When my parents and younger brother and sister were here, we packed so much into our days that I feel in need to split it up into several blog posts. Here is part 1!
Friday evening they arrived. My amazing parents drove from Utah to Houston (a 26 hour drive) without even stopping to sleep! We were thrilled to see them and once Wesley and Talmage warmed up to everyone, they were ecstatic. Sadly, Sam had a cancer research conference in Chicago he had to attend from Saturday-Wednesday and my family was here from Friday night-Thursday afternoon, so we didn't get to do much with him. It was nice to have some company while he was gone, although we certainly missed him during all of our festivities.
Saturday brought the fun of General Conference, which is always a party for my family. We stock up on yummy food and sit and watch the sessions while enjoying a feast! Talmage kept exclaiming, "Ooooohhhh, THANK you!" as he was presented with delicious snacks. Between that and his love of the General Authorities, Conference was wonderful for him! He loved telling us who was on the screen.
Saturday evening we drove up to my grandparents' apartment (they are serving a mission in Houston and live about half an hour away from me!) and my dad and my grandpa went to the Priesthood session of Conference while the rest of us chatted with my grandma. And Sunday was more of the same! My dad started pulling Wesley around in a box after Conference was over:
He loved it!
After General Conference, we drove up to the Houston temple to take a look. The gates were closed, so we just stood outside the gates, but it just so happened that while we were there a family that was in our ward when we lived in Katy also came with some friends to show them the temple. What a funny coincidence!
The next morning we hurriedly got ready and headed out to the Blue Bell Factory in Brenham, TX (about 2 hours away from our house). Love that ice cream! We gave Bronson this hat to add to his baseball hat collection for Christmas. This was the perfect opportunity for him to wear it.
Talmage was living the high life as we travelled all around the Houston area. My parents had the DVD player set up for the long drive, so armed with chocolate milk and animal crackers left over from Conference, Talmage got to enjoy movies and snacks just about every time we were in the car. He has never been more content to drive around!
Watching movies takes intense concentration.
Both boys were such troopers about missing naps, delaying meals, etc. Wesley did a fair amount of this while we were in the car.
We love Blue Bell! Not only is the tour a fun thing to go on, but it is a memory for my family as well. Avalon and Bronson weren't born yet when we lived in Katy (just outside of Houston), so they have heard about all of these places and finally got to experience them.
Possibly the best part of the tour is the free ice cream at the end.
After the Blue Bell factory, we went to eat lunch at Gringo's--a delicious Tex-Mex restaurant that is kind of a tradition for Pearland people. The original was started in Pearland, although they now have something like 9 franchises in the Houston area.
After our lunch, we drove around the area my family used to live, looked at our old house, drove to our old church, and just got a general overview of the neighborhood. Then we headed home. On our way past the Galleria we had to stop at Sprinkles cupcakes! It is a posh cupcake place celebrities frequent all the time and where they charge an exorbitant fee for their gourmet cupcakes. But my sister Breanne told me about it when she lived in Washington, D.C. (where they also have a Sprinkles shop), and she told me that if you "like" them on Facebook they release a secret word every day that you can go in and whisper to get a free cupcake if you're one of the first 50 people to do it. Obviously, you feel kind of like a dork going into a fancy store in a really ritzy area, approaching the counter and whispering, "monkey in the middle," "sweet spot," "wipeout," or some other such random phrase in response to the employee's friendly, "Can I help you?" But I coaxed my mom and my sister to do it with me, and we came out with cupcakes for everyone. Thanks, Breanne! :)