A SE Texas Overnighter

With my husband’s frequent business travel, he accumulates hotel rewards pretty quickly.  We had been toying with the idea of getting away for a couple of days during Spring Break, but as is typical of us, we left it to the last minute to make any plans.

My husband told me on Thursday that he had two rooms for us in College Station for Friday night.  Even just ONE night away from home with a family this big needs a little bit of prep time, so I ended up spending a fair amount of Friday morning and early afternoon doing laundry and getting things taken care of around the house.  Wouldn’t you know it, a few other things came up to delay our departure, and we didn’t get out of town until SIX O’CLOCK on Friday night!  Grrrrr.

Our family, though – we know how to just roll with it.  We still had plenty of daylight for the 1.5 hr drive to College Station, and we spent it joking around in the car and looking at all the amazing wildflowers growing in the Spring fields of SE Texas.

[wpvideo bOyM1Opl]

Here the kids are joking around about the “big hills” we were driving through:

Do you see the flat road behind us?

We stopped at a Pizza Hut and had a surprisingly wonderful meal with the kids.  The service was great, the food was tasty, and everyone was so well-behaved!  Ok, well, not EVERyone was well-behaved.  I had a little too much fun giving toddler Eli a lemon to suck on:

It was dark by the time we got to our hotel, and I was surprised at how agreeable the kids were to our announcement that we would not go swimming until the morning.  A lot of things surprised me about that night at the hotel, actually.  It was an older property, but it was very clean, the rooms were big, and the beds were *divine*.  I was also very pleased that the hotel staff had given us connecting rooms, and that the crib was already set up for our arrival.  When we asked for a late check out the next day, they said we could stay until 3 o’clock without an extra charge.  Bonus!  If you ever have a need to stay in the Bryan/College Station area, I highly recommend the Townplace Suites there – they really treated us right.

The next day, we took the kids all around the campus of Texas A&M.  I guess I had always taken for granted that our kids knew college was important to us – heck, I was in college for most of the first four kids’ lives!  But until we got on campus and they started asking questions, I hadn’t realized how little we’ve talked about what college is *actually* all about.  It was a great time we had, looking around, answering questions, and seeing their growing excitement for heading off to college one day themselves.

We then went over to the George W. Bush Presidential Library to tour the grounds.  You can’t go into the library without an appointment (and a research-related reason for being there), and we didn’t want to pay to get into the museum, so we made ourselves happy just walking around the large pond and through the pretty garden areas.

Did you know that George and Barbara Bush will be buried on a plot of land on the library grounds?  Or that they had a young daughter who died when she was 4, who is already buried there?  It was a little disturbing for the kids to think of that, but an interesting factoid.  Here’s the spot:

It was a warm day, so we went back to the hotel to swim, just like we promised the kids we would.  Because of the late-late check-out, we were able to take our time, each lunch at the hotel, and casually gather our things up to head home.  The wildflowers were even prettier on the different route we took home, and it was a lovely drive.  We stopped in Brenham for a few minutes to grab a snack, and we pulled up alongside this at a red light.  I was happy I had long enough to take the picture, and to add one more memory to the strange things there are to see here in Texas:

look at the slogan in red!