Saturday, January 11, 2014

New Year's in Texas

This year we decided to ring in 2014 with our families. It was quite the whirlwind trip - we managed to see 40 relatives in 9 days. That has to be some kind of record. The girlies both decided to bring their cameras on the trip so I (shocker) decided to leave mine at home. Besides, Paige got a SWEET new camera for Christmas and I figured that if I didn't have mine, she might let me give hers a go. I am in love. Total camera envy. All these pictures were taken by the girlies.

Of course, a selfie from Summer

The first day of our trip we drove from our house in Tucson to Kerrville, TX, roughly 12 1/2 hours in the car. The girlies are road trip pros, so it wasn't really a big deal for us to drive for that long. I did find some great road trip ideas on Pinterest if you're interested. My Grandmother Harris and Grandpa Jack were kind enough to drive over from Rocksprings and meet us for dinner. It has been entirely too long since we have seen them. My Aunt Shannon and Uncle Jeff were supposed to join us as well, but there was an unfortunate pretzel incident and they weren't able to make it. BTW, on this leg of the trip I discovered that my uncanny ability to attract random accidents is apparently hereditary.

The next day, we made the short 5 hour hop from Kerrville to the Fe, where we would spend several days. We saw pretty much my entire extended family while we were there, which is easier than it sounds since they almost all live on the same block. I got some much needed Mom and Sister time and all was right with the world.

New Year's Eve we took our annual January trip to the beach (It was January somewhere!) Den and I went to South Padre Island in January after we got married and it's just something we've done ever since. This year we headed down to Galveston Island to see all the changes that have been made since Hurricane Ike. My sister tagged along. It was, as one would expect a beach in January to be, pretty cold. It was no polar vortex, but it was plenty chilly for these desert dwellers. Of course we HAD to have lunch at Taco Cabana.

This boardwalk is completely new. I think there used to be a hotel there.

Please, oh, please ignore my white socks and Sperrys

Summer was so excited to find a whole shell, until she realized someone was home!

After our beach trip, we went to my Auntie Donna's house for a family New Year's Eve party. You never know who is going to show up at our "family" parties. I did learn a new card game, which I held my own at until I lost all my money to Uncle Joe (or as Summer calls him, Grunkel Teddy Bear)

Love, Love, Love my momma!

The girlies with my cousin Jordan. Think they're related?

New Year's Day was spent on the Compound recovering from New Year's Eve.

"Please throw the stick, oh PLEASE throw the stick!"

While in the Fe, we also got to spend some time with my Grandma and Grandpa and my dad and stepmom and 11 year old sister. The girls were having way too much fun with their aunt to have time to take pictures.

After saying our goodbyes, we headed for San Antonio to spend some time with Den's family. His brother and his family drove in from Dallas as well. All of these pics came from my phone since, again, the girls were having WAY too much fun with their cousins to pull out their cameras.

We went to Casa Rio, my absolute favorite Mexican food place on Earth!

We also got to spend some time with Den's sweet, 93 year old grandmother and his cousin Lorrie's family. 

The three oldest girls - Savannah, Paige, and Ciara - all 13 and born within 3 months of each other. Hello built-in college roomates!

After a lovely time in San Antonio, we loaded up the car and started our trip home, leaving plenty early so we wouldn't be driving into the setting sun.

The sun rising over the Hill Country behind us

And of course, a Paige selfie

This is one of my favorite spots on the drive - Texas Canyon. I would love to drag a photographer out here before we leave AZ and do family pictures.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip home. It was not without it's stumbles (literally) and drama, but what would be a trip home without a little family drama? It's always nice to be given the chance to remember who and where you came from and to be able to share that with the girlies is priceless.

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