Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Epic Texas Tuesday

Tuesday was so full of adventures and pictures and fun that it is hard to fit into one post. I had to choose my pictures carefully because I thought 50 pictures might be a bit much. However, there were so many good memories this day, it is all worth it. Let's start at Virginia's.

The kids remembered a song called 'Virginia' where you sit on another person and use their legs as yours. It was cute. They performed for us. Pearl looks silly with her big dad legs, but I thought June on Ivory's small legs was the funniest.

Now, I'm not even sure the order of the rest of the day. We did so many fun things and they'll all get on here. We went to Whataburger for lunch. We had heard great things about it, so since we were in Texas, it seemed like a good time to go.

I would give the food a solid four stars, but it doesn't get that fifth one. It wasn't the best food ever. But I would eat there again.

Even though we weren't traveling road trip style now that we were in Texas, we still had plenty of interesting things to find, and Virginia was happy to come with us. One of our first stops was the Floating Mesa. A guy wanted it to look like the top of the mesa was floating, so he constructed boards and painted them white around much of the mesa top. I'm not sure why he wanted to do this, but it definitely qualified as an interesting thing.

It was a little bit of a drive, but it was a lovely day. Suddenly Pearl had to go potty. This isn't unheard of. Some of our children have very small bladders, but we weren't near a town. But low and behold a blessed site greeted our eyes. I don't know who left this biffy out here, but thank you!

Then we found the mesa. What do you think? Does it look like its floating?

The kids seemed to like it. Although I think any excuse to get out of the car (on a nice day) be it porta-potty or floating mesa is a good one.

From here, it looks like someone could have used a strip of white electrical tape to make that stripe, but I imagine that white line must be rather large.

Next up...Cadillac Ranch. Another strange choice of artwork, but very famous in its own right. An art group decided this would be a cool endeavor and with funding from a Texan millionaire, they put a row of Cadillacs nose in the ground. Learn more about it here. (This is actually the same guy who funded the floating mesa. He must have an eye for strange art.) The Cadillac ranch is famous now and has been used in many videos and advertisements. Graffiti and spray painting is now encouraged, although sometimes they will repaint all the cars a certain color for an event. When we got there, they looked very colorful and there were people painting on them the entire time we were there. They aren't too far off the highway, so they are easy to get to.

Because of the recent storms, the mud was incredible. I was impressed with the people wading out into the mud puddle to paint the cars.

This picture makes me laugh. I'm not sure what the older four are looking at, but it must be interesting. Pearl however is not loving all the mud on her flip flops.

Check off another very interesting thing for the Cazier's.

I was saddened by the amount of litter left around. There were so many spray cans strewn about. It is a really cool place and awesome that they let people paint the cars, but come on folks...pick up your trash. Some people came in with bags and left with them full of garbage from the site. Very cool.

We next went to (ready for this mouthful?) the Helium Centennial Time Columns Monument. It is basically a monument put up to commemorate the 100th anniversary of discovering helium. It looks like a big helium atom and in each leg there is a time capsule that gets opened every 30 years or so. I can't remember, but I think they've already opened one. (Not while we were there naturally.) I just looked it up. They opened the first one in 1993. The next one will be opened in 2018. We only came a year too early...

With a boost, Daisy can reach right up there.

Not sure why everyone is standing around? Maybe they are reading the plaque? Regardless, it is a great photo op.

The legs were irresistible to some monkeys.

Monkey see, monkey do.

Monkey with a close up view. I love this picture. It is so close you can see that Ivory has water spots on her glasses.

Not only is the monument in honor of Helium, but it also acts as a giant sundial, I believe. Way to multi-task your monument.

Robyn and I are digging it.

We still had time to kill before the big play in the evening, so we were off to another place. (See what I mean about packing it in?) We went to the Amarillo Museum of Art. There was some very interesting pieces there. We didn't take many pictures because I often feel weird taking pictures of art. But we got one outside. We took a normal smiling one, but this other one makes me laugh so hard. June has such a weird face and Robyn looks so mad.

After we had been through, I did ask if photography was allowed and the manager said yes, so I went back in to take a picture of a few sketches. This guy did four drawings centered around a box. The first was called 'Around the box'

'Inside the box'

'Outside the box'

'On Top of the box'

So creative and fun. I tried to find the artist's name but couldn't. Sorry.

We did however find the name of one famous good looking dude....right on a street sign. (No, it is not One Direction.)

We found the big Texan on the highway.

It's a little hard to see his face unless you are coming from the right direction. He looks friendly enough, but I think I'll pass on shaking his hand.

Finally we headed out to Palo Dura Canyon to watch the play Texas! The canyon was gorgeous. We stopped at a lookout to see the vistas and check out the wildlife. (Incidentally, June did her first bug collecting here. Only because I made her.)

Virginia bought tickets for us and it was dinner and a show farther into the canyon. There was delicious BBQ and music while we were waiting. The older girls and I hung out and played around while the others went exploring. Of course we took some weirdies. Did you even have to ask?

Suddenly we saw some people we knew way up on the hill. What are they doing up there?

Turns out they went hiking and took some fun pictures.

Here are some cool facts about this play. They put it on every night during the summer and people come from all over the world. There are two maps (one of the U.S. and another of the entire globe) and you can put a pin from where you come from. They give out an award every evening to the person who came from farthest away and they have never given out the award to someone from the U.S. (Needless to say, UT wasn't a record breaker.)

They serve dinner, play music, and have a gift shop where you can buy fun western stuff. Ivory and I found these horses that whinnied and danced. Only parents with stock in Tylenol would buy these.

Finally it was time for the play. The stage was set against the backdrop of the beautiful canyon.

We are fixin to enjoy this awesome production.

It was a very fun story with special effects, music, dancing, colored water fountains, horses, and drama. It was fantastic. I would recommend it if you ever end up in the upper section of Texas.

Thank you Virginia for taking us out to see it!! At the end, they brought the horses to the parking lot so the kids and people could see them. (The horses were a big part of the show.) Of course the girls wanted to say hi.

Phew...what a fun, full, brilliant day! Let's all sleep in tomorrow.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Hey Y'all...It's Monday (in Texas)

We were pretty darn excited to be in Texas and out of the car. To be clear, we didn't get far into Texas. Dalhart, where Virginia lives is about 36 miles from the border. However, I can't imagine driving very far into Texas. That could easily have doubled our drive time. Texas is Huge!

I mentioned that Virginia was the best hostess. She had beds for all of us, soft fluffy towels and nice body wash, delicious food, and plenty of activities. Don't forget soft blankets. My kids find those right away and claim rights to sit in luxury. We were seriously spoiled.

Virginia bought water balloons and that is something the kids wanted to do right away. Even though it wasn't terribly sunny (probably a hold over from the storm) the girls wanted to play outside. Ginny got the cool water balloons that fill up 30 at a time. We had never used those before and they were awesome. They don't pop on people very well though. So that means throwing them fairly hard, or pulling off the little band and squeezing your balloon onto your victim. Or you could simply use the tubes left over on the hose to spray down your mother. That was Daisy's favorite option.

And I couldn't even run away very well. I managed to pull my back first thing on Monday. It was probably due to a long car ride, but I spent the rest of the week taking it easy on my back.

This picture makes me laugh. Daisy is filling another batch of balloons. Pearl is emptying her balloon on me. June is hurling a balloon at Ivory, but I think it missed and popped on the grass. Robyn wisely did not join the fray this day.

Most of the balloons would pop off the sticks when they were filled sufficiently, but you could get some to fill even more. Ivory looks sad, but I think it is because she doesn't want her overfilled balloon to pop. (Sorry Ives, it is inevitable.)

Ginny had this box of all these cool coloring and activity books. One that we had never seen before was a Paint By Sticker. It was so much fun. June and I spent a lot of time working on those.

On Monday we also went to visit Virginia's bank. She works in a very classy facility. The people are all so friendly and kind. I think we went after hours, so there weren't customers, but we weren't in the main lobby for much of it. The bank is really quite beautiful.

They have remodeled the inside and it was such a lovely building. It was fun to see where Virginia works. Knowing us, we were very mature. We spent some of our time taking 'weirdies'. I did try to warn you. I think we took a total of 47 that day, but I'm only going to put my top ten on here. They really are funny (and weird) to look at.

Monday was a rather chill day. We relaxed and saved our energy for Tuesday, which was a whirlwind of activity. Stay tuned...