Thursday, July 24, 2008

Vacation...all I ever wanted, to get away!!

Okay...are you feeling Belinda Carlisle and the Go-go's? I am finally sitting down to post about our family vacation last week (during which we sang this song a lot), and what a vacation it was!!

Last Wednesday our family piled in our little "pregnant shoe" of a car...Chevy Aveo hatchback...with all of our luggage, cooler, snacks and toys for the twins, and headed to the Big "D"...Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. It was blessedly overcast on Wednesday and we actually encountered some rain around Wichita Falls, making our 4-6 hour trip a little cooler. I say 4-6 hours because our family isn't one that drives straight fact, we stop VERY frequently! Chad and I both drink coffee, so besides both of us having to stop for potty breaks...our twins are also "frequent pottiers". That, coupled with the fact that Chad cannot pass a Starbucks without stopping and I always have to stop at Wal-Mart for something, means that our trip to Fort Worth took from 9:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., just over 5 hours! Anyway, since we were in Ft. Worth and it was still somewhat overcast and a cool 98 or so degrees, we decided to start our trip with a visit to the Ft. Worth Zoo! Totally great! It was the perfect amount of time and with the animals out getting ready for feeding time, we got to see lots of great exhibits. (By the way...Chad bought me a Flip video camera that downloads directly to your computer without tapes, etc. and we have TONS of video of vacation that we will be posting soon, but we have to figure out how to upload to YouTube first so that we can upload to blogger).

Next we checked into our hotel in Grand Prairie (only technically speaking as we were only 100 yards or so into the Gr. Prairie city limits) which was on Hwy. 360 and only five minutes from Six Flags. After changing, we had our first big meal at Pappasitos! Awesome!

The next day we started early and got to Six Flags by 10:00. We parked close to the entrance and spent the next 8 and 1/2 hours riding everything that 39" 3-year olds could ride...and that is A LOT!!!!! Honestly, I've been to Six Flags several times, and I had the absolute best time riding the little rides and just seeing my children enjoy was a blast. It was hot, but we rode the "soaking" rides and stayed cool by being wet...and then spent an hour or so in Johnny Rockets in 70 degree AC letting the twins take a nap in a booth. It's amazing though, how many larger rides the little ones could ride as long as an adult was with them...plenty of big stuff and nausea inducing those darn teacups!!

After changing out of damp, sweaty clothes, we were off for another adventure at Pappadeaux...great food and great service and pretty good kids!

So Friday we headed to NRH2O water park in North Richland Hills. Just 15 minutes away, north of Ft. Worth, we had heard that this park was great for little kids, and they were right. Besides the wave pool and lazy river and several "fast" slides, they had two huge areas that were all about the little ones with slides and fountains and "lily pads" and anything that you can imagine to keep little water dogs busy...and my kids loved it! It was great, and because you could take in coolers, we saved by picnicking and then taking another snooze on lawnchairs in the shade. I would definitely recommend it for anyone with small children who like the water...the twins are STILL talking about it.

That evening, after changing clothes at the park, we ate at a great Italian food restaurant in North Richland Hills (right around the corner from the park) called Italiannos and then we headed to Northeast Mall to see Space Chimps. Now it could have been because they were tired out, but my kids didn't move as they watched this movie...they sat still and watched the whole thing and loved it! Whew, what a was like 10:00 before we got back to the hotel.

So Saturday was a day we had reserved to spend in Dallas with my cousin and his partner who are the twins godparents. We had breakfast at this great restaurant called Breadwinners you should definitely check out if you're in Dallas...there's one on Lover's Lane (just off the N. Dallas tollway) and another (the original) on McKinney. After a great meal, we headed to the Dallas World Aquarium in downtown Dallas. What a great place! It has this super cool aquarium tunnel where you can see the sharks (tiger, hammer head) stingrays, and other cool fish swimming right overhead and a huge rainforest enclosure where you can see monkeys, crocodiles (huge!!!), turtles, bats, frogs, tons of cool stuff. They also have an awesome penguin exhibit where we got to observe the feeding of the small penguins about 5 feet away from us.

After this cool experience, we headed back to the hotel for a nap, some swimming (and chickenfights) in the hotel swimming pool, and then headed over to Parks mall on I-20 for our last big meal at Cheesecake Factory and another movie Wall-E.

e left on Sunday following breakfast with my cousin and arrived back in P-town in the late afternoon. No one can say we didn't make the MOST of every minute of our vacation and I know the twins had an absolute great time! And even though it was exhausting in its own way, so did Chad and I. Look for some brief video clips of some highlights of our vacation coming soon!

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