Thursday, August 11, 2011

Vacation at Papa & Momma Jan's..

This may be unbelievable….but I left my home…for DAYS! A rare occurrence to say the least, but understandable when I have critters to tend to, two does in milk who need to be milked twice a day and I live way out in Noodle.

The first outing to visit Papa & Momma Jan’s (hubby’s dad & step mom who live about 4 hours from here) was during the 4th of July weekend and I had no critter sitter. I can’t say the weekend was a total bust though… I did get to watch my neighbors engage in a few alcohol induced stunts that made me certain nature was attempting to clean up the human gene pool by allowing the less intelligent of our species to dispatch themselves in unique & horrifying ways, but alas, they all survived.

The second outing however I got to go and we left the weekend before hubby’s birthday.

I would have been content just to visit and stay close to the house, but the inlaws treated us to a busy day out.

First on the agenda was the Museum of Nature & Science.

We started out watching Sea Rex in the IMAX theater….. Shayla was shocked at the beginning and wanted to know why she was spinning….Clayton was mesmerized, eyes glued to the screen……While Papa & Jerimiah slept!

Then we headed to the Chinasaurs exhibit. My kiddos are fans of Jurassic Park (yea- They root for the so they loved this. There were several skeletons and a few robotic dinosaurs…

A fossilized dinosaur nest & cast.

Here's the children's fossil dig…..huge sandbox loaded with fossil digging equipment and hidden dinosaur bones in need of excavating. I think the kids could have spent hours in there if we let them.


We made our rounds through the endless Children's museum.... tell the truth I missed a bunch of pictures in various exhibts, but here's a few I did manage to take without someone stepping in front of the camera..

Not a clue what these tables were called but they had air flowing out of a vent to make the small plasic balls float….Munchkins were pretending to be magicians in control of magical floating balls…

This is one of my favorites! I so wish the picture was better…They had a farm exhibit in the children’s museum and this cow was set up for kids to milk (milked water). Shayla patiently waited her turn…watching a group of children struggle to “milk” the cow with minimal success. Shayla dove in the second there was space, grabbed two teats and went straight to work, displaying perfect milking technique and getting perfect, even streams where the other kiddos only managed the barest drops… She was quite proud of herself to say the least and I didn’t damper her triumph by pointing out that she has real life experience milking..

We made it to the museum around noon…left around 5 and I must say, even though the kids would have happily made more rounds, I was tired!

Then we headed to dinner….a belated birthday dinner for me & a slightly early birthday dinner for Jerimiah. I typically am happy to eat where ever anyone else wants to…typically when we dine out it’s Mexican food or someplace with chicken fried steak. I’m pretty diverse in my food preferences, where as Jerimiah isn’t, so it’s much easier for me to eat what is preferred by the majority….Not really knowing the choices, nor wanting to choose a place others in the group might not like, I said “Anywhere that serves some sort of grilled meat on the menu is fine by me… I just really don’t want anything deep fried or Mexican” This statement I thought, would lead to something like Applebee’s, Texas Roadhouse or perhaps a café or some sort.. Oh no! Where do we end up??

Texas De' Brazil…. An upscale Brazilian Steak House which proved to be a bit overwhelming for the kiddos! Felt slighting out of place in a formal dining setting wearing the demin shorts and sweat that I wore to the museum but other than that I thought it was fabulous!!!!

The salad bar was best of all. Fresh goat cheese, Manchego, quinoa with cranberries, marinated onions, portabello mushrooms, variety of olives, lobster bisque, salami, steamed asparagus with strawberry sauce, fresh buffalo mozzarella, shrimp salad, Brazilian palm of hearts, artisan breads, prosciutto, and of course a selection of typical salad items are just a FEW of the items on the salad bar…. Did I happen to mention that I loved the salad bar??

This sounds amazing I know, but next up is the meat selection. On the table is placed garlic mashed potatoes, sweet fried bananas & Brazilian cheese bread which are meant to “cleanse the palate in between meat selections” as our lovely Brazilian server informed us.

Each person is given a round card. One side is red, the other green. Once you flip you card to green the staff file out with large skewers of grilled meats fresh off the fire and your allowed to choose as much as you’d like. Choices included parmesan pork chops, bacon wrapped grilled chicken, pork ribs, flank steak, leg of lamb, lamb chops, pork loin, Brazilian sausage, pichana, filet mignon, bacon wrapped filet mignon, beef ribs and I think 2 or 3 other selections of which I can’t remember. The lamb chops with mint jelly were AMAZING. Once you’ve had your fill, you flip your card to red to signal the meats to stop and if you survive the first round, flip your card to green, your plates are cleared away and it starts all over again. I don’t think I’ve been that painfully full in my life but I had a great time. Shayla, I discovered has an expensive pallet and enjoyed the exotic selections on the salad bar immensely. Clayton on the other hand was over whelmed, not pleased with the “creepy, strange food” and seemed a bit disgruntled until the meat choices arrived and then he was quite pleased.

I was sorely tempted to take a few pics of the restaurant & the salad bar for my blog….but good manners overruled the urge…..Though I would have loved to take a few pictures (the atmosphere was quite nice) it would have been extremely tacky…

All in all it was a great, relaxing escape…especially for me since I don’t get out much these days & I’m happy mom critter sat for me so I could go.

I know I’ve bombarded y’all with a slew of pictures so far, but I have just a few more of the kiddos that were taken on the 4th of July visit. They went to an alligator farm, which housed a variety of critters and to an aquarium.

Munchkis & Momma Jan feed the sting rays

Oh a lil snippet… I know I’m horribly late posting this but Jeremiah & I celebrated our Anniversary on August 2nd. We started dating August 2001, married a year later and I’m happy we’ve made it this far.. Our first date was an all night fishing trip on the river…The night he proposed to me we were caught up in a tornado & had to hide out in a gas station…..two kids, multiple moves, months apart due to work, a house fire, and multiple health scares later were still here and going strong. He’s the one person who can always make me laugh, always stands by my side no matter the situation and has this uncanny ability to drive me utterly insane at times…But, as mentioned in previous post, he tolerates my insanities as well as I tolerate his..He’s my best friend and I feel quite blessed that I’m able to share my life with him.


hoosier girl said...

Well, Happy Belated Anniversary! Y'all made cute kids, by the way! And I loved the "milking the cow" story.

Sarah Rachele said...

So fun! Happy Belated Anniversary. :)

* Crystal * said...

Thanks so much!!! :)

Leigh said...

Gosh, what a great vacation. So nice to be able to get away for a bit, isn't it? And such a treat for the kids. Loved what you wrote about Jeremiah. It always, always warms my heart when a couple sticks it out through thick and thin. That's true love for ya.