2014 Summer #Vacation to #Texas - swimming, Tex-Mex, and fun family nights! #kids #parenting #travel

We travel to Austin, TX every summer to visit family and friends, it's a trip the kids really look forward to because we stay with their Gram (my mom) for a few weeks.

She's their favorite.

She's my favorite.

This year is the second year in a row David has been under a deadline at work and he's had to stay home to work. It's a bummer for him to miss out but I do cherish all the extra quality time I get with my mom when the kids are napping or asleep at night.

We spent nearly three weeks in Texas this summer and felt extremely lucky to be there during a "cool front". It was 88-92 degrees every day we were there, mostly overcast and windy. The kids even experienced a good ole Texas thunderstorm!

We shared a lot of great Tex-Mex meals (drool!) around town and even more stories that had us all laughing so hard we were crying. My favorite emotion is laughter through tears.

But, their favorite thing to do every year is swim.  Every day!

It's hot in Texas and there are pools and splash pads and water fountains that you can play in everywhere, lucky for us.

Emily took another round of swim lessons at Emler Swim School and really nailed it.

She's a great swimmer though you wouldn't assume that from the foaties she's sporting in the first photo above. ;) She loves the buoyancy, can you blame her? Gram had inner tubes waiting for them when we arrived and they loved them, especially Nolan. The tube gave him so much independence - he was jumping off the side, twirling in the water, kicking, and splashing and chasing Emily from end to end.

We had several planned activities again this year including:
Click each link below for a separate post about each one!

A trip to the Austin Aquarium

Nature Nights at The Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center
Community Nights at The Thinkery Children's Museum
BBQ at PawPaw Joe's house in Smithville
Meeting the great-grandparents
Lazy mornings at The Hoppin House
Lakeway Pool Adventures

Flying with both kids was a breeze this year.

We flew Jet Blue, everyone had their own seat, I checked two suitcases and carried on a cooler with snacks as well as a backpack full of supplies and fun. No stroller, no car seat, just us!

They are both really into electronic handheld games (what kid isn't?), which I stowed away in my backpack for a week before the trip, and were happy to see them on the plane. Emily is 100% self-sufficient so she was able to entertain herself, feed herself, get up and use the toilet and even help pass food and toys between us. She packed her own backpack and I barely heard a peep from her the entire four hour flight. Because of the timing of our departing flight (3:45pm) and the time he woke that day (9am), he didn't get his daily nap so, it was no surprise to me that right after take off he slumped over in my lap and slept for an hour.

We watched "Frozen" on the portable DVD player, we enjoyed a snack, we got up and went to the bathroom, they played with their own televisions and they played with the toys I packed. I enjoyed the free in-fight wifi and before I knew it, we were landing.

Our vacation always goes by way too fast - we are already planning our trip for next year!


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