We’re easing our way back to “normal”, in this case meaning a more fun summer than last. ☀️ I jumped on a pool pass at the Austin Motel (“So Close, Yet So Far Out”). This hotel pool turns out to be less crowded and more fun than neighborhood social club the High Road, which we tried the summer before last.
One thing I love about Molly is that she’s not trying to be an adult yet. She made a “sea raft” out of swim noodles, held together with goggles. We played with our pool toys, Sammie the Seamonster and Ollie Octopus.
And we took lots of underwater photos, using my iPhone as a bit of a pool toy itself. I guess it could use a cleaning anyways. 🤷🏻♂️
We strolled up to Cosmic Coffee (and Beer Garden). We’re trying to get out for regular walks to prepare for our trip to Ireland later this year. “We’re going to be waling all around Dublin, so let’s get our legs ready,” I told them. Luckily, they were pretty enthusiastic about walking. Bonus: the Texas heat will make walking around Ireland seem like a literal cake walk.
Also, Molly wanted to try out iced tea since she had enjoyed some stevia-based tea at home. But she was not terribly impressed with unsweet green hibiscus tea, describing it as “bitter”. 🤷🏻♂️
Molly totally earned 1000 tickets on the game Pirate’s Hook at Pinballz Arcade today. Molly and I work as a team. She times the fishing pole while I reel in the fish as quickly as possibly. We’ve can usually came away with 20-30 tickets in a solid round.
But today Molly hit the jackpot and got the golden crab for 1000 tickets. I couldn’t believe it!
We earned a total of 1400 tickets for the day. Molly, with her usual patience, chose a bag of Haribo Happy Cola gummies at a cost 300 tickets for today. She decided to save the remaining 1100 tickets for a lava lamp next time we come, probably in a few months.
Claire missed the action because she was hanging out at Susie’s today, recovering from our Dads’ Spring Break trip.
Claire’s ongoing slime-creation project has finally yielded the perfect slime, thanks primarily to Sta Flo liquid starch, which works so much better than Borax. This slime is gooey and stretchy and never wears out or sticks. Plus it’s sparkly and just the right color.
Now that we have lots of slime, Claire and I just sit and play with it for long stretches. We roll it out into perfect sheets using a ruler to get the edges straight, then roll the sheet up into a perfect slime cannoli, and then – and this is the topper – we cut the slime cannoli right down the middle with scissors. Somehow the inside has a little different color and is extra gooey.
The ultimate relaxation for Claire and me is to just mess with the slime while watching Last Week Tonight. John Oliver just kills us. Claire is really into Last Week Tonight, or any other political/comedy combination such as Saturday Night Live. So political comedy combined with slime is just the ultimate luxury. Pure heaven.
Molly likes slime alright and can tolerate political comedy, but her obsession is still Rayman Legends on the PlayStation 4. Molly is getting incredibly good at this game. Molly plays Rayman while Claire and I do slime and TV. We could spend all day like this. Luckily, we usually only spend Sunday evenings this way as a way to wind down the weekend. We all get so relaxed and zoned in that don’t want to disrupt our leisure activities. We become slime / TV zombies and then scurry off to bed, a little upset that the day is ending.
Claire has been trying for a few weeks to make the perfect homemade slime. We’ve used Borax, Elmer’s glue, sprinkle glue, acrylic paint, and anything else you can think of that is slimy. Today Claire filmed a time-lapse video of her slime experiment while I cooked dinner and Molly played Rayman Legends on the PlayStation 4 in the background. At the very end of the video, you can see a taco appear in front of Claire, which was the sign for the slime experiment to end and for dinner to begin!
In the video, I used the song Pink Slime by La Luz. I found the song from the NPR Music’s Austin 100 playlist for SXSW 2015.
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!
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.
With the weather cooling off a bit and making it hard to to spend the day at Barking Springs, and Sno Beach shut down for the season, we’re having to move our weekend fun activities indoors. Today, we took Claire’s friend Susie to lunch at the always delicious Homeslice Pizza and then off to Pinballz arcade for some indoor fun. The girls had lot of fun playing ping pong and messing uncooked dough at Homeslice. And they did a crazy job as a team effort winning tickets at Pinballz, They won over 3000 tickets, with Susie digging into her own money for tokens after my budget had run out. They were picking rolls of 500 tickets out of the claw machines at will, and basically emptied one out in a matter of minutes. With the prize tickets, the girls each got a ping ping gun, plus an inflatable ninja doll and some miscellaneous small toys. We all went back to my place and had a ping pong gun fight and basically destroyed the place. We can have fun even when it’s not warm and sunny out!