Friday, July 1, 2011

Hooray for cousins!

Our first visitors of the summer came last week.  Jared's twin sister Jamie and her two girls came to visit us for a week and we had a fantastic time!  They came in on Wednesday night and we went to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, "On the Border." They were such troopers after getting up at 6 that morning to drive the three hours to the airport - then two flights and a layover.  By the time everyone got to bed, they had been awake nearly 18 hrs.

Due to the hail storm on Monday night, I ended up having to work on Thursday, so Jamie took her girls and Paul to our apartment swimming pool, and generally played around and got to know each other.  Jared worked a half day so came home in time to make lunch for them, and get some laundry done so that we could take off that night for San Antonio.

Jamie had rented a Chrysler Town and Country (very fancy) so that we could all drive around together.  Paul and Abby sat in the very back and got along very well with each other.  Olivia and I were in the middle row, with Jared and Jamie in front.  We stopped for dinner at Double Dave's near our house so that we could miss the dreaded rush hour traffic.  Yummy pizza and a apple struedel in our bellies we headed off into the wild blue yonder.  Matlida was our first video of the night - and besides Olivia being disgusted thinking that the cake was made with actual blood and sweat, and Paul being terrified by the Trunchbull, that got us halfway to Marlo's house.  We turned on the radio and were pleasently surprised to find that a Mormon family had rented the van before us and had uploaded about 100 church songs, and other good tunes, so we listened and sang along. It was nice to be able to visit with Jamie, even though it was mostly to the back of her head. ;-) We got to Marlo's house about midnight and went straight to bed.

The next morning we struggled to wake up, to find that Jamie and her girls had been up for about an hour and a half, oops.  We readied ourselves which is when I discovered that I had not packed any shirts.  Good glory... I borrowed one of Marlo's to get me to the gas station near his house to buy a shirt for 4 dollars. Then we were off to Sea World!  

We joined the throng of people headed in, and finally got into Sea World around noon.  Olivia's first order of business? Journey to Atlantis! Paul was finally tall enough to ride some of the roller coasters, that being one of them, so we made a beeline over there.  Luckily, there were severals shows going on at that time, so we waited about 2 minutes to get on.  By the time we got off, the show was over, and the line had ballooned to a half an hour wait.

After Journey to Atlantis, we were feeling our tummies grumbling, so we headed to Rosito's Pizza and Pasta Buffet.  We had purchased the all you can eat wristbands (which I heartily recommend!) so we slipped in and found a fantastic array of pizza and pasta (plain! bless america!).  There was good fruit and yummy dessert pizza. My personal favorite was alfredo, tomato and spinach pizza.  I may have eaten more than South Beach diet recommends (like by quadruple, again oops).  We headed to the Shamu show after that with a quick stop at the ducky pond, where we fed Mr. Blue Bill, and watched the flamingoes.
Since we were in the spalsh zone at the Shamu show, we did not have our camera out - the lady in front of us was not so smart. I do love a good Shamu show.  After Shamu we headed to Rio Loco.  Paul was not quite tall enough for this ride, so he and I watched for the rest of the fam to head down the river.  That ride ended up being the longest we waited that day, upwards of 45 minutes - and they didn't even get soaked.  Paul rested on my shoulder in the shade and saved his energies.  When they came off the ride, we stopped in the Rio Grille and got watermelon, grapes, Shamu cookies (more like scones -yum!), strawberries, and water all around, all for free thanks to our wristband.  The Shamu cookies came in a cute little shamu plastic bowl, which is better than the lame-o plates they give at the other restaurants. These snackies gave us the energy to go on a few more roller coasters.  Jared and I went on the Great White while Jamie took the kids to the Penguin Encounter - which sadly was mostly dark as it was nightime for the penguins.  Here's my question - if they control when night is for the penguins, why not make it actually night - when there is no one there? Paul enjoyed the moving sidewalk though, and they went through twice.  After that, Adventerous Olivia convinced Uncle Jared to take her on Steel Eel, which she was excited to be tall enough for.  Livs was also kind enough to be horsie to Paul.  Steel Eel, which they went on twice in a row, is pictured in the background.

After Olivia had her fill of Steel Eel, we made a decision to skip the water park and see more animals. Sadly, we found the dolphins and sea lions both close at 6 pm.  However, we did get to see the shark and other fish tanks, which were totally awesome.  We saw two real eels, which are NAS-TEE! We told ourselves to remember this kind of fish and that, and had totally forgotten them by the time we left Sea World. Paul convinced Jared that he needed a light saber.  Anyone have any idea what a light saber has to do with Sea World?  Me neither. It was dinnertime by now, so we headed to one of the two remaining restaurants open, Sea Grille.  

After we ate, we realized the park was closing down in 10 short minutes and we were right near the kiddo rides.  We flew out of the restaurant (thanks Jamie for being the responsible one and staying behind to watch the stuff.) Paul, Abby, Olivia, and Jared went on Shamu's roller coaster and my little crazy man had his hands up the whole time. (Are you proud Grandpa?) After that, Jared and Paul ran to another ride, and Olivia, Abby and I went on Abby Cadabra's pirate ship.  It's a back and forth, then twirly boat, and I was a little worried since we had just finished eating, but everyone survived.  After that, it really was closing time so we headed back to Jamie, gathered all our treasures together, and headed back to our vannigan. 

Believe or not, we all slept very well that night!


coryshay said...

Sounds like a good time!!

annette said...

Sooooo fun.

Tyson and Chelsea said...

Oh that sounds like such a fun trip! Pauly is so big now!