Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The great state of Texas.

On Friday, Aaron and I packed up the Explorer and headed west to attend a wedding in Plano, Texas. First, I would like to point out that I drove almost 1,000 miles from Friday to Sunday and did not receive a speeding ticket. This, my friends, is unusual. I'm not a speedy driver, but I believe there is a cryptic message written all over whatever vehicle I happen to driving that cops can see from miles and miles away and lets them know that I am going 70 miles per hour in a 65. I have the WORST luck when it comes to speeding. So I did a jig when I pulled into our garage at the end of the day completely ticket free. It's the small things.

We had a wonderful time in Texas. The first day of any vacation away from Clark or Grif is always strange for me. I never really know what to do with the peace and quiet, the baby food-free clothes I get to wear all day, no baby on my hip, no fruit snacks in my purse for emergency, no looking at my watch to make sure I'm not late for Grif's feedings, etc. Instead I got to talk to Aaron. We got to converse with one another and it was so nice. We ate at restaurants and enjoyed food not flying all around us or covering kids mouths with our hands when they get too loud. We slept late and took naps during the day and took perfect advantage of the lack of chaos.

The best part of the trip was definitely getting to hang out with Ryan and Rebekah (Aaron's brother and his wife) and an old buddy college friend, Austin. We haven't seen the Ryan Rice's since Christmas so the catching up was much needed and very eventful. Austin, Aaron and Ryan's college roommate, always gives us a good reason to laugh (at him) and have a great time. The wedding was swanky and sweet and we ate good food and danced to fun music and Aaron even did the Cupid Shuffle, which made every mile of the trip worthwhile.  I didn't take many, or any, pictures, which is ridiculous. But I stole these from Rebekah's facebook page. Even though she's a loser, I always have fun with her.

We drove back on Sunday and landed in Madison just in time to attend our bible study. Don't even get me started on how much I love that group of people and especially what we are discussing. We had to leave bible study a little early to head to Magee, the halfway point between Jackson and Hattiesburg, where Aaron's mom graciously volunteered to meet us with the boys. When I saw my kiddos for the first time in two days, they had never looked cuter. They had never smiled sweeter smiles. Every word that left Clark's mouth was angelic to me. Griffin's little squawks and blabbers made me smile so big. Even though I completely recognize how important it is to take kid-free vacations, there is nothing in the world like returning home to them.

I love Texas for some very strange reason. This trip only marks my third return to the state in my entire life, so there is no legitimate reason why I'm enamored by it. But we had a blast together and I want to go back soon, especially since 2 out of 5 Rice kids live there. And more than anything, I love being with Arnie. He's such a fun travel buddy and we always leave trips, even short ones like this one, a little bit closer.

On Thursday, we are repacking our lives up and driving to Seaside, another six hour drive, but this time with two kids and all of their belongings in the back. It's going to be awesome. And I have three seasons of Curious George dvd's to help make it awesome. There is bound to be a little bit of insanity with 17 Rice's under one roof on the beach, so stay tuned for some stories and tons of pictures. If Clark hates the sand and ocean as much this time as he did last time, I'm just going to bury my head in shame. Let's just hope and pray that doesn't have to happen.

These were taken using disposable cameras located all over the place. 

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