Tuesday, June 28, 2011

V.A.C.A.T.I.O.N (Part 2)

and then we were off to San Antonio!! I have to admit the trip from Dallas to San Antonio was rough on this momma. I did not see motion sickness coming but it hit and it hit hard. I didn't actually get sick but I was very close. Dad was nice enough to pull over so I could walk around. We actually ended up finding an outlet mall to visit. I can't say I complained. :)

Once in San Antonio we had dinner and relaxed for the night. The next day we hit Schlitterbaun. It was an absolute blast. I wasn't sure what exactly I would be able to do there but I had such a good time. There was a little guy water area where Chaz loved to play and I was able to pull up a low chair right to the edge of the water. I was cool and comfy. Chaz went ninety to nothing for hours and hours. Happy kid = Happy momma.

At one point mom, dad and Ryan decided to take a trip down these straw-like slides. Chaz and I waited at the bottom, which dumped the riders into a VERY large pool. We were able to hang out on the exit steps but as soon as I stepped foot into the water I knew mom was not going to be happy, it was very cold. Then we watched as person after person shot out of the straw like a rocket. It was fast, very FAST! Chaz kept saying "It is taking a while" He doesn't have much patience. Soon we saw my mom and dad shoot out of the straws at lightening speed. Mom went all the way to the end of the rope. As soon as she popped up I knew she was freezing. HAHAHAHA! Chaz laughed SO hard!

We also did the lazy river, which is far better than most. We watched the boogie boarders, including Ryan's attempt. Ryan crawled across a ropes coarse and was the only successful person in the large group we watched. We played in many large and kiddies pools. And much, much more. It really was a blast.

I didn't take my big camera, for obvious reasons, but my mom did bring her little one and snapped this one of our little guy. He had such a good time. We will be returning!
He was asleep before we were even out of the parking lot. Then the nap continued once we got to the motor home. We were all so zonked that we ordered pizza and hung out for the night.
My little guy lives, I mean lives, in T-shirts, gym shorts and flops. I cannot get him into a collared shirt so when I am actually successfu,l I take a ton of pictures. This day was no different. Of course as would be my luck, Chaz decided he didn't want his picture taken. So, I got a few "chase" pictures and some of him hiding. I still love them!

At least Flat Stanley was nice enough to dress up and sit still for a picture :)
So, when you enter Schlitterbaun they give you the option to get a money bracelet. It is a waterproof bracelet worth $10, $20 or $30 dollars. Around the bracelet are perforated tabs worth $2 each. This way you don't have to carry money or worry about change in your pocket. It is brilliant if you ask me--Branson White Water, please take notes.

Anyways, if you don't use the money you are able to cash it back in at the end of the day... Again, brilliant. I had a full $20 bracelet so we decided to hit the gift shop. We left with a toddler T-shirt, a sucker, a water, a bag of Teddy Grahams and this. What is it? Something a 3 year-old "wubs" He picked it and I refused to tell him no. I remember being a kid and begging my dad to buy crap like this....and he always did. I actually hold these memories and will let Chaz establish his own. His father made sure I saw the abundance of eye rolling as I purchased this junk that will probably be lost or broken in less than a week. Again, don't care. It is a lovely Schlitterbaun blue water plastic hourglass. He "wubs" it.....and that is all that matters
Downtown San Antonio is the place to go. They have horse drawn carriages, tons of sightseeing, shopping and the Riverwalk. After brunch, we decided to hop on the horse drawn carriage for a little tour through downtown. It was really nice, a little hot, but nice. Flat Stanley joined us, of course.
I hate this picture of me but I think it is hilarious. I thought dad was taking of picture of just Flat Stanley, hence my less-than-excited face. He decided to get us both. Awesomeness.
Chaz just had to sit with Gaga for the ride. If mom is around, the rest of us are about 6 rungs down on the ladder. I can't really say I blame him, she is something special!

I think this is one of my favorite pictures. A little cheesy with all the fake roses in the background but I love it.
Then insert the boy. It makes for a funny picture but not really one you print to send home to momma.
And then he wanted one with Papa and Gaga. Too cute!
Then he started to get tired. Zoning out..
Papa thought it would be fun to put him in a headlock. Chaz was so tired, he just sat there.
"Momma, I'm not tired. I didn't yawn yet" Smart philosophy for a little guy but I am pretty sure he was tired.
We had to get a picture with Jesse James, the horse that toured us around downtown. Oh, and Flat Stanley.
"Hey horse, this is Flat Stanley"

and our tour guide.
Oh, and they also have the Alamo. There was a small debate in the fam with the Alamo. You see, I am not.. how do you say?.. the history buff. It actually bores me to tears. So, I had zero interest in seeing the Alamo. I saw it when I was little so been there, done that. But my father was insistent. He actually teased me for days that we were going to spend the day there, go on a tour and everything. Ugh. Needles in my eyes. He was just kidding but I did know we would at least have to do a quick walk through.

As we were walking the grounds I told Chaz numerous times not to touch the cacti. I look over at one point and see this. This is my life. I tell Chaz not to do something and two seconds later his daddy is doing it.
There were these HUGE fish in the water that surround the Alamo. Chaz quickly asked Papa if he brought his fishing pole. Um, no.
Love these. Considering he was very tired and not showing his sparkling personality, they are very cute. I heart this little guy. And the big guy isn't so bad either.

Two of my favorite people.
Of course, right?
As we were walking the grounds of the Alamo, we discovered something that brought us to our knees with laughter. We rounded the corner and looked up to see this. What is it you may ask? Well, focus right in the middle of this building and you will see something in the window.
If you look close it really, I mean REALLY, looks like someone is mooning you. We all just started cracking up. We didn't even have to explain what we thought it was, it was obvious. However, upon closer inspection, we figured out it was actually a lampshade. Oh well, it made for a good chuckle.
We had to go back and visit the fish. As you can tell, he is getting more and more sleepy.
I tried to get a good picture in front of the cacti. But instead I got this. "I don't want to take a picture. Momma, no! Please, I don't waaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" Needless to say, several families around us were laughing at the situation of a reluctant three year-old. Did I mention he was tired??

Also around the Alamo are beautiful rock hallways. They are simply gorgeous! I begged Chaz to stand up against one of the walls so I could take his picture. As you can tell from the ones above, he was not having it. I knew if I could just get him to sit still for one minute they would turn out great but no. He refused. He finally decided to humor me and said "Ok, I stand here" Really?? This is where you decide to stand? Next to the ticket window, with all the framed legal documents, against the one non-rock wall? Thanks kiddo.
Of course. He had to get in. *note: no Stanleys were hurt in the taking of this picture
and this is my picture.. My picture of the Alamo. You are welcome Dad!
After the Alamo we spotted the snowcone vendor. Well, we didn't spot anything. Chaz spotted it from very far away. And I decided it was ok. Yes, with a white polo, I decided it was ok. The vacation had really gotten to my brain by this point.
As we were walking to the Riverwalk we passed by this BEAUTIFUL glass store. For obvious reasons (Chaz....AND Ryan) we decided to just window shop. This thing was HUGE and beautiful. Each one of these colors was about a 24" bowl. Gorgeous!!
Someone finally gave in. He was o.u.t.
We stopped by this cute little restaurant so I could rest my feet and we could get a appetizer. Ryan had to have the Alamo beer. I don't know how impressed he was but it seemed appropriate. Don't worry, Stanley didn't get a sip.
Earlier as we were riding in the carriage, Chaz looked over and saw this in a movie theater window. "Momma!! It is Bumblebee!!!" I was floored. How did he know who this was?? Ryan confessed he let him watch the cartoon version of Transformers a few weeks back. Once we were out of the carriage and walking around, we were determined to find it. We actually woke Chaz from his nap to show him we found Bumblebee (hence the stretch)

Ryan decided to also show him the Undertaker.. He was not excited about this guy. I can't say I blame him. The Undertaker was quite scary
This thing was awesome! It was HUGE. And it moved and roared!!
Mom wanted to get a picture with Stanley but Chaz yelled the entire time "GAGA!! Watch out! He is going to eat you!!" He was really scared for her!
We also found this cool mirror maze. We didn't go in but we let Chaz (and Ryan) play in the lobby. Chaz thought it was very funny.

Our campground had a FANTASTIC pool. It was probably the cleanest pool ever, it was huge and it had beautiful slate sides. Chaz was so excited to swim. This boy is a fish, just like his momma. He had zero fear anymore. He loves to jump in and would really just stay in if we let him in.
Chaz trying to explain a game to his dad. I guess there was a lot of explanation needed.

More jumping!!

Chaz decided to try swimming without his life jacket. So, of course, his daddy decided to try it on. Chaz didn't think it was very funny.
Again, he had z.e.r.o. fear when it came to jumping in, sans lifejacket. I am simply amazed by this little boy. He is full of surprises and brings something new to life every day!
I am pretty sure the "zero fear" had something to do with Gaga being in the pool. He trusts her and she is super encouraging to him. I love the shots below. They simply adore each other.

She even convinced him to try swimming without his jacket. Again, no fear. He went under, swam and came up smiling.

Where was I during all of this? Well, I did get in for a few minutes but the majority of my time was spent in this chair, relaxing. Ahhhhhhh, vacation.
This evening Mom and I were in charge of picking the dinner location. We wanted TexMex (shocker!) and remembered several restaurants right down the road from our campground. As we pulled out we told my dad to go towards downtown, we were certain we had seen them on our way to the Riverwalk earlier that day.

If you know my dad, you know this was pretty out-of-the-box for him. You know, letting someone else pick the dinner location. Mom and I understood what we were facing and were up for the challenge.. until about 10 minutes of driving and no restaurants in sight. We both shot the other a look in the backseat (hoping Ryan and dad didn't see us) The look of "Oh, crap!" We quickly decided the restaurants we saw were probably the other way.. now about 35 minutes in the other direction. We were NOT going to say anything anytime soon. We waited and waited... and soon began to giggle. Oopsie!

By this point we were almost downtown. Dad was slipping things in like "Well ladies, I don't see this group of restaurants you speak of" and "When exactely did you see these restaurants??" Ok, we give. We were wrong. BUT we are almost to the Riverwalk and they say you MUST see it at night. See how I twisted that?? We decided to head on down to the Riverwalk and get some good ol' TexMex. What is funny is we ate at this cute little place that mom and I saw on a brochure AND I saw on one of my favorite shows "Quints by Surprise" It was called Cafe Ole' and let me tell you, it was probably the best food of trip. GO US!!! It was fantastic!!! Ryan and Chaz got a little crazy and decided to dance to the Mariachi band. Love it!!

Ryan decided it was a good idea to purchase a light saber for Chaz. I didn't have an issue until we tried to maneuver down the crowded streets of the Riverwalk. As you can see in this pic there were certain rules when walking with the light saber. "LIGHT SABER UP!" What an unexpected, wonderful evening!
The last day was Sea World. We had heard mixed reviews on the San Antonio location but I am SO glad we decided to go. Chaz had a blast and we had a great time too!.
Of course, we got there before the park opened (true "Wright" form) We won't talk about how we paid a little extra for primo parking.. that wasn't all that "primo" Yeah, we won't talk about that.
Chaz wasn't interested in taking a family picture but I am not sure how you go to Sea World and not take a picture in front of the whales--even if they are fake. You will not see actual whale shots in this set of pics. They only do one show a day and it is at the very end of the day.. WAY past our time limit. Oh and yes, Stanley is now part of the family.
Chaz was perfectly fine taking the picture alone. Just not with the two of us.
I was able to get a shot with just me and the boy. He is not smiling but at least it is not the top, side or back of his head. Beggers can't be choosers.Finally, after several (SEVERAL) "This is taking a while!!" quotes we were in the park! First stop, the measuring chart. He was taller than I thought and able to ride the small coasters. Yippee!!
Probably not necessary, huh? Oh well, it made for a good chuckle.Papa was checking out the map, so he had to check out the map.
First up? Mini roller coaster. Just my luck that they require the smaller rider to ride on the inside of the coaster. I got an excellent shot of Ryan pointing at me, but no Chaz.
Chaz loved it and told me all about it once he was off the coaster. He is SO big!!
After the roller coaster we went over to kiosk that sells the photos on prints, mugs and various other memorabilia. I decided to just take a picture of the screen and be on my merry way. I don't think you are suppose to do this but the 16 year-old girl running the booth didn't seem to mind.
Yes, yes you are :)
I was going to ride the Merry-go-round but I was afraid it would give me motion sickness. Considering it was over 100 degrees, I didn't really want to go there. But Stanley went in my place. Thanks buddy!We made a quick stop at one of the gift shops. This wasn't a planned stop. The boy's eagle eye struck again. He spotted this spray fan thing from about 50 yards away. He quickly bolted from the stroller and with the big smile and cute eyes said "Momma, can I have one of these things???"

"Sure you can buddy..Ryan, get out your wallet"Ryan thought he looked cool in this hat.. Um, no. Sorry honey!On our way to lunch we found a really cool alligator pond. Chaz could have stood here and watched for hours and hours.
He liked tossing fish food at the alligators, although they weren't the least bit interested.
I love, love, love this picture. Why you ask? Well, at first glace it looks a lot like the one a few above--Ryan holding Chaz as he stands on the railing above the alligators. But upon closer inspection you will notice another hand in the shot. Yep, that would be Papa. I guess after enough of my "Be careful, don't move, please hold onto my baby" He decided to assist.
Ryan and mom were able to sneak off and ride this roller coaster. I wish I was able to ride it. I LOVE roller coasters. Chaz thought it was WAY to scary for Gaga but he finally decided to let them go. I may have bribed him with a trip to the water area. Maybe.
Chaz was so excited to hang out in the waterpark. They had TONS, I mean TONS of sprinklers and fountains. Chaz loved it!
There was also a separate kiddo area that he liked. There were lots of buckets, turning wheels, sprayers, etc. But there was a problem. There was a bully. If I could have taken this kid out, I think I would have. He was pushing kids aside, busting in line and just being downright rude. I had my camera so I couldn't very well get in the middle of the water and the little rugrat wouldn't come close enough to the adults for me to get my hands on him. Ugh. Just for good measure I feel it important to mention the mean kid is NOT in this picture. I don't want all you Chaz lovers hunting down any of the innocent kiddos in this shot. This is Chaz explaining the meanness of this little thug to me. I felt so bad for him but I told him to just get up and get back in there....and try to stay away from the mean kid. Poor guy.
What he really wanted was to play with this shower thing. He loved this thing. I have no idea why exactly but he thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. Then we went to see the sea lion show. Chaz was SO excited. SO excited that he fell out of the bench and rammed his head into the metal bench in front of him. Thankfully his glasses didn't break and cut his face but it did result in some freaked out adults, a whaling (no pun intended) child and a large, large bruise/bump on the kiddo's forehead.

After he calmed down we were able to watch the show. Chaz thought it was great. He was pointing things out and following the storyline. He had a blast!! He also figured out that he could look through my camera and get a better view by using the zoom. This could be classified as his "new favorite thing"
After a visiting a few other things in the park we decided to go see the acrobatic skiers. While waiting for the show to start Chaz decided to clean the benches. Why not. (notice the bruise/knot in the middle of his forehead. This picture does NOT do it justice. Trust me)Why?? Why did we sit a row behind the splash zone? Not a good idea. The show was very cool. The skiers came from behind the cove, attached to very fast ski boats. They did all kinds of flips, tricks and other acrobatics.
The Jet skiers sprayed the crowd. We were lucky enough not to get wet, despite being within a row of the splash row.
Remember the fan in "part 1" well I guess this is a new thing..
After the show we traveled to see the sharks. Chaz was super excited. Obviously, there aren't many pictures as the camera does not do its best work in this kind of environment. I did get a few good ones. The sharks were amazing and very abundant. I was pleasantly surprised. Usually, there are just a few sharks and you really have to look for them. Not here!
Although he doesn't look excited, Chaz really wanted his picture next to the "super cool fish"
After our trip to see the sharks we came back to the dolphins, we had a brief encounter with them on our way to the sharks. Which by the way ended in my husband getting scolded by a park employee for trying to jump a fence. No, he was not trying to enter the dolphin area but rather leave it. It reminded me of our Empire States Building trip in NYC "Sir..Sir!".

They had a huge dolphin pool. On one side you could buy food and feed them, Chaz had zero interest, and on the other you could watch them swim up to you. It was my favorite part of the day. They were literally within inches of us.
This is they "toy" It is a piece of fabric that, when you turn it, they will swim up and play with it. This is how we got them so close to us.
Chaz was amazed. He did ask a few times if they were sharks and if they were going to eat us. Um, no. Once he figured out they were actually dolphins and wouldn't cause harm he was a very happy kiddo.
and then just like that it was over. We were on our way back home :(

Chaz enjoyed some iPad time with Gaga. Note: they are not sharing but rather each have their own. Chaz is a genius at Cut the Rope. Not to brag.
We had such a great time. This was the perfect vacation for this time in our lives. We needed the relaxation. We needed the time away. We needed the time with our little guy. Perfect. Absolutely, perfect. Thanks mom and dad for the perfect vacation!

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