day, we had breakfast at the hotel and then went sight-seeing (and Pokemon Hunting πŸ˜† )! I’d been wanting to visit the Hope Outdoor Gallery for around 2 years, so we Googled it and were on our way.

1101 Baylor St, Austin, TX 78703

It was drizzling more than the day before, so we didn’t want to get the little ones down, so we admired it from the car. I would really love to walk through it, though!

We met Dina, Briana, the kiddos and Javi at Kim Phung Restaurant. I had to have the steak Pho, of course!

(I’m having regrets right about now about not being able to finish my bowl πŸ™ !)

When we all finished up our meals and Dina and Briana went back to work, we went on a search for the “You’re My Butter Half” mural. We googled it and found it on the side of the United Way of Greater Austin building. It was a bit of a slippery climb, but we quickly assembled and took our photos!

United Way of Greater Austin – 2000 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.

It immediately started raining as soon as we snapped our last pic, so we climbed in the car and did a bit of shopping at Marshall’s (boys needed socks, Emily broke her flip flop and she was missing a pair of clothes!). We didn’t get to find the “I Love You So Much” mural, but that’s definitely one to do on our next trip!

We hung out at the hotel, had dinner there with Dina, Briana the kids and Javi. The kids wanted to swim but the pool was closed, of course, due to the drizzle. We didn’t get to do any water parks or pools this time, boo.

But we did get to go for one more PokeHunt–with Dina this time! And we had such a blast, too! We went back to our spot in front of Franklin BBQ and it made us realize just how slim our PokePickin’s are here in the Valley!

We said our goodbyes the next morning πŸ™ and headed to East Austin Succulents before heading home.

I wanted to lose my mind with all those beautiful succulents, but I behaved myself and let the kiddos choose some instead :).

It rained tons on the way home, and we had bad service yet again in Georgetown at McDonald’s. Cashiers were rude and frankly, didn’t know how to count. Oh, and a passerby asked Jorge if I was his wife and if those were all our kids. He said yes and the man said, “Congratulations, she’s a keeper!” Buahaha πŸ˜† . All-in-all, it was great and I can’t wait to go back!

What I Do When the Kids Are Home

We had a low-key Father’s Day for Jorge, which is what he wanted πŸ™‚ . I started his day off by letting him sleep in and making him a good hearty, fatherly breakfast πŸ˜€ .


We gave him his gifts as well and then we lounged around. Well, he lounged around, as he should on his day. I puttered around the rest of the day being awesome and doing laundry (though, I admit, not as good as he does it!)

My kiddos were picked up by Mario the night before to celebrate Father’s Day with them, but he brought them back by 3pm Sunday, just in time for the botana from Espi’s for lunch.

The girls gave my love his gifts (letters and drawings) they made for him.

And then Emily went straight into Mommy mode and made everyone giant chocolate and sprinkles-covered marshmallows.

Then she made Jorge a Funfetti cake, all on her own, I just supervised and took the pans in and out of the oven.

The Little Mama, serving Daddy a slice of cake!

She mixed, baked, iced, sprinkled and served it, all on her own. Brings a tear to my eye!

The girls (and sometimes the boys) take turns helping in the kitchen.

Alaethia making tostadas

We watched Finding Dory, which made us all pretty emotional at the end. Emily and I actually clutched each other, in tears, and Alaethia ran to the bathroom, heh. It was a good, cute movie, though!

Eenan had an appointment Wednesday afternoon so I quickly finished my to-do list at work and was out by 3pm. I went to pick up Eenan and Emily, who wanted to tag along (my little shadow!) 

I love that that little lady wants to follow me everywhere! Since she’s my “last” baby, I embrace it, as once she stops following me around, that’s it! No more babies to follow me! πŸ˜₯ Anyway. That was depressing!

While we waited, we took Snapchat selfies.

After the appointment, we went next door to Stripes because Eenan and Emmos wanted Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. And then I threw in some Butterfinger Cups, sour watermelon gummies and a Snapple, because they were on sale. Oh. Em. Gee. Someone must stop me πŸ™ .

We visited Gramma right after and spent some time with her. Then I got home to make dinner.

I managed to go walking at the park 3 times out of the week and even asked the boys to go, but of course they had more important things to do, like play Playstation, or Xbox, or sleep (*cough* Eenan *cough*). 

Right after I had my surgery, they kept asking to go running, which of course, I couldn’t. But now that I can walk briskly/run in intervals, they don’t want to go 😐 .

Wednesday night after I’d come back from jogging, Jorge accompanied me to HEB to get some water and milk. We ended up with a bunch of brownie mixes (they were buy one get one free!) and we already had free cookie dough.

So Emily jumped on the counter to mix the brownie mix and Jorgie and Alaethia pressed the raw cookie dough into the bottom of the muffin pans. The end result was rich and delicious and probably extremely unhealthy!

We ate them while we watched a movie–I lie, I immediately passed out during the starting credits!

Oh Thursday, the day the other parents and us “switch” the kids, I had a doctor’s appointment and then I rushed home to pick up Jaylen, Alaethia and Emily so I could take them to Sky Park’s ribbon cutting. Eenan didn’t want to go so he stayed with Mom (typical) and Jorgie, Justin and Jules had already been picked up by their mother. Our work was specially invited to take our kids. Little did I know that jeans weren’t allowed, so poor Jaylen didn’t get to play, but he said it was worth the trip for the food alone πŸ˜† .

They loved the baby ball-pit!
Literally spent the most time there!

The kids are on summer break, of course, but since I no longer have a job that allows me time off during the summer with them (well, since 2009 lol) I have to make do with the little time off I have, so we make the best of it!

Since the girls don’t have phones yet (and yes, at 7 and 9, they have already asked!) we communicate throughout the day on Pinterest messages πŸ˜† . Love these kiddos! I need to make time to come up with activities to do with them and make some memories!