Monday, March 21, 2011

Our Day Up North

Not way up north, but north from us. Today was the day to take my dad back to Dallas. Sort of bitter-sweet. I love having him here, but I also like being able to make that drive. All of his stuff fit into the trunk so there was plenty of room for Aaron to come with. The trip up was fairly uneventful. I was aching to drive fast, though, so every time some idjit pulled in front of me I sorta felt like my head was going to explode. We made it, though. Aaron didn't want to go straight home so our next stop was a McDonald's we passed on the way up. Right off the highway, easy to get to. Wasn't too many people in there and my Big Mac was really well prepared.

During lunch we decided to get ahold of Barker and let her know we were (more or less) in the area. With her expert text-directions she got us from McDonald's to Shed's house easy as pie. Well . . . once we headed the right way. It took her a long while to get back after I told her to send the directions to Aaron's phone so I headed East towards Dallas and the "exit" I tried to take to turn around when she got back to us ended up being a mini-cloverleaf headed straight into downtown Dallas. Was easy enough to turn back around from that, though. The hard part ended up being getting through the gate so she came down and walked us up.

We sat around chatting for a bit and watching some Travel Channel. After a bit of debate over whether W is sometimes a vowel and "What are we going to do?" we decided to drive around and find a beach. Did I mention Travel Channel was showing beaches? It was. So we set out to find one. We did! Sort of. Sand around a lake is still a beach, right? Close enough. After locating the beach we turned around to locate beer and snacks then back to the beach! After another bit of driving around the lake area we managed to find a parking space close to the beach part of the lake. I forget what it's called, but here it is!

It's in Grand Prarie, by the way. Was really nice. A few families with kids, but not in a terribly annoying kind of way. I made sure to get pics of everybody! The wind was to my back and I forgot to put my hair back up . . . .

Aaron dashing as always

And Shed. I forget what he was doing to be making this face.

And a super cute pic of Barker with her hair blowing in the wind. I want a wig of her hair.

We sat chatting for a bit. Aaron and Shed drinking some beer. Barker and I sipping our Dews and eating cheese poofs. They were good! Got stale really really quickly, though. :-( Then Barker decided she wanted to feel the sand on her feets.

Now, Sarah (Barker) has one trait that reminds me of Brak. The ability to derive joy from the simple things. So when she had the idea that we should build a sandcastle I just could not pass it up. When was the last time I built a sandcasle?! (Germany, roughly 1989) When is the next time I'll get to build a sandcastle?! She found an empty cup, filled it in the lake and we began our building of the sandcastle. She started mounding up the bathroom and I got to work on the defense wall and drawbridge. We worked around and around. Our "people" were attacked once by a soccer ball (a wide miss, but an attack nontheless) and their currency is sand dollars. In this first picture you can see the drawbridge which spans the faux moat (the illusion of a moat is, in itself, a deterrent), the bathroom is the large mound on the left, the guard tower is the skinny one in the middle, and the kitchen is the mound to the right. If you look closely on the left you can see my rudimentary wall with decorations and on the right side of the wall is where Barker started evening it out. There is a shelf-walkway with the rocks on it. More time and it would've ended up looking really nice all around. And, yes, the door has a doorknob. She found it and I set it aside special. Doorknob!

In this next picture (taken from the castle's left side for those of you who are spacially adept) in front of the bathroom is the rock garden, behind the bathroom is a mound which was going to be another tower but then wasn't and behind the kitchen is the treasury. You know, to house all the sand dollars. If you're actually reading this you may be interested to know that before we left the castle was populated with stale cheese puffs to represent the people. There were ducks. Ducks like cheese puffs. End of story.

We stood around the castle chatting for a bit. Eventually, as it has a tendancy to do, the sun went down. Very pretty sunset out there.

And before we left Shed gazed over at the mass of cell phone towers he helped work on. Cuz that's his job. Something to do with designing the towers. There were probably 15 or so over there, but the lights didn't blink at the same time so I only caught a couple.

So then we headed back. Fun day at the beach. We said our goodbyes with hugs and handshakes all around and Aaron and I made the long trek back home. With help from Sara's expertly drawn map on the back of a deposit slip I had in my wallet. We didn't run into any really terrible traffic the whole day. And going from here to Dallas to Eulis (by Ft. Worth) and back we still have a quarter tank of gas. I *heart* my Carolla. Thanks guys for hooking up with us and making today something way better than SSDD.

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