Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Gig 'Em, Pumpkins, and Punkins

Part One:  College Station and Aggieland

The Sunday before last we left C-town for College Station.  I have to admit, when it comes to anything Aggieland, I’m like a kid on Christmas morning.  I absolutely get so excited and am chomping at the bit to get out of town and on the road to my alma mater. 

We were headed there for some training for McH and were planning on staying with some dear friends of ours, the Willis family.  They have a seven year-old, Miss Sophie, and a 9 ½ month old, baby Trett.  

Baby Trett on his horse.  What a sweet boy.  
These days, driving with our toddlers is unpredictable, which I guess is an improvement over a couple of months ago when I could pretty much predict the trip would be pure torture for anyone within 2 car lengths of us. 

But, the babies are now starting to pay more attention to the DVD player in the car. 
Yes, my 18 month-olds watch television.  *GASP* Hey, you do what you gotta do to keep everyone alive and sane.  And because I know it’s good for them, when they’re teenagers, I’ll force them to take their headphones off and listen to the soundtrack from Dances With Wolves and The Last of the Mohicans while we drive on a long, cross-country road trip, just like my dad did. 

Until then, though, we will watch Elmo:  Singing With the Stars,  Praise Baby, Cedarmont Kids: Action Bible Songs, and Baby Signing Time videos until the sun stops shining, if it means there’s no screaming and maybe even a little bit of sleeping going on in the back seat (and the front one for that, matter...passenger, of course). 

I digress. 

So, Sunday we get to College Station about 9:30 and have a little homemade dinner, courtesy of Miss Lindsay Willis, Southern lady and hostess, extraordinaire.  Homemade chicken and dumplings.  Mmm, mmm. 

Monday the babies and I pretty much bummed around all day and took it easy with Lindsay and her kiddos.

We did end up ordering Wings ‘N More to pick up and bring home that night.  We had that on our list to eat while in BCS, so we checked that one off.  Yes, we make a list of where we must eat, even if we're only there a few days.  The curse of the small-town restaurant shortage forces us to gorge ourselves any and every time we are in the city.

I made plans with my dear friend, Kierstyn, to have lunch with her family, so we packed up Tuesday morning and headed to their house.  She made tater-tot casserole (made famous by Michelle Duggar), and fresh fruit and it was perfect.  We LOVED getting to visit and catch up with them.  Kierstyn and I taught together my first year in Bryan, when she was pregnant with her first baby (she now has four, and homeschools the older three, while she manages a 2 ½ year-old…Mom of the Year?!!)!  I love that we still keep in touch and get together when at all possible.  I wish I had gotten some pictures.

Tuesday was a rainy day in BCS, and we had planned on going on campus at some point.  We dropped Richard off at his training, and I drove around with two sleeping babies in the back seat of the car. 

It was interesting to see how much BCS has grown in just the two years since we were there last.  Some landmarks are just gone completely, while tons more have risen up, especially along University Dr. 

Eventually the babies awakened, and McH called to say he was through and ready to be picked up, so we met him at the MSC (Memorial Student Center…the main hub of campus), so we could take the babies in.  The building has gone through MAJOR renovation and addition and it was so beautiful and impressive. 

There’s something so special about taking your own children back to the place where so much of your life happened:  bittersweet endings, hopeful new beginnings, and everything in between.  I really wanted to be able to take the babies and get pictures at the Century Tree, and the statue of Sully and maybe even Kyle Field.  But it was pouring rain and kind of chilly, so we had to keep things indoors. 

When we were in college, I worked in the bookstore on campus for a while, which is in the MSC.  Downstairs was an eating area with booths and McH and I spent many of our early dating days, waiting between classes, doing the crossword puzzles together in the day’s copy of the Battalion, the campus newspaper. 

Such great memories.

And now we have the chance to share those memories with our kids…LET THE BRAINWASHING BEGIN!!
Her new "smile."  
The shirt says it all.

The sacred flag room of the MSC.  I was so proud to watch my babies running around this special place (although I'm not sure everyone in the flag room was as thrilled!  Ha!). 

A nice gentleman offered to take a pic of the whole family.  Pretty sure this will make the Christmas card in someway this year.  

One of my Facebook friends said, "There's just something about little boys in baseball caps."  It's so true.  I'm totally regretting not getting this for him right then, because I'm having a really hard time finding one like it now! 

Babies are waiting on a snack.  This is inside part of the addition in the MSC.  It's a really nice little mini grocery store...kind of a general store, if you will.  So handy!  Would love to have had this when I was in school.  

Inside the entrance to the MSC addition.  

After our little MSC reminiscing and tour, we headed to Target to find some good pumpkin-patch-picture-taking shirts (MAJOR FAIL...we ended up with matching Charlie Brown: The Great Pumpkin shirts.  Not that I have anything against Charlie Brown, it just wasn’t what I had in mind), and then headed to one of our favorite College Station eateries, Pho John’s!  I CRAVE it between visits, and we go every time we are in town.  Again, another first for the minis! 

Pho John's.  I think I was trying to smile for everyone!

We were all exhausted, so after dinner, we headed to our hotel and settled in for the night.  I have to take a minute to give a big shout out to the Hampton Inn and Suites.  It was THE cleanest hotel room I’ve ever been in!  There was not a stray hair I saw anywhere, and did you know they wash the sheets AND the duvet every time someone stays?!  I LOVE that!  I ALMOST took a bath instead of shower…baths in hotel bathtubs usually really gross me out.  I’m a little bit of a snob when it comes to hotels (McH wants a good price, I want floors I’m not afraid to walk on and a bathtub I can feel okay about bathing the babies in).  Anyway, we normally stay in Holiday Inn Expresses, but I think we might be switching to Hamptons from now on!  Woot woot! 

 One of the first things we have to do when we go to any hotel, is take the phone out from the wall, or "someone" will call Timbuktu if you let him!

Wednesday we made it to some breakfast and then some pictures at a local pumpkin patch.  The Farm Patch is an amazing farmer’s market in Bryan, and they have a sweet little pumpkin patch, petting zoo, a miniature corn/hay maze and some other picture-taking opportunities behind the market.  We didn’t get to a pumpkin patch last year for the babies’ first Halloween/Fall, so I was determined to make it happen.  

After a quick change of clothes and diapers, and with a camera full of great memories, we said “Sayonara” to Aggieland and headed Southwest to Uvalde…stay tuned!
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  1. I miss Aggieland!! It has been two years since we have been there too. I hope we can go down this Spring. MSC Bookstore - lots of memories!!!

    1. Yes, Jessica! Lots of memories! While we were there, I saw Jason (just from a distance, I didn't speak to him). I couldn't believe he still worked there!!!

  2. I'm so glad you remember Dad as the one who made you take off the headphones and listen to classical soundtracks... the meanie..... I just put the CDs and tapes in the car in case we got to listen to them..... the nice mommy ;))) Those were great trips!!!

    1. Haha. Mom, you always had the cool music, for sure...Linda Rondstadt, Anne Murray, The Mellow 70's. I loved it all! And to be honest, I liked the soundtracks, too. But, I know Will HATED them! Hee hee!

  3. Love it! Great pictures. Please let me know when yall come back or maybe we just need to plan a class of 2033 Fish Camp soon for our little ones. Lol!

    1. Oh my gosh! What a great idea!!! Wouldn't it be awesome if someday, Reese and Kendalyn were ROOMIES at A&M?! Oh my gosh, I'm already getting excited! Haha!

  4. Your babies are precious! So glad that all of you had a great time. It can be stressful traveling with babies!

    1. Thank you, Myna. And you're right, traveling with babies is HARD, but it is getting a little better as they get older and can be distracted. :) They're so fun right now!!


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