Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Going Out with a Splash

Our very last destination in our whirlwind tour of Houston was the Downtown Aquarium. Perhaps it's because it was the last attraction and so it was fresh on their minds, but as we were reliving our trip the kids said this was their favorite!

There's never a shortage of brotherly love!

The cousins had such a great time together!

Ben loved the fishies! Then he saw the alligator and said "chomp chomp!".

Andrew wanted to make sure we got lots of pictures of/with the green tree boa because that's the species of his "Mr. Snakey" stuffed snake. =)

The highlight of the aquarium was the sting rays! This was awesome! They swim right up and let you pet them.

Jackson was particularly enamored. He stayed long after everyone else had moved on and would have been content to just stay there.

Andrew got splashed by one of them!

So neat!

One last lunch with Mel, Josh and Evie and we were College Station bound. Let's just say everyone slept well that night!

If you live relatively close or are thinking about spending a few days in the city, the Houston City Pass can't be beat! Do it!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Blasting Off

Our third Spring Break adventure was out of this world! After a good night's rest at Aunt Melly's house, we blasted off the next day for Space Center Houston!

After watching an imax film, we toured the Independence space shuttle mounted atop the giant 747. The film was interesting because it showed how the shuttle got to it's final resting place there at Space Center Houston, by driving through the streets of Houston. I'm not sure why, but I had always imagined it had flown in. Either scenario is crazy when you see how massive it is!

We got to touch the moon rock, which was just as anticlimactic for the boys as I remember it being for me as a kid! Ha!

Next we went to wait in line for our tram tour.

The tram took us to the astronaut training facility. It was a Saturday so no one was there working, but it was pretty neat to see anyway.

As usual, Ben fell asleep in the Ergo, proving that it's not so much about the time of day but just the mode of transportation that lulls him! On our ride to rocket park we even saw a few deer wandering the campus.

The takeaway from Rocket Park is that the rockets are really really really big.

We took a break for a picnic lunch, then made our way back to the main attraction where the kids walked on Mars!

The kids' favorite part of the day was the "Angry Birds" exhibit with lots of hands-on attractions. They enjoyed the flight simulator, lifted weights with simulated gravity on different planets and experienced a shuttle launch. They all also really enjoyed the rocket science demonstration where they got to watch things catch on fire. As a result, Jackson can now tell you all about the "Combustion Triangle" (the three elements a fire needs to ignite). =)

After an already long day, the two littlest boys caught a nap on our way to Kemah for our next attraction...the Kemah Boardwalk!

I think Kemah was our only adventure that was actually negatively impacted by the Spring Break crowds. The average wait time for each ride was at least an hour, so we were there for 5 hours and were only able to eat dinner and ride 3 rides. There were a ton of people, but also the high school kids who serve as staff didn't appear to be particularly motivated or concerned about efficiency. Womp womp. Our kids had a blast anyway, despite all the waiting.

Our first ride was the carousel, but it was fraught with controversy as Jackson and Andrew both decided they wanted to ride on the dragon and only the dragon (admittedly, the dragon was pretty cool). They picked numbers between 1-10 to determine who got to ride it and Jackson was the lucky winner. Andrew was so sad and cried the whole time. Ben and Jackson enjoyed themselves anyway.

Next was the Ferris Wheel, our longest wait of the night. It was daylight when we got in line and night by the time we boarded!

Our final ride of the night was the aviator that raises you high off the ground then around and around. Uncle Josh volunteered to hang out with little Ben so the rest of us could ride. Jackson's face just before we took off cracked me up. He was so excited but maybe a tad nervous. =P

By then it was 10:00 so we had to call it a night. We were exhausted but at least bedtime was a breeze! The kids enjoyed themselves so much so we will definitely go back someday, but it won't be during Spring Break!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Zoo Crew

Day 2 of our Houston Tourist Spring Break Adventure was the Zoo! And we were joined this day, which happened to be St. Patty's Day, by Grammy, Pop, Grandma Grandma and Scarlette! It was a perfect day for the zoo with gorgeous weather and kids excited to see both their grandparents and the animals!

The line to feed the giraffes was too long, so we just enjoyed watching them. It was great to have an extra set of willing arms from Scarlette to carry Ben around so he could see all the animals. He LOVES animals and got to hone many of his animal noises.

Ben enjoyed his first carousel ride! What a big boy!

It was so funny watching all of the primates play. In almost every exhibit was a pair of young, typically male, monkeys/chimps/gorillas wrestling or generally annoying each other just like our boys do! And of course, the mamas with babies are always one of my favorite parts.

Ben, as usual, didn't miss his nap!

While Ben snoozed, the big kids wore themselves out playing and running around.

Despite Jackson's frowny face, it really was a great family day!