Thursday, April 15, 2010

As Promised - Spring Break!

So I told you guys I'd write about our Spring Break next. We've been back for a few weeks, but I haven't been able to sit down and dedicate ample time to write about it. I suppose that in some ways that's good, because the stuff I'll remember enough to write about is the highlights; the most important and interesting stuff. The wheat, if you will.

But sometimes the chaff packs some high entertainment value, ya know? If you've been around this blog a while, some of my best stories come from NOTHING. Like if Seinfeld had begun as a blog.

Ok, so we left Thursday evening after dinner, and drove as far into Oklahoma as we could before we felt like stopping. We got to Oklahoma City and stayed at THE GROSSEST motel room I've ever been in - even the hourly ones.

I actually took this pic of the uberscuzzy Motel 6 on the way home, from across the highway. It was as close as I wanted to get.

We asked for a non-smoking room. Well, apparently Motel 6's definition of Non-Smoking is "not currently on fire". It wasn't just a little bit non-smoking. It was hideous. But I was too tired to complain and change rooms, plus I doubted there was a single room in the entire place that didn't reek of smoke.

We asked for two double beds, and we got two double beds - both with mattresses that sunk in the middle, and one of the beds was against the wall. I HATE it when the side of a bed touches the wall. I just can't have it.

And don't even get me started on the bathroom.

We finally got everyone to lay down and sleep, and Tito started wailing pitifully that his ear hurt. Honey, I love you and it breaks my heart to see you in pain, but we're in the middle of Oklafuckinghoma and it's 2:00 in the morning... it's been a long day; could ya please, please, please cut your mom a break?

It was a nightmare. We should have just kept driving.

We got up the next day and continued through Oklahoma, thinking we'd have a super-early breakfast at the Taco Cabana in Norman. I really thought I'd done my research, but apparently not all Taco Cabanas are open 24 hours. Dammit!!! We'd have to wait until Texas.

Fuckin Oklahoma...

We had steak fajitas for brunch-ish, and carried on toward San Antonio.

We also made the traditional stop at the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco.

We got the Oreo Shake made with the Dr Pepper syrup, which I'd been craving for a whole year. The vastness of the English language does not contain words that can sufficiently describe how awesome it is.


So a few hours later, we got to my parents' house. That night Tito barfed all over the world. He even threw up in his sleep. It was hideous cuz he rolled over in it and ugghhhh. And then Pie started barfing too. Pie had eaten two whole pounds of red licorice that day, so it had a lovely pink tint and a fragrant sweet aroma.

The next day, R and I spent hours at the laundromat washing barfy bedding.

I worked on the hat I made for Wes. That's Malabrigo Twist in Stone Chat, for the yarnies.  Came out gorgeous.

Then Beeb got sick the next day. That's not makeup.

Despite each Ape getting sick, we managed to have a good trip. The boys did pretty much what they do at home.

My mom and I spent hours putting together Playmobil sets that she'd gotten for the boys at a garage sale. I thought the boys would be super excited to play with the castle, the cars, the Native American settlement, the jail, and all the other sets, but they weren't into it, so if you're interested in some really cool Playmobil stuff, Mom's looking to sell it. I can give you more details about them if you're a hard core collector.

I added to my Horrible Christmas Music collection. Have we talked about this collection? Oh, it's quite something.

I checked out the local Squish shop. Only they call it something else.

The boys found a book at Half Price Books that they wanted to buy. I said no, but I giggled a little first.

We walked along the newest branch of the Riverwalk, down by the Pearl Brewery. It's beautiful - kinda artsy and waaaay less touristy.

Since we had all of these sickies, we didn't do a few of the things we usually do, like Fredricksburg and Enchanted Rock and Luckenbach and Gruene. But we did do one thing we hadn't done before - Aquarena Springs in San Marcos. It's a nature preserve or something now, but it used to be a kooky tourist attraction with a diving pig. You can ride around in glass bottom boats, and the water is clear and serene. Everybody loved that, so we'll probably do that again. Highly recommended.

We also went back to another of our favorite places - Landa Park in New Braunfels. I think of my friend Bobby, the Gentle Evil Baritone, my very first actual FAN, whenever we go there. I love riding the train, and inhaling the smell of Mountain Laurel and barbecue. I so wish I could bottle that scent. There's something beautiful and calming about it.

Completely unrelated and inexplicable, but for some reason I got really into wearing pigtails on this trip.

Maybe I like them because they make my shadow look cute.  Ya gotta have a cute shadow.

Maybe it's midlife crisis. Perhaps I'll explore that later. I still have my big sexy hat, and it's all ready for Grant's Farm this weekend!

So, the next day we headed home, and I usually post a picture of the kids crying, but this time there were very few tears because the kids are going back later this summer, so they know they'll see Nana and PopPop soon.

I was really determined to stay in a less-scuzzy hotel this time, so we went to Norman and found the Econolodge, which was actually right across the street from the Taco Cabana that had screwed me on the way down there. I knew we were going to want to be up and on the road before it opened at 9 (remember??), but I wasn't upset because I figured we should be in Tulsa (the closest TC location to St. Louis) around 9, and then we'd savor our last taste of TC until next year.

As we were putting our pajamas on, in our non-smoking room inside an entirely non-smoking motel (yay!!!!)

with two queen beds, a hair dryer, clean soft towels, glasses, an ice bucket, two bars of soap and shampoo bottles, we saw the forecast for the next day.

We got up and enjoyed a free Continental Breakfast

Hey look, they even throw an extra W in the Sweet N Low!

and scraped the ice off the van. We didn't bring coats.

But it was cool, because our bellies would soon be warm with Steak Fajita Tacos and Breakfast Burritos.

We searched for the address in the GPS and found the last TC we'd come to on the trip. I was bouncing so excitedly in the seat! As we pulled into the parking lot we could smell the Carne Guisada. We could TASTE it. Our mouths were watering.

The parking lot was surprisingly empty, but hey, if that's the only one in Tulsa, maybe the good people of Tulsa just haven't yet caught on to its awesomeness, right?

No. They wouldn't open for another HOUR.


Seriously, can you even believe that???? I was so pissed. Those who follow me on Facebook saw my angst in real time.

We took a wrong turn which wasn't a big deal, and ended up coming home a different way than we'd planned - through Arkansas.

It was really quite lovely. It was the prettiest part of the drive. Well, not THAT part in the picture, but trust me, we were very pleasantly surprised by the Arkansas leg of the trip. It was a nice, leisurely ride home, and we got home with time to decompress before having to go back to reality on Monday morning.

Ok, I know this post is not my best work, and I'm sorry to make you wait so long for it, but I wanted to crank it out so I could move on to the next post...


You heard me.