visitors! Grandma and Grandpa Willard

Last Saturday Casey's parents flew out to visit us. Since they were flying stand-by we didn't tell the kids anything till we knew they were sitting on the plane. And when I broke the good news to Lucy she was just giddy with excitement. It seems that two times a week she makes a comment about how much she misses her Grandmas. So she was very excited to have visitors.

Casey picked Parry and Linda up from the airport and then the kids and I drove to Rudy's to meet up with them. That should be everyone's first stop in Austin, right?

I'm not sure who was more excited to see who....Lucy or Linda?
So cute.
We spent the rest of the day just hanging out at our house, chatting, and watching the kids play.

The next day (Easter) we watched some conference, colored eggs, ate all sorts of yummy food, and showed them our little town. I just love the downtown square.
It's the perfect place for strolling around, sitting on a bench, and enjoying Antique shops.
Because it was Easter Sunday all the shops were closed but we found it hilarious that all the stuff was just left out on the street. I guess the folks are trusting in our town.
For some reason Owen liked this little boy statue and kept standing next to him. I guess he needs a friend? Not sure if it's intentional but I like the hand in his pocket (just like the statue)
Funny Oboe.
Casey and Linda. Looking great in blue.
Next we drove through all the cool neighborhoods in our town (with beautiful old houses) and we ended our tour at the lake.
Where Lucy picked as many wildflowers as she could find.
Then we headed to the lookout point, which if you remember from our visit here in August, THIS is where people were cliff jumping into the water 25 feet below. CRAZY how much water has filled the lake!
Our kids found it pretty great though.
And soon there was some of this going on....
and yep, eventually this. Good thing there weren't many people around. I hate feeling white trash.

On Monday we did a tour of Downtown Austin. We drove around UT campus. Since we had to take separate cars everywhere, I had fun snapping random photos when we stopped at each stoplight. The stadium:
a truck:
And of course I had to show them the amazing multi million dollar homes. I never grow tired of these pretty spots (as you'll remember from this October post.) We drove by all those same homes with Parry and Linda.
Some houses had cute Easter decor. I'm going to remember this one for next year (or when I have a wrought iron fence):
We ate lunch at my favorite hamburger spot, P. Terrys.
The few times we've been there, I've gawked at everyone's shakes. So this time I broke down and bought one for all of us to share.
It was yummy but a bit to sweet. Perfect for the kids!
Next we walked around the lake that runs just south of the dowtown. It's one of our favorite spots.
Here's the normal routine: we park the car, walk for a bit through the gorgeous trees, look at the water, use the bathroom at the Hyatt, and then hang out at Lucy's "fishing spot".
This time around Lucy had a friend fishing next to her.
Owen gave his stick pole a try.
And they both spent 20 minutes gathering sea shells.
I've said it before but I love Owen's head. Cute. Round.
There was a local goose walking on the sidewalk, greeting visitors who walked by. He wasn't mean or honking. He just hung out, like a maitre d' for the Hyatt. Our Luce Goose thought it was really funny.
And of course the other part of our routine is riding the Hyatt's glass elevators to the top (and talking a few rounds on the escalator). Cool views from the top.
Looks so 2-dimensional, like a blue print.
We continued our walk back along the river and walked over to the Congress bridge to see the BATS.
We stopped for snacks at the nearby Chevron which, (according to their mural) is at the heart of Austin. Nothing says Austin like a 24 hour food mart. Hmmm.
Along with hundreds of other people, we hung out here waiting for the bats to fly out for a nightly feeding. When we came in August we had a spectacular view. But tonight, the bats were being batty. They didn't come out till AFTER it was dark!
So we had a couple hours to play, run around,
and eat treats.
I bought Tootsie Pops for the kids, which ended up being a lifesaver.
Pure entertainment for over an hour.
And at one point, complete silliness.
Thankfully the people around us thought the kids were cute and enjoyed their entertainment.
I guess we were all happy to have treats.
We waited and waited till after 8pm.
The sun went down.
And the bats just hung there, under the bridge.
FINALLY they started coming out but it was too dark for snapping photos. Cool sights though! As we walked back to our car, we kept stopping to watch the long stream of black bats flying over head.

On the final night of their visit, Parry and Linda offered to watch the kids so we could have a date night! woohoo! YES.
We knew exactly where we wanted to go: The Alamo Draft House.
It's a kitschy theater, but it's also a restaurant. When you go to your seat, you place your order and about 1/4 of the way into your movie, a server brings out your food and drinks. Pretty cool!
And we very much enjoyed Alice in Wonderland in 3D. Far more exciting than the Disney version. And those costumes?! I wanted to wear each of Alice's dresses.
Outside of the theater, I had fun with my camera and lights....
Then we got yogurt (from a Squeeze and Scoop type of place. hooray!), walked around for a bit, and that was a date! It's great to be out alone with my husband. We always have fun together.

Grandma and Grandpa, thank you for coming to see us! We loved having you. We were sad to see you go. But we'll see you again soon! We love you guys.


Visible Voice said...

Oh how I love the family adventures! I can't wait to move to our new area and look for new places to see and eat!!

the bates motel said...

how fun they came to visit! sounds like you guys had a fun time!

La La Land said...

How fun! And now I know where my Dad's truck ended up!

Jen Christensen said...

I love looking at all of your incredible pictures of Austin. It's a nice little view into home for me. BTW have you tried Might Fine Burgers? It's my favorite Austin burger place and they have heavenly strawberry lemonade shakes.

Nicole said...

I am so glad they made it out for a visit! Looks like you guys had a great time. I LOVE the pics with Parry & Linda & the kids, I think they look so good in them. Great pictures as usual!

The WoodLand School said...

What a wonderful time in Austin! Looks like you hit all the hot spots :-)

Karis said...

I love the picture of Lucy looking up at Linda. That should be a Mother's day gift for her. Fun that you had visitors!

Kam Belly Soup said...

i love visitors. i love your kids. i love p terrys (color scheme). i love the hyatt. i love date night.

kel bel said...

looks like a fun time! Carlsbad Caverns in southern NM (not horribly far from you guys) is also an awesome place for bat watching. And your pics of the kids entertaining each other are so great--isn't it fun to have little kiddos who are buddies and love to be silly together?! Let us know if you ever come through New Mexico. cheers!

Aubry Wilkes said...

Hi there... you don't know me, but I was in the same ward with Chad in HS. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed seeing your pictures. I love the one of Chad and Linda. I think about Linda often, as I now have four boys of my own... wonderful family!
Cheers! Aubry Wilkes