Fourth of July Celebrations


As I write this, I want you to know you should be thankful that you cannot smell me as I write it.  Yes- be thankful!

Ok- where to start- the original plan was to take notes each night and save as draft…but yeah we stayed up too late and were too tired to do that.  So now I have to try to sit and remember….ah yes, we left Saturday…it all starts Saturday.

Scheduled time to leave- noon.  Actual time left- 1:30 .  Yeah- typical.  The drive to Dallas was pretty basic.  The girls travel well and for that I am blessed!  Of course, I say that- but Mikaila did ask at least 20 times if we would be there soon.  But I think kids have a quota of that question that they have to meet.  She met hers.  
Our first order of business was checking into the hotel.  I had made the reservations- so I picked a cheap hotel.  We have stayed at a couple of hotels and we always tell the girls (so maybe it will sink in by the time they get older) to get hotels…you know, where the doors are on the inside….  well, this cheap hotel that I got for us- was not one of those- and Mikaila pointed that out.  However…I was trying to make a point with the choice of the hotel.  Jeff hadn’t reserved a room yet, and I didn’t want them to bet booked before our trip…so…on the third day of me nagging – Jeff turned it over to me.  Thanks to Forrest, I had a list of hotels that were in “safe” locations.  Some more expensive than others.  My thought process was this: Get the cheap one, so I can justify it to Jeff that I can spend more of the budgeted money elsewhere!!  Yeah…I don’t think Jeff will be letting me handle the reservations anymore.  More on hotel to come…
After we got into our room, we headed to Donna’s house.  We visited for a bit, then headed to dinner.  Dinner was awesome at Iron Chefs Hibachi…mmmm…we love us some fried rice cooked in front of us!  We had more than a table full in our group- and Forrest and Ed were stuck staring at …nothing.  Chef Harry (and I only remember his name because he gave us a pop quiz after the meal asking us what it was- and NONE of us knew it) was a very entertaining chef.  We had 5 kids in our group and he was very attentive to them.  We stuck the kids in the middle- to contain them!

Yes he was attentive to the kids- paying so much attention to them…that he didn’t notice how often he was flicking food (hot food I might add) onto Donna and myself.  Rice from the grill down the shirt…NOT a good feeling.  Because it was Mikaila’s birthday, at the end of the meal they came out with some friend ice cream, geisha wig, and a gong.  Mikaila got to wear the wig, and everytime we sang “to you”- she had to hit the gong.  It was cute…
BUT since she was the only one who got ice cream- a trip to the ice cream shop was in store. 
Now at this point, I am already stuffed…but…that doesn’t stop me from eating a peaches and cream ice cream mix from Coldstone Creamery at the Mockingbird Station.   It was getting late- and the kids were entertaining themselves by marching around a giant colum outside the ice cream parlor- but I had a test for my online class due by midnight…so we headed back to Donna’s house.  I found out that I can take a test on my iPad…pretty darn cool…it felt very sci-fi-ish to take the online test from the pad….like “ohhh look at me…I’m so smart…I’m taking my test on a glass table top….”  yeah..coolness.  While I was busy being cool and smart- Donna and Jeff decided to start on this monster of a puzzle…which I proceeded to help out with when I was done.  Water.  Water does not make for a very easy puzzle.  It all looks the same!  We worked on the puzzle until we were dizzy- and according to Jeff got 80% done….the edges…
We drug ourselves to our hotel room, fell into bed- end of day 1!

I think the past several times we have been to Dallas we have had breakfast from the same place:  Einsteins bagel.  Yummy, doughy goodness.  So- sun morning- late sun morning we met up there for some brunch.  I had a bagel sandwhich- it was good.  While we were there, this lady came up to me and handed me a piece of paper.  It read, “please help me, I have no money and have two babies.  I need money for diapers and formula.”  I have a hard time with people like that.  Because I don’t know if they are legit or not.  Living behind a church- in a building that used to be a food pantry we see a LOT of people in “need”.  They come knocking on our door asking for money- and there is always a sad story that goes with it.  Trying to discern who is legit and who is not- heavy burden.  So, I’m staring at this paper- I show it to Jeff…don’t know what to do and an employee asks the lady to leave.  We didn’t help her…and I feel guilty, but I also feel conflicted…because I don’t know if it was legit or not.  My thinking is- it really shouldn’t matter to me if it is legit, I shouldn’t play judge to decide who I will help and who I won’t….it is my job as a chrisitian to help who I can.   Le sigh.
After brunch- we went to Fry’s.  Jeff used to think that Best Buy was the happiest place on Earth…and then we went to Fry’s.  Wow- it’s just..huge…and …has everything you could possibly want from an electronics store.  There is a tv (it only costs $6k) that we just kind of drooled at for awhile.  Oh it was beautiful…it was clear, crisp, and would fit perfect on our wall….entertainment bliss!  But- alas…we chose to keep the $6k pocket change and not buy the tv that we would have never left or abandoned. 
Now- what do you do when you are in a giant electronics store with 5 kids? You take them to the home theater display room!  It was a closed off room, theater seats, surround sound, and playing Monster vs Aliens.  Yup- we had 15 minutes of peace.  No “can I have this,” “Mommy, Mommy…mommy…mommy…” – just totally engaged in the movie.  At one point Mikaila told me “Wow- this store has a theater inside of it!  Awesome!” But- we caught the movie at the end…sooo….next time we will be better prepared…go there first…drop the kids off with one adult and the adults can take turns looking.  We also went to Target…I love that store!
After picking up some snacks for the game, we headed back to the house.  The kids rested up- and I …well..with determination that did NOT pay off- I attacked the puzzle. 
But- the puzzle was not the highlight of the day….the highlight was the baseball game.  I have never been to the baseball stadium- and it was beautiful!  Huge- but beautiful.  Ok- so I didn’t really pay that much attention to the game (I did watch the ninth inning…), but had a good time hanging out with the group there.  Ahead of time I called about Mikaila’s birthday.  After the 4th inning she got a special surprise.

Her name was on the screen and they brought her a gift bag which had a jersey, hat, and salsa bowl ( don’t know how the salsa bowl fit in…  Pretty darn cool! 
After the nachos, ice cream, hot dog, and trip to the first floor for a corndog for Jeff- the game was over.  It was time for the fireworks.  It was a very neat experience.   It took us a loooooooong time to get out of the parking lot.   We crashed as soon as we got to the hotel! 

Sooooo…yeah….mornings.  Being on time.  Not happening during this trip.  We were supposed to be at Donna’s house at 8:30.  Didn’t happen!  BUT- we have a good reason as to why not.  Do you remember the earlier rant about the cheap hotel?  Yup- here is the rest of the story.  Apparently this is a b.y.o.t.p. hotel.  Bring your own toilet paper.  So- when we got in the room Sat we noticed there wasn’t much t.p.  no biggie- really, we weren’t at the hotel much at all.  However, I used the last little bit Monday morning.  The girls were asleep and the first thing they do when they wake up is go to the bathroom…so I didn’t want to wake them up until I got some more t.p.   I went to the front office and asked for some more.  The lady looks at me, quickly looks in a closet and says, “oh, I don’t have any.  Sorry.” and goes about her work.  I ask her, “sooo…what am I supposed to do?”  “There is a 7-eleven down the street.”  I was kind of shocked…so I didn’t say anything- just stared at her and then walked off in disbelief.  I got back to the room- without the t.p. and told Jeff what happened.  After he recovered from the shock, we went to the little pamphlet that is in the room- and did check- yup- right there…it said if you need your basic supplies (t.p. listed) get it from the front desk.  So- Jeff called the front desk, asked for t.p.- and got told the same thing “don’t have any…”  but he was ready…”Well, here is what you are going to do- we check out this morning and you are going to credit our account $10 since we have to inconvinience ourself to go get a basic amenity that your hotel should provide…” she asked him to go on hold….he was for over 5 min…and she comes back on saying that if he will come to the office in 5 min- she will have some for him.  10 min later I go up there…and had to wait another 5 for a guy to bring a key for her to open a locked cabinet….still contemplating writing to this company.  So- that put our morning behind…
Ok- we have been to several zoos- but today…I found my new favorite.  The Dallas zoo.  Before today I had heard a lot of bad things about this zoo…but- I guess they have had some recent renovations…and it is awesome.  First off- the kids area!!!!  The girls could have spent all day in this area.  They had a trading center- which the girls loved…where you can bring in things that you find in nature around your home- get points for them and trade them for other items people have brought in.  Fossils, rocks, minerals, skeletons….dead bugs…the list goes on.  TOO COOL!!  There is no cost…it is a real trading shack….I want to go back to the zoo- just to be able to bring something to trade in!  They have a bucket where first timers can get a free rock, fossil, or shell.  Mikaila picked out a piece of coral and Brianna got a shell.  The children’s area has a petting zoo, pony rides, and other cool stuff.  We only did the little river play area and the trading shack. 


One response »

  1. Sounds like you guys had a great weekend. I’m proud of Jeff for keeping his cool about the toilet paper. LOL! I would definately contact someone about that. By your own toilet paper – ridiculous!

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