[Before we start, be sure to tune in tomorrow! I need your help! (and I have a prize...)]
We awoke on Saturday morning and decided... we should go to Midland, Texas. They have a baseball team, don't they? Surely they have a museum. We KNOW they must have hotels. (A quick search of the internet proved that they have all three and there was a fireworks show after the ball game that very night!) So, we got dressed, packed overnight bags and headed out the door. The beds were left unmade, the dirty dishes were in the sink, the playroom was a mess*... and we left! We're becoming so spontaneous!
We have a dear friend, HaHa**, who lives in Midland. There was a time, a thousand life-changing experiences ago when we ate almost every meal with HaHa. We were young; we were childless; we were penniless; we didn't have many other options but to sit at each others' tables night after night. It was a happy time in Shawn's and my life. In ways, it was a simpler time; in other ways, it was a much more complicated time. And, I'd never trade what we all have now to go back. It's funny how life works that way...
Anyway, she's a MUCH better cook than I. This is evidenced by the fact that she is completely unfazed by saying to four wayward travelers, "Come eat dinner at our house! I'll cook something." Wha?! Who can do that?! Note to yourself: If you ever pass by the Johnsons' on your way through town, we will be glad to take you to dinner.
After a fabulous meal, we went to the baseball game. (HaHa's husband may or may not have had to commit a couple of breaking and entering felonies to get us the tickets. But, we will never speak of that again. ;) We had a blast. Spence got one of the frisbees that the team mascot threw out to the crowd; Elizabeth wore a popcorn box on her head like a hat; a bug flew up my nose. So, pretty much... the usual. And, we loved the fireworks.
We awoke to go swimming in the hotel pool. We hit a couple of museums (the George W. Bush Childhood Home and The Children's Museum) and headed out of town.
On the way home, Shawn and I mastered the technique of parental-humiliation by singing LOUDly to the radio. We accompanied this with raised hand-holding and swaying. The only thing that would have made our presentation more perfect would have been a few of their friends in the car as witnesses.
All in all, it was one of the best times we've spent as our little family of four - on a trip to which we dedicated twenty minutes of planning. We're definitely going to have to put it on the calendar to be spontaneous again sometime soon.
*Unfortunately, we also left the garbage with chicken packaging and cantelope peels. FYI - that smells like 17 different kinds of stink after a day or two.
**"HaHa" is a completely hijacked nickname. She heard about another HaHa years before any of us had children. Yet she insisted that, when we did have children, we should call her that. We are clearly powerless to resist her.