An Early Start Home

Jennifer was up with Isabelle early this morning and she decided to wake everyone up since it was almost 6:00, so that we could get an early start. What she didn’t know was that the clock in our room was set one hour ahead so it was actually almost 5:00. So, needless to say, we got a really early start for our final leg home. It was good to finally see home again. Three weeks away seems like an eternity. Thanks to everyone who let us stay at their house. Thanks to my parents for watching the girls while we were in Los Angeles. Thanks to MaMaw and PaPaw for watching Austin.

Today’s picture is from our trip to the Rose Bowl. It’s the classic shot of the stadium’s marquee.

Mobile, Alabama: Most Inconsiderate Town in America

We headed out for home this morning. We did well only stopping twice: for breakfast and for lunch. This is pretty good with three girls in tow. The key is to stop for breakfast about an hour out from where you start.

Our mid-way point for the trip has always been Mobile, Alabama. Our problems started once we got to the hotel. I was waiting in line to check-in to the hotel, the kids jumping around me in a circle. There were two clerks and two people being helped. I couldn’t believe it, but it took ten minutes for those other people to be helped. There were also two people waiting behind me. I stepped up to the next available clerk when the phone rang and she picked up the phone. Right then the guy behind me jumps to the other clerk before I could move over to her. Then the same thing happened again with the other person behind me. Meanwhile the lady at the desk kept answering one phone call after another. It pissed me off pretty bad.

Second, we decided to take the girls to Chuck E. Cheese to expend some of that energy which had been building up. Big mistake. It’s Saturday night. The place was thick with people. Jennifer waited in line with Isabelle to order our pizza. Even though Isabelle was crying, people three or four ladies cut in front of her while she was trying to order.

Finally, back at the hotel, one final straw. When we stopped here on our way to Houston, I accidentally left my Xbox 360 DVD Remote control in the room. We called about four times while we were in Houston and finally someone found it. They said that they would hold it for us until we came back through. Well, we are back through and they can’t find it. We told them about it at 4:00 and now at 8:00 they say that the manager has gone home and has the key to the “lost and found” closet. How idiotic is that? So, with those incidents, I’ve dubbed Mobile, Alabama “The Most Inconsiderate Town in America”.

It’s sad that I have to have such a negative entry on Emily’s birthday. I want to wish Emily a happy 3rd birthday. It’s gone by so fast.

A Party for Emily

Today MaMaw and PaPaw brought Austin with them from Lindale to Shreveport and we had a small party for Emily since her birthday is tomorrow. We are going to have a bigger party for her next Saturday with her friends from school. She got a lot of cool presents of which Abby helped her open every single one.

Later in the afternoon, Jennifer and I went by to see Jill’s apartment up the street from my parents. She has a pretty big apartment. A lot of familiar furniture was there, apparently some hand-me-downs from my parents. She had it decorated real nice and it seemed to be pretty comfortable. We wanted to make sure and saw it before we left Shreveport.

Tournament of Roses Tour, Day 8

The last day of our trip started at 2:10 a.m. We had a 6:00 a.m. flight out of LAX and so the shuttle service said that they would pick us up at 2:40 a.m. They were 30 minutes late and didn’t actually pick us up until after 3:00. We ended up getting to the airport and to our flight on time. Since we only got two hours of sleep after the game, we tried to sleep on the plane, but that’s always hard to do. It’s tough to get comfortable sitting in one of those small airplane seats.

We arrived in Dallas where Aunt Marci picked us up from the airport. We had lunch with her and then headed back to Shreveport. Three hour drive with two hours sleep. We had to stop a couple of times in order to stock up on caffeine and snacks in order to stay awake.

We arrive in Shreveport and the girls were happy to see us. Emily exclaimed, “Daddy, you came back!” It was good to be reunited with the girls. It was good to get away from a week, but we missed them. Thanks to Nana and Poppy for watching them for the week.

Tournament of Roses Tour, Day 7

Wow, what a game. Well worth the price we paid for the trip. To be there in person for the Longhorns’ coming back from a 12 point deficit and winning the National Championship is priceless. Frenchville will be burnt orange for some time. I was feeling a little bleak when Reggie Bush scored that touchdown to go up by 12. But Vince Young showed everyone how good he really is. His passing was spot on and his scrambling ability was amazing. To see him in person and how fast he moves on the field, it’s so different from seeing it on TV. On the last score he ran into the end zone right where we were sitting. I saw it opening up and he was running right through where I thought he should go. Everyone in the stands erupted and were all jumping around. It was amazing.

Tournament of Roses Tour, Day 6

Why couldn’t the Rose Parade have been today? It was nice and sunny so we decided to go view the floats up close. We skipped it yesterday because of the rain. So, we walked quite a distance down to a Park N’ Ride for the post parade viewing of the floats and rode a bus to where the floats were. It was nice seeing the floats up close. They weren’t in as bad shape as I thought they would be, but you could still see quite a bit of rain damage.

In the evening we rode with the six elderly University of Texas nurses, who we met on our first day at the hotel, to the Longhorn Bash. It was a gathering of 7,000 Longhorn fans in Los Angeles at the Century Plaza Hotel. There was beer, BBQ, and bands playing music. Bevo and the cheerleaders showed up and lead Texas cheers with the whole group. Jennifer said that she’d never seen such a sea of orange.

Tournament of Roses Tour, Day 5

51 years without any rain and today it down poured. Today was the 117th version of the Rose Parade and we sat through the cold and the rain to see most of the parade. We left about 15 minutes before the end so that we could beat the crowds out of there. We had rain slickers (thanks to Aunt Marci), but as we sat there, rain was still getting though. We were soaked from the legs down. This combined with the cold wind that was coming up through the grandstands made it a pretty rough ride.

We were supposed to have lunch at a restaurant near the parade route, but we were soaked and we decided to walk back to the hotel. We were pretty pissed at the tour guides for not taking us back to the hotel before lunch. Who wants to eat lunch in soaked clothing. After lunch we were supposed to go see the floats, but we decided to skip that as well.

Since we had the afternoon off, we walked across the street to a movie theatre. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a movie. The last one we saw was Pooh’s Heffalump Movie a year ago with the girls before Isabelle was born, which is pretty sad. We went to see Cheaper by the Dozen 2. It was a cute movie and passed the time until dinner.