Drivey Drivesters

We have discovered a direct correlation: as the number of teeth we have to brush and the number of baths we have to give goes down as the kids get older,  the number of question goes UP significantly.

Some days it seems like I field questions at an alarming rate. Some are really good thoughtful questions. Some are dumb and funny. And some are asked and then three more tacked on before I can even answer the first one. Exhibit A:

Summer 2016

Brian bought a counter before we left. And we counted the questions we got on the days we spent mostly in the car. Here’s what we got the first day, the rest were close to this too. (These were only the ones we got while in the car and also the ones we remembered to count)
Summer 2016
And although this was Brian and I’s, the kids had to have different entertainment. Books on CD were our best friend!! Brian got these head phones for Berkley. He paid twice as much, but they are at least 7 times as cute!! (That’s a bargain in my book!)

Summer 2016

We looked at a lot of this in these big cities:

Summer 2016

It’s hard to tell what this is, but it’s a mannequin seat belted in to the back seat of a car. Random creepy find in a Target parking lotTexas Trip 2016

A highlight of the trip was Blue Bell. Their new flavor, Cookie Two Step, is a combo of cookies n cream and choc chip cookie dough. It may be their best flavor yet. It was sad to leave behind!

The land that flows with Blue Bell

Berkley loves all things penguins. She found a cookie in Texas!

Texas 2016

Also we wore her out at the end!

Texas 2016

It was a super fun trip, but we were happy to come home to our small town sans traffic! As we were pulling back into town we asked Berkley if Dory and Nubbers would remember her. She said, “Hopefully not! Cause then they may like me!”

…So wonderful so great!

There’s a huge outlet mall in San Marcos on our way to the river in New Braunfels and we stopped in a few stores. Brian tried to convince me SP needed this:

Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

But it was $60, so it stayed at the store!

Then he convinced me we needed gas from the Official Fuel of Nascar

Texas 2016

More Mexican food!

Summer 2016

Growing up in Texas, you are bound to have floated the river at least a few times. We “needed” our kids to have this experience for sure!

Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe      Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

Girl caught this turtle with her hands, ALL BY HERSELF!

Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

Berkley’s holding up another turtle!

       Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

Then, and this was a highlight of our trip by far, we went to my roommate Missy’s parent’s house, on the river.

Texas 2016

Kids played Chicken Fights, for the first time in their lives!

 Texas 2016  Texas 2016

Texas 2016

Who knew 15 years ago God would bring us back together with so many extras this time!!

Aquatica San Antonio

Love this girl! It was funny how we reverted back to our old roommate ways! When you live with someone I guess there are some things you never outgrow with them!

Texas 2016

Where there’s a screen, there are kids.

Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

Her sister and family were there too! So many great friends and our kids couldn’t have loved them more! Makes my heart so happy!

Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

The Chick-fil-a was very loud this morning!

New braunsfel

Tour of Texas continues with a trip to Sea World. We lived in San Antonio until I was 11, so we had season passes to Sea World (the first years it was opened, yikes I’m old!), but both Brian and the kids had never done anything like this before!

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The first thing we rode was the biggest rollercoaster Brian’s going to get on…which was also the biggest our kids will get on too!

Texas 2016

You can see the entirely of the ride (and it’s height, or lack of) in the background!

Texas 2016

Everyone rode this log ride, but I thought Berkley was going to cry. She didn’t. But it was a close call!

New braunsfel

New braunsfel

New braunsfel

New braunsfel

Feet firmly on the ground was much more fun for our crowd!

 New braunsfel

New braunsfel

Chillin’ with her homeys

New braunsfel

They also loved this one!

Texas 2016

Daredevils I tell you

Texas 2016

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And the carousel!

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The shows were a huge hit, which is really why we went

Texas 2016

 On our way there SP said she’s never seen a real life dolphin and that she hoped to that day! Mission accomplished!

 Texas 2016

 New braunsfel

Aquarium had sharks for Becks and penguins for Berkley, everyone was happy!

New braunsfel

The very last show we saw was Shamu.

  Texas 2016

I purposely haven’t watched Blackfish, I already feel for these whales. We told the kids this was a big deal, that they were the last generation to see killer whale shows. When I was their age all of the trainers were in the water, jumping, diving, touching. They are phasing out the “shows” totally this year apparently, so I’m glad we got to see them, but I think it’s the right move by SeaWorld. These creatures were AMAZING!

New braunsfel

…All hail the mighty state!

We stayed in Austin, but first ate at Hula Hut, a Mexican restaurant on Lake Austin. You can’t beat the atmosphere or views!

Austin day one

Plus, Mexican.

Austin day one

Texas Trip 2016

Austin day one

Texas Trip 2016

Then we headed to Congress Ave bridge to watch the bats come out at sunset. 1.5 million of them!

The river fills up with paddlers, boaters, swans, you name it!

Summer 2016

Sweet Bat Man!

Summer 2016

Austin day one

“Be a bat!”

Austin day one

Before we went I was doing research on it and couldn’t find any great pictures of the bats. After going I understand why. It’s not super easy to photograph little bats flying fast at dusk. Who knew?

Summer 2016

 

SP struggled with me as we both tried to get pictures!

  Summer 2016

Summer 2016

They looked like clouds!

      Summer 2016

We got to see a wicked sunset behind us too, win-win!

Summer 2016

Day two, we got up and explored Austin a little. Who are we kidding, we were just looking for this:

Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

I know who we are voting for!!

They REALLY love Willie in Austin. This was just a few blocks away.

Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

Then visited Capital building.

Texas 2016

Texas 2016

The best part: This “Republic of Texas” seal was installed AFTER Texas was part of the US! Ha!

Texas 2016

Texas 2016

These are the door hinges!

 Texas 2016

They thought this chair was so fun!

Texas 2016    Texas 2016

Brian with his fav president of all time!

Texas 2016

Climbed up this super cool tree, before seeing the “no climbing” sign. Oops. Sorry Texas.

Texas 2016

We call them, “Bs.” They are cute.

Texas 2016

Next stop: San Marcos and New Braunfels!

Texas, our Texas…

This summer we set off on a tour of Texas to show our kids their heritage, of course. We made a triangle: drove i-35 to Dallas, Waco, Austin, New Braunfels, San Antonio, then cut down to Galveston, up to Houston and back through Dallas on our way home. Here’s a map for anyone who’s not from Texas and didn’t take Texas history three times:

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We changed our oil right before we left, and let’s just say it was time for another one when we got home. Yet look at how much of the state we DIDN’T get to! Crazy! (I’m so thankful God protected us with all the driving)

There was that one incident with the monster truck when I was driving. But we don’t talk about that…

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We made a stop in OKC to see the church who gifted us our logo! Beautiful church!!

Finally got to see City Pres OKCs building. Beautiful throughout! @citypresokc

Drive to Dallas Sunday after church and spent the night with my brother and his family  (I think Violet was happy to have us…)

Texas Trip 2016

Then got up and headed out: destination Waco! Our main stop there was the Dr Pepper museum, but we couldn’t be in Waco and not stop to see Magnolia!

Laura's Disneyland

Summer 2016

Summer 2016

I’ve only watched 1 and 1/2 seasons of Fixer Uppers, so I didn’t know what to expect cause I haven’t seen the ones where they are building this. But it was a fun, pretty place!

Texas Trip 2016

All Brian cared about here was that Joanna had used Astro turf. He’s been telling me for 10 years we should put it in our front yard. He’s convinced now that Joanna used it for this field that it will become trendy and he will convince me to do it! (Don’t tell him I’d love to, but have you priced that stuff out?!)

Summer 2016

Summer 2016

  Summer 2016

Summer 2016

It was a Monday right before lunch and this crowded in the store

Texas Trip 2016

We walked to the Dr Pepper Museum from there

Summer 2016

Summer 2016

Berkley and those arms!

Summer 2016

So the museum was just ok (honestly wouldn’t go again, if it was free, eh, maybe, but it wasn’t even cheap!)

       Summer 2016

But Brian was pumped to hang out with this real door off the #23 Nascar! So there’s that…

Summer 2016

Brian was chosen to come smell drinks and guess what they were: he got 3 for 3 and won…a pencil!

Summer 2016

Next time we’d skip the museum and go straight for the cafe! The BEST part of the whole trip there was the Blue Bell ice cream they used to make the Dr Pepper floats!!

 Summer 2016

They make the Dr Pepper by adding the syrup and carbonation separately!

Summer 2016    Summer 2016

3 out of every 4 meals we ate in Texas were Mexican food. We needed to get our fill (which isn’t possible for Brian, but we tried hard!)!

This tortilla machine is one of the things I miss most about Texas: fresh tortillas!

Texas Trip 2016 Texas Trip 2016

Get in car again and head to Austin. First stop: Barton Springs.

Texas Trip 2016

It’s like a natural swimming pool? It’s spring-fed but also has sides and ladders and fish

Summer 2016

Summer 2016But it’s NOT a hot spring. It was FREEZING!

Summer 2016

Texas Trip 2016

Summer 2016

It was really pretty!
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Everyone went off the diving board, but only once. It was so stinking cold! Even with it being over 100 outside!

Summer 2016

Summer 2016

This dive could compete in the Olympics!

Summer 2016
Summer 2016

This dive could not.

Summer 2016
Anytime we find a small, medium and large anything we get excited. Here it was chairs!

Summer 2016 The playground outside the springs had this BRILLIANT swing!
Summer 2016

And that’s not even the end of Monday! But I gotta break this up!

We found Nemo

While Brian was on the Katy Trail earlier this summer, Berkley spotted this turtle and HAD to catch it. Cause that’s what Brian has taught them to do.

June 2016

We would have kept it, but it was a water turtle, and Beckham has been wanting to find a box turtle to keep as a pet. He asked Brian to be on the lookout when he was riding the Katy Trail last week. In true fashion, Brian found some turtles.

When Shari and I got to the boys, Brian had a water turtle saved. They are way harder to take care of, just cause the water gets gross fast if you don’t have a whole tank with a filter, yada yada…so I knew we didn’t want to keep that one. He was cute and little and I guess we didn’t get a picture of him.

This is a snapping turtle. They are mean. And this one smelled like sewer. (the pictures are all based on Berkley’s pose!)

And lazy Brian said he didn’t want to haul this sucker across Missouri for three days. Sheesh.

June 2016

But then on the last day we found this one:

June 2016

The boys found some scrap wood in our garage and made this home for him (for free! woohoo!)!

June 2016

And now that Becks knows how to use a drill, I’m putting him to work around here!

June 2016

It was a great home!!

June 2016June 2016

We found him a friend! (we later learned that their list of diet includes…snails. Oops, sorry snail.)

June 2016

No worries, in true Hough fashion, we let him go a month later! 🙂

8 Wonders of…Kansas

Yeppers, it’s a real thing! The 8 Wonders of Kansas!

We stumbled upon it on our way home from Colorado Springs when we saw this building from the highway and Brian decided we needed to go explore it.  Co springs

As we were reading the plaque outside it mentioned that St. Fidelis Church is one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas. That’s a thing? How have we missed this for so many years??

So we explored this beautiful church, knowing we were gonna need to research this more for sure!

Co springs

The most impressive part: “The stone for this massive Romanesque structure came from a quarry seven miles south. The extracting of the stone, loading it, hauling it, and then dressing it was a gigantic task and an amazing feat considering that it was accomplished without automatic lifts and power tools.”

Co springs

We also stopped at The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene. This is the home he grew up in, unmoved even.

Co springsBut it was after 5:00 by then (although we thought it was 4:00 cause we hadn’t changed our clocks back from being on Mountain time and thought it was odd they closed so early!) so we will have to revisit this one!

Co springs

Sheri informed us there’s a kids’ presidential library passport that you can get and kids can collect stamps at each one! Which got us researching yet again. And guess what? This library is one of the 8 Wonders too!!

Here they all are, cause I know you are on the edge of your seat:

Big Well, Greensburg

Kansas Wetlands Complex of Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge

Cosmosphere, Hutchinson (boys went to this one!)

Kansas Underground Salt Museum

Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum

Monument Rocks and Castle Rock

St. Fidelis Church

The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

 

presidential libraries

More Colorado…

We hit up at least one zoo on every trip we have ever taken as a family, so when Cheyenne Zoo was on our “to do” list from our travel agent (aka our spin instructor and friend Amy!) it was a no-brainer!

Check out the view these elephants get!

Co springs

Berkley likes herself some penguins. (outfit courtesy of Duck and Yayay!)

Co springs

Co springs

This was the coolest thing there. Her name is Yazie (that means Little One) and she’s a Rocky mountain goat. We went to the “keeper talk” and this goat came bounding out of his shelter like an excited dog! Jumping and twirling.  And he did tricks!

Co springs

But then, he stinking climbed on the roof! We wanted to take him home. They didn’t let us.

Co springs

(We were the only ones at the keeper talk! It was like our own little private show!)
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We also fed the giraffes! Super cool!!

Co springs

It licked Brian’s phone when he was taking a picture, so gross!!Co springs

Any zoo that has meerkats is a good zoo! 

Then we saw this and asked a zoo employee, “What is that and how do get to go up there?”

Co springs

Exciting news! The admission to it was included in our zoo admission! It’s called The Will Rogers Shrine to the Sun.

You drive up there and then can look around with an amazing view of the city!

Co springs

Take one:

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Take two: “Berkley, look normal”

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Oh Berkley….

Co springs

These boys make life more fun

Co springs

Teaching them young! SP asked for a camera for her birthday this year! Co springs

It was built by a rich dude as a place to bury him and his wife. His good friend Will Rogers died while it was being built, so he named it after him. Random. But pretty.

We also left our comfort zone of food and decided to make sure we didn’t eat any chains (we broke the rule once with Chick-fil-a cause we were too tired to find a new restaurant. And of course it was the kids’ fav part of the day. Sigh.)

This was called Blue Box Donuts. They were super fancy donuts. Not like Varsity and just creative, but “Bourbon and Bacon with Maple” fancy. I got Vanilla Bean and it was delish!

This was at a yummy Mexican place in Denver! Who knew Denver could do Mexican!?

This is proof we tried local coffee shops. But we are sell outs and just like Starbucks best. Trust me, no one wishes that was more untrue than us…

Colorado Springs: Garden of the gods

Next stop: Garden of the gods. Brian and I were most excited about this one.

CO Springs

CO Springs

 CO Springs

It was a cold, windy day, but we made the most of it!  CO Springs

They had a few different trails of varying abilities, so we appreciated that CO Springs

And it was beautiful and amazing!!  CO Springs

This may be my favorite picture of the whole trip! CO Springs

Co springs

The rocks were amazing. The only downside was that it felt a little commercialized. A lot of fences and concrete. It definitely felt like you were in a park, not in nature. CO Springs

But of course it was totally worth it still!

Co springs CO Springs

The kids were really convinced they could move this rock!  Co springs
Brian and I decided we’d love to do one of the harder trails, I think if you could pull that off it would be the coolest!!
CO Springs

Co springs

We also hit up the Colorado City Creamery, it was delish!

Sadie branched out and tried Sweet Cream (she ALWAYS gets vanilla)…and totally dug it!!

Colorado Springing it

Spring Break vacation with kids be like

CO Springs Spring Break 2016

We felt like we have lived in Kansas long enough, it was high time we made the notoriously boring drive to our neighboring state of Colorado and check it out.

We looked into Denver, but it was more museums, sports and tours. All of which we love, but we do those a lot. Our awesome spin instructor grew up in Colorado Springs and would mention it on occasion when she visited, it always sounded like so much fun, so I asked her what we needed to do. She gave me a list of what we needed to hit and we headed out of town!

We had to stop for headphones. I send Brian to that part of Target to grab some. He came back with these awesome ones! He’s good at reminding me they won’t be small long and before we know it she wouldn’t want to wear something like this.

CO Springs Spring Break 2016

The drive is due west and known for absolutely nothing. It’s why Kansas is known for being flat and boring. But we did see hundreds (not an exaggeration!) of those big new wind mills, which I later researched and they are windmill farms! Who knew?!

CO Springs Spring Break 2016

There’s also very few towns, so we definitely peed on the side of the road.

We stopped to get super yummy popcorn in some random town!

We drove straight to Denver to spend the next morning there before heading to CO Springs. We wanted to tour the US Mint, but you have to reserve that and they were full. Lucky for us, Celestial Tea was also on our list to tour…and they weren’t full (go figure!) 🙂

Free samples!

CO Springs Spring Break 2016  CO Springs Spring Break 2016

No pictures from inside the tour, but it was a little sad to see how few people worked in the factory. There were a lot of machines. We saw I think 3 people the whole time.

But we had our hair nets on so you won’t be finding our hair in your tea!

Driving to CO Springs from Denver we saw this.

CO Springs Spring Break 2016

Then we saw a sign for “Castle Rock next exit” and took it!

It was a fun little hike (reminded me of Runyon Canyon in LA that Carolyn and I have done), not too too hard, but a great view from the top.

“Berkley, what are you doing?”

CO Springs Spring Break 2016

CO Springs Spring Break 2016

This is our children’s life in a nutshell…

CO Springs Spring Break 2016

Girls climbing with their daddy is sweet!

CO Springs Spring Break 2016

We make the boy go at it himself! 🙂

CO Springs Spring Break 2016

Day one in CO Springs, first stop: Manitou Springs. They advertise their 8 naturally occurring springs that you can drink from.

So this is what we started out looking for

CO Springs Spring Break 2016

We assumed we were looking for natural looking springs coming out of the ground. When we finally asked a local, she pointed to the water fountain.

CO Springs Spring Break 2016

This is my “oh my, that’s not what I was expecting” face. It’s basically lightly carbonated water.

CO Springs Spring Break 2016

We went around town and found and drank from all 8

CO Springs SB 2016

There was a lot of this from the kids:

CO Springs SB 2016

CO Springs SB 2016

And a lot of this:

CO Springs SB 2016

But they tried them all.

CO Springs SB 2016

Each fountain was unique, so even though we weren’t drinking out of the ground like we thought, it was still fun to see them!

CO Springs SB 2016

CO Springs SB 2016

CO Springs SB 2016

We take them to another state and they have the best time at the playground…

CO Springs SB 2016

This one’s pretty great cause he looks like a dog licking it!!

CO Springs SB 2016

That’s Brian spitting it back out this time. This one had a VERY strong iron/metal taste.  CO Springs Spring Break 2016

It warranted some dramatic reactions….

CO Springs SB 2016

CO Springs Spring Break 2016

This spring was right outside the restaurant we ate lunch at…

CO Springs SB 2016

…and they use it to make “adult lemonade” which was fantastic! Mineral water springs redeemed!!!

CO Springs SB 2016

Then there was the Penny Arcade. No, it’s not really a penny to play, which was a let down, but let’s be honest, that’s unrealistic! 🙂

It was only $.25 for each game of Skee-Ball though!

CO Springs SB 2016

CO Springs SB 2016

And they had never played pin ball before, so now that they have we’ve redeemed ourselves as parents.

CO Springs SB 2016

Brian found this girl dressed as Marty Jr!! She dresses up just cause!

CO Springs SB 2016

Patsy’s Candy had funnel cakes!!

CO Springs SB 2016

All in all, a cute little hippy town that was for sure worth exploring! It’s also home to the train that takes you up to Pikes Peak, but we weren’t sure about altitude, so we skipped that one. I’ve only heard horror stories about altitude sickness and it wasn’t worth the risk. (And also I’m terrified of heights, but let’s stick to the altitude excuse…)

More to come…