Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The Force of July
Over the 4th of July weekend, we went to Houston.
First stop was at the Burger King in Brenham, to stock up on Eclipse-themed goodies. I'm not sure how appropriate it is for the BK Happy Meals to come with little Twilight toys, but this Twi-Mom isn't complaining.
Mom let the boys play with their uncle's old Dungeons and Dragons. Team Danger was in awe.
Saturday, we headed out to NASA. This summer they have a new Star Wars exhibit - one geared around the Clone Wars. And to celebrate "the Force of July," there were several special events happening this weekend, like Padawan Boot Camp.
After the crowds greeting us last 4th of July weekend, we made sure we were there pretty close to opening time. Good call. Not only were the lines markedly shorter, but we had front row seats for the Padawan Boot Camp.
Obi-"Shawn" Kenobi and some other Jedi Knights helped train the young padawans in the ways of the force. Unlike the actual Jedi Knight Training at Disneyland, where there were Jedi Robes for the kids to wear, and real "fake" toy lightsabers given to the chosen ones, at NASA, I had to buy inflatable light sabers for $5 each. I've bought these before. They don't last long. So I wasn't particularly happy forking over another $10 on two soon to be destroyed lightsabers for a "free" event, but was there really an option not to? Um, no. Note to any other parents thinking of going: BRING YOUR OWN LIGHTSABER. Bonus points if you bring your own lighted lightsaber.
Darth Maul made an appearance to fight Obi-Shawn as part of the padawans training, but he didn't fight any of the children. Team Danger was bummed. He did, however, pose for photos.
As did Obi-Shawn.
They also made their own balloon light sabers. This seemed cooler than the pool noodle light sabers we did for Alex's party last year. If I ever have to do another Star Wars themed party- we're doing this. Just download the "controls," let the kids cut and color them, and then tape them to a long balloon. Perfect. And safe. And even cheaper than my pool noodles.
The weather was holding nicely, so we decided to head to Galveston, seeing as we were almost there anyway. It was past lunch time, though, so we stopped for lunch at The Spot before heading to the beach. Alas, Tropical Storm Alex (nee Hurricane Alex), decided to make his appearance midway through our lunch and it started pouring.
We ate cookies. Key lime pie. Ice cream. Watched Spain defeat Paraguay in the World Cup. Bought balloon swords from a clown. Anything to give Alex a chance to pass us by and let us go outside and play, but he only got stronger and stronger. We left The Spot, drove around and looked at the Victorian houses, and the shipyard (Carl was driving, and I couldn't stop him. He finds odd things interesting.). Still, Alex continued. Finally, we gave up on our beach visit and headed back towards Houston. Another time, Galveston.
The drive home was rainy, and filled with lightsaber battles.
Dinner was at Gringos, and I ordered the Red, White and Blue margarita. One of the downsides to Alex reading is that he can read menus now. So he was pretty excited to see the words, "Kraft Macaroni and Cheese." It pains me to spend $4.99 on a Kids Meal of Kraft M&C, when I can buy the box for one dollar and get 3 or 4 servings out of it. Alex ate all of his, and then some of Ryan's, and then he sits back from the table, rubs his stomach, and says, "Does Mexican macaroni make your tummy feel bad?"
Sunday, we went to the movies. Some of us saw Toy Story 3, some of us saw Eclipse. Repeat viewings, but certain movies *need* repeat viewings. Possibly several repeat viewings.
I'm not sure, do we think Alex has outgrown this Hot Wheel yet?
Mom cooked a delicious brisket for the 4th, and my little chef, Ryan, baked some American cupcakes for the occasion.
After eating, we went over to Cheryl's house to swim and cool off, and then, finally set off fireworks. Cheryl and Glenn live outside Houston City limits, in an unincorporated area of Harris County, so amazingly, fireworks are legal. Everyone brings their chairs outside and just sets them off in the street. We had pretty tame ones - sparklers, tanks, bumblebees. But other folks had intense fireworks. At one point, Carl grumbled, "If I'd known there was a competition, I would have spent a bit more."
Next year, we'll be ready.