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Sea World 2008

Tubing at the Hyatt Hill CountryWearing Dad\'s hat in the lazy river
Well, we just got back from the summer 2008 Sea World tour. (And by “just” we’re talking about 48 hours ago.) We had a ton of fun and will be posting video and pictures of it in the next week or two… time permitting. We started off Wednesday with a tour of the Natural Bridge Caverns right outside of New Braunfels. The kids “sluiced” for treasures and ended up with a couple of pretty rocks. Jackson was more about throwing the treasures into the stream of water than he was about discovering the treasure, but Celeste thought it was pretty cool. It was a great workout too, since Jackson needed to be carried just about the entire way. From there, we travelled up to San Antonio to stay at the Hyatt Hill Country and play at Sea World. Lots of fun there too. Shamu, roller coasters, and dolphins on the first day, and the water park on the second day. Kids vote: water park rocked. They loved the wave pool. The other attractions were tolerable (except Celeste really liked the lazy river as well), but the wave pool was boss. We did pretty good in the sun with some liberal application of SPF 50, although even that isn’t quite “IT” in terms of total protection. We had dinner at the Magic Time Machine and were waited on by Indiana Jones - the kids enjoyed this way more than we thought they would: it was very kid friendly - had magic potions that bubbled, balloons, and face paintings. On Saturday, we hung around the hotel and played in the lazy river. Celeste got a fancy hair braid and had a spa day (toenail painting) with mom. The boys floated on the river and drank pina coladas - Jackson outdrank his daddy. That night we had dinner with Dennis & Jeanne (good friends dating back to college and med school) but Curt had to call it short on account of… we’ll call it “dyspepsia.” Fortunately, we were all well enough in the morning to go back to the New Braunfels area to see their children’s museum. Jackson spent 93% of his time playing with the first thing he saw: wooden trains. Celeste roamed around the complex, and we all had a grand time. From there, we wanted to go to the Gristmill restaurant in Gruene - but daddy’s iron filament was off by about 2 miles to the south. Celeste suggested he “be smart because I’m pretty hungry” and we ended up finding it in less than 45 minutes. Yeah Dad!

Notable memories:
1. Jackson only tried to drown twice in the lazy river… pretty good considering how enthusiastic he was and how swift the river is!
2. Breakfast buffet: 1st course: Fruit Loops 2nd course: Lucky Charms
3. Jackson won’t wear a hat unless it’s daddy’s.
4. Celeste really liked swimming in the lazy river and the wave pool… and she really swam! (Also, she refused to use the innertube - she preferred swimming.)
5. Water TAK! (aka Jackson’s tackle)
6. Jackson singing ABC’s and counting to 10 (except 4) in the car.

Random musings

Well, it’s been awhile since we put anything up. Not that there’s nothing to put up, there’s just too little time to cover it all. So, what’s happening? you ask… here we go.

1. Starting in late 2007, I considered a job being offered by the University of Texas / Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. I wasn’t really looking to move, but the job being offered was for Chief Medical Information Officer / Medical Director of Informatics - which is stuff that I’ve got good training for and haven’t really had a lot of opportunity to use (consistently) in my current job. It had a lot of great things to offer, and it took me about 8 months to work it up, only to decide it wasn’t quite compelling enough to move from Baylor / Texas Children’s Hospital. Of course, once I decided to stay, the powers that be decided it was time to re-engineer the operations of our critical care section… so I’ll let you know around Christmas if this was the right thing to do or not. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

2. For our anniversary, I got Tra a Roku player… by way of disclaimer, I don’t have any known financial interest in NetFlix… that being said, this is the coolest thing ever. If you have an account that allows for unlimited movies in a month (we’re talking way less than $20 / month), then you can eat as much streaming media from NetFlix as you can stomach. It’s done wonders for our TV junkiness - we’ve been watching The Incredible Hulk, Leave it to Beaver, 30 Rock, The Office (and the British “The Office” on which it is based), and lots of other stuff. Come to think of it… that’s probably why we haven’t blogged much this past month.

3. To offset the negative health consequences of the anniversary gift, I joined a fitness club and signed up for some personal training sessions… the theory being that I’ll actually work out if I’m paying for it, since I have some very strong obsessions about not wasting money. So far, the theory isn’t really holding up as well as I was hoping… I could be doing better in this department.

4. The kids have been a lot of fun lately. Jackson took some swimming lessons a month or so ago and is pretty comfortable being dunked in the water, even though he’d drown if we didn’t save him (he just doesn’t realize it yet). Celeste can just about do it on her own. She can swim fine, but she likes to stand up when she breathes - hasn’t quite “mastered” the whole “lift your head, take a breath, and keep swimming” cycle: she can do it but she doesn’t really want to do it. Celeste is getting to be a pretty good reader in her practice book, and Jackson is impressing us all the time with his communication skills. Tonight he was saying his prayers all by himself, and after the 3rd verse or so, he drops the “I forgot” bomb on us. We thought that was a pretty advanced verbal skill for 27 months. He also parrots everything. Nonstop. Constantly. It’s all good times.

Anyway, that’s enough for now. Have a great summer.