July 21, 2010

Our Summer Vacation

Whewwwww!!!  We're home and now trying to recoup from being gone for over a week.  It was the best 8 days we could've ever asked for!  We had great times with our wonderful family and had great times just the three of us.  Spencer was marvelous and we couldn't have expected more out of a two year old.  He had his moments when he went into complete melt down mode, but what 2 year old wouldn't who had been in the car for a long time and getting out and in of the car from the stroller.  He was a CHAMP!  However we did learn a few things along the way and Spencer also had some "firsts" on this trip...

*Spencer is OBSESSED with pens (which he calls colors).  We got to where we had to hide the pen when the waiter brought back our card with the slip to be signed.  Colors caused most melt downs.  We even went to Wal Mart and bought him Crayola markers that only draw on certain types of paper (and we bought all that paper to go with it plus a carrying case for it all) and all he wanted to do was throw them and take the lids off.  So, it's all about ball point pens for this little guy.  He likes them so much he colored his legs in the back seat one day.

*Spencer loves macaroni and cheese!  He's never liked it before and started eating it every chance he had while on vacation.
*Spencer does better in a booth and a booster seat.  The high chair doesn't work with Spencer in restaurants.  We've never tried the booster seat before and it's great.  He can stand in the booth, bother people all around him (ha!) and not get out of straps and climb out.  He's also blocked in by Rick and I and that keeps him in one place...somewhat.

*Spencer now takes baths in the bathtub.  Up until now, he has taken them in the sink because our sink is really large and he's always been able to fit in it.  Well, sinks like that aren't everywhere, so we had to go to the bathtub.  He would barely stand in it the first night and cried the whole time.  Every night got a little better and he finally sat down in it when we got to Austin.  We are now full on taking baths in the bathtub.  He still won't move once he's sitting, but he plays and plays.  I have no pictures because Rick and I had to be hands-on at all times because he was so scared.

The time Spencer got to spend with Jean (Rick's mom) was priceless.  He loves her so much and asked for the ENTIRE way to Austin.  Jean would take him outside and play in the water with him whenever he uttered the word "outside".  They played with his stretchy dinosaur all the time and Spencer had a fun time helping Jean pick up the house.  Spencer loved Jean's magnifying glass and she showed him how to use it and he started looking at everything through that thing!  She's so special to us and I'm so glad Spencer has her in his life.  What a joy to have a grandmother like that!!  Might I add what a joy it is to have a mother-in-law like that??

Spencer LOVED the zoo!  He was saying, "amanals" from the backseat on the way there.  He did really great and walked most of the way.  Daddy carried him the other times.  His favorite animals were the giraffes, elephants, snakes and birds.  The Tyler zoo is PERFECT for someone his age.  It's not too big where you have to spend 4 hours there to go through it all, but it's big enough to be a wonderful zoo. 

One of our biggest highlights of the trip was getting to see Terry (Rick's sister) and her husband James.  We have the best time with them and I hate leaving that house every time we go there.  We were also SO lucky to have gotten to see Spencer's cousins, Tori, Chloe, Micah and Jake.  Spencer had the BEST time with them and they were so good to him.  They introduced him to the candy machines at the restaurant and bought him M&Ms and Skittles, which he thought was so cool.  What a blessing they are!  We look forward to seeing them a lot more! 

When in Austin we have two things on our minds, eating GREAT food and having a GREAT time.  That's it and man did we accomplish that this time!  Our food intake was insane, but we found a lot of new places to go (thank you Food Network and Google reviews) and visited our oldies but goodies.

Our first stop had to be Zax Pints and Plates on Wednesday night because they have pint night every Wednesday and they bring in a special beer and you get to keep the pint glasses from that brewery.  We had 14th Anniversary Pale Ale from Blanco, TX and man was it good!  They even had it in a cask on the counter.  Super cool!

Our first Food Network "referral" was Flip Happy Crepes.  They were on Bobby Flay's Throw Down and HE lost, so that tells you how good these things are.  They run this business out of an Airstream.  The picture is of a 1/2 eaten crepe, so you can kind of see how big they are.  Definitely delicious!

The ABSOLUTE BEST place to eat breakfast in Austin is a place called Cisco's.  It's on East 6th street, bars on the windows, hourly rate motel across the street and definitely not the place you want to be at after dark.  Rick ate there plenty when he was in college.  I have never eaten migas as good as these.  We literally could eat there every morning.  Next time, we're going to eat there for lunch.  I didn't even have time to take a picture of the migas when they came out because the fork was going to my mouth so fast.  So, I leave you with what was left of my migas.


Chuy's is another oldy but goodie that Rick and I had the best food we ate on the entire trip!  I have no pictures to show because we were eating like crazy!  We did have our usual fabulous margaritas and Spencer was one silly little boy!!

Then there's ZTejas which is a place we've been going ever since we've been going to Austin together.  It's a little more upscale Mexican cuisine with KILLER margaritas.  We had some great food at Green Mesquite's which we have driven by going to Chuy's every time, but have never been. Guy Fieri went there on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.  The onion rings were soooooo good!!

Google reviews helped us out on three new places to go.  We got great take-out burgers and homemade fries at P. Terry's and the next night we got the second best pizza we've ever had (1st is Cafe Rio in Ruidoso, NM) at Home Slice.  Yummmmmmy!

Last but not least, an awesome breakfast place (found from Google reviews), Kerbey Lane Cafe.  The food was so good and we got so much to eat.  We had to wait when we got there and we were looking around and saw a lot of cards that an elementary school had made the restaurant thanking them for something they did for them.  This card was among them:

We had to wait awhile for our food and as usual, the only thing that keeps Spencer occupied when we eat anywhere for breakfast is the little plastic creamer cups.  This is a usual thing when we go eat at Cracker Barrel on Saturdays.  He usually just has us fill it up with water and he drinks it out of there.  But, after the water became boring, Rick filled it up with ketchup (which Spencer LOVES). 

Like I've mentioned many times, Spencer was such a trooper and did wonderful in the car and getting in and out all of the time.  But, he really needed to get out and play.  It was way too hot to play outside, so we took him to the Austin Children's Museum.  We hoped it would be similar to the Science Spectrum here in Lubbock and it was similar.  He got to play with dominoes, a life size connect 4 game, a restaurant and grocery store with tons of play food and more importantly, he got to run like the wind and expel all that energy!

And my favorite picture from that day...

I know this was the looooongest post you've ever read, but it's important for us to write all this down so we will have it forever.  Thank you for reading it and hope you're having a wonderful week!  I leave you with a hodgepodge of pictures from last week...


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