Fun Vacation With The Grand Kids
Schools out and the grand kid's parents are heading to Mexico for a weeks vacation, which means we get to babysit three grand kids - 2, 6, and 9 years old. So I slept for a week, practiced cleaning up messes and looking in the mirror to try and get rid of my "old grouch look," and I put away all of the breakables and non-kid stuff in the motorhome. I'm ready to go and looking forward to a week of activities and camping with the grand kids And we had a great time but I now need two weeks of rest and relaxation to recover, some super glue to fix things, and some money from a maturing CD to cover my credit card expenses!
We picked up the grand kids and took about an hour trying to figure out who sits where, how to attach the seat belts to the car seats, putting drinks and snacks within easy reach, and charging electronics. Once we started rolling toward our first stop in New Braunfels, the questions started coming in rapid fire and ranged from "how old are you and were you born with the dinosaurs?" to "why don't you have more hair on your head."
River Ranch RV Resort
We had a reservation at River Ranch RV Resort which is in the heart of New Braunfels and we got a site right on the bank of a beautiful stretch of the Guadalupe River. As soon as the wheels stopped, the grand kids were in their bathing suits and over the next four hours they were swimming in the cool clear Guadalupe River, skipping rocks, chasing and feeding the ducks, fishing with a home made poles and some hot dogs, hitting rocks with a rubber baseball bat, and playing football, soccer, frisbee, and washers! After two hours I'm pooped and ready to chill out in my lawn chair in front of the river with a cold beer - which never happened because a new game started!
After all of that fun we were starving and to save me a fortune I figured the best thing would be a Chinese Buffet just down the road. Wow, those small kids can eat - three trips to the buffet plus ice cream. I figured after all that activity and food they would immediately crash when we got back to the motorhome - wrong again. "Want to play some games, watch some movies, eat some popcorn, etc." and my first of many grouchie answers was "plug in your iPads and get in bed - it's 9:45 and time for all kids under 9 to go to sleep." Didn't work and I was pooped so I just turned off all the electronic stuff (TV, iPads, phones, games), said goodnight, and hoped that they would stay in bed and go to sleep! I think it worked and I was shocked - of course my door was closed and I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow so I don't really know what went on.
Texas Ski Ranch
As expected they were up bright and early the next morning and ready to go! With droopy eyes I packed them in the Jeep and we headed to Texas Ski Ranch just north of New Braunfels.
Texas Ski Ranch is a 70 acre action packed sports paradise that has something for everyone - two wakeboard cable parks, a private ski boat lake for boarding or skiing lessons, a 15,000 square foot skate park, a trampoline park, a snow park, restaurant, boat and board sales, and more. The kids had a blast riding a wakeboard and enjoying the trampoline park - click on the link to read more about this fun day at Texas Ski Ranch.
I figured we'd get home just in time for a good nap for everybody and in particular Duke! Wrong again. Back to the river for swimming, games, fishing, and more fun.
Tubing the Comal River
The next day we headed to the Comal River in New Braunfels for an afternoon of tubing. We rented 5 tubes from Texas Tubes, put on some sun tan lotion, and jumped in the cool water. The Comal is clear, up to 8 feet deep in spots, and slow moving. It's got a fun chute that gives you a fast twisting ride followed by some shallow rapids and another small chute. The kids loved it and although the Comal is the shortest navigable river in Texas at 2.5 miles, after 5 hours on the river, we were wishing the river was a mile or so shorter! And I made a huge mistake - I left the cooler in the car! Which means as soon as we got back it was straight to a local pub for appetizers and cold beer. And more games - bocce ball, bean bag toss, and Jenga with giant blocks.
Blazing Star Luxury RV Resort
From New Braunfels we set off for San Antonio and three nights at Blazing Star Luxury RV Resort which is on the north west side of San Antonio and just 5 minutes from SeaWorld and Aquatica. After we got there we spent the afternoon in the pool playing Marco Polo, having some swim races, diving for objects at the bottom of the pool, playing catch, and more. No way would they let me just sit in the comfortable lounge chairs and soak up the rays! Blazing Star Luxury RV Resort is a great resort and a perfect place to stay if you want to explore San Antonio and the surrounding area. It has 258 sites, 28 cabins that sleep 2 to 6 people, and lots of amenities. And the grand kids made me try them all - over the next few days in addition to catch and frisbee and walks around the park and lots of pool time, we spent time on the playground, played a couple games of pool, several games of ping pong, and a few arcade games! I'm pooped and ready to go to bed at 7 every evening - the grand kids were still full of energy at 10 PM.
SeaWorld's Aquatica Waterpark
On Thursday we were up early (my eyes were still half closed and I needed several hours more sleep) to be the first in line at Aquatica, which is the water park portion of SeaWorld in San Antonio. You can read our article on a Fun Day at Aquatica to learn more about this fantastic waterpark but I'll quickly summarize it:
- several thrilling rides but lots of climbing and steps to get to the top of them - the kids ran most of the way up and kept shouting "come on Duke, why do you keep stopping?"
a fun lazy river but 6 laps was 5 too many for me
lots of walking, including some running between rides and pools because I needed to keep up with the kids plus the sun had heated the concrete and without shoes it was really hot on my bare feet and forth
a full day with no stopping or relaxing or having a beer, it's possible to ride every single ride and some of them twice - the only rest was eating a burger and listening to some entertainment for only for 15 minutes before "lets go down the Walhalla Wave again" which means climbing what seemed like 8000 stairs up 12 stories to get the tube for a thrilling 2 minute ride
The kids loved the Lazy River, petting the stingrays, and riding the Walhalla Wave.
I was sure that they would fall asleep on the way back to the motorhome - no way, they wanted to get in the pool and play ping pong. Don't they ever get tired! The good news is yes and by 10 they were all asleep including Nanny!
Ripley's in San Antonio
On our final day, we headed to downtown San Antonio for a walk along the Riverwalk, a quick lecture on the Alamo (they almost feel asleep standing up but I loved the comment about "were you there Duke and did you know Davy Crockett?"), and then a trip through Ripley's. We bought the combo tickets which included Ripley's Odditorium, 4D Moving Theater, and the Louis Tussaud Wax Museum. A very interesting and fun mixture that got several different reactions from the kids, some of which included: no way is that real, yuck, some tears, some screams, I don't believe that, is that Sleeping Beauty, I'm scared, and lots more. Click on the link to read more about our experience at Ripley's in San Antonio.
I had a hard time keeping my eyes open on the drive back to Austin to turn the grand kids over to their parents and as soon as I got home I took a couple Advil and a three hour nap! 6 days with 3 kids under nine who are constantly on the go really made me appreciate how hard their Mom works to keep them fed, clothed, contained, educated, and entertained!