Monday, October 17, 2011

Our Weekend With Bats

This past weekend, my wife and I took the boys down to Austin for the weekend to see the bats and visit my wife's friend and her new boyfriend[1]. This was a really good trip and a really bad trip, all rolled into one.

The drive from Dallas to Austin takes about three, maybe three and a half hours. For us, with one thing and another, it was more like a five hour drive. Fortunately, we weren't trying to hold to a strict schedule - and Beautiful Wife's Friend was very understanding. When we arrived, we met them at a beer-burgers-and-playground sort of place near their apartment, which gave the boys a chance to get out and exercise. Then we went swimming at their pool, which was cold but welcome. I stretched out on the side of the pool to dry off, or at least I tried to - Firstborn kept rolling me into the water.

Then we dried off and went down to the Congress Avenue Bridge. After a certain amount of walking at a quick march - harder than you might think with a five-year-old and a stroller full of toddler - we found a nice spot under the bridge and waited for it to get dark.

And waited.

And waited.

And listened to the bats squeaking and rustling under the bridge.

And waited.

And watched it get darker.

And waited.

And saw one bat.

And waited.

And waited.

And then we saw a whole bunch more bats come out and start flying around, until there was this steady stream of bats pouring out from under the bridge, and it was really really cool. I don't think Secondborn really cared - he was more interested in the rocks on the ground - but Firstborn watched the bats flying out with great interest and enthusiasm.

Then we went to another, different beer-and-burgers-and-playground place, and had dinner. Firstborn played Aliens vs. Zombies vs. Humans (or some variation) with the other kids on the playground, while the rest of us ate and drank and were merry. It was more than a little bit past the boys' bedtime when we left, and on the way out Firstborn informed me that his stomach hurt.

We drove back to our hotel, and got the boys out of the car. Firstborn had apparently been waiting, conscientiously, for that precise moment when he could be copiously sick without dirtying either my wife's car or our hotel room. (He explained this after he was, y'know, done.) Once we were sure he was finished, we took everybody up the room and dropped most of them in a hot bath. Secondborn was already passed out, so he missed out on that experience.

Bedtime preparations followed. I'd done all the packing for the trip, so I had a nice moment where Beautiful Wife said, "Oh, I forgot to pack a toothbrush..." and I said, "No you didn't," and handed her toothbrush to her. (Because I'm cool like that.) Then we all went to sleep...

...For a little while, anyway. Until Secondborn woke up and repeated Firstborn's earlier performance, only without the presence of mind to choose his targets. So it was not exactly the night of deep, restful sleep that we'd been hoping for.

On Sunday morning we got together with the Beautiful Wife's friend (and the friend's boyfriend) again, and had breakfast. We'd stopped by Target on the way over there (mainly because we were afraid that, with the kind of night we'd just had, I might not have packed enough spare shirts), so we were late again. Firstborn was playing with a new Transformer and cheerfully showed it off to our hosts. I say we had breakfast, but we really spent a fair amount of time just hanging out, too, which was fun.

And then we drove home. Which, again, took longer than it really should have, but wasn't all that unpleasant - the big problem was that Secondborn wasn't any too happy about being trapped in a car seat. He was firmly of the opinion that he should be out of the seat, moving around, creating chaos, and putting himself in danger. He settled down after we put Elmo on the portable DVD player - and, not coincidentally, after we got some food into him.

And then we got home, and unloaded the car, and started the laundry, and made sure both gas tanks were full for the beginning of the week. Because, again, I'm good like that. Indomitable, that's the word for it. Could be my middle name, if I didn't have one already, and if my parents were completely off their gourds when I was born.

...But I digress.

So that was our weekend. To recap:
1. Road trip was long but went fine.
2. We were late to everything except the bats.
3. Bats are cool.
4. Everyone was sick.
5. My wife has cool friends.

Got it? Good. And good night.

[1] The friend's new boyfriend. Not my wife's new boyfriend. I'm quite sure my wife doesn't have a new boyfriend.


  1. I'm tired just reading that. Glad you all have fun, sorry about the sickness.

    Also way to be johnny on the spot with the toothbrush. That person who packs everything would be me in our house. The AH physically puts his stuff in his bag, but asks me to run down a mental list of the things he is probably forgetting. :)

    I say that and it was I who forgot my drivers license once and realized it after we were at the airport. That was before 9/11 and I was able to board without it then I had it FedExed to the Las Vegas hotel.

  2. That's awesome. Bats are some of the coolest animals. And of course Secondborn's the kid who ignores the toy in favor of the box, but with bats and rocks instead of toys and boxes.

  3. Well, he's only a year and a half old, so it's about what I expected from him. His little brain is making connections as fast as it can, but right now "hey there are bats up there" takes second place to "how can I jump in a way that gets both feet off the ground?"


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