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This weekend we traveled to Austin to see friends and family. Our visit started when we met our good friends from Charlottesville, Brian and Becca, for dinner in downtown Austin. They were in town for a conference and had some free time to meet with us. Brian is Chief Resident in the ER at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He and Becca decided to make a vacation out of the trip and spent a few days in Austin relaxing. They also have 3 boys who stayed home with the grandparents. That doesn't sound like a bad idea ...

After dinner, we drove to see Jean, Gina's cousin, at her new house. This was a really special treat for us, and we had a great time helping her break in her new digs. The boys especially liked her stairs and the toys she had for Max and Wes. It's funny how someone else's toys always seem more interesting than your own. Anyway, after a good night's sleep, had a huge breakfast then waited for Max to come over to play. He and John got to the house around 10 or so, then we all headed to Zilker Park, an Austin staple. This place has everything 3 three-year olds could ever want. A creek to wade and throw rocks in, a train, a huge playground, a snack bar and a place to sit and eat lunch. Carrie and Wes met us there for lunch, and we all sat by the creek and had sandwiches. Despite the humidity, it was a lot of fun being outside and hanging out together.

We headed from there back to Jean's house for a nap and some rest time before other friends and family came over that night. After nap time, the boys all swam in the little pool in Jean's backyard. Sam and Nate were a little cautious, which is what I expected, but Max jumped right in. After a few minutes, the twins decided to give it a whirl and they had a great time. Some of Jean's relatives from Aunt Carol's side came over for dinner -- and brought more kids with them -- and we all had MORE fun playing, swimming, eating and talking. Oh yeah, and dancing! There was lots of dancing, and I wish I could say that everyone kept their clothes on, but that didn't happen. Thankfully, it was only by people in the 3-and-under crowd. After everyone had dispersed and all 4 boys took a bath together, Sam, Nate, Max and Wes settled in to relax in front of a movie. After all of that activity, they actually stayed awake for the whole movie.

The next day, we drove to Max and Wes' house to go swimming and eat lunch. I have to say, by this time Sam and Nate were starting to feel the effects of two late nights and a whole lot of activity. We had a couple of meltdowns, which was our first cue to start getting ready to head back home. We said our good-byes, got in the car and headed back to Ft. Worth. Both boys were asleep before I was even done filling up with gas, and they slept most of the way back.

This was a great trip and just what we needed after such a long semester. We are looking forward to getting together with the Kelly's again soon, possibly in Waco to see the zoo and children's museum. You can see some more photos on John and Carrie's blog. Of course, I have to share with you my favorite line from the whole weekend. As we came out from dinner at the Iron Cactus with Brian and Becca, we saw a homeless man petting one of the horses in a horse-drawn carriage and talking to the driver. The conversation went something like this:

Homeless Man: Do your horses like marijuana?

Driver: Sir, we don't feed our horses marijuana.

You gotta love 6th St.! Stay weird, Austin!