Thursday, August 30, 2012

Houston - Day 2

After waking up late and rushing to breakfast, we headed to the Children's Museum.

We let the kids go crazy!

Look at Ella's muscles! 

Chad and Caleb built parachutes and then tested them.

Olivia made her own parachute, following Chad's step by step. Such a smart girl!

Caleb's favorite part was building your own Lego car and racing it down the track. We had to literally drag him out of there.

His next favorite was being a weather man.

And a newscaster.

Olivia thought it was pretty fun too!

After the museum, we ate yummy pizza at a small little restaurant.  We then headed back to the hotel so the kids could swim!

Chad tossed Caleb so hard that his swim trunks almost fell off!

The weather took a turn for the worse and it began to thunder and lightning.  And then it started to rain :(

We then headed to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. O-M-G. Cheesecake Factory, where have you been all my life? I don't have any pictures from dinner. Well, actually I do, but I took them with my phone and am not sure how to post them here.  I will learn. The food was really good, the cheesecake was great!  Unfortunately, Ella fell asleep (again) and didn't get to try any :( 
Fortunately, I got to eat more!

On a sad note, our family has suffered another tragic loss.  My dear cousin, Melissa, passed away at the young age of 44.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Aunt Biz, Uncle Fred, Paul, Katy, Lauren, Freddie, Dylan, and April and the rest of our family back home.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Houston - Day 1

We were able to sneak away to Houston for the weekend before school started.  Summer was almost over and Chad has been busy (working and training) at his new job at Samsung - he is still with Applied Materials.  We are pretty sure his schedule is going to involve longer hours, so this was the perfect time to get away.

I took A LOT of pictures, so I will break it down into 3 posts. How excited are you to hear that?!

We better start, so here is day 1:

We headed straight to a HUGE mall to eat lunch at the Rainforest Cafe.  This mall is so big, there is a ice skating rink in it.  Next time!


The kids LOVE going up and down the elevators and escalators.  I think they could do this all day.

This flag was huge!

While in the mall, we stopped at Dylan's Candy Bar.  A kids dream come true.  I took a few pictures and then was told by an employee that taking pictures was not allowed.  What?!

So, I quickly took a few more while she wasn't looking.  I am crazy like that.

These gummy letters were bigger than my hand.  Caleb and Ella would have loved to buy every letter for their names.

I took this one for Ericka :)  Sprinkles make me want to throw up.  Yuck!

Caleb loved these too - Lego candy!

You could take pictures with the chocolate bunny.  So we did.

We let the kids buy their own small bag full of candy.  They picked gummies, sour candy, gumballs, you name it! They were so happy and snacked on that candy all weekend.

We also stopped at the Lego store.

After looking at the Disney Store (no pictures there, I was too busy looking around!), we headed to Build a Bear and the kids picked out their own friend and went to work.

Here is Olivia's puppy, Emily.

Caleb's bear, Sergeant BB.

And Ella's bear, Bella.

After the mall, we checked into our hotel.  We stayed at the Omni again and the kids were given backpacks filled with treats, bracelet and bead kits, water bottles, and clues to a scavenger hunt!

The kids loved it!  We went all around the hotel finding answers to the clues.  One of the clues was to locate the picture of the girl with rainbow hair.

Olivia carefully wrote all her answers.

Caleb read the clues and lead the hunt.

Ella crossed off her clues as we went.

After completing the hunt, the kids had to hand in their answers and were rewarded with yummy sundaes filled with crushed oreos and gummy worms!

For dinner, we headed to the Aquarium.  My favorite part!

Caleb was concerned that this big fish was stuck under this fence.  We watched and watched and the fish never moved.  Didn't he know Caleb was worried about him?

They have a hands-on area where you can touch the creatures.  All 3 kids did it!

These cute guys are always sleeping.

I wish these guys would sleep more :)

While perusing the gift shop, the kids tried on hats.

Ella not impressed.

There was a wait for dinner, so we headed outside to ride the train and other rides.  The restaurant texts you when your table is ready - how smart is that?!

Ella knows that a scary shark is going to jump out of the water...

But first, the train stops under a tunnel where you can watch all kinds of sharks.

Where is that scary shark?

There he is!  We think the shark was tired this night.  He didn't jump very fast... and wasn't so scary this time.  I hope they gave him medicine to fix him!

Caleb and the kids rode this - a few times.  The kids are so brave!

And you have to ride the carousel.  It's a must.

And the ferris wheel.

Caleb is trying to look like the eel. 

Finally, our table was ready and we ate!  Ella barely finished her food, then fell asleep.

We woke Ella up for a horse carriage ride.  Our horse, Silver, was so cute and smart.  He is trained and follows voice commands.  I asked the driver if he could do the same with husbands...

Finally, we headed back to the hotel to find milk and chocolate chip cookies for the kids.

Everyone was so exhausted from a long - and very fun - day that we woke up at 10:41the next day.  Breakfast was over at 11 so we got dressed and ran as fast as we could to go eat.  We made it just in time to tell the omelet chef what we wanted in our omelets.  They were so good!

Check back for Day 2!

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