Thursday, September 27, 2012

Texas Ranger Day

This summer my mom and I took the kids to the second annual Texas Ranger Day in Burton.

The festival was started to honor Leander Harvey McNelly, a Texas Ranger, who was head of the Washington County Volunteers after serving in the Civil War.  He is buried in Burton.
The Burton Train Depot is the setting for the festival.  The day is filled with people touring the train depot, cooking for the Chili Cook-Off, playing in the kid's old west town, drooling over vintage cars, playing frontier games, and witnessing criminals being sentenced in front of a judge.
Of course we took Brazos because he LOVES trains.  He's obsessed.  He wakes up thinking about trains and goes to sleep with his trains right next him.  Granny bought him a train wistle and a conductor's hat.  He's set to go on a real train ride!

A great day for a little conductor!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Summer Vacation {Houston Zoo}

As we headed home from our Texas coast vacation, we made a detour to downtown Houston to visit the Houston Zoo.  Luckily we arrived early.  We didn't know it was "Free Day" after 2:00pm.  As we were ready to leave, huge crowds flocked to the entrance gates.

I think Brazos enjoyed the birds the best, mainly because they were at his level and close for him to look at.  I loved the gorillas, giraffes, warthogs, and elephants.  I don't think Sandy had a favorite animal.  She slept through most of the zoo exhibits.

As we were viewing the gorillas, I made my way through the crowd to view them upclose.  When I went back to stand by Matt and the kids, I told Matt he could walk up there to see the gorillas.  He said, "That's okay.  I don't like gorillas."  Goofy ole' boy!

I think Brazos's favorite part was being able to climb in the jungle ropes and put his feet in the water fountain.  It was a bit hot for all of us, but it may have looked strange if all four of us plopped down in the water fountain to cool off our feet.  At least Brazos was small and cute and no one would complain about him putting his feet in the water.

Oh wait!  I know what Brazos's favorite part was....never mind what I said before.  His favorite was the train!!!  There was a train that took you on a tour of the museum district of Houston.  Brazos cried as we left the train to head to the zoo entrance.  Sandy loved the train, too!

One last thing I remember about the day....the food at the restaurant in the African village was delicious!  I know!  You don't expect food at a zoo or  amusement park to be so great, but the hamburger was on a homemade bun and the patty was thick and juicy.  As we ate, we could see the giraffes being fed from our window.  It was a great lunch at the zoo!

And off we went, back to home sweet home.

Summer Vacation {Galveston}

On the second day of our little vacation we headed off to Galveston Island.

Along the way we stopped at Sylvin Beach in LaPorte.  They had a train museum but it was closed, so we let Brazos enjoy the playground for a few minutes instead.  Daddy went down the slide with him several times!

When we arrived in Galveston, we rode the ferry to Boliver Peninsula. 

Boliver Peninsula has some of our favorite beaches.  You can drive and park your car on the beach, and usually there aren't too many people on the beach.  There's lots of room to run and play.  Matt enjoys fishing in the water, while the kids and I play in the sand.
Brazos ran into the water before we could put his swimsuit on.  So he wore his regular clothes to swim and he wore his swimsuit for the ride home.  Sandy was a bathing beauty in her pink ruffled swimsuit.  Unfortunately, her swimsuit mildewed after wearing it at the beach.
Matt didn't have any luck fishing, as usual.  Brazos was keeping himself busy with dump trucks and shovels, while Sandy sunbathed in the sand.  Both kids really liked the water.  Sandy got upset when we walked away from the water!  She liked the waves splashing on her feet, and Brazos loved it when mommy and daddy would pick him up to jump over a big wave.  The only problem with the water this time was the seaweed.  The beach was covered in seaweed.
We had stopped at a grocery store to buy some lunch meat and bread.  Luckily we found a really cheap sand umbrella, too.  After eating a few bites in the shade, Brazos and Matt fed the birds the rest of our bread.  {Brazos has noticed birds ever since.  He never noticed the big black birds in the parking lots back home, but now I have to restrain him from running across the road to chase a bird.}
Our day at the beach was relaxing.


Once our fingers and toes were all wrinkly from the water and we had our sand spa treatments, we headed back to Kemah for the evening.  We ate dinner at the Aquarium.  Brazos was fascinated by all the fish we could hardly keep him in his seat to eat his dinner.  We saw a gigantic fish called an Australian Queensland Grouper.  He was HUGE!  He could have swallowed Sandy whole!
To end the day we walked through Sting Ray Reef.  The sign said that you can buy food to feed the sting rays.  Matt had said, "No."  He didn't think it would be very interesting.  But I convinced him to buy the food and he's so glad we did.  After giving us a tray of dead minnows, the cashier guided us around the corner to a large fish pool full of sting rays swimming around!  We reached our hands into the water to pet each sting ray as it swam by.  The rays were like puppies waiting for you to throw them some food.  Some would even jump out of the water to perform for us.  To feed a sting ray, you hold the minnow between your knuckles and the sting ray comes right up and grabs it out of you hand.  It was amazing!
Another great day of our mini vacation to the coast!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Summer Vacation {Kemah}

Now that summer is coming to a close and fall is about to begin, I think back on what fun we had during those hot summer months.  We began our summer time with a little vacation to the coast. 

On Sunday, June 3rd after church, we loaded up the family and drove to Kemah.  As you near the coast, the landscape is crowded with oil company after oil company.  Luckily, someone has taken it upon themselves to decorate a few of these huge containers to give you a little eye candy along the way.


Pretty cool, huh?  I especially like the man in blue in the last mural staring at you larger than life as you drive past him.  His look is saying, "Howdy, mam.  Now get the heck out of here!"  I'm a Texas history girl, so I thought the murals were amazing.

Once we arrived in Kemah, our first stop was to enjoy some finger lickin' good food at Landry's Seafood House.  My parents drove down also because they didn't want to miss out on the good food and fun.  I had cedar planked salmon which was delicious.  Brazos ate some popcorn shrimp, but he was more interested in coloring and driving his trains around the window sill.  Those trains go with him everywhere!  After dinner, a balloon artist came to our table and made Brazos a puppy dog.  What a treat!  But the balloon didn't last too long because someone kept putting it in his mouth.

Now it was time for fun!  Daddy bought Brazos a wrist band so he could ride as many rides as he liked.  He rode the carousel with Daddy, the hot air balloons with Granny, the airplanes with Mommy, the ferris wheel with Daddy, and we couldn't forget the train ride.  Afterall, we made sure we picked vacation spots that had trains for the little conductor.

Poor Sandy was too little for all the rides {except for the train} and it was really hot for her.  She wasn't in the best of moods.

When it was time to wind down and relax, Granny and Papa drove back home, and the Supak clan found their room at the Boardwalk Inn.  Brazos found his favorite toy immediately - the telephone.  We also ventured outside our room to visit the swimming pool.  Brazos loved the hot tub and we couldn't get him out.  Sandy fell asleep in my arms while I swayed back and forth in the water.  For supper we ate at a tiny pizza joint on the boardwalk.  To end the first day of our first family of four vacation, we sat on the balcony, resting up for the next day of fun.

Oh and how could I forget?!  The Boardwalk had a toy store filled with Thomas the Train toys.  Brazos spent most of him time in that store.  Sandy was happy in a toy store, too!
And one last was our view from the parking garage.  Yes, the parking garage.  A beautiful Texas coast night.