Friday, March 21, 2008

Biometrics, San Antonio, and a Not So Very Nice Day

Will had to have his Biometrics (thats fancy talk for fingerprinting, photographing, and all around having the government keep tabs on my immigrant husband) done yesterday and the nearest immigration center is San Antonio which is an hour away from Austin. Since he had to take the day off work, we decided to make it a fun family day.

San Antonio is probably my favorite part of Texas. The city is old (by US standards, of course) and very picturesque. The Alamo, famous as the fort in which Davy Crockett fought to defend and died while trying back in 1836, is in the center of the lovely historical city (yes, he was a true historical figure and not just a Tall Tale!!).

And the River Walk, which is a network of walkways around the San Antonio River- one story beneath downtown- is lined by restaurants and shops and is such a lively and fun place see. We've been talking about taking this trip for the last couple of weeks and I was really, really looking forward to it all.

But then all the plans changed. Will decided to be adamant that we bring the family dog, Willie.

Okay, so I haven't mentioned anytime in the last month that we have a new dog. Here is something new to learn about me: I'm a cat person. The line between cat people and dog people is generally very, very thickly drawn. Will and I are no exceptions to the rule. He grew up adoring faithful, sloppery, and ground worshipping dogs... I grew up adoring independent, free-spirited, and affectionate-without-being-obnoxiously worshipful cats.

Willie is a nice dog. Don't get me wrong... but I still didn't see why he had to come with us. However, as Will was being an adamant pain-in-the-arse, Willie hopped into Darren the Dodge Caravan and made the trip right along side us.

Here is where it all becomes a Not So Very Nice Day:

The wait at Immigration was very much like the long and boring wait at the DMV. By the time we were done, I had spent almost two hours chasing the girls around, trying to keep them quiet. And we were all starving, so we drove about 15 more minutes into the heart of the city of San Antonio so we could park and find a place to eat.

(insert section where my husband decides to park a good mile from the city, and argue that he is parked in the same spot he always parks in, despite the fact that I am saying, "No, no no!!!" And let me just say, for those of you who have yet to experience a mile-long trek across city streets with a (near) three year old and a one year old who are crying because they are so hungry, and WITHOUT A STROLLER... it royally sucks)

Now, I'd had my heart set on eating along the River Walk, but now that Willie was with us, I feared my plans wouldn't work out. Will confirmed that when he said there are no dogs allowed, even in the river-lined patios of the River Walk's numerous cantinas and restaurants. Our only option at this point was to hit up MacDonalds and eat in the park.

And after that... we just went home. No museums, no historical sites to see, no shops or lovely walk around the Alamo gardens... just home. But first, we had to walk a mile back to the car. And since I was holding Gracie, who is the size of a tank, I was just exhausted. I finally asked Will to run ahead with the dog and get the car so I wouldn't have to drag the kids further. Forty-five minutes later, he came back... still on foot. "I don't know where the car is," he said.

So off we went, me leading the way and carrying Gracie again, Annelie screaming her head off because she wanted to walk herself, and Will plodding along with the dog, as if this was the happiest family day ever.

And, of course Annelie screamed the whole way home.

Until I quieted her with some Cheese Puffs.

But then she carried on crying.

When it comes to being a mom, I've learned to put on a happy face. The kids (and myself) may have been hungry, tired, and cranky for 90% of the day, but at least I forced a few happy pictures. The girls are surely not going to remember this uneventful day, but the happy little photos will live on!!

Plus, I let Gracie have a huge strawberry milkshake for being such a good girl.


Lorissa J. Longfellow said...

Your photos of the girls are so cute. What a terrible day. I thought when your husband brought the dog, no stroller and you had to walk to far with hungry children that that was your bad day, then I kept reading. Ugg. I did get even worst.
I find it is easier to do many things without my husband. He thinks he makes it easier and that my daughter and I can create problems, but... well you understand. LOL.
Thanks for sharing. I hope your next visit you get to do some fun thing.

Rosebud Collection said...

All the photos are beautiful..I felt so sorry for everyone and the long kind of bought back a few of my memories..The trips that went wrong..At least you were smart and took the wonderful pictures..

Anonymous said...

Great journaling there! I love the frames on the photos, and that last one with your girls holding hands is so sweet! How did you get that little "wisp" of light around them???
Best wishes,
alisa R.

Smarty Pants said...

San Antonio is the only part of Texas I've been to, and I liked the riverwalk best. There's an Italian restaurant there that has the best belini's.
That milkshake looked like it would surely compare!

Plaidfuzz said...

Your pictures are adorable!

loriotndorr::sloriot said...

cute kiddos! we have 2, girl and boy. thanks for visiting my blog!

shelly loriot

Nora said...

Nice pictures, but sorry about the bad day! Sometimes you need a vacation from your vacation! Have a good one. =)

ThePeachTree said...

Cheesy Puffs get me every time :)

Michelle Engel Bencsko said...

That last picture is precious. Thanks for sharing your day- as uneventful as it seemed to you, it was a good read for the rest of us!

Janna said...

I just found your blog from a comment you left over on Casserole's blog. I can soooo relate to you. We've got 2 boys - ages 11 months and 4 yrs. I, too, am a cat person. Our ancient dog who has congestive heart failure and has somehow managed to live on for 2 years after being diagnosed with this frequently barks his head off just after the baby goes down for his nap, of course waking him up prematurely. But my cat has yet to wake the baby. Your girls are cute. Someday my family should visit San Antonio...without our dog of course.

ilovemyjob said...

I love San Antonio! My family vacationed there when I was a teenager and it was so much fun! I love that picture of your girls running and holding hands - too cute!

High Desert Diva said...

yowzer...not such a fun day!

Oh Mandie said...

Your daughter looks like she's in absolute heaven with that gigantic strawberry milkshake!

Your girls are just adorable!!

Cathy said...

your family is gorgeous and i especially love that last sweet photo:)

i can totally relate to two toddlers of that age screaming in public...and oh gosh, having to walk all that way with them and no stroller! you deserve a medal for surviving!

Marie said...

It's nice to know I'm not the only one that has days like this!

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