Monday, March 30, 2009

Recovering from the weekend

I love weekends from which we have to recover. Saturday wasn't super-exciting, but yesterday was a day full of fun activities.

We got a text message from a friend on Saturday night asking if we wanted to join them at the Zoo Sunday morning. We didn't have anything planned, so we said, "Sure!" Turned out to be a great decision.

This weekend we had some beautiful weather here in Houston. While everyone else was digging out from the snow (including A-Basin, whom I thought wouldn't be able to stay open until June), we had what I think will be our last blast of cool weather before the heat of summer fully descends upon us.

Saturday morning was down-right chilly for Fellan's tee-ball game and Sunday morning was also a little chilly, but it warmed up nicely. We hung out at the Zoo and had lunch there before heading out to try out the Hermann Park paddle boats for the very first time. Even though the lake there is only about a maximum of 3 feet deep, we were always afraid to try them until the kids were fully sea-worthy (a.k.a. able to swim on their own). Then we took a ride on the Hermann Park train.

{Side note: they've been re-constructing the area in front of the zoo for the past few months and it's finally open and nearly complete, including a non-creepy, non-carnivally train depot (if you ever rode the train there before, you know what I mean!). Every time I've gone to Hermann Park in the last couple of years, I always find myself saying how much it has changed and how nice it has become in the 10 years that we've lived in our current location. I think they're in the home stretch of the revival process. Check out these before and after pictures on the conservancy website. It's really become a beautiful oasis in the center of Houston.}

We were just ahead of the lines at each of our destinations for the day - while we were riding the train, we looked at the line for the paddle boats and there must have been 10 families waiting there. (and we had walked right up and gotten on a boat!) And when the train arrived back at the depot, the line was four times longer than it had been when we got on the train! Excellent luck!

By this point, it was only 2pm, so we went home, rested a little bit and went out for a bike ride. And we even managed to find a tiny patch of bluebonnets so we could fulfill a Texas tradition by taking a picture of the kids sitting in the bluebonnets. Days like this make me almost happy to live in Houston. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Break in Colorado

We spent spring break in Colorado last week. We drove. That wasn't all that fun. But, at least we got to go and get in some skiing!

We got there on Saturday evening and spent Sunday just hanging out. On Monday and Tuesday, we put the kids in ski school for the morning and skied together in the afternoon. And on Wednesday and Thursday it was just family ski-time. It's been very dry in Colorado, so I can't imagine that Arapahoe Basin (the place where we take the kids to ski school) will be able to stay open until June, like they usually do. That was the one strange thing about this vacation - lack of snow.

However, there was still a lot of good snow on which to ski! And we took advantage of it. We tried out Ski Cooper on Wednesday - I think it's going to be a great place to ski with the kids. Probably next year. They have some really nice LOOONNGGG runs which were just a little bit too long for us this year. I think we only got in about 4 runs all day long. But the following day, we made up for it by skiing at Loveland. Both the kids were on fire all day long and as we were going down the last run of the day - a Blue (which is an "intermediate" slope for those uninitiated to skiing) - Marxo turned to me and said, "Mommy, I'm glad we came down the easy way." That's my girl.

The theme for this year's ski trip, since we are now forced to abide by the school schedule, meaning that we had to go skiing during the time when the rest of the US also has to go skiing, was "Ski at Non-popular Spring Break Destinations." It worked out very well. We've now become no-frills skiers. All we need is a parking lot at the base (where we can keep our lunch in the car within walking distance of the base), a bathroom, and a ski mountain. It's different than in previous years when we sought out the best snow and the best places to ski, but avoiding lift lines is so worth it!

We own a tiny portion of a condo with some friends who also have kids about our kids' ages and we got to see them on Monday afternoon. I always knew that our friends called the condo "the Happy Place", but when I heard one of their daughters refer to it as the happy place, I had to chuckle because I thought it was so cute.

I told the kids later on in the week that our friends refer to the condo as "the Happy Place" and I asked them if they thought it was a happy place. They both agreed that it was, but Fellan immediately added, "And our house in Houston is a Happy Place, too."

So, we're now back in our other Happy Place. It's true. Pretty much anywhere we're all together is a Happy Place. :)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Two Wheels

I'm at work this afternoon, but accomplishing nothing. Mostly because I'm not getting paid for being here, so that puts a damper on my motivation.

Anyway, I thought I'd post a picture of Marxo up on two wheels. Now, I must tell you that we have never before let one of our children ride his bike without a helmet on. And we only let her ride her bike on the baseball diamond with no possibility of a car running her over. After seeing this picture, however, it makes me want to let her ride without a helmet all the time. I mean, look at her hair blowing free in the wind. It looked even better than this most of the time. :)