we left friday evening. children napped and children woke. here, your eyes do not deceive you. oliver fell asleep first and we caught violet holding and playing with his hand while chicken baby performed her high kick routine.
we missed the first starbucks, when oliver was out. this is important because oliver being awake means oliver demanding apple juice and me feeling it would be unfair for us to get something and not let him. this would further mean oliver would be pumped full of sugar near bedtime and liquid while on a long car trip.
every other starbucks was passed while oliver was conscious. the dream was not to be lived.
we finally arrived at ricky's around 9:30 or 10:00. the kids whooped it up like there was no tomorrow. i squirmed at the thought of getting them to sleep. i logged in and did my nightly work and sipped a glass of wine to make up for the lack of coffee. that doesn't make sense, i know. and then there was no getting around bedtime. for the first time in history, violet and oliver bunked in the same room. we fashioned little pallets on the floor for them. after completing that struggle, we were free to chat with ricky for a bit.
saturday morning, we rose and got out of there somewhat early. i wanted to beat the heat as we were going to be outdoors. we headed to zilker park and almost canceled our plans to ride the zilker zephyr when we saw throngs lined up to get into some kind of arboretum festival nearby. however, there were still parking spots where we were headed. we took a little walk to the depot and arrived precisely on time. oliver insisted on riding next to ricky. violet did her usual tap dance trying to get off the train about halfway through, so we started pointing at every dog, bird, and flower we could find trying to distract her.
oliver was trying to sneak bits of nature because i told him he couldn't take anything from the park. i had to "call the park ranger" on the way back to the car to report the possibly illegal activity. tough love.
oliver waving at onlookers.
looking for nutrea. all we found were black-headed squirrels posing as nutrea.
as soon as we hopped off the train and started toward the playground, we saw
the adults (and violet) were all properly horrified and doing their best to move away. but then, there was oliver. who voiced his desire to have a balloon creation. i quickly handed ricky my camera and i'm glad i did, as he was much more brave than i would have been about getting an awesome sequence of shots. violet stood behind brian and looked through his legs.
oliver wound up with a balloon airplane on a balloon stick. then, he walked 20 feet and saw two normal people with an umbrella-topped cart doing the same thing and it was beggings for another. for some indiscernible reason, neither child would play on what is a rather fancy playground. the adults stood around banging on the xylophones until we decided it was ridiculous to still be there and then we headed back to the car.
we dashed over to the new bouldin creek cafe location and observed the wait staff fashion show while oliver earned several trips out of the restaurant. we eventually received food and that occupied children for a time. coffee to go. NO JUICE!
violet finally passed out in the car. the menfolk went into waterloo records while i relaxed in the ford focus. unti violet awoke a sweaty, sweaty mess. we went into waterloo. this did not last long as oliver was already moving beyond his tolerance for acceptable behavior.
we drove over to this park, called simply west austin park, which was down this giant hill from the house of ricky's special friend, dominique. dominique was busy doing some acupressure or reflexology or something with a client, but he loaned his dogs out to us to take to the park. oliver set immediately about collecting some nature while violet foamed at the mouth over the doggies doggies doggies. it was a beautiful day, but the temperatures had risen to the point that sweat was created when you dared to do things like move. i wilted on a rock astride the playground. the children once again refused to actually play on the playground. i just couldn't figure it out. so, oliver continued with his nature and violet continued with her foaming. which was fine. we did all take a turn on the swings up the hill until i could stand the wilting no longer. we returned dogs and waved at dominique from the street, looking like the sweaty messes we were.
not too shabby for a time out spot.
here is an example of the motherhood experience. i look at this and what i see is a car careening up and over the top of that hill and taking out the lot of them.
brian indicated he wanted a frosty "treat" on the way home. ricky and i same-paged with thoughts that it should not involve taking children out of the car. i followed them over to a neighborhood mexican fruity ice place and watched a young african-american male busking for money to be put in his can. he was very clean-cut and had a backpack and stack of photocopies. i pretended to sleep anytime his glance approached my direction. i would never learn what his gig was. never.
we returned to ricky's place and puttered around the backyard collecting snail shells, rocks (dinosaur bones), and other natural ephemera so that we could construct a dinosaur with hair and a hat. we also found a playground ball back there. ricky's reel mower was stolen, so it's au naturale. it was an exciting scavenger hunt. ants called an end to our outdoor time and we left a hair before seven pm to travel to one of many of austin's newish food trailer courts. we obviously chose the one housing the vegan yacht. the yacht captains were running late, but finally swung their window open around 7:20. two frito pies and a TLT on olive ciabatta. oliver was running severely amok by this point... a time also known as "bedtime." it ended with me hauling him over my shoulder to the car.
i was severely disappointed that the vegan yacht had crossed the beet brownie off their list, so ricky and i sat at the laptop, futiley searching for nearby vegan (and vegan gluten-free) cupcakes. it wasn't going how we liked so the two of us drove to central market where there was a dixieland band hoe down going on out on the patio. i wanted to hoe down. i don't know how to spell hoe down, but i like to think of it as a time to stop working in the fields, put your farm implementations down on the ground, and get to the fun times.
as suspected, there was not a single vegan item in the bakery case and only non-vegan gluten-free brownies. and then, we remembered the ice cream aisle, where we found heaven waiting. and the beer aisle, too. right on. we returned and sat around fattening our asses and having adult-type, uninterrupted conversations. like regular people.
ricky's roommate, stephen, would magically be in the house or not be in the house, but you didn't really ever see him coming or going. you never knew if he was there. it was explained to us that he is stressed by social interaction and prefers to come and go as if a magical shadow person lacking skills of pleasantries and introduction.
sunday, we woke up to a surprising chill in the air. like, an unpleasant chill. i had resisted my tendencies to really, really overpack and told myself it was austin at the end of march and i had checked the weather and i was not going to pack jackets or even long sleeves. and this is why i pack rat and overpack. because there we were, freezing our asses off and preparing to head to a playdate later that afternoon.
first, we headed to veggie heaven for lunch. we tried to convince the veggie heaven ladies that they should put us in the usual backroom, which we had assumed was reserved to hide people with children. but she didn't seem to compute and we were ushered into the main, cramped room with other diners, as they arrived. oliver was in loud form, even shouting about a bug flying around and ice that had been dropped on the floor. he was playing sword fighting with chopsticks, etc, etc. this ended up generating a lot of tension between myself and brian, which later totally exploded not long before arriving back in dallas.
after leaving ricky's, we drove to the northern suburb(?) of round rock to meet at this housing development's park that had the world's most terrifying slides (in modern times) with brian's college buddies, pam and susie. i hadn't seen susie since she had a baby in her belly and came upon us dining at mother's with darren back when we were dating. i still cannot believe we convinced darren to go on a weekend trip with us AND stay in the same room.
anyhow, it was still totally freezing out there and pam gave me her jacket and i strolled with violet down to the little pond and tried to keep her from going into it and helped her sit on the sitting rocks and pick dandelions while brian chatted and oliver did some oliver things on the playground of death. we came to our senses and drove around a couple of corners to susie's house. i talked with the ladies inside and brian talked with the men outside. as it should be. then we all convened for healthy snacks and violet died all over their gigantic, blind dog and susie's husband, david, asked if we minded if oliver watched an age-appropriate movie, and i really like that he asked, and then he turned on the music man and that really cracked me up. you should have seen oliver's face during this one scene where a bunch of guys are on a train doing some coordinated jibber-jabbering. oh, just look on down there and you'll see it.
then, we went home. the end.
girls versus boy.
brian and his lady friends.