Family Vacation Part 5 – 7/7/2012

Our first morning in Austin Texas. We needed to be in Austin this afternoon for the rehearsal since Sonora is the flower girl. We had plenty of time to spare and liked it that way. The hotel we were all staying in had a large breakfast area and we took full advantage of it. Corvin and Matt wasted no time turning the exercise area into a jungle gym.

In order to make the kids happy, we spent the morning in the hotel pool. Half of the rooms in the hotel had a balcony looking out on the pool.

It wasn’t long and we were off to the rehearsal. The location was a bit difficult to find and nearly required a four wheel drive vehicle with a wench, but we were able to get there in time. Maybe I’m weird for noticing, but the wedding planner (in the black dress) had matching bruises on the back of her calves. I’m not sure what that was about and I never got around to asking her.

We found a Hobby Lobby nearby and purchased supplies for making bracelets. Danelle sure knows a great craft for keeping the kids busy!

It was a simple relaxing day with nothing to complain about.


Family Vacation Part 4 – 7/6/2012

We woke up in Hayden’s house refreshed and ready for the day. The beds were great and the hospitality even better! The kids were already up and playing with their cousins. We told them that we had to leave today for our next destination, but they were not too happy about it. After breakfast, we talked for a bit and got ready to leave. I found out that Hayden had a 9:00 am eye doctor appointment where they were going to dilate his eyes. I told him we would stay and babysit so Jennifer could go with him and drive him home. Hayden insisted that he didn’t need help and would be fine, but we used the kids playing as an excuse to stay a bit longer and help out.

When Hayden and Jennifer got back Hayden’s eyes were a mess. He said, not surprisingly, that there is no way he could have drove back from his appointment. We decided before we left for our next destination that we would call my parents. Mom and dad were leaving KC that morning with a “quick” stop in Wichita and then on to have lunch on the 6th with Hayden and Jennifer. They were between three and fours hours behind us on the road and we decided that we didn’t want to wait. Danelle and I planned this vacation with the kids in mind. Our goal was not to spend more than four or five hours in the car any day if we could help it. That was part of the reason for our hops seeing different family instead of taking the direct route to the wedding from St. Louis.

So we took off after pleasant goodbyes to Hayden and family since they were not going to the wedding. We were now on the road straight to Austin, Texas. But it didn’t take long before we had our first detour. Right after leaving the air force base, there were numerous old planes on display. It was prohibitively hot outside, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from seeing the planes. I won’t bore you with more than two pictures, but there is at least 1 photo of every plane there and the placard describing it.

Trying to keep the drive interesting, I saw a sign for Turner Falls and decided to detour off the highway to give the kids a break and look at a waterfall. I drove for close to 40 minutes before I ended up on a peninsula of a large lake wondering where I went wrong. After a short discussion with a local, he set me straight. 40 minutes back to the highway and the next exit down was Turner Falls. Be warned that if you go here, it does cost money to get in. There isn’t a lot you can see from the road and the kids will only complain about how that is ALL they want to do the whole trip!

After much complaining we were back on the road. But eventually, we gave up and got the kids something to keep their mouths full so they couldn’t complain. Somehow, that ended up being ice cream…

Of course, ice cream and drinks can only lead to a bathroom break. And we found the worst bar-b-que in Texas when we stopped!

Somewhere along the way, I ended up getting on contact with my parents on the phone. By attempting to be on time, they broke a Haake Law of Physics by trying to be on time and were punished! Just like last year’s vacation, their van broke down in Oklahoma City. They had to wait a while for it to be rush fixed. At this point, we were glad that we didn’t wait for them to show up in town. It was nice to finally arrive in Austin, Texas and check into our hotel room for some needed sleep!


Family Vacation Part 2 – 7/4/2012

We got up early in KC at my parents house and packed quickly. We said our goodbyes after breakfast and were on our way. Our destination was south on I-35 to Wichita Kansas to see my sister Holly. Of course the real star is her son “Little Moscow” [David]. Holly wasn’t going to go to the wedding in Texas, so we wanted to visit her and her family on the way there. It was our first time seeing the baby in person!

Since we got to town around lunch time, we asked what they liked to eat. Being Independence day, we figured our choices were limited and decided to got o Applebee’s. On the way, we called Henry and he said he would meet us at the restaurant. Luck for us, they had a lunch special of a free kids meal with every adult meal. I bring this up because they have meal deals where you get two meal deals for one price, so without Henry showing up to eat, there were only two meal purchases and two kids (mine) eating. However, once Henry showed up and ordered, Jim also ordered a kids meal for David [who is only a month old] since it was free. I still can’t decide if he’s cheap or smart!

Once we got back to the house, I went with Henry to check into our hotel room for the night. I didn’t want to impose with a new baby and I figured it would get us out of town early the next morning. So Henry, Corvin, and I took off and checked into our room. But that wasn’t our only destination. Henry is going to Wichita State University, so I wanted to see where he lives. He took us to campus and started giving us the tour, but I saw something that caused us to pause and take a photo break. The original Pizza Hut restaurant.

After we finished with Pizza Hut, we went on to Henry’s fraternity. He gave Corvin and I a tour of the building and his room. It was what I would expect for a guy in college. Henry was quite proud of it and should be. I enjoyed seeing where his is living.

After our tour, we were back at Holly’s place hanging out. Since it was the 4th of July, we decided to purchase a few fireworks. So after about an hour away, we came back with a small arms cache. Corvin had never done fireworks before and I believe he may have considered it the best day of his life! A few hours and several close calls with flaming projectiles later, we watched the big boys send off the large fireworks with delight. The first full day of our vacation had played itself out. We got to visit Holly and family and shoot off fireworks. It was a nearly perfect day, so we headed to the hotel to get some sleep before the next day’s journey.