As I eluded to in the previous two posts, we had so much fun last week with our visitors. Most of the time was spent goofing around, messing with toddler nap time schedules, and introducing Ash to TRUE Texas cuisine. It also coincided with a ward scouting trip that Gweg already signed up for since he's an adviser---so I wasn't left alone with the kids for the first time--yay for that.
(FYI: If you keep with the post, there's a neat prize at the end) :)
We also did a few touristy things too. Since she had never been to our part of the state before, we took one of the days and went downtown. Being outnumbered by the kids didn't phase us because we're Amber & Ashley--- what could go wrong, we could handle anything--- right?
From my memories of our year here growing up, we'd always park in the same place when we went downtown. Twelve years later, when I had a new role in the family (Matriarch---weird huh?) I knew the BEST place to park. After five (or is it six) visits, I have discovered the truth: families with small children should NOT park in the garage furthest from the Riverwalk elevators. Back to that in a minute...
So---we park near the Alamo and start walking. As we're walking toward it I notice there's a lot of people downtown today. Then it hit me in two words: Spring Break. Most of Texas had it last week, and we were stuck in the middle of it--right next to the most popular tourist attraction in the state. Whoops.
It showed too. The line to walk through the Alamo was AROUND THE BLOCK. I have never seen it that long. So, keeping in mind that we have two toddlers and a baby, we stick to the outside, brave the gift shop for a few minutes, and start our trek to the Riverwalk.
Luckily, we hit the Riverwalk at a good time, lunch time. The crowds were sparse, and then we hit the bridge. The one we needed to cross to get to the boat tours. This is where our parking mistake and being outnumbered took it's toll.
The bridge in this picture is not the one we climbed, but you get the picture. Both sides have stairs to get to the top. So, we started our ascent---I'm not going to lie---it stunk. It was then when wondered what in the world we were doing. When we reached the summit, we celebrated by taking pictures and waiting a few minutes to go down.
Once we started down, it was worse. Ash was getting it, but I couldn't bend enough to safely angle the stroller down without endangering the little girl strapped to my chest. One step down and I was literally stuck. Enter chivalrous Texans. Two guys willing to help us finish our hurdle. Just one of the many reasons I love living here. We then made our way to the boats.
Another advantage of going to the Riverwalk at lunch time was that the boat line wasn't as long as it could have been. Once we got there, it grew and we were grateful to get there when we did. By this point, Jared and Addie were a little hungry. And when I say 'a little' I mean 'ravenous.' This did not phase us because we were already prepared. Since a toddler is never NOT hungry, we packed lunch for the journey and it turned out to be a success. They ate the time in line away and even finished (i.e. attempted to finish) on the boat.
We were lucky enough to be in the front of the boat. Both kids wanted to sit on chairs closest to the boat's edge. This made us really nervous until another kind Texan and his family sat next to us. After the initial high-fives and knuckles you would have thought we came downtown together. It was nice to have another pair of hands make sure Jared, Addie, and their food didn't go in the river. The kids LOVED the boat ride. Shoot, we ALL loved it. I lost track of how many times I've been 'rio-cruising,' but each time is new because the people you experience with it are new (passengers and boat driver).
After the boat ride, we noticed something next to the dock: an elevator. SWEET and noted. After a lunch stop for the Mommies, we saw something else: another elevator. DOUBLE sweet. I now have two mental notes for elevators to EITHER side of the Riverwalk. Even though the day was great, this was probably the highlight for me. :)
Once we got to the car and diapers were changed, the kids passed out. To me, that's a good sign. A sign that a fun time was had by all. Even though we were just a little CRAZY to try it.
P.S. If you kept with me the WHOLE post--- give yourself a pat on the back and you better comment! Here's a reward---more pictures: