August 17, 2006
Family Trip to Austin
It was my desire to take a summer trip before summer completely wound down. Nobody else was really very enthusiastic about this. After weeks of going-and-coming, everyone was eager to simply sit around and veg. I understood; I wasn’t going to tell anybody but I felt the same way. But the momma in me took over. Yes, we had a very busy summer, experiencing exciting adventures, we even took our annual family vacation with our lifelong friends, and there was that trip to California for my brother’s wedding. All of that was fine, but as wonderful as those opportunities were, I didn’t feel like they defined family trip. (Notice I didn’t say vacation. I think “family vacation” is an oxymoron.)
What I had in mind was just the five of us stuck in our minivan for hours, forced to get along in one hotel room, civil conversation over breakfast, lunch and dinner, and learning how to enjoy each other’s company at the various places we visited. So, I planned a quick road trip to Austin the week before school started.
Monday morning we loaded up the minivan and headed south to Waco – home of The Dr. Pepper museum. Since moving to Texas, we have all become “Peppers!” The museum was pretty boring, but it didn’t matter – we made the pilgrimage. Plus, we got to drink Dr. Peppers made straight from the soda fountain.
From there we headed further south to visit my old friend, Nancy McKeon and her husband and adorable daughter. Since Nancy married a Texan, she spends some of the year on their ranch in the Lone Star State. We were treated to genuine Southern hospitality and it was so good to catch up with old – and new – friends. (Nancy is pretty private so I won’t ever post personal pictures of her family on my website, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to finally post that picture of us with Katie Couric that I promised.)
We headed to New Braunfels and checked into the Comfort Inn. Let the games begin. There is a reason that we didn’t take the Family Dream RV trip when we had three teenagers. The five of us all getting ready in one bathroom was reason enough to thank God for the comforts of home.
We spent the day at “Schlitterbahn,” the world’s largest water park. The kids and I spent ten hours tubing, sliding, boogie boarding and swimming. (Steve got smart and went back to the hotel halfway through the day.) Despite numerous application of sunscreen, the 100+ heat prevailed, and we all came home sunburned, tired, but full of memories. (Most of them good.)
At one point, Tucker and Haven got into quite the heated discussion, at which point I stepped in and the argument only escalated. Much to my chagrin, I received an email from someone last week saying they saw me at Schlitterbahn but didn’t come up to me because they didn’t want to disturb our family time. It is disconcerting enough to realize that somebody recognized me in a bathing suit! I can only hope and pray she didn’t see us fighting!!
The next morning we rented “toobs” and floated down the Comal River. This was SOOOO much fun. At first we planned to go tubing down the Guadalupe River but because of the drought the water was too low for much fun. In hindsight, I’m thankful. The Guadalupe River is about 40-degrees year-round. The Comal is 70! It is also spring fed so it is relatively clean. There were plenty of rapids interspersed along the peaceful, 90-minute float. I think I enjoyed that “ride” better than any of the more thrilling rides the day before. To make the day complete, we still had time to do some outlet mall shopping for the rest of the day.
We spent the evening and the next day hanging out with some dear friends of ours who live in Austin. This is my favorite thing to do on vacation – nothing! The kids swam in the pool, the adults talked, and we grazed in the fridge all day. That evening we all went to Stubb’s BBQ for a delicious dinner experience. Tucker, Haven, and Andrew stayed for the concert playing behind the restaurant. The rest of us visited the three-story Whole Foods Market. Oh my goodness, if we had a store like this near us I think I could eat healthy. It was awesome.
The next morning we had to get up very early to make it back to Dallas. Clancy was working at “The Mentoring Mansion.” (Please check out this amazing ministry at www.mentoringmansion.com) Haven was playing drums at a club that night with her band, “MathStorm.” This was the band’s last show due to the lead singer heading off to college so it was a big deal for all. (It had to be for me to stay up until 2:00 in the morning.)
As many wonderful opportunities as we enjoyed this summer, nothing tops these last few days just hanging out with the Cauble Five!
Posted by weblion at 07:56 PM