columbia, mo to sweet san antonio and back...

thanks to everyone for being so patient with me as i've tried to get back in the groove of things this week.....paul + i had promised our kids this summer we'd try to get away but other than a wonderful long weekend to lincoln, nebraska, in august....well, between weddings + paul's new job, we just sort of ran out of time.

SO, for us to take a family vacation over the Thanksgiving week gave us even more to be thankful for.

it was our first major road trip with all 3 kids....
can i state for the record that it was RIDICULOUS of the old me to have EVER been negative about those built-in drop-down DVD screens! (how may times can a family really play the alphabet game?) Seeing head-phoned kids engrossed inside-the-van movies USED to seem to me, well a bit GROSS. But now i'm a believer! more of the story: paul found a used mini-van (i know, it was hard for us, too) off e-bay (see, all kinds of firsts here) last month and that video screen was pre-installed on this sanity-saving Nissan Quest. it was a holiday kick-off so we took along some classics: how the grinch stole christmas, charlie brown christmas; reviewed a few family favorites (princess bride!, parent trap) and discovered new favorite as well: akeelah and the bee (LOVED IT!)

We first stopped for an evening in New Town, outside St. Charles where our friend Rita lives to play a little team trivia in the community center. A college reunion of sorts with weaver (who was my bridesmaid soooo many years ago) AND brickey (our go-to-friend + grace-saving wedding coordinator) but....aargh, in trivia, though our team had some skills, in the end: we got stomped. [There was a playwriters category that did us in.]
oh, if i go into this much detail, i'll never get to the images....ok the fast version:

--had no fun driving thru Oklahoma....
BUT (thank goodness!) one of my MOST FAVORITE PEOPLE IN THE WHOLE WORLD -- Aunt Jan! -- lives in Rockwall, Texas, as does my cousin Cheri and her family. [side note: she's why i love the The BeeGees and thought satin bomber jackets VERY VERY cool...] So -- hooray! -- we caught up with those guys for a bit. Aunt Jan is recently retired and I hadn't seen her new on-the-lake condo. She's so cute...even has her own *FESTIVE* golf cart to put around the place:

Cher + Dallas treated us to a REMARKABLE mexican place in Dallas.... oh, the name escapes me -- but I'll come back and link up, it was TERRIFIC!

We spent a day at the fort worth zoo. we LOVE a good zoo and of all we've been to in the last 15 years, ft. worth zoo may be our absolute favorite. (didn't even take the camera in, this was not only our first family trip via road and in a VAN, it was our first trip with our new sony handycam...Avery's going to do the editing, so maybe we post a video clip soon...or maybe not, but boy we had fun!)

many of Avery's early months were spent on the Baylor campus since we were there for paul's grad school (MPPA from Baylor's Political Science Department) when she turned 1. we hadn't been back to the area since and she had never (as a grown-up kid) seen the places we used to push her in the stroller.... so we all did the our-old-stomping-grounds-tour. like:
- first pool avery swam in;
- place where she took her first steps;
- our old apartment
- campus t-shirt place so paul could replace his threadbare baylor volleyball shirt
- OH HERE, avery, was where those god-forsaken fire ants attacked you (for those of us NOT from the south, fire ants seem too science-fiction-horrific to be true...she wasn't quite 1 and in a matter of seconds got 220+ bites ON A SINGLE LITTLE TODDLER LEG...

.....ok, i digress (again)...anyway we did lot of stuff ENROUTE to San Antonio.

once there, we stayed in a hotel called Hotel Contessa. LOVED IT! could look down from our room onto the River Walk and paul and i took advantage of being able to escape when (not) needed over to this fabulous little lounge called DRiNK across the street. We thought that place was AMAZING! Paul's still talking about the "nearly-award-winning" hummus ~ absolutely the best we've ever had. Delicious Tappas!!!! PLUS, big SHOUT OUT AND THANKS TO manager/owner (?) GABRIEL for giving us such good insider heads-up on where to go, and more importantly, where to EAT for our four days in san antonio.

Tycho LOVED the alamo; esp. after we had watched the RiverCenter iMax show about it. the alamo seemed castle like to him and well, that's his thing (along with hubcaps and football and food of all sorts)

(on Thanksgiving Day!!!) WAS MEANT TO HAVE BEEN the trip highlight, but a cold COLD wind came along...

it was still fun, but sheesssh we had NOT packed for that kind of weather
so we each piled on every sweatshirt we packed...and then bought a sea world sweatshirt to make zoe's 7th layer while there.
so loved feeding those dolphins, and
of course there WAS ST. SHAMOO:

riverside spots for the san antonio holiday parade was sure fun, but nothing can compare to hearing that MIZZOU-KANSAS game on the radio while driving home THRU KANSAS! HAAAA!!!!!! whew, now THEY'RE in San Antonio, but we're back here at home....

[have you seen that "Mizzou, that's who!" cover? whooo-hoooo!!!!]

amy enderle