A couple weeks ago Jamie went to Nassau for work (rough, right?). The place he stayed had lots of pools and a private beach. My first thought when I saw a picture of where he was staying was, “I’d have so much fun reading there.” That’s pretty much my idea of a dream vacation!
My brother’s family came to visit for a few days and while they were here we went to a San Antonio Missions minor league baseball game.
The Missions won something like 10-2. There were a couple really great plays and a whole lot of watching batters and pitchers set themselves up to bat and pitch.
Fritz and Adrian have decided they have now see more than enough baseball games to last them a lifetime. That would be one. They’ve only ever seen one baseball game.
On Wednesday, June 19th Adrian turned 11. Jamie had to work almost all day, but he spent the day having fun with his brother, grandparents, and me so that was okay.
His favorite presents were his talking Buzz and Woody. With Toy Story 4 coming out just after his birthday, he’s been really into those movies lately.
We went to see The Secret Life of Pets 2 at Alamo Drafthouse. It was a really cute movie. Everyone enjoyed it from ages 11 up to 74!
We went to a trampoline park where the boys got to jump for a couple hours and played several games of laser tag.
We went to Golden Corral for dinner where Adrian could pick whatever he wanted for dinner. His choice? Rice and cheese, his favorite food.
The boys went swimming in the pool at the hotel.
They played some D&D after Jamie got finished working and got back to the hotel.
When we got home, Cameron gave Adrian his present. Adrian was thrilled to have a talking Forky to add to his Buzz and Woody. He had been slightly disappointed on his birthday to not get Forky since that’s the one he wanted most of all.
At the outlet mall in Laredo, they had this sign posted at the elevator.
The week of Adrian’s birthday, Jamie had to work in Laredo. He always takes off work for our kids’ birthdays so with Adrian’s birthday on Wednesday that presented a bit of a problem. So the little boys and I decided to go with him and to take my parents along, too.
We went way down by the border in the old town part of Laredo to see San Augustin Cathedral, established in 1755. It’s quite a beautiful bit of architecture and overlooks a lovely park.
It was super hot (105+) and humid (60+%) so we headed into the Republic of the Rio Grande Museum. Bonus, it was Tuesday which is their free admission day, though we would’ve paid whatever they asked just to be in the air conditioning for a while. It’s a small museum with displays of old things found around the area.
Our hotel was just a few blocks from the Rio Grande. We caught some Mexican cows coming down for a drink. No walls there and no fences either allowing for an unobstructed, gorgeous view of nature.
We drove down to where a couple of the bridges (border crossings) are. There’s a little park right along the Rio Grande and an outlet mall at that point. We were so close we could practically touch Mexico.
We really enjoyed spending a week in Laredo. It’s a nice little city. I still like McAllen better, but I’d got back to Laredo anytime!
We decided to get away for a little vacation the week before Christmas (and before the government shutdown meaning we have no idea when Jamie’s going to get paid for the work he’s been doing as he’s essential). We took the little guys and headed to Corpus Christi. We had a fabulous time!
We went on a tour of a CBP location Jamie’s done work at in the past.
They boys requested a hotel with an indoor pool so they could do lots of swimming.
We went to the Texas State Aquarium.
We toured the USS Lexington.
We went to the beach at Port A. This man was there making some incredible sand sculptures.
Jamie and the boys went swimming in the Gulf (it was only in the 60s – they are crazy!).
I taught Fritz how to successfully get the basketball in the basket most of the times he tried.
On the way home, the boys were fascinated by the rest stop we stopped at. Adrian found a compass on the floor and just had to stand on it and point toward the north.
Jamie and I went for a walk around the park at the town where his mum lives. It has the most adorable fairy village.
The walking path through the park is just beautiful.
After we finished at the park, we walked a ways into the town.
Everywhere you go, there are ice cream cone signs meaning there’s a soft serve machine inside. The Irish definitely love ice cream!
It was so nice to spend the two weeks with Jamie’s mum!
We checked in at the airport (one bag was 1/2 kg under the limit and the other was 2/10 over, but they didn’t charge us for being overweight). The Irish really do care about fresh breath. This vending machine was in the restroom.
We got on the plane and about 7 hours later…
…we were in New York. Our layover was about 7 hours long, but then our flight was delayed almost an hour and a half, but eventually we left the east coast.
We finally made it to Austin at 2am and got to our house in San Antonio at 3:30. Total travel time was just over 24 hours.
So that was Wednesday through Friday.
It was such a lovely, fun, wonderful trip!
We returned the CPAP machine Jamie had been loaned. They didn’t charge us anything!
Jamie and I walked down to the river next to where Jamie’s mum lives.
We picked (and ate) lots of delicious wild blackberries.
We did Kinder Surprises.
We went a long way and ended up in Tipperary.
We went to Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers and learned about the history of their farm and how they make their blue cheeses. We also ate a ton of blue cheese.
We went to the Rock of Cashel. It’s an amazing, huge medieval religious fortress.
The pictures don’t do the place justice. It is truly awe-inspiring.
When we came down from the Rock of Cashel, there was a group of young buskers playing traditional music (on the way up a young man was playing a fiddle).
We went to Kilmallock, a medieval town that still has several stone structures and part of the wall. Their Catholic church is gorgeous.
We went all over the Abbey. We were even able to climb some very old stairs up to the second floor.
The old Church of Ireland building is now a burial ground.
So that was Monday and Tuesday.
We took a walk along the road where Jamie’s mum lives.
Jamie picked lots of blackberries.
Jamie put in a mailbox for his mum.
Jamie’s CPAP machine has been having issue for quite some time and, when we got back from Dublin, it decided it was all done working. Jamie’s mum made a few phone calls and we were lent a CPAP machine for the weekend with a promise that the doctor would see him on Monday to see what he could do for the rest of our stay. Having the machine gave Jamie the courage to open up his broken one and he found the problem was where the power adapter plugged in. He spliced and soldered and now it works great again!
We went to Killarney.
We got bubblegum flavored mega sours. The sour part tasted like super concentrated lemon, but once past that, it had a lovely bubblegum flavor. Until the middle. The middle was super concentrated lemon again.
I am a wimp when it comes to really sour stuff.
Jamie, however, is not.
We saw the Muckross House.
We went to the Traditional Farm.
I petted an adorable little calf.
We went in a one-room schoolhouse as it would’ve looked in the early 1900s.
One night we got lots of wind and rain due to a post-tropical depression.
We walked up to the corner store to hit the PokeStop and buy some candy.
This road used to be the main one for the area. Because there’s a nationwide scheme for speed, when it was the main road, it was 100kph. Now it’s 80. Even 80 is a bit fast for this road!
Jamie’s mum throws her table scraps out for the birds every day. They are huge and terrifying. I call them Chicken Crows.
So that was Friday through Sunday.
We took the train to Dublin.
I love Dublin.
Our hotel, the Shelbourne, was where they signed the Irish Constitution. They had their own little mini museum off the lobby.
Jamie’s platinum with Marriott thanks to all the points he earns on business trips. For our thank you gift, they gave us a list of things to choose from. We picked a rather nice fruit plate.
Jamie and I went out walking our first evening there and when we got back, they had done their turn-down service. Fancy, but a little strange.
The breakfast buffet at the hotel was incredible. They even had a gluten free station with a dedicated toaster. That was so nice!
We took a tour at the Little Museum of Dublin.
We went to the Book of Kells exhibit at Trinity College.
The Book of Kells was cool, but the old library upstairs was amazing.
We took a ride on a hop on/hop off bus. The driver narrating the tour was so funny.
We walked around St. Stephens Green for a bit. It’s amazing how you don’t feel like you’re in a city at all while you’re in there.
Jamie and I went to the Natural History Museum (aka the Dead Zoo).
We took a stroll down Grafton Street.
At one end was a busker who was actually quite good (some of them are not).
We rode back on the train to Jamie’s mum’s through patches of rain. Even rain is beautiful in Ireland.
So that was Tuesday through Thursday.