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Fun times with Grandma and Grandpa

Kelly's parents came to visit us for a week and we had a lovely time doing fun touristy things with them. They arrived on the last day of school, so after Christopher and I picked them up from the airport, we picked up Lindsey from school, then grabbed a quick bite to eat at Mesa Rosa, then Lindsey headed off to one of the many parties she attended that week. That evening, we met Kelly after work, then went downtown to go on a bat tour on Ladybird Lake (formerly and more popularly known as Town Lake) to watch the 750,000 pregnant female Mexican free-tail bats come out from beneath the Congress bridge for their own dinner. Later in the season, the bat population doubles (since they're all expecting) to make it 1.5 million, the largest urban bat colony in North America.
It was a beautiful night and the tour was interesting, packed with details about Austin, some true, some partly true, by Captain Kasey to make it sound good.
The next morning, Lindsey and I whipped up a good ol' Oklahoma breakfast favorite, biscuits and gravy. Uncle Jimmy just showed us his sweet skills with this recipe when we were there for Jessica's graduation in May, so we shared the love with Grandma and Grandpa.
They loved it! What's not to love?
I already blogged about what we did the rest of this particular day (Jon's wedding, Stake Conference, movies), so I'll move on to what we did next. On Monday, we rented a Dodge Mini-van and hit the road, heading southbound. We went on an excursion to the Wildlife Ranch, followed by hiking down into the Natural Bridge Caverns. Friends recently told us about these fun family outings to do, so we took them up on the suggestions and didn't regret it. It was a lot of fun. The day was hot, so being inside the air conditioned mini-van helped with the heat, and it was still an exciting adventure seeing all the wild animals, holding our hands out the windows to feed them.
The wait to get into the park took a while, but once we got in, it was pleasant riding in the van with the A/C cranked up and all of us together admiring the wildlife.
Lindsey was happy.
Grandma was happy.
Kelly was happy, but he would be happier if he could whip out his new fancy camera while I drove. So I swapped places with him and he took a ton of animal pictures, so I didn't bother. Trust me, there were animals. Wild ones. But somehow I didn't bother taking a single picture of them.
Grandpa and Christopher were very happy.
In addition to inadvertantly not taking a single, solitary picture of the animals, I also never bothered to snap a shot of inside the caverns. Kelly did, fortunately. It was a fun road trip, and we topped it off by driving back north, then to Driftwood, Texas, to go to the Salt Lick BBQ, for the first time. It has quite the reputation (Sandra Bullock, among others, loves the place) and we enjoyed it really well.

The next day, Kelly went to work and the rest of us went shopping at the new outlet mall in Round Rock. Lindsey went to another party that night and picked up a birthday gift for Bryan, a nice kid in her seminary class. She had a blast that night, for the record.
My in-laws noticed my garbage disposal was leaking slightly. I told them I realized it and have been wanting to replace it. My father-in-law volunteered to install a new one for me, so the two of us went to Home Depot to pick one out. While there, I asked him if he knows how to install kitchen sinks. He never had, but I bought a new black granite sink and he figured it out! My original white porcelain sink has had two black chips in it since almost right after we moved in, and I've had them repaired, only to have the repaired spots chip away. So I was grateful. Then I remembered that my white sink had a white faucet attached, so I asked if he could also put in a new silver faucet. And he did. My kind father-in-law sprawled out underneath the kitchen countertop with my mother-in-law nearby handing him tools, and wiping parts, with his barely recuperated new hip (he had hip replacement surgery about six weeks ago), and replaced the garbage disposal, kitchen sink, and faucet. Kelly got home just before it was done and helped out with some last-minute assistance. I like my new sink--it's a little bigger and deeper, and gives the kitchen a gorgeous new look.
Thank you, Marlene and Dee! You did awesome!
We met Kelly for lunch out that day, then he went back to work. He did take two or three days off while his parents were here.
Here's Lindsey, off to another party. I guess that's what happens when your high school year ends amd you have a lot of friends!
Our main event of the week was on Friday, when we drove to San Antonio and spent the day at Sea World. Even though we've seen all the shows three times (at least) they're always a treat to experience. In the Water Works show, I think they have the exact same comedian/actor/diver/dancer that I saw two or three years ago.

I loved the water ski show--it's always my favorite. The Steel Eel in the background was one of Christopher's highlights. I went on it twice with him, but he went a few more times. There were no lines, so we got around really easily.

The next day, we played Scrabble, then Grandma and Grandpa took our rental van back to the airport and headed back to Denver--Loveland, actually. We'll see them in July at the family reunion in Utah. Kelly flew to Anaheim the next day for a conference. Thank you for coming to see us!


Craignlisa said…
Looks like you had a nice visit. Sure is nice to have someone handy around for repairs. Those are the times when I really miss having my dad near by. Isn't it funny how a leaky garbage disposal turns into getting a new sink, to getting a new foucet. I love those kinds of repairs.

Good times. Had you guys really never been to the Salt Lick? That was Dustin and Jen's favorite place to go. We had even been there at least twice!
Kelly said…
That's right, Lisa, it was our first time at the Salt Lick! Jen and Dustin lived on the opposite side of Austin from us, so they were much closer to Driftwood. There was a Salt Lick on Loop 360, but it's now out of business. We went there once and weren't very impressed. I did really like the orginal Salt Lick, which is quaint and has a good vibe.
You guys sure know how to have a good time!! I love sea world. I love the safari - and have wanted to go to the caverns but didn't want to haul both kids up! And your sink looks great. I love the black look, and how nice to have it installed for you for free!! I will have to get your recipe for biscuits and gravy. They are one of my dad's favorite things to eat!!
~ Tina said…
is there a trick to posting so many photos? mine gets jammed!
The Roberts said…
Kelly, Are you taking a break today like we are??? It is so much fun to do so many things!
Lonna said…
You didn't post a picture with the completed sink. What a treat to have family in town to see all the sights, and kick in a little overtime in the home repair area too.

Glad that you liked the Salt Lick, I see that you remembered to bring cash.

Hats off to you, that was a really packed week, I think that you deserve a little time off, maybe you could hang your feet over the side of your tub and pretend that it is your pool.
Sierra said…
What a fun filled week!! Looks like you guys had so much fun!!
~Family Life said…
WOW! You've been busy and having so much fun. I wanted to get to Sea World before we left, but no chance. :( We are off to the Salt Lick tonight, so thanks for posting those pictures. I've never been, and now my mouth is watering!
Lisa said…
I'm going to have to try the Wildlife Park. We were looking for an activity a couple of weekends ago and decided to axe the Zoo after looking at pictures of it online. . . not much of a zoo. But this park sounds cool!
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