Okay, this is going to be a long one, so I am going to categorize it by days.
Day One: Wild, Wild West
On the first day, we went to the Arboretum to Texas Town. It was really cute…it has all of these old cabins and houses for the kids to play in and a covered wagon. We had a cowboy lunch (Brown sacks decorated with stars) and Smores in a bag (teddy grahams, chocolate chips and mini-marshmallows…my new invention). Then we got to just walk around and play in the water that the giant frogs spit at you (this sounds weird). It was stifling hot, even though it threatened to rain the whole morning, but the kids loved it. Anyway, after that we went home and the kids took naps at Sissy’s house and then did their daily craft and memory book. Because it was rainy, we had music and parachute time inside, which the kids loved and then tragedy struck. A major stick horse massacre! My mom and I stayed up late the night before making stick horses for all the kids (because we are insane) but didn’t think about how to attach the head to the stick, so when the kids started playing with them horse heads went flying EVERYWHERE! Stephanie was near hyperventilating she thought it was funny, but my mom and I did not see the humor until Brandon walked up with his stick in one hand and his horse head in the other and said “Da, Horse, Head!” and it was pretty funny. We managed some glue gun surgery and got them all pieced back together before we permanently scarred any of the cousins.
Playing school in Texas Town.
Day 2: Wild Child
This was a more laid back day, which was needed. We went to a park near my parents and blew bubbles and made fruit loop necklaces (which is a great craft, if you haven’t tried it) and played with the parachute. The highlight , for me anyway, was the kite flying. Brandon is a natural! Which I know sounds silly, but none of the other kids could really got it going, but Brandon loved it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very windy and Sissy was about to die running with the kite in the heat, so we didn’t get to do much, but we are going to by a kite this weekend. After that we were tired, so we got McDonald’s to take home (Brandon actually ate some nuggets) and laid the kids down. After naps, we got to swim and Sissy’s house. Carsyn loved sliding into the pool and Sky tried out her new floaties. It took Brandon a while to warm up, but eventually discovered a fun game with G (which basically consisted of him hitting G in the head it a water noodle) and loved his very first Popsicle, even though he held it upside down and licked the stick at first. He’s smart, it just takes him a minute sometimes!
Day 3: Wild Animal Kingdom
This was my favorite day of Cousin Camp! We went to the Dallas World Aquarium, which is one of the coolest places I have ever been. It has normal aquarium stuff, like a glass tunnel, but the top level is all rain forest. You go on a path past trees and when you really look, there are monkeys right there beside you and the birds just fly around free (one buzzed Brandon’s head and completely freaked him out!). We saw alligators and bats (shudder) and they have a jaguar on a glass box, which is kind of sad, but cool because he was really close. Brandon wanted me to move the glass so he could touch it…I didn’t. The shark tunnel was really impressive and Brandon favorite part until a stingray swam up behind him and scared him half to death, which I am ashamed to say, was hilarious! Even though it was a little pricey, I recommend going. They even have nice restaurants, so this would make a really fun date night. The rest of the day was the same, with swimming at the end again. Brandon got right in this time and played with Drew on the top step the whole time. Drew was funny, because he would hold his nose and prep for a big jump, but he only went in to his ankles!
Day 4: Wet and Wild
Thursday, we went to the city Aquatic Center where they have a huge kid section and a zero entry pool (think that’s what it’s called when you walk right in). The kids had a lot of fun. Carsyn was very brave and swam in the big pool and the boys pretty much played together by the side and on the stairs. The big excitement was when the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate and a fire truck came! It turned out to be nothing but a nuisance, but I think the kids like seeing the firetruck more than anything. Later, it was my afternoon and evening off, so after naps, Gigi took the kids to Stephanie’s where they got to go on a walk and do chalk and play on the basketball courts. I got to go see my old college roommates and have pizza and Sangria (which, btw Kate, was toxic!). It was a blast seeing everyone and catching up. I was pleasantly surprised how fast we fell into our old comfort zone. I do not want to go that long between seeing them again!
Day 5: Wildly Exhausted
I named this day myself! We didn’t have any plans, because Sky had a dress rehearsal and some other things that day (she is a very busy little girl), so my mom and I kept the other kids at the house, in their jammies, until right before Cathy and Chris got back. We actually made a mad dash at about 4:45 to get them all clothed! That night we had the Cousin Camp finale, where my mom made steak and potatoes (a George favorite) and Stephanie debuted the Cousin Camp video. It was amazing! I nearly cried several times. It was a great way to record the week and the kids loved watching themselves on tv. I can’t wait to show Joe and watch it over and over again!
That was it…the whole, looooong week, that always seems to fly by. If you are interested in a Cousin Camp DVD, they can be purchased for $15.99 at the front desk. Thank you!
****On a side note, I was able to stay in town to go to Sky’s first tap recital and it was the greatest thing I have ever seen. She was adorable and stole the show! Although, I have to say, the best part was when the really old dance instructors did a routine at the beginning. It was bad in the most fabulous way.