We usually take a beach vacation in the summer. We don't have big bucks and we live in Texas, so the beach is a logical, affordable vacation. This year, however, we opted for a different venue since we didn't think sand and a 10 month old would mix too well. We decided to crash my brother's gorgeous, largely empty home in Austin, and then spend some time in our very own city. So, we left two Wednesdays ago after Ed got home from work. Wednesday night we settled into my brother's house - which is just fabulous. He lives in a fairly new community in Austin that is just gorgeous. We got to visit with our beautiful and sweet niece, Lizzie, and catch up a little with my brother.Thursday morning we headed to the capitol. It was a little above the kids' heads, but they had a good time just the same. They spent a little time looking for the president and wondering why he wasn't there. ;o) We came back to my brother's and went swimming in his pool. I wish I had taken pictures of the pool (Ed napped instead of going with us which is why there are no pictures!) because it was really nice. The kids, of course, had a great time. They have turned into fish, and as long as there is a pool they are pretty much happy anywhere in the summer! We swam most of the afternoon away. Thursday evening we headed downtown. We took a little driving tour of downtown Austin and then settled in to watch the bats under Congress St. bridge. This is a spectacular sight and the kids enjoyed watching from both below the bridge and on top of the bridge. After watching the bats, we walked around downtown so that the kids could experience a little nightlife in downtown Austin (which is an adventure - like no other - in and of itself). My brother drives a cab at night and they were determined to see his cab (he already knew where we were going to be). Malcolm's vacation was made when completely joking around he yelled out "TAXI" from the bridge and lo and behold up drove my brother. It was pretty funny - even for an adult - and Malcolm is still telling the story to anyone that will listen. ;o)
We ended the day with ice cream all around.
Friday morning it was a sad good-bye to Uncle Ray and Austin. Uncle Ray took the kids to the various parks that are in his neighborhood. They loved all the cool structures and got a kick out of helping Uncle Ray walk his dog, Penny. My brother's neighborhood has some wonderful areas to enjoy nature and play.From Austin, we headed home briefly to catch a ride to our hotel in downtown San Antonio. We arrived at the Crockett hotel which is across the street from the Alamo in the afternoon. We immediately got into our suits and headed for the pool. We swam until it started RAINING - of all things! (We are in Stage 1001 of the drought, so rain is always highly unexpected). It was perfect timing for us. We'd had enough water and headed to our rooms to get ready to find some dinner. We walked across the street to eat at the mall's foodcourt, played at a downtown park, and caught a great magic show on the way back to the hotel.
Our second day downtown we toured the Alamo, swam, went to eat, took a trolley back to our hotel, had fabulous fun in front of the Magic Mirror, and toured Ripley's Believe It Or Not. It was great fun. We ate late night burgers at Fudrucker's and spent our last night of staycation full and happy. Sunday we ended the day by going to Fiesta Texas with friends. Who knew vacation at home could be so much fun???