Brett, Heather, Kayla, and Tyson

Brett, Heather, Kayla, and Tyson
Brett, Heather, Kayla, and Tyson

Monday, June 23, 2014

Austin Vacation!

Last week, we took a little family vacation up north to the hill country of Austin and San Antonio.  

On Wednesday morning, we headed to Schlitterbahn water park in New Braunfels. Brett is able to get free tickets as a member of media. Its ridiculous how big this water park is. You have to take a bus to get from the older part to the newer part. Unfortunately, our camera was dead when we got in there so I don't have any photos of the park. We also discovered that Kayla isn't really the right age for water parks yet. The kiddie areas were mostly still a bit too big for her - too deep of water and big kids running around, and while Brett went on a few big slides by himself, apparently waiting in long lines alone isn't that fun. I'm getting too big in the belly to go on anything too wild. We thought we could enjoy the 6 or 7 different lazy rivers, but infants aren't allowed to ride on their parents laps. They have to have their own tubes.......whoever made up that rule is obviously not a parent. We finally found one lazy river that we could hold her on our laps and we stayed there he rest of the day. It was fun enjoying the weather and the park was cool but we're glad we didn't pay for our tickets. :) For a free day, it was pretty awesome!

That afternoon, my friend Leah met up with us for a couple days since we were half way to Dallas. We hit up the outlet malls that evening and ate yummy Panera for dinner. The next day, we headed to this awesome lookout in Austin called Mount Bonnell. After hiking up a few stairs, we saw a breathtaking view of the river and the entire Austin skyline. I can't say enough about how nice it was to be up on a hill looking at a beautiful view. There are no hills where we live. Austin is really so beautiful!

Me and my love at the lookout

21 weeks - I feel like I suddenly got huge!

Kayla hanging out with Leah

Heading up to the lookout

It was so beautiful!

The cloud cover was wonderful because it kept us cool while up there.

Austin skyline

We heard a lot of people go up here to makeout. I totally get it!
Since we had a friend and Kayla, we just snuck in a few kisses ;)

Me and Leah

Kayla loved playing on the rough terrain. She fell on the rough
rocks a few times and didn't even phase her. She's pretty tough!

Running down a trail to get her daddy!

Jumping into mommy's arms!
 For lunch, we headed to this Irish pub called Fado. Leah's uncle is one of the owners of this chain and he insisted we go visit and he'd comp the meal for us. It was awesome! All the waiters were from Ireland and the food was both authentic and delicious. I love finding fun places to eat! PS Austin has so much amazing food - I could spend forever eating my way through that town. Its a good thing for my already growing belly that we were only there a few days!

After lunch, we headed to the Austin capitol and took a tour. It was pretty cool and a very unique capitol. Texas pride is very real......

The inside of the very top of the dome. Texas pride....

Kayla was running wild and loving the acoustics of the giant dome area.
Luckily, most people seemed to think she was cute. 
This was what the hinges to the doors looked like
heading into the senate and house chambers. Texas pride.....

Hanging out in the house chamber. 

Kayla was pictured out. :)

I love this picture of her running into Brett's arms.
She really loves her daddy!
I loved this Austin sign. There is a lot of wall art there and this is probably the most famous one. They just repainted it last year. 

Our Texas baby!

Next, we headed to the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum. It was really interesting and informative. The 60's are such a fascinating decade and we learned a lot.

This was funny because she's imitating LBJ exactly listening to the Beatles music. :)

She gave Ronald McDonald a high five but was freaking out while she did it, haha!
Every child loves Sesame Street! LBJ started PBS.

After the museum, we headed to the park for Kayla to run around in the splash pad. It was really hot and humid. She had a great time and loved playing with the 'bubbles' coming out of the ground. This park we were at was huge! We ended up spending most of the next day there doing all the different activities they offer. As we were leaving, I was getting a fresh diaper out of the car to put on Kayla and we were parked next to this car below. Kayla came up and opened the door a little more and it very softly bumped the other car's door. The lady was sitting in her car and immediately popped her door open and said in the whiniest voice, "Did you just hurt my car!?!" I assured her it didn't make a mark and apologized for my toddler. She slammed the door shut and sat in there watching our every move while we loaded up to leave. She was very high maintenance and when we backed out, I noticed her license plate. It was so fitting that I snapped a photo. :)

We ate dinner at a place recommended to us by Brett's co-workers called Trudy's. It was yummy Mexican food and they had delicious stuffed avocado. Kayla was acting really badly so Brett took her out of the restaurant for awhile. It wasn't the best experience because she was so badly behaved but the food was yummy! We then headed to the Congress Street Bridge to watch the famous bats. This huge swarm of bats flies out at sunset every night and its quite a popular attraction, as you can see. 

We were waiting forever and Kayla was wandering up and down the hill we sat on saying hi to everyone and then trying to take their water bottles. She was quite popular by the end of the evening! We noticed some lightning, so Brett checked the radar and a HUGE storm was coming in. We waited until the lightning got bad enough and then left, sadly without ever seeing the bats. We did get quite an awesome electric show though. We headed to the hotel and Leah headed back to Dallas (she's a night nurse so she likes driving late at night). The next few hours were spent watching one of the craziest storms we've ever seen. It was huge and lasted forever with CONSTANT lightning and thunder. There were a few tornadoes that touched down around us. There was no damage done near us, but other parts of the city saw some damage. Brett was loving the crazy weather! 

Kayla was having a blast and avoiding taking a bath at the hotel.
She thinks her daddy is so funny!

On Friday, we spent some time touring the UT campus. They had a natural history museum and Kayla loved the dinosaur exhibit. 

A display in the museum

Afterwards, we headed back to the park and went canoeing on the river. Again, I can't tell you how nice it was to be enjoying nature besides just going to the pool, like here at home. It was so beautiful and I really love canoeing. Kayla enjoyed it too once she got used to it. 

I sure love this little girl!
There were a lot of little turtles in the river swimming around us!

We had lunch at a cool Hawaiian/Tex Mex place that was super yummy called the Hula Hut. This was Kayla's best meal, as far as her behavior went, so one of the best for us too! She's teething and has a sore tongue so meal time was always a bit of a struggle. But we loved the yummy food and the ambiance was awesome! It was so chill!I had a delicious Mahi sandwich.

Brett told Kayla to wave at the camera. She's such a cheeser!

That afternoon, we headed to Barton Springs pool. Its a natural spring that has been turned into a pool. The water was really cold and the bottom was slippery so Kayla couldn't walk well, but it felt so good to be in the cool water and again, enjoying nature. 

Everyone sat on this pretty steep hill. It was steep enough that Kayla almost fell down it a couple times. We talked about how much we miss even having hills. There really aren't any down here in the Valley (which isn't a valley at all, fyi.)

After we had our fill of the pool, we took Kayla back to the splash pad where I got some adorable photos. I only included a few, don't worry. She had such a great time!

Every few minutes, she'd run back over to where I was sitting in the shade with her arms open just like this and hug me. It was so sweet!

We drove to San Antonio on Friday evening and had dinner at Steak and Shake, which was nothing like Brett remembered as a kid. I still thought it was yummy though. 

Kayla was living the life in the hotel. She snuggled right up
under the covers on the bed. 

On Saturday, we were able to attend the temple together while a friend watched Kayla. It was the perfect way to end the trip. I really loved having a few days non-stop with Brett. He worked 10 days straight before the trip and the next 8 days after we got home with no breaks. He works so hard and we all definitely deserved this little getaway. We had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory and then headed home. We were all happy to get home but had a wonderful trip!