Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Off to Texas, Day 5

Our second day in El Paso, I had high expectations.  I was up at 4:30, feeling oddly well rested, and ready to drink my coffee, watch the sunrise, and be ready for the day.  We had discussed going to the pool, we discussed going to the Zoo. We had gone to the grocery Tuesday, but I wanted to find some cowboy boots, and Lisa needed to check some things out at the Commissary.

Unfortunately, Annie had school the entire time we visited.  But on Wednesday, all the kids were up early enough to have breakfast with her, all get dressed, and we all escorted her to school.  :)  

My boys wanted desperately to go into her school, and meet her teacher, everything.  
But Chris and I escorted her to the gate.  We weren't allowed beyond that.  They were lining up all the kids on the playground.  Lisa calls it the ghetto.  Maybe so, but I can still spot a teacher with a kind heart.  Annie has been lucky, that even though she's the whitest girl at this whole school (like literally, she's the only one that requires sunscreen at recess), it's not so ghetto that these kids aren't loved.  

After dropping off Annie, we took the boys to Fort Bliss. 
Lisa lives literally off base, literally on the other side of the highway.  Well, this branch of the Cavalry now has a lot of tanks.   (It wasn't until This Trip, that I learned James is part of the Cavalry, and that's really extra cool, because so was my Grandfather, also named James, and also with the Cavalry, but when Grandpa Jim signed up the Cavalry still had horses.) So we posed by one of the tanks.  The house on the far left was Lisa's old place, before James' last deployment.  I have pictures of me and the girls from this very tank, last time I visited

My boys did not appreciate being stuck on top of a tank, especially Jacob.  
And it was sunny out.  When I say this was the best picture of all three of them, I do not exaggerate.  
Charlie was griping in the car, so it was a record fast photo shoot.  

Lisa did get 1 last decent one before we left the tank and went shopping.  
But there were no boots to buy.  Plenty of other stuff. In fact, Sam picked out a birthday outfit for tomorrow, and Chris picked out Easter clothes for all of them to wear, and I found some jeggings in my size.  A bit scary.  But no boots.  

As we left Fort Bliss, we found another Tank at the exit gate.  Welcome to Fort Bliss!  
It's a Tank-a-palooza.

Then we went home, watched Box Trolls with Charlie, and took a nap.  Cute movie.  

Afterwards, I was still on the prowl for Texas boots.  
And frankly, I wanted to get the purchase made before Eric got to town.  Lots of logic for that - a. He probably would've vetoed me for being crazy. b.  he's only down in TX for one day before we hit the road, pretty sure he didn't want to spend it shopping.  So, Lisa helped me find a boot store, actually, the same brand store I went to when I came down last time, James took me to Justin's Boot Outlet.  Same store.  The front door was a little fancier, but the smell and boots were the same.  And Li found it for me, so I took the three boys.  Unfortunately, the smallest size boot they make is an 8 1/2, which Jake is like a 6.  But it was buy them big, or none at all.  Jake chose big.   

The big boys picked out some matching shirts too. 
And cowboy hats.  You gotta get Boots and Hats when you come to TX, especially if it looks like it may be the only chance we get to come down this way.  

So we got the girls some hats too.  I spent way too much money. 
But their faces when we got back, and all those cuties in boots and hats, well, it was worth it. 

Then we took the crazy kids down to the park again.
  And this time, we brought the girls and let all the kids just Play.

They were adorable playing together.   
Unfortunately, there were some other kids, with colds, who's guardian wasn't paying any attention, so we cut  the trip to the park short, because I didn't want snotty kids anywhere near mine.  
Yeah, I was judging.  It's not cool to purposefully ignore when your kid has something contagious, and contaminate others.  I hosed them down in Thievesitizer, and we went back to Li's place. 

As the sun sets.... 
I actually find the mountains rejuvinating, and beautiful.  I'm not used to mountains, being from Indiana, but boy can I respect and treasure them when I'm traveling.  I was glad to actually see the sun set this night, because I'd missed it.  We saw it actually because James had to work late, and Lisa made us dinner.  Lisa made us a rockin' dinner.  It was scallops and veggie couscous.  I learned that the boys like scallops, especially Chris and Jake.  But not so much that they cleaned their plates.  No problem, I took care of the scallop and couscous problems.  Whew.  

We can't have that.  

Then we had a Dance Party. 

An Epic Dance Party. 

Lisa and I were the last ones to stop dancing.  And we stopped only because James walked in on us doing Oak Ridge Boys' Beautiful You in the kids' cowboy hats, and he asked how much we'd had to drink.  Nothing... yet.  

Then the kids turned in.  Eric had made all the legs of his flight, and arrived at 11:30.  Thankfully, James went and grabbed him, so I could let the boys keep sleeping.  And he got in just before midnight. There's a perk of being right around the corner from the aiport.  Even though we were exhausted, it was nice to have our family back together.