Sunday, July 7, 2013

Life in the HOT lane!

I've said it before, I'll say it again.  You know your momma loves you when she books her first trip to see you BEFORE you even move.  And before you know your way around the area, or how to drive on the deadly Texas interstates in traffic or just how HOT this place truly is.  A mother's love surpasses many things.  I'm just not sure the heat of Texas is one of them.
My mom and Aunt Janie flew into IAH and I planned a FULL week for us.  Our first stop was IKEA Houston and we made it there with only a few white knuckles from my driving experience.  We had a cheap lunch, let the kids play and found some new furniture for the boys room.  Ice Cream on the way out was a necessity but beware, it melts quickly!  
Next, we went to the downtown aquarium.  We knew we'd be there a while to wait out the rush hour traffic so we got the all inclusive pass to rides and exhibits and we had a ball.  The reviews of the aquarium were questionable but I thought it was a great way to spend the afternoon.  They boys loved riding over and over again and they have a splash pad too so the heat was slightly more tolerable.  

The Train ride takes you through an old building they have transformed into a shark tank.  It's cool to see them over your head but it's NOT cool inside!

At the end, they warn of the great shark that escaped into buffalo bayou and then it jumps out of the water and scares everyone.  Funny, even when you KNOW it's going to do it, it still manages to make you squeal!  
The aquarium also houses 4 white tigers.  They rotate on display so you'll only see one of them but ours was quite lively while we were there.  He jumped up REALLY high and had a little stand off with Jackson through the glass.

The Ferris Wheel is fun and takes you WAYYY above the city.  You can see all of Houston (and it's traffic) up there.  I only took one spin around it.  The older I get the more afraid of those things I am.  Does that mean I'm old??

Funny thing is this one didn't bother me and it drops you up and down quickly.  It wasn't quite as high but almost.  Jackson really enjoyed this one and would even ride it alone!

 My absolute favorite part was the sting rays!  I think they are so cute and remind me of a bunch of puppies just wanting you to feed and pet them.  The boys loved this and Jackson and I made several trips inside (read: it was COOL in there)!

 We saw lots of neat fish and sealife.  We loved the sea horses.  This eel kept "poor unfortunate souls" from The Little Mermaid playing in my head all day.  It was seriously UGLY!

It was finally clear enough to consider the drive back.  Relying on the GPS, we began our route home.  I was approaching an intersection similar to THIS one except slimmer and underneath an underpass.  At the very last second, I jumped onto the HOV lane.  We were filled to the max so I knew we qualified and it was headed in the right direction.  I thought WHY NOT?  I'm pretty sure Aunt Janie and Mom began praying for our safety and well being at that point.  We shaved that traffic cone but we were on the fast lane and I was living it up!  We were happy to be on it and passing all the terrible traffic below.  It was a "learn as you go" experiment because I had not driven on the toll roads yet, much less the HOV lane.  I owned that HOV lane.   Then I enjoyed a much needed margarita at the Mexican place when we arrived safely!

 With the temperatures topping at over 100, what better thing to do than go to the zoo.  It wasn't our best idea but the boys didn't seem to mind.  They have a Lego  exhibit of animals that was pretty cool and the monkey's were lively and entertaining.  It was a great zoo and we will totally go back.  In the FALL!

On Friday, we explored The Woodlands with a stop at the Apple store, container store and then a stroll around Market Street before boarding the waterway cruiser and taking a  VERY leisurely ride through the waterways.

This was our first and possibly last ride on the slowest motor boat on earth.  Maybe it was just the heat but we all nearly fell asleep while riding along in this boat.  It moved about as fast as it's operator.  And he was no spring chicken!  

Upon arriving home, mom, who never loses ANYTHING, has misplaced her camera. We worked together to narrow down the possibilities of where it could be and managed to decide on the area between lunch and the slow boat.  We headed back in that direction to retrace our steps.  Armed with our necessary water bottles, we walked every step again asking others along the way if it had been found.  We made a last resort report with the market street concierge and felt certain if it was found, he'd get it back to us.  We had even asked some of the stores we'd walked by if anyone had found it.  I didn't bother with Tiffany and Co. or Brooks Brothers.  Of all the high end stores I've been in, those were the most pretentious so I didn't bother.  My mistake.  Mom had no reserve going in and asking them and while Tiffany's was a bust, we got a text from inside brooks brothers that she had FOUND IT.  Someone had turned it in there from outside on the sidewalk.  What are the chances!!  We were wiped out from the heat and the search but happy to have found it.  

Later on, we found out why it was SO hard to have fun on Friday.  It just so happened to be a record breaking heat day for Houston.  Mom and Aunt Janie are pretty sure I've moved a little bit closer to "that hot place down below". 
 As far as Friday was concerned, I agree with them. 
It was pure, know!

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