Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Off to Texas, Day 6

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SAM!  

It seems appropriate, that our 6th day on this Adventure to Texas was Sam's 6th Birthday. :)
There are a lot of pics on this day, it was a Big Doin's kind of day.  And everything is bigger in TX.


And this is the first thing he did.  Slept In.  
He looks so tiny still, I can't believe he's 6.  He's such a sweetie. 
He's definitely got my personality, such a kind heart, and sensitive. 


Priorities yo.  Once he realized what day it was, he popped up, and came running out to the living room.  Daddy and I were having our coffee, but he found his present from the Birthday Pig.  Yes!  The Birthday Pig came to Texas!   The Pig brought him a Nintendo DS.  And he was so excited.  It was the 1 thing he actually asked for.   


Then we opened the rest of his presents.  He had a great time opening a some new Imaginext superhero toys that he didn't have, and he got a couple new DS games, and a carrying case that looks like a Pokemon ball.  He was thrilled.  Once they both had DS's, we didn't see much of them for a while.

Still, Sam wanted to go swimming, and go to the zoo.  So we got up and got moving, and went to the El Paso Zoo.


I didn't set this photo up.  They all sat down and were reading their maps while Lisa and I were discussing where to go.  As soon as I grabbed the camera Chris got up, but I put him back, and got this hysterical map reading pic.  


The desert exhibits in the desert have shade.  They had zebras and ostriches, just like our zoo does.  
But they have to build in shadey covers so the animals can get a break.   


They even build a shade for the giraffe's food, instead of a tree.  
In Indy, the giraffe's have trees.  


We got some crazy little meerkats! 
The first half of the Zoo, was very much like the Indy zoo, with a lot of the same animals. 
Turns out Chris is terrified of snacks, even behind a glass case, I gotta work on that. 
But we took a banana snack break, and realized that the kids were gonna need and naps, and possibly lunch, so we stopped at the playground, and let the birthday boy play a bit.  


Aunt Lisa got him.  
Don't you love his Lego Batman shirt he picked out at the PX?  And the smile is pretty good too.  


So we decided to see a few animals that we don't have in Indy.  
Beginning with the Mexican Wolf.  They really have lost their habitat, and can only be found now in New Mexico and Mexico.   The girls kept calling them Wuffs.  Like Mexican Wuffs, and Great Wuff Lodge.  I think I should start talking like that too.  


Can you see the Wuffs running here?  There were two of them.  And they were circling around, having a fine old time.  It was a beautiful day, downright cool for El Paso.   

video

The Wuffs were really cool.  I hope someday there are more, and yet I think with all the development of the area, we're going to lose these animals.  It hurts my heart.  


I'd never seen or heard of one of these - a Mexican Black Bear. 
 Apparently, it was a good day for a bear to take a nap.  Me too. 


All the kids liked to see the Tortoises.  
Elvis and Mr. Potato Head were there names, because they were born in the 50s.  Wow.  


They even had a predatory bird exhibit.  It was hard to get any decent pics of any of them, some neat hawks and things, but these I loved, Barn Owls.  Amazing.  I've heard them, but not seen them, except in books.  One is standing on one foot, and the other playing shy.  

After our trip to the zoo, we decided to head back to Lisa's.  Chris had had an accident and I didn't have spare clothing.   But as soon as we got in the car, the kids started grumbling about being hungry.  I got turned around looking for food, and trying to get on the highway, but miraculously, out of the ghetto appeared a Whattaburger.  Unbelievably, my sister hadn't been since the last time I'd come to town.  I don't understand why.  It's Awesome.  And we were able to order something for every child, and they ate.  So they ate on the way home.  At one point in our adventures to get back on the highway, I came to an intersection, where if I turned right, I would have ended up at the border, I could see the giant US signs.   Juarez.  No Thanks.  So we turned left.  We eventually found the highway, and we got back to Lisa's.  It's not that big a city, you can't get lost really.  Keep Mexico on the right, and go towards the giant mountain with an A on it, for America.  Annie thinks it's Annie's mountain, though, and we let her think that.   So we made it home, and all took naps.  We got up at a reasonable hour, and dinner reservations weren't for a few more hours.  

So we decided to honor Sam's other birthday request.  


We took the kids swimming.  
Our kids in one car, and James and Annie in the other.   
It was pretty serious.  There was a great pool for 2$ on Base.  And they had a zero entry portion, and if we were feeling crazy a rock wall to climb over the deep end.  I wasn't feeling that brave.  And it had clearly been a while since my boys swam in a big pool that wasn't at a hotel.  They wanted to hang on me, or the edge.  Not very much venturing out.  We'll have to change that this summer.  ;) 


But we had a great time at the pool.  We were able to stay for an hour and a half.  Worth it!  
I don't know why Lisa isn't over there every day.  I will say that even though the big boys weren't the strongest of swimmers, they felt confident enough to not need vests.  They had them, and I'd packed them, but turns out we didn't need them.   We started to get tired, and dried out Just in enough time to get home and change before heading out to dinner.  

Lisa had made reservations at a place for us Los Banditos by Carlos and Mickey.  It sounded odd, but it was a Fine Mexican Restaurant.  The kids loved their "beans and mice", eating the snot out of chips and refritos before food even came.  I got some yummy "Texas style" fajitas, of course, since everything And they came around with this hat for Sam to try on.  


And they all came in, doused the lights, and serenaded him for his birthday. 
 

They were Great!  
They had some enthusiastic staff, and Sam didn't know what to do.  He just kept glancing at us, but I think inside, he was happy to get so sufficiently spoiled.  



They brought him some ice cream over fried crunchy tortilla thing, everybody got to sample.  
Sam was totally thrilled. 
And we all took turns trying on the hat.  


But when we got back to Lisa's, the last fairy still had her gift to give.  
Sam opened it, and didn't get it.  

They were glowsticks.  Not just everyday glowsticks, Uncle James acquired special glowsticks. 


These badboys are Serious.  


They were Green for one.  Sam got a whole box of Green ones. 
For another, they stayed lit for almost 3 days after this, giving a nice glow to our hotel rooms.  


But all the kids got to partake of this special type of glowstick.   
And we had a different kind of dance party.  


Partylites.  Awesomesauce.  The kids (and Mommy) loved them! 
They made great nightlights when we went to bed that night too!  


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