Monday, March 27, 2023

Family fun

Who wouldn't like to throw noodles at a few family members?

Eric's Dutch Baby Pancake was delicious.

Toni gave her family a scratch-off book for Christmas filled with fun activites. You don't know the activity until you scratch it off and then you MUST complete it. We paired off and took turns catching noodles. Some of us were trying to play more fair than others!  We had to count our noodles to find the winning team. 

We had 3 girls with nothing to do one night so we agreed to go to Seabrook Waffle Co. for dinner. I had the strawberry, banana and Nutella waffle. One of Seabrook's Pelican Statues sits there.

Then we played Treking the National Parks. Lilah was the winner with Alexa second

Teddy had to have another surgery. I patched him a year ago but someone rubs him on that spot every night.

The Giant Swallowtale was perhaps the largest butterfly I've ever seen. In fact, it is the largest butterfly in North America.

These curls were found on the bathroom floor when Mom and Dad were out of town. We're hoping Lilah had a trim and Clara wasn't trying out a pair of scissors.

Alexa wanted to see some constellations. Too bright when we were in San Antonio so last Friday we went to Galveston Island State Park for one night for some stargazing.

There is a bay side and a beach side. The beach side had been closed since we started going to Galveston 4 years ago but reopened this spring. We got one spot (no hook-up loop) on the beach side for just the one night.
It is a beautiful park. We had a view of the ocean and only had to cross the dunes to get to the beach. 

After viewing the sky we watched a movie, stayed up late. All of us were very tired.
What a fun time!

We started out with something from Sonic.

The girls couldn't wait to see the beach Friday night.

They said they wouldn't get wet! Red flag warning with big waves. 

Clara helping Alexa check out her constellation book.

A predicted rainy day for Friday turned out nice and the predicted cloudy night gave us a beautiful starry show. By 10:30 fog was heavy but we had seen what we came for.  S'mores while we waited for the stars. 

An app, Stellarium, gave us real-time stars and constellations at Jamaica Beach. Alexa had already pointed them out though. She came prepared. Her favorite I think was seeing Mars.

We were out swimming early Sat. morning. A great day for the beach. 

Last weekend I was breakdancing, this week I tried the boogie board.

Taking their oath as Junior Rangers. 

We had to be out of our campsite by noon. Might have been Clara's first trip to IHOP.

Heading to The Strand we saw a couple of cruise ships in. We had a view of Carnival Vista's top deck waterpark and rope course. 

Our final stop: LaKing's Confectionery on The Strand in Galveston. Ice Cream and candy, a must stop.

Where are the Piepers now? Houston, TX

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Remember the Alamo!

Day 3, and part 2 of our San Antonio tour was a little warmer with a light rain that ended by 11 a.m. Thursday we conquered The Alamo, a bakery recommended by Emma's culinary teacher, a short walk on the San Antonio River Walk, Historic Market Square (sights and flavors of old Mexico), and a rope/zip line course at Natural Bridge Caverns.  The younger 3 wanted to take a final dip in the pool. We didn't get back to the campsite until 7:30 but with our ample lunch at the bakery they hit the pool, showers, and 11 year-old Alexa prepared her famous grilled cheese sandwiches for a very late dinner.

In 1836 the Battle of The Alamo was fought in the former Mission San Antonio de Velero (one of the 5 San Antonio missions) now known as The Alamo, where Mexico won the battle. Forces from the United States joined with the Texans under the leadership of Sam Houston to then defeat the Mexican Army on the San Jacinto River capturing Santa Anna, leader of the Mexican forces. Here Houston uttered the infamous, "Remember the Alamo!" Santa Anna's life was spared in exchange for the independence of Texas.

The kids probably knew more about The Alamo than we learned here, but seeing it in person is important too. According to Lilah they study a lot about Texas history in school.

A room inside the former missionary church that became the famed battle point where Mexico reclaimed The Alamo. They are constantly working on presevation. On the floor you see just one year's worth of wall deteriation.  

The structure behind the girls is the well that was in use in 1836. 

This live oak was 40-years-old when it was planted on The Alamo grounds in 1912, proving that large trees could be transplanted. 

With these medical tools and the unsanitary conditions it's a wonder anyone survived back then.

James Bowie was a soldier who fought for the independence of Texas and was killed at the Battle of The Alamo.

 The Alamo Cenotaph Monument, also known as "The Spirit of Sacrifice," commemorates those who chose to defend the Alamo rather than surrender, despite overwhelming odds.

There was a long line at La Panaderia bakery/cafe, one of three in San Antonio. This was recommended to Emma. It was probably an hour wait and well worth it.

Alexa was excited to see Sadoko Sasoki and 1,000 Cranes. As we waited in line we checked out the artwork display on the building next door. Alexa's teacher had read her class the story so Alexa shared it with me.

How many bakery items can we choose? As many as you want girls! I did limit the younger girls to two but they got to taste others.

Mexican hot chocolate.

Lilah's coffee was neat.

Everyone did get lunch.😀 Alexa and Clara shared French Toast.

The roll in the front and on the left is Pan de Muertos or Mexican Bread of the Dead. 

This caught Clara's eye.

We checked out the Riverwalk with it's hotels, restaurants, shops and the many colored umbrellas!

The Historic Market Square was fun for shopping and picking up a few souveniers.

The 60 foot several story rope/zipline course at Natural Bridge Caverns was fun for all. Underneath the large course was one for younger kids that Clara went on. I stayed with her and she had a ball!

Clara's "Buc-ee's" swim suit was commented on by more than one. The large country store/gas station was founded in Texas and is a required stop if you haven't been. They have everything and claim to have the cleanest bathrooms in America

Friday morning we packed up and headed home. We stopped in Schulenburg for lunch and saw a nearby painted church, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, one of 20 in Texas. Unassuming on the outside, as are most painted churches, but when you step inside you quickly see why this one is one of the most well-known and impressive of the painted churches. The Czech and German immigrants built these Gothic style churches in the late 1800's and early 1900's to resemble the churches they had to leave behind in their homeland. I have been here before and was just as impressed this time. Several other tourists were there too. I saw something here I hadn't seen before, the prayer candles were battery operated. The girls actually noticed it. Doesn't seem the same pushing a button!

There's no access to this small area which shows an originated section that hasn't been renovated. 

Where are the Piepers now? Houston, TX