Hammond Family

Moving forward, one day at a time.

Friday, September 30, 2011

What are Mountains?

A few weeks ago I flew to Colorado alone with the kids for a week. We really had a great trip-I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it went! Lance enjoyed having a seat to himself on the plane ride there.
The day we got there Kathie picked us up and we played with Kyle and CJ. This log behind them I carried Lily across-I was quite proud of myself, as was Kyle, who told me I was the first grown up to ever go across it!
The next day we rented a car and drove from Denver (stopping at Cafe Rio on the way!) over to Sterling, where Parker and Jessie live. Lily really hasn't spent much time with these girls-they saw each other at the family reunion in July and that was the first time in over 2 years. But they became quick friends. We did have a few fights-we knew it was time to leave when Lily and Kylee were laying on the floor with their legs wrapped around each other hitting each other over a doll house. But we had a great time!
Jess had arranged for us to go to her friend's house and ride horses. Kylee and McKinley both rode by themselves all around-I was very impressed. Not Lily, though.
She rode with Kylee, and then she and I rode. I hadn't been on a horse for probably at least 10 years, but it was so much fun! I can see why people love it so much.
Lance wasn't that impressed with the horses but he LOVED this dog. It made me feel quite bad that we live in the city.
John and Coya came from Nebraska for Jessie's birthday BBQ. It was so fun to see both my married brothers and their families! I will hopefully go again next year.
Mady had fun (I think). I know my kids had fun with Mady.
We stopped at my good friend Anna's house in Greeley, and then went back to Kathie's. I love these boys' faces.
My last full day there we drove to Colorado Springs and met up with my dear friend Terrie. She left me in Texas and moved to greener pastures, but it was great to visit her and her family.
This is up above Colorado Springs. It was such a beautiful day-I could live there so easily!

Love these girls!
We went to Garden of the Gods, which we had also gone to last year. We didn't make it too far around, but it was a lot of fun to see again.

The plane ride home was a bit rough, but no layovers, so we survived. Thanks to all those people we saw-now come and visit us please!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ode to San Antonio

I've been thinking a lot lately, I don't know why, about what makes San Antonio, San Antonio. Now, I want anyone who reads this to remember, I didn't grow up here, and I've only been here six years. But there are a few things I've noticed. I'll start with the things I noticed pretty quickly after we moved here.

1. The grass should not legally be able to be called grass. I had never lived anyplace that didn't have soft grass. I didn't know non-soft grass existed. The first time I walked around our apartment complex I think I cried.

2. Texans really are nice people. It's always nice going to the grocery store here (other than Wal-mart, which doesn't count), and receiving help out to the car, balloons given to the kids, smiley faces when your kids are throwing fits. Whenever we move, I think this is one of the things I will miss the most.

3. The whole freeway system is a bit confusing.
a. You have highways that become freeway-like at certain points, so you think they're a freeway, only you don't see freeway signs, just highway signs. 281 and 1604 the biggest offenders. Similarly, you'll be driving on what you think is a freeway and all of a sudden come to a stoplight.

b. We have access roads with turn-arounds. But, sometimes the frontage/access road ends with no warning (usually because there's train tracks in the way) or, you get off the freeway, (or what you think is a freeway), looking for turn around, because the store you want is on the other side, and there is no turn around. So you're stuck at the light forever waiting to go left.

4. Texas wildflowers are largely a myth. We've lived here 6 years and seen them twice. And when they were out, they were spectacular. But in order for there to be wildflowers we have to have a rainy winter, which doesn't happen too often.

5. When it rains, it floods. I think there are several reasons for this. #1, it is usually a downpour when it rains, not the steady Washington drizzle/rain I am used to. #2. There are no ditches. #3 You have about 1 inch of soil and then you hit rock. There is no place for the rain to go! And don't try to drive over a low water crossing. And Texans don't know how to drive in rain. Four wheel drive and big trucks will not help you.

6. If it snows or their is a chance of ice, nothing will help you, because the entire city shuts down. They literally shut down the bridges, schools, freeways, stores, gyms. It's like driving through a ghost town.

7. Remember the Alamo! The Alamo is actually in the middle of downtown San Antonio. If you want a taste of what it used to be like, I'd suggest also visiting one of the missions. But The Alamo really is a great place to visit.

8. The Riverwalk really does live up to it's hype, and is very pretty with good places to eat.

9. Sea World and Six Flags are great! The fireworks there, and anyplace else that I've seen, are awful. It's not worth the crowds or the sweating at night. They say Everything's Bigger in Texas, but not so for the 4th of July. I'd go to a movie that night (which we've done before).

10. The BBQ here is EXCELLENT! If you like BBQ, which I now do, Texas is a great place to be. Salt Lick BBQ is my favorite, but you can never go wrong with Rudy's. Lean Brisket and creamed corn. yum.

11. The birds are REALLY loud. The day after we moved in Robby took us down to the Riverwalk for dinner. I thought there was a sound recording of the birds, and he informed it was the real thing. As a friend told me, when someone asked where the birds go in the winter, the answer is...HERE. We ARE South.

12. We have two seasons, summer, and crazy hot summer. Summer is from mid-October through March. The temperatures change from the 80's-60's, sometimes dipping down into the 50's and 40's, though rarely. April-September is crazy hot summer. I wouldn't recommend it. It was over 100 today.

13. High school football really is a big deal here. It cracks me up when I'm at the gym with a bunch of people my age to their 40's, 50's and 60's, and on Monday's they are all talking about who won the high school games Friday night.

14. You can never tell what season it is. It all looks the same.

15. The roads are always changing their name. We live near Wetmore, where it turns into Bulverde. And by Naccodochess, which turns into Perin Biedel. And Warzbach Parkway begins and ends several different times. Bitters turns into something that turns into something else.

I'm sure I'll think of more things to add, but I wanted to remember for whenever we move away. Please let me know what I'm missing!