Briley does Texas.

Feb 18, 2016

From time to time my husband's job takes him out of town.  I'm not usually thrilled about these trips, but I know that it's part of the job. After years as a flight attendant I really have no right to complain...    that doesn't mean that I don't.  As a stay at home mom, I long for 5 pm when Ryan walks in the door. Finally! Someone to help with the kids, and more importantly... a grownup to converse with.  The days are extra long when he doesn't come home at night, and I tend to go a bit stir crazy.
A couple of weeks ago he announced that he was headed to Texas and I was disappointed for several reasons:  
- The Canadian dollar is terribly low right now, making shopping in the USA far less of a bargain than it was in previous years.  Ryan typically returns from these trips with a suitcase full of goodies. (AKA baby clothes and Oreo flavours that aren't available in Canada.) 
- I'd be forced to do the bedtime routine all by myself. All of you moms reading this can sympathize.
- I was jealous.  I wanted the warmer weather. I wanted to shop at Target. I wanted to try McDonald's new mozzarella sticks.  
He went to book his flights and discovered that the prices to Houston were the lowest we'd seen... ever. We'd been talking about a trip to Texas for quite some time.  Just like that, Briley and I were tagging along for the journey! Now that Aaralee is 2, she's no longer free to fly. She'd also prefer a week with Grandma and Grandpa over spending her days at Target, so we left her behind. (I felt guilty until we returned, but it was really the best for all of us.) 
Off we went, just the 3 of us! Briley did amazing on the flight down.  She hates sitting still, so I'd braced myself for the worst. She was a perfectly happy baby who even took a nap!  

Once we arrived we drove across the city to reunite with Ryan's former roommate and friend who had  been brought to Houston by marriage.  Him and his wife took us to an incredible restaurant. After our feast we headed back to their house, put Briley to bed, and watched a movie.  We never watch movies.  It was perfect. 
The next day we did what we do best.  We shopped.  We were in all of our glory at Walmart, shopping malls, and the mecca of all of my Pinterest dreams... Hobby Lobby. Even with our terrible dollar, some of the deals were far better than what we'd ever find at home. I just can't say no to $3 baby outfits.  We also tried McDonald's mozza sticks. They happened to be awesome, in case you were wondering.  

 At the mall, Ryan saw a segway course and decided to give it a try. I laughed at his nerdiness and took photos to document it. 

As evening approached, we drove my longtime friend Sami's house! To say that I was excited would be an understatement. She answered the door and we jumped up and down squealing.  This was only our third reunion since she moved back to Texas in junior high, but it was like we'd never been apart.  Her and her wonderful fiance Chris cooked us a delicious dinner. We chatted until we finally had to call it a night since they both had to work early in the morning.  

We set out for more adventure the next day.  I held on for dear life as Ryan flew down the busy 6 lane freeways.  Driving in big American cities is terrifying, but my husband absolutely loves it.  

We ventured to more stores, malls, and downtown to visit the butterfly museum! It was so neat! We stepped in and were surrounded by thousands of beautiful butterflies.  Briley was mesmorized as they flew past her.  Afterwards we headed outside and sat our baby down in some grass for the very first time. She was rather intrigued by it and tried as hard as possible to eat it.  When you're an 8 month old, everything is food!

 After dinner out with Sami and Chris it was back to the hotel.  Ryan had to be up early for work the next morning.
The next 2 days Briley and I were alone at the hotel while Ryan went to work. Fortunately, we were walking distance from the mall, Hobby Lobby, and a Super Target. I am one of the few that actually really enjoyed having Target in Canada, so I was pretty excited.  With Starbucks in hand and my baby in her carrier, we wandered the giant store for hours.  She napped. I shopped. All in life was glorious. I returned the next day to do it all over again, just in case I'd missed something.  

Our evenings were all about eating.  The first night we set out in search of crawfish, and crawfish we found! We feasted, and then headed to iFly so that Ryan could try indoor skydiving.  It looked like so much fun! It's a really cool place... if we were millionaires we'd probably open one in Edmonton.

Thursday was our last night in Houston, so we were determined to find a great Texas barbeque restaurant. We found one, and we ate more than our fair share of ribs, brisket, and terribly unhealthy side dishes. It was delicious. 

 On our way back to the hotel we drove past a Krispy Kreme donut shop and the excitement in my voice made it pretty obvious that I wanted to stop. We indulged in some fresh, hot donuts and they were just as amazing as I'd remembered.  Apparently we'd come in at the right time, because we paid for 2 and they gave us 4. We were so full from dinner, but who could say no to extra donuts for free?  
Friday was our flight home, but we didn't have to be to the airport until later in the day.  We drove to the adorable little city of Kemah. It is right on the coast and features a boardwalk amusement park.  Ryan was excited to ride the roller coaster, but much to his dismay it was closed for maintenance that day.  Instead, we wandered the boardwalk and had a picnic (of our barbeque leftovers) by the water.  

The weather was amazing and I was sad to leave as we headed for the airport.  The flight home started off with a grumpy baby who refused to sleep, but with a little help from my baby carrier she finally fell asleep. Something miraculous happened... I watched a movie on a plane for the first time since having kids! Briley slept like a champ, and woke up shortly before our descent into Calgary.  We drove to Red Deer and despite the fact that it was 11:30 pm, we woke up our sleeping toddler because we were too impatient to wait until morning.  
Our little getaway was short, sweet, and busy.  I'm so fortunate that we were able to tag along for one of Ryan's work trips, and I'm sure that he appreciated the extra company.  The one on one time with my baby was also wonderful, but I am so happy to be back home with my crazy, exhausting, sweet little Aaralee.