Friday, January 2, 2009

Part 4 - Back to Texas!

We left Alexandria early on Friday morning in order to get back to Clear Lake before noon. My niece Brittany was leaving Clear Lake to visit her dad in Dallas for Christmas at 2:00pm, so we wanted to get back home as soon as we could in order to have Christmas lunch and open presents together before Brittany and Michelle had to leave. My twin sister Megan flew in from L.A. on Christmas Eve and everyone was very kind to wait until we got back on Friday to open presents, so that we could all open them together.

We had lunch - Schlotszky's sandwiches (a family tradition) and an assortment of chips and delicious dips - and then opened presents. I love opening presents with my family. We have always opened presents the same way for as long as I can remember. A few family members distribute all of the gifts, and then we go around in a circle and each open one gift at a time. This prolongs the gift opening experience, and lets you see everyone's reaction to their gifts. We received (and hopefully gave!) wonderful gifts and both Santa and my family were too generous to us, as always.

After lunch and presents, we had a little bit of time to play with Brittany before she left. Michelle got her a pogo stick for Christmas and boy can that girl pogo. She pogo'd 80 times in a row! I could only get 8 in a row before losing control and jumping off.Me + pogo stick = a bad idea

We also played with Pod, Megan's semi-sweet Chihuaha.

Santa brought Brittany a Wii for Christmas and after she left for Dallas, we took over the Wii. Wii boxing and golf is very addicting. A few rounds of boxing:
Megan, throwing it down
Chad, with fists of fury

Not sure if this is a swing, a pose, or a dance move

I have a hilarious video of my dad boxing, but for his sake, I will not post it here. Although it is pretty it may just have to be premiered at some point!

On Saturday, my parents took Chad, Megan and me down through Seabrook and Galveston to see some of the devastation from Hurricane Ike. It was really unbelievable. Some homes on the waterfront in Seabrook fared ok, but some homes were taken down to their studs and some were even taken completely off of their foundations. My parents live about 2 miles from Clear Lake, which feeds directly into Galveston Bay. So when the hurricane hit Galveston, the storm surge roared from the coast into the bay, and subsequently into Clear Lake. Galveston island did not fair so well, as it took a direct hit from Ike.
Here is a building that was on the Seawall and was taken down to its studs in the storm.

We also went down to the Strand, the historic downtown area of Galveston. We went on a nice Saturday afternoon and it was like a ghost town.I kept telling Chad how vibrant the Strand used to be - on a nice Saturday afternoon people would be shoulder to shoulder on the streets visiting the tourist shops, local markets, restaurants, etc. So many of the businesses in Galveston are still closed and that was a strange sight.

On Sunday, we relaxed and had a good lunch at Double Dave's Pizza, visited On the Run to scope out some new running shoes, and went to Borders to look for a 2009 Moleskine planner. Then we went home to get things packed and ready to go to the airport. We had such a great time in Clear Lake and it was hard to leave. It is always hard to leave home.

We left for the airport at 4:30pm, arrived at 5:30pm and flew out at 7:45pm. We landed in Lexington about 11:30pm and I was exhausted. Our good friends Justin and Charis picked us up and delivered us home. It was kind of strange to be back in Kentucky. We were away for 10 days, and it was just long enough to make things feel kind of surreal when we got back - like, is this really my house? kind of surreal. Since we got in so late on Sunday, we weren't able to pick Emma up until Monday morning. I was at the kennel when the doors opened and was jumping for joy to pick up my baby. I brought her home and we gave her her Christmas toys and treats, and then we crashed for a two-hour nap.

The end!


jen said...

Wow, what a trip you guys had! I know what you mean about splitting your holiday time between the two families. You seem to have a good strategy though that gives you a lot of quality time with both. Great pictures and story, it sounds like a fabulous holiday. :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome trip!!!! And pogo stick...BAD plan for me as well!!