Monday, January 23, 2012

Austin/Houston pics

We flew in to Houston two Fridays ago, slept at Ben's brother Caleb's house, then woke up on Saturday and drove to Austin where his brother Matt lives. His brother Paul and family had flown in to Austin a few days before, so we were trying to maximize time with everyone. The first place we went when we got to Austin was Rudy's, a yummy bbq place with tasty brisket. Eli was thrilled to see his adored cousin, Amanda. They hadn't seen each other in two years, but Eli brings up Amanda all the time, it's pretty funny. She is so sweet with him.
 Rudy's is really casual. And has a very Texas vibe. It was very tasty.
 Ben with Paul, Matt, and Caleb
 me with my sister-in-laws JoAnn, Elizabeth, niece Amanda, and sister-in-law Becca and baby Zoe
 The 10 of 24 cousins that were together that weekend!

 Caleb and his daughter Sofia on the swings - 
 Luke and Nate - I can't believe how big these kids are now. 
 Sofia was really sweet playing with Charlie all weekend! 
 And Halle was sweet with Eli and Caleb - 
 Amanda and Elizabeth on the swings - 
 A traditional Severson activity - rock throwing - 
 Ben and his brothers were throwing rocks at that board out there in the water. Ben was having the least amount of success and Matt and Caleb (and JoAnn) were having fun rubbing it in :) Ben was a good sport.
Walking back to Matt and JoAnn's house - 
 JoAnn and Amanda - 
 The next day we left the kids with Amanda and Luke in charge at the house and we ventured into Austin for some quick sightseeing. We checked out Barton Springs and were impressed with the people swimming laps (it's an outdoor spring and it was maybe 60 degrees that day?). 
 Then we headed over to the bat bridge (Congress Ave Bridge). Apparently millions of bats emerge in the evening and it's quite the sight. They come out of the cracks in the bridge! But I'm pretty sure the bats aren't around in the winter months, so we didn't see any.

 Here are all of the adults (plus baby Zoe) in front of the Texas Capitol building. 
 We thought it would be fun to shoot Zoe out of the cannon, but it didn't work.
 Inside the one of the rooms on the first floor of the Capitol. There were pictures of former state governors, including George W. He looked a lot younger then.
 Ben and Matt in the middle of some story - 
 The room where the House of Representatives meet. It was very plush and cushy inside. 
 Ben and I on the second floor - it is such a pretty building.
 One thing I'm not a huge fan of in Texas is all of the tobacco - we passed lots of tobacco shops and I was amazed at the selection of chewing tobacco at a gas station that we stopped at. Gross!! It's funny to me that the sign for the Senate room mentions no smoking. 
 The Senate room was much less plush! I'm not sure why.
 The Texas star was everywhere, even in the light fixture designs - 
 And in the ceiling of the Capitol - 
 And in the floor design too :)

 Back at Matt and JoAnn's house, the little boys had fun jumping on the trampoline. Caleb was the most experienced of the bunch since they have a trampoline at home too. Charlie got a little nervous.
 Ben playing double baseball with the boys. 
 In front of their pretty house before we left Austin. Everything is definitely bigger in Texas! They moved here six months ago from Oceanside, CA and loved being able to build a new home for a fraction of what it would have cost in California.
 Back in Houston at Caleb and Elizabeth's pretty house. They have done a ton of work on the inside of their house and it turned out great!

Some adults/kids sat in their front yard and watched while the other kids rode scooters, bikes, and power wheel motorcycle and jeep around the cul-de-sac.  
 Eli was in heaven on this thing. So funny.
 Sweet Amanda playing with Eli - 
 Love Zoe's beautiful eyes!
 Volleyball in the street (there aren't many cul-de-sacs where we live, so my kids were kind of amazed they could really play in the street. 
 Both boys on the motorcycle. They were so happy!!

 My boys don't discriminate... pink Barbie jeep was just as cool as the motorcycle. Charlie was hanging on for dear life with Eli's crazy driving :)

 Later we walked to a nearby pond to feed the ducks. 
 Paul with cute Henry - 

 Later right before Matt and JoAnn's family left to drive back to Austin, one more pic of Eli and Amanda. That night was more quiet, so we snuck out fairly late and visited with Mike and Marci, our one success couple that we set up on a blind date back in our BYU days and they actually got married! Mike and Ben are friends from their growing up days in CA and Marci and I were friends in high school too. It was really fun seeing them again. 
 The next day we headed into downtown Houston to play at a fun park before grabbing some lunch.
 We ate at Mambo's, a seafood place in Houston. Becca, I'm not including the pic of us because I look gross, but you and Zoe were cute :) If we weren't hugging, I would just crop me out, but that would look silly! So instead I'm showing the pics of Eli hugging some of his cousins before we left for the airport.
Isn't Sofia so beautiful?? She has the prettiest face and smile. She is really darling. And tall! They are just a month apart. 
 Eli and Caleb hugging while Henry stared off in the distance :) Funny kids!
 It was kind of a whirlwind four days, spending time with family in two cities. I was really sad it didn't work out to see two different friends in Austin, but we had such limited time on this trip that the visits didn't happen. But I know we'll be back again, hopefully next time for a few more days so it's not so rushed!

1 comment:

Becca said...

Oh my gosh, I could just squeeze Zoey's little cheeks! And is she wearing jeggings? I think May needs some of those! Great pics :-) (as always!)