Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pre-K Graduation

Ella's Pre-K graduation was on Friday May 31st. Mom was here and kept Ella home for a fun day, and then the ceremony was that evening.

Looking so cute in her cap and gown

With Grammy

The ceremony was held at the junior high. Here she is in front of the school, with her stuffed graduation dog from Grammy

I know that in the scheme of things, graduating from Pre-K may be pretty minor, but I was so proud of her! She was excited about going up on stage and had been practicing her songs and poems, and was just so precious!

Going to her seat with her class

Getting her diploma from Miss Richmond

Being silly with her friends with their diplomas

Sharing some important news

Video clips from their songs and poems

With Steve after the ceremony - successful Pre-K graduate!

How can it be that my little bitty is just a few months away from kindergarten!?!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ella's book about San Antonio

Ella made a book about our trip to San Antonio, and her little pictures are just so cute! 
I love how her little mind works and seeing her memories.

All of us caught out in the pouring rain 

The three of us on a boat on the river - this one is a little sad because due to the rain we did not get to go on the boat ride we had planned...definitely a must-do for the next time :) 

On her favorite ride at Sea World, the big water flume ride 

Eating dinner at a patio restaurant overlooking the river one night 

Our hotel 

The Alamo 

The man dressed up like a monster outside the Ripley's Haunted Adventure - Ella was fascinated by him! 

The three of us driving to Austin 

Bobby and Vanessa's house, a picture of their dog Rocky and Alessandra in her crib 

Shamu show at Sea World 

Breakfast at the hotel - note the chef's hat on Ella's head! 

Dinner at a restaurant 

Dinosaurs at Dino Quest 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Visit to Austin

After San Antonio, we headed to Austin to visit Steve's cousin Bobby and his family. They had a baby girl, Alessandra, who was born on Ella's birthday this year, so we were excited to meet her.

We had a great visit. We really enjoyed our time with Bobby and Vanessa, and Alessandra was such a doll. Ella loved her and spent as much time with her as she could!

We went to Salt Lick BBQ for dinner, which is a legendary BBQ restaurant in Driftwood, and it was quite the experience (including Ella making even more friends than she usually does :). Everything was delicious and I don't know how it is happening, but I am slowly but surely becoming a barbecue fan.

Happily holding Alessandra the next morning :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Alamo

On Sunday we went to visit The Alamo. It was really neat, and I learned more about Texas history in one day than I have in our year of living here so far!

Some pictures before breakfast at the Hyatt across the street from the Alamo

Memorial statues in the square

The inside of the Alamo was really neat with a bunch of original artifacts and lots to read and learn about. Ella wasn't quite as interested as Steve and I, but she hung in there :).

We had about a half of a mile walk to get back to our hotel, and it had been bright and sunny all morning. When we were about 5 minutes from our hotel, we got caught in an absolute downpour that came out of nowhere. Giant raindrops, and the wind and rain was blowing directly onto us. We were out in the open and took about 2 minutes of running out in the open to get under a building with an awning. We were laughing so hard and couldn't believe how wet we got!

 Always an adventure!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sea World

We woke up early on Saturday morning with plans to head to Sea World and be there when it opened. Instead, we woke up to a really big thunderstorm and a downpour.

Steve has a white noise app on his iPad that we had on overnight so we wouldn't hear all the hotel noises, and it sounds like a pleasant rainstorm. We all three slept like rocks all night and turns out we missed all the action!

We decided to see if the rain would let up and wait a bit before leaving for Sea World, so we headed to breakfast in the hotel. Once we got there and started talking to a few people, checked weather and read a few articles, we learned there had been record breaking rainfall over night, nearly 10" of rain in just the time since we'd been there, the roads were flooded, and there was a flood warning saying not to drive.

We decided we weren't going anywhere any time soon and settled in for a long breakfast. The hotel staff was so nice, and the chef even came out and gave Ella this chef hat which she got a big kick out of and then pretended she was the chef for a while.

We went out on the sidewalk after breakfast to check on the rain, still pouring...

Our hotel was attached to a mall and there was a dinosaur exhibit advertised there called Dino Quest, so I took Ella to check that out. I was very grateful for our hotel location because we could get everywhere inside without needing to walk out in the rain. 

Ella loved the dinosaurs - she got a pamphlet with all of the different dinosaurs they had, and she was so methodical about it - she looked for each one on the pamphlet, marked it off, and made sure we saw everything. It was so cute. 

After Dino Quest we spent some time at the play area at the mall, and it looked like the rain was finally letting up. Steve had to find an alternate route because the roads were flooded and several were closed, but we still wanted to get to Sea World. So, although it was a lot later than planned, we still made it!

I had my phone in a locker most of the time we were there to keep it dry, so I took just a few pictures. We had such a fun time there. There was a ride called Journey to Atlantis that was a giant water flume ride and Ella was just tall enough to ride it. She was so scared and screamed all the way down and then once we got to the bottom she said "can we do it again?" So we did it a few more times, and she screamed as loud as she could every time :)

I took a picture of it later so she can see just how big it is!

We did all the water rides and saw some of the shows, which we loved. Although I realized Ella is way too accustomed to Pixar world because about 5 minutes into the first Shamu show, she asked me "wait, are they real?"

And this one was called Azul, it's a cirque-de-soleil type show, really amazing to watch. 

At the Bay of Play, a giant splash pad and climbing area. She easily could have spent a full day just in this one area. 

Sea World was great, and I am so glad we were still able to make it. There is still so much that we didn't see and do, so I hope we can get back sooner than later!