Yeeeee-HAWWW! Here we are in Texas, the land of the free and the home of my birth. In church on Sunday a lady mentioned in her testimony that Texas was the best state. Only in Texas do you get so much state pride. In fact, when I had Texas History in school here, I thought everyone in the country took it. Our time in Austin was wonderful. We spent good, quality time with Bill's sister, Jamie and her family. Jamie's husband, Dallas is a dentist and he checked out Taya's teeth and gave her a thorough cleaning.
I thought it was really nice of him to do that, and it was cool seeing him in action. He wore some kind of glasses while he did that….can't remember what they were called…whirly-gigs maybe? no, that's not it…opticlas? I dunno.
Our first morning there we went to Round Rock donuts. The gods of fried-dough-drenched-in-warm-sugar-glaze has definitely given this place their blessing. I don't know if I would have even been able to say - ENOUGH! - so luckily we didn't go for a whole dozen and each got our own donut, er, donuts. The only problem was that they have no indoor seating, so we ate them outside at a concrete picnic table and it was SO HOT.
(Hmmmm, maybe the dentist pictures should come AFTER the donut pictures....)
After that we went to IKEA. I love love love IKEA. It's probably good that they don't have one too close to us, because I would be going there all the time. I was not sure how the kids were going to do there, but they had a blast! Jamie gave them each a paper measuring tape and they went through the store measuring everything, including the arrows on the floor. I think I've convinced Bill to take me to the closest iKEA we have - in Atlanta. I think the phrase "let's go to a Braves game while we're there" really won him over.
One night we went to Rudy's - a really great Bar-B-Q restaurant with a gas station attached (which somehow makes it that much cooler).
(I love this picture! Andy has a FIRM hold on Taya, but she just kept on smiling!)
It was really good food that comes in a plastic tray with butcher paper. They give you several pieces of white bread with which to eat your meat, and you order sides to go with it. We got the cream(ed) corn and it was really good. It was kind of like a thin custard with some corn in it. Super rich. Super good.
We had some authentic Mexican food the next day along with some horchata, which is a refreshing, sweetened rice drink, which usually has nutmeg. Kind of like the taste of rice pudding, but without the pudding...or the rice. It's been awhile since I've had some good authentic horchata.
We really enjoyed our visit with Jamie and Dallas. They have great games and we had a great time playing with them. Many memories are built around game play.
(I have to explain this. We played a pictionary-type game. The topic was hairstyles. Bill was the artist. Can you guess what they were? 1.) braid 2.) bald 3.) spikey 4.) ponytail 5.) afro (?!) 6. crew cut or buz cut (I can't remember) 7.) bun 8.) (this is the best!) BEEHIVE!! Bill did a great job because Dallas got all of them!)
Jamie and I were talking about how the little things that people say sometimes make the biggest impression on us. I remember Dallas telling me once that his mom would go and "inspect" after he had completed a chore, and that really made an impression on me. So I do that with Taya now. I also go and check out what she has done, and I think that makes her feel a sense of accomplishment and she knows I'm going to check out what she's done, so she wants to do a great job (at least that's what I tell myself is happening).
Here are a few more pictures of our fun time in Texas:
Yes, they were praying. I just had to take the picture - they were so sweet!
Having fun destroying our bed after church.
Tug O' War
Ready for the pool!
Dinner at Rudy's.
According to Dr. Dal (and my dad) lemons aren't really good for your teeth...but every once in awhile a little extra citrus never hurts anyone.
Anyone else think of Sasquatch?
There's just something about that pose...
She slept like this the ENTIRE night one night...I guess stuffed animals make great pillows!
Taya LOVED playing with Caleb! They made many Lego masterpieces.
At the pool.
Another Lego masterpiece.
Jamie making funny faces with Andy. He would mock what she did and said. Super cute!
Waiting for Uncle Doctor Dallas! I loved this giant tooth they had as a chair!
We left Texas and headed towards Roswell, New Mexico. There was just something memorizing about the landscape. It's kind of hilly, and really pretty, in a different sort of way. There was one little town that we went through that has pecan orchards. I wish we would have stopped to get some, but we went through so quickly that I didn't realize it was be so cool.
As I was looking out the window at the cows on the side of the road and it reminded me of something my dad said once. It might have actually been his father or his grandfather who actually said it. He said that a cow can have a huge open field of the greenest, sweetest grass and on the other side of the fence is a desolate field. But if there is a hole in the fence somewhere the cow will find it and go to the other side - without the grass - just because they can (and they are stupid). I wonder how many times we go through the hole in the fence just because we can.
We went through San Angelo (where I was born) so that I could look around the town that I grew up in. We got lots of pictures. Although it was SUPER DUPER hot, and I think Taya was kind of bored, I'm glad we went because I found out they are going to be tearing down part of one of my elementary schools pretty soon. I got to walk around it a bit and take some pictures. It was just how I remembered, but just a little bit smaller. It's funny how certain memories stick in your head about certain spaces. I was surprised that I didn't recognize more places, but it has really changed since we were there - it has been 20 years after all.
We got shaved ice one day in Round Rock, and it came with a paper umbrella. Taya liked to wear it in her hair like a flower, and she did until it just fell apart.
Texas is THIS big!
One of the streets
The former home of the BEST pizza place EVER - Shakey's!! They had really good pizza and these round fried potatoes called Rojos. Even the ketchup was special - it seemed to have a little kick to it. This is also where my love for salad in little wooden bowls came from.
I'm standing in front of the little apartment my parents lived in when I was born. Theirs was the top, corner apartment.
Our church building.
My first grade classroom!
The house we lived in.
The Concho River
The hospital where Ben (and maybe Alli) was born.
Our favorite Mexican restaurant.
We had a GREAT time in Texas!
Next stop - Roswell, NM (with a little visit to the UFO Museum) and Arizona!