We got our first out-of-town guests over the Thanksgiving weekend when GG and Aunt Vanessa came for a visit. I hope they found the accommodations agreeable and recommend to others that they come visit as well (hint, hint). They were exceptional guests and we can't wait to have them back. Aunt Vanessa was an especially good sport given the fact that she was forced to sleep on a futon mattress on a three-year-old's bedroom floor (the forcing was done by said three-year-old, not me).
On Thanksgiving day we all headed to Stephanie's for the big meal. I don't have pictures because I was too busy drinking Pinot Grigio and cooking vegetables in bacon fat. It was a great meal and everyone had a lot of fun.
After stuffing our faces for several hours I took the kids home and we passed out. BVZ, GG, and Vanessa stayed up at Stephanie's watching the Niners game (Andy has the NFL network). Stephanie and Bubby went Black Friday shopping from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am. They are bananas. BANANAS.
The next day (Friday) was our traditional VZ Christmas celebration. We had a ton of fun exchanging gifts (I got a neck massager and tickets to Wicked! I rule!) and the kids were showered with love, affection, and spoils by GG and Vanessa.
One of the biggest hits with Lou was a stuffed dog attached to a stocking. It played Jingle Bells and he basically went nuts for it. I have since had to hide it from him, or I would have to listen to Jingle Bells all.day.long.
Louis very much enjoyed being a baby at Christmas. Which basically consisted of being cute and eating wrapping paper.
Lots of love to go around.
After "Christmas" we decided to go to the Salt Lick, one of Austin's most famous BBQ joints. I am not a huge meat eater, and I am even less of a place-with-the-word-lick-in-the-name eater, but it's an Austin institution and I had never been. Plus, I am a good sport. Most of the time. They make no secret of their carnivore-ness.
See these guys?
They are hacking up giants slabs of meat. Good thing I didn't notice them until we were on the way out.
Lou was a good sport and took his nap in the stroller. He was a serious trooper all weekend, as we hauled him around with little to no regard for his usual schedule.
Thankfully it wasn't crowded (maybe everyone was still full from Thursday?) and we got the family style all-you-can-eat meal, which consisted of platters of brisket, ribs, sausage and bowls of coleslaw, beans, and potato salad. Plus, some awesome sesame bread. I don't eat ribs or sausage, but the brisket was very good (I requested super lean), if I closed my eyes and put a lot of sauce on it.
Norah was a big fan of the bread and the sauce. Me too.
We then took GG and Vanessa up to Georgetown to check out BVZ's new office and to walk around the downtown area (and by downtown I mean the square directly around the historic courthouse. That's about the extent of it, but the shops and restaurants there are super cute).
We got some lattes and hot chocolate at the local coffee shop which perked everyone up.
It perked someone up enough that she then began running maniacally down the sidewalks of Georgetown. Norah is really into dressing herself these days. Her outfits tend to involve a lot of accessories. Including purses. I am not sure she is actually my child.
The main purpose of going to Georgetown (other than to show GG and Vanessa the new office), was to see the tree lighting ceremony. This was the tree. A bit underwhelming, especially compared to where we were last year. It didn't matter one bit to Norah, though, and she thought the tree was spectacular.
We found a place on the grass to watch the carolers and wait for it to get dark. Louis, again, being the most well adjusted and agreeable baby in the universe. I can't even get mad at him when he wants to party at 2:00 am because he makes life during the day so easy.
All of the kids were invited up to the courthouse stairs to join the carolers. Norah was interested but made me go with her. You can kind of see her in the red dress at the bottom of the picture.
When I first saw this picture I thought, "dear, god...BVZ is even more bald than I thought!" Ha. It totally isn't him.
We waited through a lot of caroling. And then a speech from the mayor. And lots of city council people. And maybe the mayor again. We all wanted to leave because this was a whole lot of waiting to just see one tiny tree with some tiny lights. GG told us to suck it up and be patient, and I am so glad she did, because when all the speeches were finally over the entire TOWN was lit up with thousands of lights. Lights on that rinky dinky tree, all over the courthouse, in the trees lining the square, and on all the surrounding businesses. For a quaint little place it WAS pretty spectacular.
On Saturday, we just hung out and enjoyed GG and Vanessa's company...there was miniature golfing. And margarita drinking. Not necessarily in that order.
We hope they come back soon.