This post is more of a travel log for my memory, so sorry that it's extra long. You've been warned!
This year we spent Christmas in Austin, and my family came to visit! This was probably one of my favorite Christmases. We decided to spend less on gifts and do more things together. The other reason this Christmas was so special to me was that my dad almost didn't get to come to Texas. We were only able to get a babysitter for the dog very last minute, and we were hours away from him cancelling his flight when we finally found someone. I prayed so hard my dad could come and felt it was somewhat of a Christmas miracle that he made it!
I had a whole itinerary planned out for while my family was here.
They flew in on the Monday before Christmas and after Alex got off work we went to Rudy's for some Texas barbecue! I think they loved it. And oh, that creamed corn. I'm drooling thinking about it. After dinner we went to the Round Rock "Rock N' Lights". We waited in line for over an hour before we finally got to go through but it was super pretty. The temperature was pretty mild that day so we got to roll all the windows down as we watched the lights. At the end of the light tour they had a carnival with a few rides and of course I had to go on the boat swinging ride. It's my absolute fav!
Tuesday Alex had to work, so the rest of us went to do a little last minute shopping. Later in the afternoon we went to the Inner Space Caverns. It was super neat, and even though it was a cold day, the cave was super hot and humid. At first it was nice, but the deeper we went into the cave the air was harder to breathe and we were anxious for the cold fresh air again. The grass is always greener, right? Later that night we went to see the last Hobbit movie. Was anyone else disappointed that there was hardly any plot and it was just one big long fight?
Christmas Eve we went hiking on our backyard trail, and then spent the rest of the day prepping for Christmas Day! We cooked and shopped and then had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner: French Dip, Broccoli, 7-Up Salad, and Slush. Yum! We also read the Christmas Story in the Bible and then watched White Christmas.
Christmas Day was very unique for us. We slept in, and got ready for the day, and then we got to talk to our missionary!!! Best part of Christmas for sure. She is doing so great in West Virginia and comes home in TWO MONTHS people. Then the family came over and we opened presents and watched our new movies. Christmas dinner was so yummy this year. We tried some new dishes, including these brussels sprouts.
Friday we went to show my family San Antonio. We stopped first to tour the temple, and then headed downtown to see the Alamo and the Riverwalk. The Alamo was super awesome. I have a lot of respect for the men who fought there, knowing they would die. The Riverwalk was beautiful with all the Christmas lights. Lights just make everything look prettier. The weather was also perfect that day. After a few days of cold weather 71 degrees was super nice.
Saturday was my dad's last day in Texas. Unfortunately another cold front blew in. We found refuge touring the capitol and visiting the Bullock State History Museum. Before we dropped my dad off at the airport we had an early Tex-Mex dinner at Chuy's. Those chips and creamy jalapeno sauce...
Sunday after church we went to the highest point in Austin, Mt. Bonnell. It has beautiful views of downtown and the lake and even has a bit of Mormon history. Apparently there was a mill built at the bottom of the hill, and then it was destroyed and the Mormons left. Very exciting, right? Also, I'm aware the 'lake' looks like a river, but that's what they call it. Later that night we finally made our Christmas Eve cookies. Better late than never, right? We had fun reminiscing about Christmases past, when Allison and I would work so hard to decorate our cookies and give our best one to Santa. I remember when I found out my parents usually just threw the cookies away... Haha, how mean after we sacrificed our best cookies!
My family's last day in Austin we went miniature golfing in the morning and shopping in the afternoon. Austin has this Peter Pan mini golf course with lots of fun statues. I have always loved that movie and get extra excited about anything Peter Pan. The course we chose was super hard, but we had fun anyway! Except for when a giggling teenage girl whacked her ball as hard as she could and nailed me in the stomach. Ouch.
And that's it! We had a great break and loved having my family come to visit.