Every other year the kids do not get "friend parties." This year we planned a weekend getaway for the family, something that is definitely going down as an awesome tradition. In fact, I am hoping to convince the kids that they no longer need parties and we can do a trip instead for every single birthday. Pretty sure they will not be fans of the idea, but you never know. (Sidenote: Storey has already been planning her birthday adventure for several months. Imagine that. We're going to the beach. Or the "beath" as she says. Poor lisp.)
Jakson has been wanting to tour the Blue Blue Creamery in Brenham since he read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory last year, so we decided to "plan it up" (as the kids would say) revolving around the tour.
We pulled them out of school/preschool early and headed up to Brenham. Thank goodness for DVD players and ear phones. It wasn't a very long car trip, but currently the kids' favorite thing to do in the car is fight. Loudly. Avoiding that any way possible is ideal.
The factory tour was great fun and we actually learned a lot of interesting things. Of course, everyone enjoyed the bowl of Blue Bell at the end. True to form, Jakson inhaled his with a few pauses to moan about a brain freeze (though that didn't deter him from eating quickly), and then stuck his spoon in everyone else's bowl. Storey noticed that he was getting more ice cream and tried to eat hers fast too, but ended up with a headache (she actually feels pain, unlike Jak) and proceeded to give everyone else in the surrounding area a headache by screaming at the top of her lungs about it. One of these days she realize that she's just not built the same way as Jakson.
He could not be bothered to pause from his ice cream eating to look at the camera for a picture.
After the tour, we had lunch at the Brenham airport. There is a great little diner there and the kids were very entertained by the airplanes coming and going. It was recommended by a couple of friends and I'm so glad because it was a great lunch spot.
All along the drive we saw beautiful wildflowers. It was the worst time of day for lighting, but I wanted pictures, so we stopped along the country road out to the diner and sat the kids amongst the bluebonnets. I figured since they are now Texans, we ought to do Texan things.
After our fun in the bluebonnets, we headed up to Austin where we had a hotel for the night. Along the way we stopped at our favorite store, the Goodwill Clearance Center. Jakson lovingly refers to it as the "trash store." That place is crazy. And awesome. It's fun to just people watch, but we dug through bins and came away with some great stuff, including a brand new Scattergories game.
We got into Austin pretty late, so just had dinner and then went to bed. Zak and I are always excited to stay in a hotel because they have cable! We usually end up watching Storage Wars. We are so lame.
Saturday's highlight was the Nature Center at Zilker Park. This past summer, Zak had a business trip in Austin and the rest of us tagged along, which is when we originally discovered the center. It's free (which I love), has a dinosaur dig area, streams, and a zoo-like setup. All of the animals were rescued for one reason or another. Some were abadoned pets, some injured, etc.
After several hours of exploring, wading, and digging, we piled back into the car to head home with a small detour for lunch/dinner/linner at Torchy's Tacos. Jakson gave the weekend two thumbs up and is currently brainstorming destinations for his next birthday adventure. Maybe I will be able to convince them to forgo parties after all.....