The girls had lots of fun on the beach in Galveston while waiting for Pleasure Pier to open. There was no shortage of hermit crabs to scare, and the gulf waters were warm enough to wade in, even right after Christmas!
And thanks to Gordon Colcotte’s song for being almost custom made for this video.
Kit and I worked out a pretty good Christmas schedule, where we had the girls in Austin with Kit and her parents on Christmas morning, and then I drove the girls to Houston on Christmas afternoon to see may parents for a few days.
The girls had not seen a lot of my parents lately. My parents have been going through a number of medical issues for the last year of so, and while I had made many solo trips to see them and help them, I hadn’t brought the girls for those trips. This time the girls got two spend two full days in Houston with them plus two partial days. This is the longest they have spent in Houston in years!
We took advantage of our full days by finally getting to Galveston, which I had been trying to do almost as long as Claire has been alive! We also hit the mall, in particular the American Girl store for Molly, and saw the 3D movie Sing. Sing was a really sweet movie and way better than crap like Home Alone 2, which we watched at home with my parents.
The girls loved Pleasure Pier in Galveston. My dad tagged along and mostly sat on benches while Claire, Molly, and I did rides. We got there early and played on the beach in the fog for a couple of hours before it opened. After Pleasure Pier, we went to Rainforest Cafe to live it up all the way. We made fun of inconsistencies on the menu, such as Jurassic-themed chicken nuggets. We also envisioned a Texas History themed restaurant, featuring Sam Houston’s Tennessee pulled pork and Santa Anna’s green enchiladas. (So wrong!) The we listened to the Anna Kendrick memoir, Scrappy Little Nobody, on the drive back to my parents’ house in Houston. It had drugs and sex all over the place. Talk about wrong! We eventually turned it off and just drove quietly back to Houston.
I took Claire and Molly over to the Trail of Lights just before Christmas this year. I love the Trail of Lights in theory, but so far it always turns out to be an exhausting death march, even this year it was just a short walk from my place. We waited through an extraordinarily long and fast line to get in and waited in an extraordinarily slow line for food at the Chi’ Lantro trailer, where we had to settle for kimchi fries instead of chicken wings. The final insult was dessert at another trailer, where Molly and I got pretty good ice cream sandwiches, while Claire opted for the “warm chocolate brownie”, which turned out to be a cold chocolate cookie. We got back home late and with our energy and senses utterly exhausted. Still, I’m glad we made the effort, and at least it wasn’t cold the year.
I had planned to take Claire and Molly to a play called Petra and the Wolf at the State Theater today. We ended up picking up Claire’s friend Emma to come along too. Everything is more fun with friends!
The play was an adaptation of Peter and the Wolf, set in Texas and with a girl as the main character. It was one of those plays with the giant life-sized puppets that people in black outfits drag across the floor. It had no dialog and a really nice live soundtrack from the orchestra pit. Pretty cool play.
Afterwards, we all went back to my place where I fed them beef stew and played with Molly with Claire and Emma hung out and mostly did Musically, a social music app that provides endless entertainment Claire’s circle of friends.
Who buys their art at the YMCA? I do! They have a nice rotating curated selection at the Town Lake YMCA, and I went for it and bought a couple of really great pieces for a very reasonable price. I also got a hug from the artist, who makes a point of giving out hugs to make people feel better. Thanks!
Claire had a major role in the 5th grade musical play the year.
She was a flapper and got a brief solo singing part! She sounded amazing and looked great in her flapper outfit. She’s a natural flapper. Way to go, Claire!
Here’s Claire with her friends Susie, Wolfie, and another girl whose name I forgot. (oops!)
Molly’s first grade class did the cutest assignment to hand out to the parents as a Christmas present. Each kid in the class wrote a review of a restaurant they were familiar with. Molly choose Chi’lantro, a regular favorite of ours. Molly’s review followed the same format followed by most of the other kids. “Chi’lantro is good. The parking is okay…” etc. But it was support sweet, and Molly had some good observations about Chi’lantro. Way to go, first graders! BTW, the most popular restaurant was P. Terry’s, which got several independent reviews.
Molly got ready for bed extra quickly tonight and made a little sign that said ‘I.G.R.F.B.E.”. She asked me to guess what it meant. After a few clues, I figured out it meant, “I got ready for bed early.” She wanted to get ready early so she would have extra time to read.
Claire turned 11 and had her birthday party at Altitude Austin, an amazing trampoline park. Altitude is extra fun compared to other trampoline parks because it has a special area for bouncy dodgeball. We played dodgeball for probably an hour and ended up exhausted and sweaty. Claire invited six of her amazing friends. Despite all their energy and the fun they were having, we managed to get them together briefly for a group photo (below).
Molly came along to Altitude too. Then the girls went to the house for a sleepover while Molly came to my place for some one-on -one fun time with me, including making a gingerbread house and our own little sleepover.