Updated: Sep 6, 2019
If the kids have a break from school, we typically try to plan a trip. If the trip involves seeing family, even better! My brother and sister in law live in Houston, and since Texas is gigantic, we rarely get down there. My kids are really good travelers for the first 4 hours. We can always pack up and expect a really good trip if the destination is 4 hours or less. Anything after 4 hours is “are we there yet?!” Having said that, we were all super pumped to get down there and explore some new things!
Our trip was 5 days (including travel days), and we had a BUNCH on the agenda!
First up, Space Center Houston!! My mom was also coming to visit, and she was driving while we were here. She would catch up with us later that day. It was spring break, so even though we went on a Thursday, it was CRAZY busy. Overall, it was really neat. (It was really crowded, though!) There is a great big room full of different displays; rocket simulators, a bracelet making station- set up on this day, exhibits about weather, real space suits on display, informative reading about various space missions, etc. Off of the main “big room,” was a food court; Hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, sandwiches…things of that nature. After a couple of hours, we refueled here and continued on! There was a tram station out back that we thought was going to give us a nice, scenic tour of the grounds. When we boarded and realized it was merely a short ride over to another nearby building, for more walking/lines, we were a little bummed. We had been here for the better part of the day, and thought we would end it with this nice “ride.” I’m glad we stumbled across it, because this ended up being my favorite part of our day at NASA! This other building housed a real rocket ship. It was just there on display, but it was so dang impressive!! Seeing the massive size of all of the thrusters was unreal! I had never seen a rocket in real life…this particular one had been to space several times. How cool is that?!
After NASA, we went to the Kemah Boardwalk. This was incredible!! Easily my 7 year old’s favorite part of the whole trip! My mom met up with us, and we went for dinner at Landry’s seafood. It was so yummy, and we sat at a corner table with stunning water views! There are ticket booths scattered around the area, and after dinner we went to grab some tickets for rides! (Side note: I found the ticket buying process slightly annoying. The lines weren’t overly long, but you had to buy tickets for specific rides. For example, you could get the tickets that included all of the “kiddie” rides, but that didn’t include the roller coaster, etc. We had people of all ages, so we found this confusing and had to go back 3 or 4 times to purchase additional tickets for rides that weren’t included on our original package. Just good to know—we will do it differently next time). Having said that, the atmosphere was something out of a movie and the rides were outstanding! We all kept saying how much better the roller coaster was than what we were expecting. It is right there on the water, so that is just a beautiful added bonus.
Friday morning, we got ready and headed to the zoo downtown. The theme of everything we did this trip (including all of the restaurants) was BUSY!! Lines, and tons of people…can you tell I live in a small town?! The zoo was no different—the parking lot was full, so we drove several blocks down the street to overflow parking. Thankfully, there was a bus taking loads of people back and forth. It was a beautiful day for the zoo! My girls got face painting and glitter tattoos, Mac was a trooper, and a cousin and her new baby met us there. My sister in law is pregnant, so her back was killing her after this second full day of walking…poor thing!
Saturday, we went to my uncle’s farm and we celebrated my aunt’s 50th birthday with yummy food, animals, a beautiful day, and loads of togetherness. It was another perfect day. My kids fed horses and goats, went for a ride to see cows by the pond, saw family they hadn’t seen in a couple of years, and my family was able to meet and love on our son, Mac. What a gorgeous and serene piece of land, right outside of Houston! That evening, we had dinner reservations to meet up with the other side of my family. We were able to see them, visit, and let all of our children play together as we used to do as kids.
If you are confused, my family is a giant web, with lots of forks in the proverbial roads. My brother and his wife live there and they are expecting their first child, my mom’s two brothers and their spouses/families and grandchildren, and my dad’s half-brother and half-sister, along with their spouses/families (including a new grandchild). Whew!
We headed home on Sunday after breakfast. It always seems like these times fly by in the blink of an eye. I cherish this time with our family, making memories of a lifetime. My prayer is that we would make time for more of this, and that we wouldn’t take a second of it for granted. Not one second.
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