The Friday night of our first weekend here, we went to the Kemah Boardwalk. It's about 30 minutes away and right on the waterfront, there are rides, restaurants and shops,and even an aquarium. What we did not realize is that Spring Break is the same week for all of the schools in the area, and happened to be that week, and many, many, many other families had the same plans...so, it took us forever to get there because of all the traffic crossing the bridge, and was extremely crowded. Lesson learned, we will not be attempting to go back during spring break again!
Ella before we left, she insisted on getting all dressed up and had picked out the dress on a recent shopping trip with Grammy
After waiting in line about 15 minutes to try to get ride tickets and realizing it was going to be an hour before we went on a single ride, we decided we'll have to come back again when it's less crowded to go on rides. Ella was disappointed because she loves rides, but was a really good sport.
Here she is playing the strongman game, where you take a hammer and hit the thing to see how high it can go...I have no idea why she wanted to play this one but once she saw it, she couldn't take her eyes off it and just had to try.
She got to pick out her prize, and picked this monkey and happily put him right around her neck. Funny enough, when we were at the Raleigh airport the day before, we were in a store getting a bottle of water and a snack, and she really wanted almost this exact monkey. There was a whole display of them, she had taken one off, wrapped him around her, etc. I told her we weren't getting any toys and she put him back, but I knew she really liked him and so I was happy she got to "win" the exact monkey at the Boardwalk.
There is a big splash pad area where there were tons of kids running in and out of the water, some in bathing suits but many just getting soaked in their clothes. I had no change of clothes for her, and didn't want her to be getting wet, have soaking hair, clothes, be uncomfortable at dinner, in the car later, etc, so I told her we could watch the kids but she couldn't play in the water, and that next time we would be prepared and bring a bathing suit. She said okay and still wanted to watch, but I know she wished she could have gone in the water because it looked like so much fun. Then we saw a bunch of kids with these electronic bubble blowers, and she instantly wanted one of those and asked if I'd get her one. Steve was getting a drink or in the restroom so it was just the two of us. I told her I needed to check if I had cash in my wallet and if I did, we could get one of the bubble blowers.
So we went over to a big step where there were a lot of people sitting, I found a spot for us near two elderly ladies, and started looking in my purse. They started talking to Ella and as usual she gave them her interview - where were their kids, what were they doing there without them, did they wish they could go in the splash pad?
The ladies were very sweet and said they came so that they could sit and enjoy the beautiful weather and watch all the out people having fun. They asked Ella if she was going to go in the water and she said "No, my mom says I can't. Next time we'll bring a bathing suit. But I don't even have a bathing suit that fits me, I'm a 4T now and my bathing suits are all 3T." (In my defense, who knew it would already be bathing suit time in March?!)
Then they said "did you ride on any rides?" Ella's reply: "No, it's too crowded, we'll have to come back another time to go on the rides." The ladies (probably feeling sorry for her at this point) said "Oh, well what are you going to do next?" Ella's reply: "My mom needs to look and see if she has enough money to buy me some bubbles" -- sheesh, I'm sure these ladies probably felt very sorry for this sweet little child with a mom who won't let her ride rides, won't let her go in the splash pad, doesn't give her her a bathing suit that fits, and has to scrounge in her purse to buy the poor kid some bubbles... Fortunately I had some cash and we were able to head off and buy the bubble blower before Ella told them that I hadn't even fed her dinner yet!