Friday, July 24, 2009

The Best Things in Life are Free


Today is Friday, July 24th. Tomorrow, Sunday and most of Monday my daughter and grand children will be in San Antonio with our son-in-law, Nathan. Monday is a very big day for him and them. Since the middle of June Nathan has been going through his Army Officer Boot Camp. Monday is graduation day. Everyone will be there to see the ceremonial parade and festivities.
The children have missed their Papa, and, Mama has missed her hubby.
Just as you might expect from a government agency, especially the military, there must be some kind of brainless act to end the entire affair. I dare you to make sense out of this.... Ceremony over, graduation completed, only one thing left to do......go home! Just how can we make this interesting? I know! We will have the family drive back to Friendswood; Nathan will be required to fly back to Cleveland, Ohio. Once there Nathan will remain in the airport, after all the family and the car are in Texas, until he can catch a flight back to Texas so he can pick up his family and drive back to Ohio!
Tuesday Nathan will arrive and begin preparing for the trip back home, leaving the next day for the long drive back. Then their lives can resume some semblance of normality.
Today is really the last day to do anything fun with the kids. My daughter and I decided that a trip to nearby Kemah and the boardwalk would be fun for all. Megan and Jeremy became so excited when they saw all of the rides, especially the huge roller coaster! Sadly you must be at least 36" tall to ride with an adult. No one fit the criteria! I was heart broken that I did not get the chance to ride such an impressively intimidating monstrosity! The fact that it cost $4.75 each to ride made me feel a little better about our "bad" luck.
The sun was very hot, shade almost non-existent. Sweat was pouring from every pore of my body. I was sticky, why did I wear bluejeans? Every ride was a minimum of $3.00 each. It was looking like this might not be the great idea we thought it would be. Kellie pushing Emma in the stroller, Megan and Jeremy in tow we walked through the rides and to the walk by the water. With the children voicing their displeasure at not even riding one of those marvelously attractive rides, we effectively explained how economically irresponsible it would be to indulge in such shallow entertainment. In other words we took them by the hand and showed no sign of weakness as we retreated to the walkway.
A few moments later we were completely removed from the sight of the parent trap/money pit.
There was only mild grumbling combined with slight whining as we walked past the "Ring Toss Booth"; the "Croaking Frog Booth; and the "Basketball Shooting Booth". Fortunately they are too short to see most of what we were passing. As they looked down to avoid the bright sun and whine as though at deaths door, we were able to avoid any further exposure to "Wally World".
On the walkway there is a location near one of the many restaurants where two small vending machines held brown pellets. Twenty-five cents bought you a handful of these pellets, and much to the delight of the children, could be feed to literally thousands of catfish in the water. Fifty cents bought not just a little fun feeding the fish but a complete change of mood.
I thought if they enjoyed this, they will love the fountains. We walked a very short distance to a wide open area where water danced from small openings in a seemingly endless random pattern. Megan and Jeremy walked curiously to the middle while Kellie removed Emma from her stroller. Water began to shoot high in the air from different locations and screams of delight filled the pavilion. Emma was caught right on top of the head with a burst of water. She turned and smiled as Jeremy and Megan ran around trying to step on the origin of the water. A ton of pictures later and completely soaked this was the best day of all!
Total expenditure: $.50; what a deal! As we left the boardwalk there was no whining, not grumbling, just talk of how much fun that was. Truly the best things in life are free.

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