Previously, on the Texas Trip Series....
I had posted about having successfully arrived in Texas (LINK), and having spent some time with my Sister in Law (my wife's sister), my Brother in Law (my sister's husband), and his parents (LINK), having made the trip to Austin and surprising AtHomeDaddy (LINK), and the big party (LINK).
Prelude - I had a few more photos to add from the last day, and journey home - but they were taken with the camera on my cel-phone. The same cel phone that I left on top of my car when I drove off to work. The same cel-phone that I never saw again, containing the remaining photos that will also never be seen (or posted here). Come to think of it, that may be the reason I never got back around to finishing this story (at least not until now... )
Well, I say it's about time. Let's wrap up this story... Huh?
Having survived the big birthday bash, including the extended late night of guitar music, surprise guest Maria (in all her velvety nudeness) and all her stories, and the multiple tales of shenanigans that AtHomeDaddy, TheBossLady, and their friends had gotten themselves into over the years - the time had come for us to return to Dallas for one last day with my sister in law.
With a three hour road trip in front of us, we woke early so we could maximize our last day with my sister in law. When we had left for Austin from Dallas, we departed having made a promise that upon our return we would arrive with fresh kolackys from the Czech Stop located in the town of West, Texas. The Czech Stop is known far and wide for their kolachkys! It was sort of ironic that we were stopping for kolachkys while we were in Texas, especially when you consider that one of our neighboring towns back home (Montgomery, MN) was holding their big town celebration that same day... The celebration is called Kolacky Days!
Well, we stopped at Czech Stop, and picked up the requested poppy seed kolachkys, and grabbed some cream cheese and cherry (or was it apple) versions too.
Once we returned to Dallas, and met back up with my sister in law, we shared the stories of our wild adventures in Austin with my sister in law while we sat around enjoying the delicious kolachkys we obtained from Czech Stop!
Since this was our last day in Texas, and it had been busy, Busy, BUSY since we arrived - we wanted to dial it back a bit and have a more "leisurely" sort of day. We had wanted to take my sister in law out for dinner - some place a little nicer - in gratitude for all she had done for us while we were in visiting, and for all the fun she had shown us while we were in town. She said she had a nice place in mind... So, we looked at what else we could do to fill the rest of the day...
We decided to take in a movie.
That may not seem like much for many of you, but for parents of five - seeing a movie that is not animated, have princes or princesses, was produced by Nickelodeon / Disney / Pixar, or is rated "G" , and in a honest to goodness theater - well that's just a special sort of treat. It happens once, maybe twice a year. So it was a just what the doctor ordered...
We saw Grown Ups.
After the movie, my sister in law took us to the restaurant she had in mind. We arrived at Primo's, arriving "just in time". We got our orders taken and food served up just as the crowds started arriving in earnest. Since it would be one of the last times I'd have a chance to do it, I ordered a tap drawn "Shiner Bock". The food, delicious! The beer, cold! The company (my wife and her sister), wonderful!
It was a great night!!
After dinner we headed back to my sister in law's house (she had to work in the morning). The Mother of Five and I wanted to "walk off" a little bit of dinner - so we let my sister finish up some "take home work" while we drove back to White Rock Lake where we went for a four mile walk. This evening more than any other, I noticed the "Texas heat". Even walking around the lake - and at night - it was horribly warm. I think the lake actually made it warmer by adding humidity to the mix. When the wind blew and you felt the breeze hit your face (expecting a reprieve from the heat) - it actually felt warmer!!
The next morning, we said our good byes with my sister in law as she headed off for work. After a casual morning, the Mother of Five and I packed up, loaded up the rental and headed back to the airport. We checked in, and had lunch at TGIFridays (in the airport).
The return flight was over booked, and it was looking like we were going to get some deep discounts on our next flight (we were top of the list to be bumped) - but when the flight was SIGNIFICANTLY delayed (3+ hours) - it caused other passengers (who had connecting flights) to be bumped - opening up seats on the flight, and eliminating the need for volunteers (and eliminating my chance at two $200.00 vouchers).
We arrived back in Minnesota - and even though my Mom had a nice dinner spread just about ready for us when my dad picked us up and brought us back to our van (which was parked at their house) - we politely turned it down... Despite the delicious food my mom makes (and she does!) I had an overbearing desire to get back to MY home, and see the kids.
We had a WONDERFUL time.
I want to thank my sister in law. She generously opened her home and let us stay with her, fed us, and (this is important in Texas) kept us cool with her air conditioning!! All kidding aside, it's so easy to forget just how much fun it can be hanging out with her - being so far apart. Thanks again sister in law!
I also want to thank AtHomeDaddy, TheBossLady, and the rest of the extended AtHomeFamily!! Going down there to help celebrate his birthday (and, in all honesty - meet face to face for the first time) is a little bit out of my "comfort zone" (ok, it's WAY out of it). But AtHomeDaddy has been such a good "virtual" friend to me over the past few years - when the moment arrived, it did not at all seem like we were meeting for the very first time. His extended family (and his friends) were also so hospitable, and welcoming, and friendly. It made what could have been a nightmare of anxiety (for me) feel like nothing more than getting together with some old friends.
Thank you - To each and everyone that made our trip to Texas such a wonderful and memorable experience!!