Wednesday, May 23, 2012

No Wireless Sucks

I'm highly vexed that our London hotel (and every other hotel in London) charge 20 pounds a day for internet access. That's about 35 USD for 24 hours of internet usage. AT&T charges even more to use the data plans on or phones and iPads, so we're dependant upon cafes and restaurants for free access for a bit. It is Most Disagreeable.

Thus this will be a brief post.

But we had a great time at the Chelsea Flower Show today. it was definitely worth all the hard work to plan around and cash in favors to get the member-only tickets. It was just beyond amazing...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

We're Here!

More to come later, but for now...

I'm officially in England!

And 40. :(

Here's Carl and I at (the back of) Jane Austen's Cottage in Chawton. Love how our expressions match our levels of excitement. ;)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Welcome, 40

Carl arrived home from New Orleans last night, Mom is here, the suitcases are packed, the boys are off to school, and we'll be off later today. I still have a million things to do, but still... its almost time to say goodbye to my 30s.
 First up, Bath for two nights.

Then we'll have four nights in London, and we made a last minute decision to add two nights in Paris. So I'm super excited about getting to see Monet's gardens in Giverny! We're even going to rent bikes and ride from the train station to the gardens - two bucket list items of mine in one hour. :)

I'm going to make a whole Monet day of it, starting with the gardens, and then visiting the big Monet museums in Paris. I've never been to the Orangerie or to the Musee Marmottan Monet so this will be great. The Orangerie is home the famous water lillies. This room was built according to Monet's specifications so that the light is exactly as he wanted it to be when you view it.When I went off to college, I took a set of Martex Monet's Lillies sheets with me. I just LOVED them.

And the Musee d'Orsay is my most favorite museum in the world (its all Impressionist art) so if we have time (and energy) we will revisit it as well. Or save this for the next day.

And then we have to backtrack to London and have one last night before we fly home. This is SO much better than a big party. :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Loading up my Kindle

This will be my first international trip since using a kindle, and I'm excited to be traveling so light. Normally, I'd have 8-10 paperback books ready to go with me, but this time, I've got about 15 new and unread books on my kindle. When traveling, I tend to go for light-hearted, fast reads, preferably ones that might even be set where I am going. Several of these I've been saving to read for the trip because I know I can count on them to pass the time.

And I can always re-read my most recent new favorite book, Mr. Churchill's Secretary. I wish I had saved this for the flight, because its just the perfect companion for London.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Camping and Fishing with the Scouts

I was leaving these events for Carl to blog about, but since it doesn't look like that will happen anytime soon, I'll take a stab at it.

We wrapped up Alex's Wolf year in Cub Scouts with the annual spring camp out at the Scouts' property in Bastrop. This was a whole pack event (there are 15 dens in the pack at our school). I went with the family this year, having committed to going during a strong case of Mommy guilt.

All in all, my first camping in a tent experience was ... tolerable. It could have been a bit cooler for me, and I could have used some closer toilets, and perhaps an air mattress that didn't have a hole in it, but all in all. I survived.

The following weekend was our end of year den party, and we used the lake house of one of the members for fishing and a picnic.

The weather was absolutely beautiful - cool and breezy, and the setting was Texas scenery at its best. We had a great time, and feel blessed to have such good kids and families in Alex's den.

Can we possibly strike gold twice when Ryan joins up this week?

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Magic of Facebook

Facebook gets a lot of negative press these days, and yes, I understand why that is.

But when a distant family member I've never met before can find me, and then send me pictures of my great-great- grandmother to wish me a Happy Mother's Day, I just have to say that facebook is pretty bloody fantastic.

This is Annie Lawson Lawrence Everett, who was the mother of Alice Everett Cox, who was the mother of my grandfather, James Stanley Cox.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mommy's Weekend

Since Carl had to leave for New Orleans on Saturday, the boys and I spent the weekend with my mom, aunt and grandmother.

We had brunch today at the San Luis Resort in Galveston, and oh, what a brunch it is!

  If you want it, they have it.

After we ate, there was a butterfly release, which the boys just LOVED doing.


 I mean, just look at those smiles!

And then we headed to the beach.

I had to drag them away so we could make the (what seemed like) 18 hour drive back to Austin.

But it was worth it. :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lonely Luggage

I went to an estate sale recently. I always find these so sad and depressing - there's nothing as awful as seeing someone's spice jars being sold for a quarter each.

And then I found these beauties hiding in one closet. A set of brand new, shiny red luggage.

The tags were still on them.

And that's when I really got depressed. Their owner bought these suitcases recently. And someone doesn't just buy suitcases, unless they are going somewhere. Now all I can think about is what trip she didn't get to take. What stamps are missing from her passport. What experiences she missed having.

Its even sadder than the sight of Andy's toys all boxed up for the attic as he goes off to college.

Poor suitcases.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Not a Superhero after all

This was one of those super-crazy weeks when everything all happens at once.

I have a huge brief due on May 14 at work, so of course I needed to work late several nights. Carl is getting ready to go to New Orleans for a conference tomorrow, and then he's only home for about 12 hours before we leave for England. And I'm at a conference for work next week as well, although mine is just in Austin. But in essence, we'll both be out of the office for 2.5 weeks, so thats a lot of work to get out of the way before leaving. And there is lots of trip planning, and getting the house ready for being gone and having my mom and then Carl's dad come stay with the kids while we are gone. And the boys and I are going to Houston for Mother's Day weekend.

And of course it was a crazy week kids-wise as well. Its Teacher Appreciation Week, and since I'm crazy enough to be a homeroom parent, thats extra work I have to do. Every day, the kids have to take something in for their teachers. And most days, its not just an apple. So we had to bake, and get flowers, and the kids had to make artwork and write thank you notes, and I had wanted to make this vase I saw on pinterest, and it did come out cute, but oh, was this not the week to have to do it.

On Tuesday, Ryan gave a little performance in his class. He wrote the story, made his own background and puppets, and did everything all on his own. Its called The Robot, the Octopus and the Big, Bad Shark. We practiced a lot for this.

We also woke up to find some of our fence had blown down. Because, you know, when it rains, it pours.

And on Wednesday, Ryan was given an award for being an Inquirer at Principal's Pride this week, his very first at Spicewood. It was around this time I was feeling like Wonder Mom, juggling and balancing all my balls in the air perfectly.

Thursday, they had Gallery Night at school. I was supposed to be selling our school t-shirts, but had to cancel because ... it was about this time that the rotten feeling I've been fighting for two weeks came to a head and I finally dragged my butt to the doctor, only to find I have strep throat. And all my balls came crashing down.

Which just goes to show you that at some point, it is possible to do too much, and your body shuts down on you. So much for my Wonder Woman status.

Friday, May 4, 2012


Carl took the boys to the American Heroes show at Camp Mabry.

Otherwise known as manna for Team Danger.

There were machine guns.

Other kinds of guns.

And really scary looking guns.

Safety Mommy wanted NOTHING to do with this day,

Still, they had a great time, so I suppose that is what matters.

They did some sort of simulated rescue mission.

See, he's being pulled into the helicopter.

And then there was Alex's favorite part, the World War II re-enactment.

Actually, this bit Safety Mommy would have liked.

I  mean, its living history.

And the best part for Team Danger?

When it was all over, they came home with spent artillery and blanks.

Oh joy.


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