The Hubs and I took Wednesday off from work and finally used a Groupon I have had since the summer - it was a coupon for 4 train tickets at Hermann Park, a 30-minute paddle boat ride and four ice creams. The whole reason I've held onto this Groupon for so long is because it's been so darn hot! We were lucky to have awesome weather - high 70s and sunny! The kids had never been on the paddle boats before, so that was an adventure. We scared the ducks and went dangerously close to the fountain (yeah, we live on the edge around here). And the train is always a family favorite - especially when we go through the "tunnel" and get to wave at the pedestrians. We had a picnic lunch and then finished off the outing with ice cream. Yes, even I treated myself to one...luckily, they had Skinny Cow treats, too!
|The family enjoying a day off and the gorgeous weather!|
|This was my favorite pic of the day...my favorite two guys!|
Next, we headed downtown to a hotel where we've spent the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving for the past 5 years. The hotel is near the route of the Houston Holiday Parade, so we've spent the past 5 Thanksgivings going to the parade. But before the parade, we headed out to our favorite downtown pizzeria for dinner, enjoyed the spectacular rooftop views from the hotel and enjoyed the free wine/beer happy hour and warm cookies before bedtime.
While not as spectacular as say, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the kids love going to Houston's parade. It's also special to me, because I used to go to this parade with my Mom and Grandma when I was a kid. There are characters from the local musicals and ballets (in this case, Peter Pan and the Nutcracker), local high school bands, floats, balloons and of course the guest of honor, Santa Claus. And, it wouldn't be a Houston holiday parade without a finale of low riders and a visit from "Pancho Claus". Yeah, Houston is kinda quirky like that. The Mayor, Annise Parker, even rides a horse in the parade!
|Some pics at the hotel, eating pizza, enjoying drinks and cookies, and the parade!|
On Thanksgiving morning, I offered to make the mile trek to the only Starbucks above ground in downtown Houston (yep, I said above ground...Houston has several Starbucks in the underground tunnel system). Yeah it's a sacrifice I was willing to make for the Hubs (and me). And, I grabbed some quick pictures of the sights while I walked. I know Houston has it's ugly parts and it's not as cool as say, Austin, but it definitely has its redeeming qualities. I love Houston.
|Some views of downtown Houston...who said Houston isn't pretty?|
|Pictures from our Thanksgiving day meal|
The next morning, we headed to San Marcos to visit the Hub's parents. The kids love spending time with their Grandparents - they got to play checkers and old maid, pick lemons from the lemon tree in the backyard and Grandma took us to see the deer in a nearby neighborhood.
|Adventures with Grandma and Grandpa!|
And, we celebrated the Kiddo's eighth birthday while we were there! The kiddo was excited to get a 3DS and an American Girl Doll...funny how I remember when she was just happy to get a Barbie and some books....and yes, she had a Justin Bieber cake. What did she want to do all day? Hang out in her PJs and veg...umm, okay. We did take her to dinner at her favorite place that night, though.
|The Kiddo celebrating her birthday in her PJs! I did make her at least brush her hair!|
Another nice thing about visiting the in-laws? We had babysitters! This means that the Hubs and I could get away for a run. San Marcos is pretty hilly, not to mention scenic, so it's a treat to get a change in elevation and scenery. And, the deer were out in full-force...I swear we must have seen twenty while we were out! And, we stopped by Starbucks afterwards for a little treat before heading back to the in-laws.
|The Hubs with his coconut milk post-run, some of the deer we spotted on our run and me and the Hubs post run..not sure why I look so serious.|
We returned home early on Sunday. The plan was for my parents and the Hub's sister and her family to come over later in the day, so they could also celebrate the Kiddo's birthday with us. Fun times! We love to celebrate birthdays in our house, especially when it comes to the kids. I think we succeeded in giving the Kiddo a great time and I know she is going to have a great year!
|The Kiddo, Munchkin and their favorite cousins, and the kiddo with one of her gifts - she says EIGHT IS GREAT!|
How was your Turkey Day?