Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Spring Break, The Final Chapter.

Ok, so we're still detailing our Spring Break Road Trip, and now we're up to Thursday.

Thursday we drove to the quaint town of Fredricksburg, which in recent years has grown into a thriving upscale tourist Mecca. The kids love the bakery. I used to be fond of the general store, where, if you recall, I took this classic picture last year -

which creeped me out so bad, we didn't go back in there this year.

This time R and I went into an eclectic shop that sold overpriced fabric, shoes, yarn and handmade jewelry.

(P.S. - I was really bummed that we couldn't swing a trip to Yarntopia, my cousin Amy's beautiful yarn shop in Katy, TX.)

Supporting the local economy, I got some handpainted laceweight. Don't know what I'll do with it, but I loved the colors way better than that Vickie Howell baby diarrhea color.

I also bought a hat which I think will be my Grant's Farm hat this year.

You bet yer sweet ass I'll be gittin my 9am drink on, on April 18th. Feel free to join me.

From there, we went to the one place the kids fervently insisted upon going during this trip - Enchanted Rock State Park.

They even chose Enchanted Rock over a trip to the beach! Last year R and Pie made it to the top of the Rock (and I got close, and this year I'm in much better shape so I was confident that I'd get there this time around).

The view of Enchanted Rock from the highway is deceptive, because it doesn't show that the path actually takes you lower before you start your climb up.

And while you're climbing this massive granite dome, it looks like the top is not too far away from where you're standing, but it is. You'd think this was the top, but it's not.

THIS is the top.

This time Beeb and my mom stayed behind and I was about halfway up with Dad, R and the boys when suddenly my dad slipped on some gravel. It scared the shit out of me. I quietly freaked out and stayed with him while R and the boys went on ahead.

While I was waiting for the boys to come back down a family came down with the mom carrying her little girl who had fallen and hit her head. It's hard enough to walk down yourself, but carrying a kid, wow.

That's when adreneline and your maternal instincts combine, kick into overdrive, and you find superhuman strength you didn't know you had. It was sad and scary to see, but, in a way, beautiful and strangely inspiring at the same time. The power of a Mom, I suppose.

Anyway, we didn't go through Luckenbach this time (sorry, Willie) but instead we went through Marble Falls - which was a beautiful drive.

The boys were exhausted.

We stopped at the Bluebonnet Inn for dinner, where they have awesome pot roast and chicken fried steak, as well as mile-high pies.

We spent most of Friday packing as the plan was to leave right after the Mizzou/Cornell game was over. We were able to sneak in one last trip to Taco Cabana, where we quite covertly swiped ourselves a plastic tray. Hey, I woulda paid for it. Not my fault they don't sell souvenirs...

R and I had given each Ape a backpack for which they were responsible. It was to contain their entertainment - their Nintendo DS Lite, their MP3 player, notebooks, pens, books, and whatever else they wanted to bring to keep them occupied. So when R was trying to get everyone organized Friday morning he asked,

"Does everybody know where their Fun Bags are?"

Like I even have to tell you what I said.

And Beeb said, "Mom. . . DON'T START."

Not long before we left, my dad called the kids in to the kitchen and told them he wanted to apologize to them. I heard him apologize to the kids for not being able to goof around and play with them as much on this trip.

It was true, I could tell he was slowing down at various points during the week. And I was sure he felt really bad about it. It's frustrating to my dad because he wants to do things that he just doesn't have the energy to do. And it made me sad to hear him tell the kids how sorry he was.

The kids, who don't know about my dad's recent surgery, really didn't understand why Pop Pop was apologizing to them. They know that if you're tired, you don't want to do as much. He knows they don't know the whole story, and he wanted to make sure they knew it wasn't that he didn't want to play with them. They understand that Pop Pop doesn't have as much energy as he used to, and they get it.

"We forgive you, Pop Pop! It's ok, we love you!" they said.
And I totally choked up. I am even now, recalling it.

So we got everybody in the Odyssexy and said a tearful goodbye.
The kids cried

all the way to Austin,

but they laughed when they saw this dude with the worst combover ever.

We got through Dallas

and all the way to Ardmore, Oklahoma, where we spent the night.

The next morning we got up super-early and drove Old Route 66 (which actually becomes Route 69 part of the way)

most of the way in to Missouri. Some of the sights we saw included -

1. EAT.

2. Carrie's Caboose Club, featuring "LIVE" Entertainment.

3. These assholes drinking 40's while driving.

4. The roadside whale in Catoosa, OK. This thing was cool!

5. WalMart - Where Career Paths Diverge.

6. I appreciate that you might have to be a little crazy to sell fireworks, but Crazy Debbie's Fireworks just scares me.

Call me sexist, but a crazy woman with explosives at her disposal freaks me out more than, say, Crazy Dave's Fireworks would. I kinda want to know exactly why she's considered crazy. Is Cuckoo For Cocoa Puffs a clinical diagnosis? It would make a difference to me.

Is she just a little pre-menstrual? Scorned by a former lover, perhaps? Is she 45 years old and still sucking her thumb? I'm going to buy fireworks from a chick who's Xanax-Monkey-Sleeping-Next-To-Her-In-Bed Woman crazy? I'll pass.

7. Bonnie and Clyde's hideout in Joplin, MO. Seriously!

I'm fascinated by the adventures of Bonnie and Clyde. Oh, and while we were trying to find the hideout, I gave R the wrong directions because I can't read a map if we're travelling south, unless I turn the map upside down, and I couldn't stand on my head to look at the GPS.

Go ahead and mock me. It frustrates the crap out of me because I can't seem to overcome it.

We got home in the early evening and had a full day to recover before the kids had to go back to school.

So that was our Spring Break. We now return to your regularly scheduled Brilliance. :)


SHELLY said...

What exactly is *in* that first picture of the store?

Penny Karma said...

Unpackaged undies. Bras and Granny Panties. Gih.

Anonymous said...

Where did you take the picture on the top of your blog? Possum Kingdom, TX?

Batty said...

What a trip! You get to have so much fun, it's downright indecent.

Penny Karma said...

The P.K. sign is in front of an Adult Novelty shop in San Antonio called Planet K.

Kashmir Knitter said...

Okay, I'll never forgive you for mentioning Luckenbach because I will now have the song Luckenbach, Texas stuck in my head for all eternity.

As soon as I saw your hat I had a Tina Fey style, "I want to go to there," moment. Oh how I WISH I could be there with you in an equally awesome hat at 9am to drink. It would rule.

Heh, Fun bags.

I also have to turn a map to read it. The direction I'm going has to be up at the top. So if I'm traveling south I have to have the map upside down. This drives my husband crazy.

Kev said...

Because We all know that PK is an adult novelty...

How sad is it that I've lived in St. Louis for well over a decade and haven't been to Grant's Farm?

I kinda like the idea of buying fireworks from someone who isn't quite all there - the danger factor excites me a little bit - will Crazy Debbie toss a lit match into the bag as we're leaving? THAT could be fun...

And the kids telling your dad that its OK that he was tired is so believable. I can see your kids doing that - you have the greatest kids. I know I've told both you and R this in person, but I don't think I've put it in a comment yet, and even if I have, it bears repeating - if I had known that my kids would have turned out as well as yours, I might have considered having children.

And I'm going to pass on the standing on your head comment, since last time I made that wise crack, you hit me.

Speed Racer

Bezzie said...

YOu're dad is so damn sweet!!!

And I hate that picture of your kids crying in the care--that's gonna be Chunky one week from tomorrow!! Gah!

Christopher Klein said...

I contend that Wal-Mart are not divergent paths, but perhaps convergent. Maybe I want to work at the Campus McDonald's at Harvard (Mizzou had one, don't all major colleges?)

amylovie said...

I wish you could have come too. Thanks for the props cuz.


JRS said...

I'm so offended by the shirt placement, but more by the mere fact of the Harvard shirt at WalMart...argh. As an alum I'm so disappointed!
And no, Christopher Klein, there is definitely no McD's on the Harvard campus. In fact, I don't think there's one anywhere in Cambridge. Now Dunkin Donuts...that's another story!