Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I know. I'm the laziest blogger on Earth. The time it takes to plug in the camera, transfer pics and type up funny-ish blurbs could just as easily be spent playing, watching a movie or sleeping -- all of which I opted to do yesterday rather than blog. It was raining cats and dogs, Shawn is still off of work, and we were just having fun with the kiddos. Sorry!!

Anyway, here's how it all went down: In an effort to stretch the Almighty Dollar, I found a Rodeway Inn in downtown San Antonio for $75/night. According to the 2-starred reviews I read, as long as all you wanted was a bed and a hot shower, then you would be okay. Huh.

The place is literally adjacent to I35, which meant police sirens and ambulances all through the day and night -- much to our kids' delight. The shower sucked balls, the built-in hairdryer didn't work and the bathroom vanity light didn't work. We were officially staying in the ghetto.

The kids loved jumping on the beds, watching out the window for the aforementioned sirens, and playing with the in-room safe, so I guess the sacrifice to our safety was worth something.

We spent Friday evening on the Riverwalk, planning on hiking from one end (the mall) to the other (Dick's Last Resort) to eat, but then rain hit and we were stuck with either Steers and Beers or Chili's. Wanting to do something out of the ordinary, we opted for Steers and Beers.

The place was empty (a bad omen, no doubt), and while we were waiting for our hostess to appear, Ryan climbed up on the stool behind the hostess stand and started goofing off. We quickly told her to get down, just as the hostess was walking over, and as she was trying to get down and out of the way, the hostess showed up, glaring at Ry, shoving her out of the way with her large behind. "Table for four?" she asked.

"Nevermind", Shawn and I muttered at the same time, both pissed at the audacity of this bitch and both thinking the same thing: we would never darken the doors of this heathen-run establishment again. I'm sure the girl was very remorseful, seeing as how the minute we walked out, a party of 12 walked in. Whatever. If you don't have your principles, you have nothing. And our No.1 principle is "Don't Fuck With Our Kids"

Chili's it was. Not that we don't love and adore a good Chili's meal, but we eat there all the time, and so were not that excited about spending a fortune there just because it was adjacent to the river. But we sucked it up and got a table anyway. It sucked. The server sucked, the food was not up to par, and the entire meal was endured surrounded by tables of high school cheerleaders. Jax loved it. I did not.

We made it through dinner, left a shitty tip, and headed back to the mall for ice cream and sight-seeing. There was a great little woodwind group playing music, and we happily pulled up a seat to watch and listen. Ryan decided immediately that her one souvenir from the trip would be a wooden recorder being sold by the music group, a choice I knew she would regret but was obliged to buy her anyway, when she insisted that she understood the meaning of "only one gift" and that this was, in fact, the one gift she wanted.

Jax just danced. Oh, our little ham. He had a great time goofing off to the music, until he saw someone put money into the large pot sitting in front of the stage, and all his attention turned toward getting some for himself. Which he did with much gusto. The crowd loved it. The performers, not so much. (I made sure to empty my change purse into the tip pot as I grabbed Jax away, thank you).

We decided it was as good a time as any to make our getaway, and so we all headed back to the truck, and then spent the next 45 minutes getting lost in downtown San Antonio, trying desperately to find an on ramp to I35. Remember how I said our hotel/motel was in the ghetto? I was wrong. The ghetto was a few miles south, an area we grew quite familiar with that evening.

We finally made it back to the Rodeway Inn, and snuggled in bed listening to the people upstairs throwing bowling balls on the ground until we drifted off to restless sleep.

Eventually the morning came and we headed to SeaWorld. Being the people-hater I am, I have to say that despite the large crowds, rude people, and annoying intermittent rains, we really had a great time. Ryan and Shawn rode "Journey to Atlantis", Jax stood by the fence and got soaked, and I caught it all on video. Shawn and Ry didn't get half as wet on the ride as Jax did standing next to it, leaving Ryan insisting that she needed a turn to get soaked. We tried to warn her. There she was in her cute little dress, no swimsuit to be seen, begging us to let her get drenched. It's not that we didn't want her to do it, we just know Ryan. She needs to be comfy. a dripping wet jumper does not make for a comfy outfit. Nevertheless, she insisted and so we stood aside, waiting for reality to soak in (pardon the pun). Not 5 minutes later, she cam running over to us, drenched from head to toe, complaining about being cold and wet. I'm pretty sure the words, "We told you so" were uttered.

We wrapped our dripping wet children in a towel and headed toward a cafe, searching for a decent meal to appease our grumbling tummies. 30 minutes and $34 later, we were sitting around our meals of crap-ass fast food, scoping out our next destination, which would be Shamu. We all needed a little boost, and were hoping an enormous trained Killer Whale would do the trick.

It did. We sat close enough to see everything, but no so close that we got caught in the Splash Zone, the kids were enamored and Shawn and I had a pretty good time, too.

Seeing Shamu led to a whole new Ryan-centered battle: she hated the wooden flute we bought her yesterday, and absolutely needed a whale-fin necklace and stuffed Shamu. After several minutes of arguing, I gave in and bought one of each for the kids, but not before Ry tripped on the stairs and cut herself, sending us to First-Aid where she got the kind of treatment that attention-seeking drama queens like she and I feel we deserve every day.

Next was on to "Pirates 4D", and another 45 minute wait. The 15 minute film was cute enough, but Jax hated getting sprayed with water and wasn't that happy about the air blowing in his ears as "bees" flew by, either.

By the end of that ordeal, the skies were producing a pretty steady drizzle, so we headed back indoors to the penguin exhibit which has just totally been ruined by "Happy Feet". All I could do was watch the little bugger sullenly, making guesses as to which ones had already gone loony, and which ones were on the verge.

Luckily, that little guilt-fest was not long-lasting, and we made our way to the Mommy and Daddy zone, otherwise know as the Brewmaster's Hospitality House. There really is something to be said about visiting an amusement park owned by the nation's largest brewing company.

Half an hour and two-free-beers each later, we took our load over to the Dolphin Zone where Ry and Jax tried desperately to touch the dolphins, and grumbled at the fact that Shawn and I would not buy $5 worth of fish for them to feed to the dolphins. I was grossed out by the though (and the long line) -- Shawn just refused to pay them to feed their animals. He's very principled that way.
After the dolphins we ended our SeaWorld adventure in the Shark house, where Ryan could live forever watching the fish, but where I grow bored within 2 seconds of walking through the doors. I am nothing if not a mother who sacrifices her own happiness for her childrens'.
Anyway, we found ourselves back at the Riverwalk that night, opting for *hmmm* Sea Food at Landry's, where we received almost as warm a welcome as we received at Steers and Beers the night before. We did sit River-side, though, and the kids had a great time shouting and yelling to the people on the tour boats (she desperately wanted to join them, I said it was too boring, she spent the rest of dinner pointing out all the people's smiling faces), and making faces at people looking down from the street above.
We made it safely (and quickly) back to the room, and turned in once again to the soothing sounds of sirens and stomping.
Sunday was originally planned to be Schlitterbahn day, but the weather turned on us and we ended up saving the waterpark for another day. Instead, we headed to Market Square, where Ryan managed to finagle yet another gift (Mexican doll), Shawn got bored, and we all got wet.
Don't you all want to vacay with us? Aren't we just as fun as a barrel of monkeys???

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