Friday, August 29, 2014

On the road again... Texas for the 4th!

We left for another big road trip, TX for the 4th of July and then on to UT for a Betteridge reunion and the Shakespeare festival.  We got on the road fairly late since it took a while to clean out the car (there was a really nasty smell that I could never find the source of!) and Chris had to go to work. We left around 6:00 pm and had an 8-9 hour drive ahead of us. We had some flies in the car at one point and we unrolled the windows to get rid of them. The kids weren't expecting so much wind to blast their faces: 

We arrived at Thom and Brittany's around 3AM or so and then got up early to make it to the McKinney Texas 4th of July parade. A small town American parade was a great start to celebrating the birth of our country. We saw fire trucks, boy scouts, veterans, old fancy cars, horses etc. 

Then we hit up a splash pad and park for a hotdog roast dinner with really yummy cupcakes. 

Chris wanted to get some practice in for the magic show he was thinking of doing at the Betteridge reunion and the kids were more than happy to oblige him.  His made up Land of Mysterioso and the magic words, "abra ca-da-myrioso" made the kids smile and laugh. 

Anxious to explore their new surroundings, we decided to go on a hike at a nearby nature preserve with mountain bike trails. We found a tire swing and of course HAD to try it out, over and over and over again. It was so much fun. The dads decided to rent mountain bikes on Monday and come back to actually ride these trails. 

The only down side to the hike which we didn't really figure out for a day or two was that we didn't adaquately guard against chiggers. Charlie, Alec, Graham and I got SERIOUSLY munched on. I counted 40+ bites between my knees and my navel. Eugh. Those huge, raised, red bumps were terribly itchy, painful and so ugly.  Poor boys had them all over their groin...wherever their underwear was tight against their skin. 

But we didn't realize what had happened so we obliviously enjoyed the rest of the day at a delicious, Texan BBQ house -- where they're so chill they don't even use plates, just a square of wax paper-- and then off to Brittany's parents house for a swim. 

This was the first time we went swimming this summer and Freddy's first experience with his swimming suit. Gwen tried out her swimming-by-herself-with-a-lifejacket skills and did AMAZING. I love watching my kids be so independent in a swimming pool (with life jackets still, but it is nice to not have to be the human island for all three of them all the time...their toes can really pinch and scratch!) 

Monday we went to the Dallas Science Center. It was so big. They had this cool interactive displey where you stood in this special spot and flapped your arms or leaned this way or that and the projected screen in front showed your flying movements as an eagle or hawk or something. Also there was this cool device where you program into the computer a picture and then a wheel of lights spins so fast that it makes your picture blur together - hard to explain. 

Chris had just as much fun as the kids figuring out how all the robotics stuff went. It was a really fun science center. 

Whew! a fun fun weekend. It ended kinda crazy with our first car crash, but more on that later.  It was really fun to see Chris' brother's beautiful brand new house and let the cousins play while the adults talked. I love our family. 

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