Thursday, June 19, 2014


About a week after graduation we loaded in the van and headed down to Texas. Brennan had a couple of weeks between school and starting work and we had been wanting to take a trip. His mom and step dad just recently settled in Austin, Texas, and since neither one of us have ever been to Texas it seemed perfect. Lester had a work conference in Dallas so we met them there for the first two nights, so it was about a 13 hour drive. The kids were great! 

But it was a still a long time to be in the car and they were beyond happy to be free of their car seats. Tatum was bouncing off the walls and I worried she would never fall asleep. But Gramanaka read her some stories and she eventually calmed down. And she had her own bed which was awesome!
 Declan just hanging out and enjoying his freedom. :)

The next day was Friday, Lester's last day of his conference. The rest of us headed to the Perot Museum. It was 5 or 6 stories of children's museum and science museum kind of stuff. It was pretty neat! Even the outside of the building was cool:
 Tatum enjoying the water table.

 Our happy guy. Seriously, so happy. We are so lucky.
 Tatum with a new friend. Her "friend" looked up and smiled for the picture but Tatum wouldn't, of course.

 Checking her wingspan.

 That is a giant, real geode we are opening. It was pretty amazing.

 Love this picture of the boys.

They had this really cool sports exhibit where you could do lots of fun things but our favorite was the race. You could choose an animal or famous runner to race against. And then they run on the screen and you run next to them and they time you. Tatum chose the T Rex and then a cheetah I believe.

At the start line.

Tatum false starting. She doesn't really get the "on your mark, get set" sort of thing. She just wants to go.

Tatum was in hog heaven back at the hotel that afternoon. She was watching a cartoon and eating a treat in bed. Does life get any better than that? Not for a two year old.

On Saturday it was time to head down to Austin. On the way out of town we stopped by the Dallas temple to walk around the grounds. Tatum loved it and the weather was absolutely perfect.

 We dropped our stuff off at our new hotel and then went and saw Melanie and Lester's cute apartment. We hung out for a bit and then headed out to have dinner at the Oasis. This restaurant had an amazing view of Lake Travis and really good live music with a little area to dance. So we just hung out eating a few appetizers and enjoying the view and the music. It was a lot of fun.

So pretty.
Who are those people in the shadows? Yeah, I rock at taking photos.

Grampanaka and Declan were good friends and chatted up and hung out while the rest of danced/took video of others dancing.
 Here is Brennan teaching Tatum his signature move. :)

Hanging out in a space ship they had in front of the restaurant.

After Church on Sunday we had lunch at Melanie and Lester's  and then headed out to Mt. Bonnell for a "hike". Yeah, not exactly what we were expecting but still nice. There was a staircase for the entire time and it was really more like a brief walk. But the view of Austin was neat. And we were adventurous and took a different way down. :)

 Happy, always happy.
 After are non-hike we went took a drive down by Lake Austin and looked at the amazing houses. We stopped to let Tatum play at a playground that was sort of a part of a lakeside restaurant. It was neat to watch the boats come up beside the restaurant to get out and place orders. I had never seen anything like that before. You could see huge catfish and turtles in the water and Tatum loved that.
We decided to head back to their apartment and go swimming. Lester was the only smart enough to not even bother putting his suit on. The water was freezing! Tatum of course didn't care so Brennan was the lucky one who got to get in with her. The rest of us just put our legs in.

Headed down to the pool with grampanaka.

Declan just chillin'.

These two had a blast!


Warming up.

Monday was our last day in Austin and we made sure to make it count. We went to the Salt Lick, an amazing BBQ place. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The only bummer was that it was pouring while we were there so we couldn't enjoy the grounds which looked amazing.

Look at all that meat!
Brennan thought he'd died and gone to heaven. :)
Tatum was not the happiest of campers so we entertained her by stacking butters.

And Declan guessed it, HAPPY!

After our delicious meal we headed to a graffiti gallery. Apparently construction started on some condos and then the funding fell through so it just stopped. People started doing graffiti there and now it is officially a gallery for graffiti. You can go multiple times and each time it will be different. Kind of fun. We probably would have explored more had it not been so wet and muddy that day. 


This dog with goggles was probably my favorite. 
The mud didn't stop Lester and Brennan from finding there way to the top.
While we waited for them at the bottom we entertained ourselves by making Tatum carry Declan on her shoulders.
And taking funny pictures with a couple way too into PDA in the background.
Up next was the capitol building. Pretty neat architecture.

 Love this girl.
An angel one minute, hysterical the next.

 And look at that squirrel. I was so excited that it was coming up close so Tatum would be able to see it. My excitement quickly disappeared. This guy was creepy! He kept coming closer and closer and circling us and acting all weird. He even chased me and Tatum. Brennan finally had to throw his flip flop at him to get him to run away.

Then we watched as these innocent foreigners sat down in his territory. They didn't stay for long. And as they walked away the guy told us the squirrel was "circling them aggressively". Creepy I tell ya.

 After our encounter with the crazy squirrel we decided to head inside the capitol building where Brennan, responding to a dare, acted much younger than his age and Tatum acted much older than hers.

 Tatum pretending to have a picnic at on one of the monuments outside.

Our Herky hunting and obsession has started to transfer over to other statues. She just loves all statues now...kinda weird. :)

That evening we head to a place called Top Golf. It was a neat driving range/restaurant. You could hit golf balls from right in front of your table and there were different targets and games to play. The kind of golf even I could enjoy! turns out I can't even hit the ball. Yeah, that was embarrassing. But it was really fun way to spend our last evening, and the weather was so PERFECT.

We headed back home the next morning. It was a 16 hour drive home, but once again the kids were really good. It was a great trip! Thanks for having us Melanie and Lester!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness I love this blog post what a fun trip. My favorite is the video of Tatum dancing. . .no the Classic PDA photo.. No it has to be that squirrel who knew so many adults could be a friend of such a small thing at the same time. Ha ha thanks for sharing.