Yup, still super busy. Had a busy week full of doctor's appointments and errands and tag-making, etc., etc., and so I am finally getting to last weekend. Which is pretty sad considering that last weekend was a huge landmark in my Mommy life and blogging about it should have been at the top of my priority list.
Last weekend, I finally bit the bullet, after almost two years, and separated myself from Alex for a whole twenty-four hours. More than twenty-four hours, in fact. Grammy and Poppa volunteered to come up to Dallas on Saturday morning and watch Alex so that Timothy and I could go have a night away, so we decided to head to Austin for the night. I thought that it was the perfect opportunity to get my feet wet with this "leaving Alex" situation, since Alex would still be on his home turf, and we would only be three hours away.
Nonetheless, I was a little more than completely freaked out by the prospect of being apart from Mini-Me for two days. Let me clarify - I was in no way, shape, or form, worried about leaving Alex with his Grammy and Poppa. That, in fact, was one of the most comforting factors about this scenario. It made it much easier to leave him knowing that he would be in good hands and that I would have nothing to worry about as far as his care was concerned.
The part I dreaded was simply the "separating" part. And yes, it was as hard as I feared it would be. I pouted and cried as we drove out of town, but fortunately, that sadness was short-lived, and I got over it right about the time I started to doze off and was not awakened by the sound of, "Mom! Mom!!! MOOOOMMM!!!!!!!" coming from my child the very second my eyes closed.
We had planned on doing a lot of window shopping and walking and eating outside in Austin, so we were hoping for beautiful, sunshiny weather to accompany us. Not so. The storm clouds followed us from Dallas to Austin and stayed there for most of Saturday.
Nonetheless, we braved the rain and did some window shopping in Austin's "Soco" neighborhood, which had some great antique shops and vintage clothing stores and a wide variety of...interesting people to gawk at.
I mean that in the most complimentary way. It really was a fun experience. We tried our best to ignore the fact that the weather was icky and we were getting soggy, and when we both began sporting a lovely 'fro as the humidity rose, we politely told the other how wonderful they looked. If that ain't romance, I don't know what is.
Later that afternoon, we checked out some other "hot spots", including the supposedly popular Sixth Street. What we didn't know was that only one end of Sixth Street is "popular", as in, "populated by people who bathe and have no more than three body piercings". We ended up on the other end, in an area that one might describe as, "shady" or perhaps as, "the hubs of hell". We passed by a nightclub where, by the sound of it, Satan was performing one of his greatest hits; meanwhile, his minions waited outside in a long line to see him. Needless to say, the two of us stuck out like a couple of clean and unpierced thumbs. As we nonchalantly sprinted down the block, a gang of homeless hippies was sitting at the corner and one of them stopped us to ask Tim where his "flip-flop" was. We really didn't want to have anything to do with that guy's flip-flop, so we decided to cross the street and hail a cab back to our hotel.
Our view of Austin at that point? Well, here is the city of Austin's motto:
Our response? Congratulations, Austin! Mission accomplished!!
We recovered from our trip to Sixth Street and went to dinner at a nice steak place in a less "shady" part of town. And while the plan was to leave dinner and try to find some live music to jam to until the wee hours of the morning, we were so full of red meat and brownie pie a la mode that we decided to go back to the hotel and sleep it off, instead. I know. We are such lightweights. I am so disappointed in us, too.
But we did stay up long enough to watch the fireworks show taking place on the front lawn of our hotel. Coincidentally, the University of Texas decided to plan their graduation ceremony the very night that we decided to visit Austin, and we happened to be staying in a hotel that is located directly in the heart of UT's campus. It was fun to relive that day 8 years ago that we attended our own graduations, although we felt like old farts standing amongst all of those whippersnappers.
The next morning, we went for a walk through UT's campus, which had a lot of neat sculptures, pretty fountains, and some really aggressive squirrels. I totally thought I was going to become the victim of a killer squirrel attack, or at the very least, come home with a wicked case of rabies. We even ran into an albino squirrel who seemed to be a bit of a loner, and I ended up scolding the other squirrels for avoiding him just because he was different.
We checked out of the hotel, and since we had skipped breakfast, we decided to do brunch at a place on Lake Travis called Oasis. It was about twelve miles from downtown Austin, in the middle of Texas hill country, and I started to hear Dueling Banjos playing in my head as we made our way through the mountains. But we made it there in one piece, and it was so worth the drive. It is a five story restaurant nestled into the side of a hill, where every table has an incredible lake view, with fun, eclectic decor and delicious Tex-Mex fare. We hardly even noticed that it was sprinkling on us as we ate our brunch outside. And you could even have your picture taken with a live steer on the way in (or out). I would have given anything to have a picture of Tim perched atop that big cow, but he refused. Party pooper.
After gorging ourselves on homemade guacamole and seafood crepes, we mosied on back to the car and headed home. It was a much-needed mini-vaycay for the two of us, and I started planning our next excursion on the way home.
Meantime, Alex was having a ball with his Grammy and Poppa, shopping and eating and going to the farmers' market. I'm not sure whether he missed us or not, but at the very least, he acted excited to see us when we got home. And while we were only gone a day, I swear the kid aged a year or two in that period of time. I can't imagine what I will feel like when (if) I ever leave him for a week...eeeeeeekkkkk...
Anyway...big thanks to Grammy and Poppa for spending their Memorial Day weekend with us, or with Alex, rather. We'll be sure to give you a ring as soon as we figure out when our next weekend away will be!