on the road again

take me to the river

perfect spot

After the fair (which was super fun, by the way) we headed over to Placerville to visit Mark's brother Steve for a couple days.  I love being there... he has a huge garden full of odd veggies, a stream by which blackberries grow, tree frogs to delight the children and has fixed up his spare room, just for our girls (or, at least that's what they think).  It's a magical place.  And then there's the river.

daughter | father

Such a beautiful place full of caves and tiny little fish that like to bite your toes and rocks to skip and cool, clean water and shady rocks to sleep under.

wet dog

We all love it there, especially the dog.

Here's a couple videos of the fun:

We didn't want to leave, that's for sure.  And now that we're home and I'm dealing with post-vacation fallout at work, I'd like to go back.


At least we have some awesome memories!  Thanks "Uncle Steve!"

date night in Grass Valley

Mark at Diegos with a spot of sunlight on his face

I love date night.

But date night in Grass Valley? Awesome.

There's something about going out on a date while on vacation that unlocks that concern about money and familiar routine.  Up here, we can do anything we want, rather than fall into comfortable routines.  That said, we do have a tendency to always go to the same restaurant while up here.  But it's so very awesome that's OK.

Yesterday, we said goodbye to the girls and ran off for something different: couples massage.  I found a coupon via yelp for a local spa that made the price totally reasonable.  I made sure to mention when booking that my Mister is a former massage therapist and when he says he wants a deep tissue massage, he actually means deep tissue.  "Do you have someone who is strong enough to go really deep?" I asked.  They assured me they did.  And did they ever.  Mark got Christine who, the one time I glanced over, grinned from ear to ear as she dug into my Mister, commenting happily that she's never seen a scapula move quite like his.  My therapist looked over and gasped, "Angel wings!"  Mark knows how to work with a therapist to really allow work to get done and Christine seemed thrilled to be doing hard work, thanking him for allowing her to go as deep as needed.  After, all the back pain he'd been experiencing was gone.  He practically danced to the car.

After that we hit up Diegos, our favorite Chilean restaurant in the area.  Amazing food, delish sangria and dessert that makes you moan with pleasure.  We were both in a deeply zen place after our massages and ate dinner while smiling stupidly at each other, gushing over the food and telling each other how much we loved the other.  Seriously, every marriage could be improved with massage and sangria.

Oddly, I woke just before 2am with an odd restlessness and fear.  I ended up waking Mark, spitting out that I needed him to go check on the kids.  Why couldn't I do so? I was afraid, though of what I don't know.  I burst into tears and he pulled on some clothes so he could go check on them in the bunkhouse.  He came back with reports of peacefully slumbering children and I apologized for making him go out.  "It's OK. Massage can do that." 

"Do what?" I asked.

"Open things up."

After that I slept beautifully. 

More pictures from our trip here.  Today, we go to the fair!

Summer Road Trip


We're up in Grass Valley with Mark's family, typing this on a keyboard so old you have to violently punch each button and even then will have to back up to slip in all the missing letters.  So this will have to be brief as I'd rather not start throwing things across the room.  In fact, I just told my mother-in-law that Mark & I will be buying her a new one ASAP.

Maya & her people

Anyway, the drive was fine with very little traffic and mostly happy kids.  We got here in time to take a quick dip in the pool & enjoy dinner with the family, then tuck ourselves into bed early and sleep for ten hours... in a row.  It was glorious.  Coffee shop / book store this morning for breakfast and book worshiping, now the girls are back in the pool with the Mister while I bang away at the computer.

post-pool Anya  post-pool Lily

Tomorrow afternoon Mark and I get to run off for a couples massage & dinner while the girls get treated like the wee princesses they are.  Awesome.

In the Northern California Sun
Anya in the Northern California Sun


Feeding the horses
Lily feeding the horses


La Paz: lost days

I'm not sure what happened to the last couple of days, other than they were spent fairly quietly.  I picked up a wee little tummy bug and felt queasy for a while, though it never developed into anything to really knock me out.  We spend an afternoon at the beach on Friday, then to the horse ranch where our hosts keep a ride of their own.  The worst of my feeling bad happened there and by the time we got home my eyes were red, I was flushed and stepping into the shower felt like finding religion.  I slept like a rock that night, despite the booming music from the dance hall next door.  

All in all, we've been taking it easy, doing very little.  The Mister and my mom are obsessed with a game called Bananagrams and have spent hours calmly saying "peel" as they race to the end. Mark invariably beats my mom, but they are both so thrilled to have a partner in word games that they just keep at it. Years of living with me (I'm actually quite terrible at any sort of word games, especially when there is a time element involved) and my step-dad (who is happy to play... once) has made them the perfect match for each other and I fear they might never stop.

But I have burned through one book and am half way through another.  For me, that is the very definition of vacation.  The girls are having a blast and very comfortable here, playing with Michelle and Arthur, getting their own snacks as needed, taking naps without much fuss and swimming as often as possible.  Life is good.

Photos from our last couple days can be found after the jump.

La Paz: sunset sail

Wednesday was another low key day with plenty of fun in the pool, a walk to the C.C.C. (pronounced say-say-say) for provisions, a long nap for me and Ani and a short but sweet sunset sail on Sonrisa (my Uncle's sailboat).  We had planned to take a longer trip on the water but the day got away from us with the napping and swimming and eating of yummy things.  Instead we just motored out to the bay, raised the main sail, watched the sun go down and then ran it back to the dock.  I can tell you that there is nothing more nerve wracking than Lily on a sailboat.  That girl wants to be tossed into the sea, I swear it. 

Here's a couple photos from our day:

You can't be timid with pools, you know.  Gotta show them who's in charge.


Water girl
Anya is devoted to the ring.  She can go anywhere in it and is LOVING the water.


giggles for Papa
Out on the boat, Mark and Anya share a giggle.


Ani keeps an eye on the water
Anya sat still most of the time and watched what was happening, which allowed me to relax and take some photos.  I have very few of Lily as she made my hands clench in fear as she jumped around all over the place.

Finally, here's a blurry video of the sun going down over La Paz bay and a little of Mark and Milton taking in the main sail after our short excursion.

La Paz: settling in


The weather has been absolutely perfect, with cool clear nights and days warming to hot in the middle of the afternoon. We decided to stay put most of the day, reading by the pool, the girls playing around the compound and at the hottest part of the day, a dip in the pool to cool off.  Arthur let me hold him in the water, floating him gently on his back and going into an almost zen like pose.  He started getting fussy wen Mark held him, though we quickly determined it had nothing to do with the Mister and everything to do with the tired.  I bundled him up and settled into a chair with him, quickly turning his fuss into snores. 

sleeping babies are the best

After transferring him to the couch to continue his snooze we decided to dress up the dog and make her fly.  I mean, why wouldn't you?

Luna the angel

There's a trampoline in the yard here where the girls have been spending a lot of their time.  It's a bit troublesome what with someone (usually Anya) getting bonked about once an hour or Anya getting mad that, "everyone is jumping too high!"  But it sure makes for fun pictures:


Mark and I had been dreaming of Arracheras since we booked our trip so Milton and the Mister made a trip over to pick up the delicious marinated meat and all the fixin's. 


After dinner we opted for a walk to the Malecon to get paletas (ice cream) and fresas (popsicles). 

evening walk

It stays light until about 8pm here but once the sun went down and the moon came up it started getting cold.  Milton had driven Bill* over to meet us and so bundled up the kids for a quick return to CasaBuena for jammies and teeth brushing while we walked home. Before I knew it we were staring at midnight & so off to bed with us, the kids long asleep.  Sometime in the middle of the night a small black cat named Dot appeared through the window in our room and gave me a back massage (complete with claws!) and then licked my hand with a devotion not often found in cats.  Not an altogether terrible way to wake up for another beautiful day in La Paz.


*More on Bill later

La Paz: travel day

Traveling late in the day is kinda awesome.  We didn't have to start our trip until around 2:30 and that gave us the whole morning to pack, do the last minute shopping Milton always requires and even give the kids a much needed nap.  Mark and I even sat around watching TV for an hour, just giving ourselves some downtime before the traveling began.  Our friend came and picked us up shortly after my mom and step-dad arrived at our house and drove us to the border, where we all tumbled out of the car and walked into Mexico.  We decided to get our travel documents before we grabbed a taxi and so spent a good half hour filling out paperwork, paying our visa fee (around $90 American for our family of four) and then getting our official stamps.  Lily told me it was boring.  Bureaucracy often is, kid.

bored Lily

From there all six of us piled into a single taxi, Lily THRILLED to get to ride on my lap rather than in her booster car seat.  I just held on to her very tightly as our driver weaved through TJ traffic, the roads torn up from a massive amount of construction.  Seriously, the path to the airport is insane and I wouldn't want to drive it myself, especially with half of the traffic lights down and the rules of driving in Mexico being what they are.

But we arrived with plenty of time and, after having our bags searched not once, not twice but three separate times by customs and security officials, we finally made it to the basement of the airport to wait for our plane. 


It's been long enough since we've flown with the girls that they had no real concept of what it would be like.  Getting to walk out on the tarmac and up stairs to the tiny plane sent both girls into little dances of happiness, so excited they were to finally get onto a plane.

climbing onto the plane
The flight attendant spoke very little English but at the end of the flight stopped me to say, "You have very beautiful babies."  Yes. Yes I do.

Lily helping with Anya's seatbelt

Lily helped Anya figure out the seat belt and then we were off, flying high above the sky to La Paz.  Unfortunately for me, I also carried along a wicked headache so spent the first half of the flight jamming my fingers into my ears every time the pilot engaged the loud speaker or someone laughed to loudly.  My Mister, the total boy scout, had packed a med kit so the pills eventually kicked in and took the edge off.  Escaping into a Radio Lab podcast helped as well.

Milton was there when we got off the plane and whisked us back to CasaBuena where we were fed bowls full of cioppino and finally got to meet Arthur, who is now 14-months-old and the most smiley, talkative baby I've ever met.  He's brilliant.  The girls stayed up until almost 9pm jumping on the trampoline with Michelle until I heard Anya crying because, "Lily and Michelle were jumping too high".  Bedtime.

It's a quiet morning now with both girls playing in their room and breakfast happily consumed.  Mark's run off with Milton to help put a friends boat back together and then we'll head out into the world when Michelle gets home from school. 

More later, I hope!


so, not on an elephant, then?

"So here's what's going to happen tomorrow," I tell Lily, while she cuts paper dolls for her sister from drawings she made herself.  "We're going to get up and pack our bags.  We'll put swimsuits and sunblock and a pair of jeans for horseback riding in a bag.  Daddy and I will run around a lot and ask you to do things.  We'll need you to say..."
"Yes, Mama!" she answers, a smile in her face.
"And you'll help us with Anya too."
"I can make her more paper dolls," she contemplates.
"Yes.  And then we're going to ask you both to take a rest and you're going to do it."
"I am?"
"You are." I reply.  "Then Grandma and Grandpa will come to our house and bring in their bags and make lots of noise about how hard it is to get ready to fly away from home." She smiles and keeps cutting the dolls, this one of a little boy.  "Then Elizabeth will come pick us up in her big car and drive us to the border.  She'll say goodbye and we'll get out of the car with our bags and," I walk my fingers up her leg, "walk across the border into Mexico, showing them our passports as we go."
"Do I have a passport?" she asks.
"Yes," I reply, "though in it you look much younger than you are now." She nods thoughtfully.  "From there we will take a taxi to the airport."
"I've never been in a taxi!" she practically shouts.
"Not that you can remember," I reply.  But she is now caught up in the taxi moment and no longer listening to my words.  "When we get to the airport, we will climb aboard an elephant," I say.
"Wait. NO! We'll climb aboard a plane!" she corrects.
"Oh, right!  And the elephant will swim across the sea..."
"NO! The plane will fly in the air!" she insists.
"Oh, that's how that works," I say, enjoying the giggle in her eyes. "And then the plane will land in La Paz and then... what?"
"We'll walk to Michelle's house?" she asks.
"No.  Milton will be there and he will pick us up in a big car or van or something and you, me, Daddy, Anya, Grandma and Grandpa will..." I wait for her to finish the sentence.

And that, my friends, is where I will be for a while.  Don't wait up.

Road trip wounds


Yesterday Mark and I were up at 3am, getting the kids out of bed and on the road for a trip North to visit the family. The Mister's mom is having a significant birthday this week and with Lily on Spring Break, we figured it was perfect timing.

After about three hours on the road we pulled off for breakfast in a small town, hoping to jump back on the road and keep North as quickly as possible. As Anya and I returned from the the bathroom after our meal she tripped, went down hard and smashed her face into the corner of the booth seat. I expected to find a bump and rapidly swelling bruise but instead pulled her hands from her face to discover a gush of blood streaking down her face. “I need some help!” I called to Mark, who had already started moving when he heard the smack. Anya was screaming, Lily had burst into tears at the sight of blood on her sisters face and the waitress came running. We got her iced, cleaned up and Mark got the first aid kit from the car. Unfortunately, it had no butterfly closures and we could see this was not something that would heal nicely on it's own.




Luckily the waitress happened to be a mother of six, five of which were boys. She gave us our options, “You can drive 40 minutes to Bakersfield and go to the ER there or, in about 45 minutes, the community clinic will open up.” She assured me we could get stitches there, she'd had them do stitches on her kids before and so we decided to stay local and drove an exit up the freeway to find the clinic. We had to wait in the parking lot, Anya snuggled on my lap and calm by then, her thumb stuck firmly in her mouth.


sad little boo


The first through the door, we were seen right away and with excellent care. The nurses were fantastic, explaining to Anya what was going to happen, how they were going to put her owie to sleep so they could sew it up, how it would hurt but Mama would be right there. Mark took Lily out to walk the dog while they numbed Anya up, which really was the worst part of the whole thing. They had four staff members there to hold her down if needed but she held perfectly still, crying out and gripping my hands ferociously. They'd never seen a four-year-old behave so well during pain, but we had told her what was happening, why it was happening and given her permission to scream her fool head off. She was amazing.


The minute that owie went to sleep, Anya perked right up and was herself again. Lily and Mark came back in to see the stitches going in, which was a little uncomfortable for Lil until she realized her sister was giggling and talking under the drape. We were back on the road an hour later with three neat and carefully placed stitches covered over by a band-aid. I only wish the clinic had pediatric medical superglue on hand, something we could have gotten in Bakersfield I suspect. But I also suspect we would have had to wait a whole lot longer, been in less of a relaxed atmosphere and wouldn't have received the individualized attention we received at the clinic. It was just about the best experience you could hope for when your child has to get stitches.


all done


Back on the road I asked Anya to let me know when her owie woke back up so we could pull over for a painkiller if she was hurting.  An hour or so later she happily announced, “Mama, my owie is waking back up!”

“How does it feel?” I asked her.

“Just like my old skin!”


Yep. Just fine. Today she's totally unconcerned but we'll make a trip over to the health food store to pick up some supplies to minimize the scar on her face. She's truly been the most amazing wounded child I have ever seen and I couldn't be more proud of her.


day after


ETA: photos added later in the day, so if you were here earlier all you saw was the one crappy cell photo photo. 

On Vacay, yo

ready to hit the road!

The girls & their dog, ready to hit the road on Friday night.

Mark and I packed up the kids AND the dog and ditched home Friday night to come visiting his family in Northern California.  We drove through the night while the girls slept in small batches and only had to submit to one sobriety check (which Mark passed. YAY!). We arrived at Uncle Steve's just before 5am and all passed out for a nice block of sleep.  Steve has the most comfortable bed on the planet and I plan on strapping it to the roof of the car when we leave. Just so you know.

the post that was lost

I just wrote this whole post about being happy.  It was about how, despite the issues going on around us (friend's wife descending into mental illness, a dear friend who wants to be pregnant riding that all too familiar roller coaster of hope and disappointment, the hottest day EVER, etc), I'm experiencing these random flashes of utter and complete happiness.

Yeah, well my blog just ate that freaking post so my happiness is not as much as it was.


I even had a whole bunch of photos from our trip posted, with thoughtful comments below each one.

It was probably the best post ever.  Like, you all would have nominated it for an award or something.  Probably would have even sent me gifts and asked me to return them autographed.  Wow.  I could say anything here and you'd have to believe me.

HOLY CRAP!  It did it again (only I'd done a nifty copy/paste function FIRST, so I win)!  I'm thinking the computer must be melting inside.

Anyway, here's some of my favorite photos from the trip.  Enjoy:


totally dramatic

In a vacant lot just outside of Gustine, CA.


Still handsome at 94

Mark's devastatingly handsome Grandfather, at 94-years-old.


so cute, it's kinda sickening 

My ridiculously in love friends at Golden Gate Park.


running in Grandma's yard

Lily running wild in her Grandmother's backyard.


all grown up and stuff

Anya cackling like an old lady in her Grandmother's favorite coffee shop/used book store.


saying goodbye

Saying goodbye to Grandma.


puddles are the BEST

Lily splashing in puddles at her Uncle Steve's house.


after tasting chamomile flowers

After tasting a wild chamomile flower.



My beautiful girls on our walk (also at Uncle Steve's).


Here's hoping I can get this baby to save before it crashes again!

a small rant and a distraction

I love my husband.

I really, really do.

And there's this little thing he does that makes me kinda want to kick him.

See, he very accurately described me once by saying, "Elaine likes to know things, not learn them."  I love to be part of the conversation and show off how very, very smart I am.  Thus, when someone spends an inordinate amount of time telling me all about something I already know, it makes a little part of me feel deeply insulted.  Because I am so very, very smart, I ALREADY KNOW THAT!

And it's not like we're talking about being told about how nuclear physics works.  I'm not, actually, that smart and so if someone decided to explain it to me, I'd listen (while being annoyed a little that I didn't already know).

So yesterday, I come home from book club to find my husband madly sketching out chicken coop designs and calculating wood needed for said designs.  After two+ years of claiming he's going to build a coop, he seems to be feverishly working towards that goal happening THIS WEEKEND.  OK.  

Unfortunately, I have, over the last couple years of teasing, done an inordinate amount of research on keeping chickens, gave up the dream, and threw all that info OUT MY HEAD because it was taking up space I needed for important things like alternate routes to my daughters school, what constituents a "good lunch", how to place a hold on an item at the public library and the perfect way to make pancakes.*

So he proceeds to explain to me, in excruciating detail, what it will mean if we have chickens.  In short, I'm pretty sure he was suggesting we'd never go anywhere again because we'd be dedicating our lives to their well being and would have to be around to fend off coyotes, dogs, hawks and errant children.

Can't we just get a llama?

He strayed into territory of the I-already-know-that variety and I got annoyed. His response?  "If you already agree with me, then just check your ego and say you agree."

Does he not know me at all?  Does he not know WOMEN at all? 

I'm starting to think one of us is broken and secretly fear it is me.  But I'd like to believe it is him. 

In any event, I shall distract myself and you all by posting a photo of Allyn hula hooping in the Mission District while we wait for a table at a breakfast joint.  I shall also inform you that more photos from our road trip are posted to Flickr and you can see them by clicking on Allyn below.  I'm not done with all the photos YET, but am so much closer than I was before.


Hula Hooping in the Mission


* WOW.  That was all one sentence.  I'm SO not changing it.

First 560 miles

I've been trying (all freaking day) to get some photos uploaded to Flickr but the uploading tool is being a whiny little bitch.  I've only managed to get a few photos up there, mostly representing the 11 hour trip North.  You've got a couple shots from Denny's (Give the Gift of Real Breakfast Love) and a bunch of us running around in a vacant lot in Gustine.  We did yoga in the Starbucks there (dirty chai, how I adore thee) and then goofed around outside, getting the wiggles out. 

The trip went really well, save for the bit at the end where I got lost in the dark and it started to rain and my windshield wipers were being evil and just smearing all the crap around.  Mark's GPS is a liar, just so you know. 

But the girls did smashingly, especially since I bribed them.  I had a whole bag of toys in the way back of the car and would periodically pull over to reveal the next one.  When they got argumentative I'd simply threaten to throw the whole bag out the window and magically, everything would be fine again.


I'll try for more photos tomorrow, but for now, click on the photo below for what there is of the set.

wildflower & tower

This family is full of mojo

At the park today we came across a couple dancing in the gazebo. The kids were all riveted, and watched for a while before Lily started asking people to dance with her. She found a partner in Mila and they got into the swing of the music, spinning until they fell down. And lemme tell you, Lily's got the moves, yo. *** click on over for a photo and to hear how I got my mojo back ***

melting soldiers

Driving down Baja means a lot of military stops and inspections.  We were stopped at least a dozen times in our drive up and back, always by a fresh faced teen holding an AK-47 or a clipboard.  They would politely ask our permission to search the vehicle, Mark and I would step out and they'd poke around the car banging on panels and opening a couple bags to peak inside.  Not once did they ask about or search the car top carrier or canon looking device strapped to the top of the car, which we found appropriately shocking. 

What was a surprise was the way the soldiers interacted with our children.  We were never asked to get them out of the car but at almost ever stop one of the guys would wave, smile at or even speak to the girls.  I wish I had my camera at the ready when we passed through the check point near Mulegé.  I was standing next to the car when one of the guys said, "Children?"
"Sí. Dos ninas." I replied.  He motioned towards the door so I opened it for him.  He leaned in and stroked Anya's cheek so tenderly, smiling at her before turning back to me.
"Anya y Lily." I answered, pointing at each of the girls in turn. 
By this point five soldiers were standing around the car, waving at the girls and even picking up their dolls and playing with them.  "Old?" he asked.
"Anya tiene dos años y Lily, cuatro."
Lily chose that moment to start smiling big and giggling and I thought those young men, some of them more rightly called boys, might melt right there on the side of the road.  They were totally smitten. 

And you know, I kind of want the girls to have that impression of soldiers.  I want them to assume they are there to protect and not to be feared.  It's so easy for me to be afraid of these kids with big guns after a lifetime of movies where the foreign soldiers were wild and unpredictable.  I'd rather them have this impression; this notion of young men who adore children and are just looking for a reason to smile.  I sincerely hope that's the only image they'll ever need in their life.

Five is for pleading the fifth

A few days after Michelle -- the adorable pixie daughter belonging to our friends in Mexico -- turned five the girls were playing in the central palapa when I noticed she and Lily hopping up to close all the doors.  Michelle happened to be closer to me than Lily so I asked her why the doors were getting closed when it was so hot outside.  She met my question with a blank stare, eyes wide and hand frozen on the door knob. 
"Michelle, what are you doing?" I asked again.
Eyes a little wider, mouth somewhat slack.
I crouched down next to her, looking up into her face.  "Can you answer me, hon?  I just want to know what you're up to."
Her hand slowly crept up to her face and she shoved her fingers in her mouth, eyes impossibly wide and the rest of her body still frozen.  I was starting to get worried that she'd wet herself.  Finally Lily came up to help her close the door.
"Lily, why are you closing the doors?"
"OH!  Well, we wanted to slide down the couch and you said not to do that so we were closing the doors!"
"OK, number one, I'm in the palapa with you.  Number two, the doors are made of glass and this place is surrounded in windows.  Why don't you tell me what number three is all about?"
"Not supposed to do that?" She asked.
"Yes.  Thank you though, for telling me what was happening.  I really appreciate it."
"KAY!" And Michelle unlocked herself from her statue state as they both ran off to play somewhere out of sight.

I'm thinking this: age four is the age of confession.  She was almost delighted to tell me their scheme.  
Age five?  I think age five is when you learn to plead the fifth.  Totally appropriate.
Anyone know what will happen when the girls hit age six?

Off the chart

So we totally went OFF the chart when we rolled into San Qunitin at only 4:30 in the afternoon.  We realized that in just five hours we could be AT HOME.  We could go to sleep in our OWN beds.  It would be AWESOME!

So we beat feet for home. 

The girls both kinda lost their shit about 7pm and after the wailing and the fussing and the wiggling and the TRAUMA of so many hours in the car they both fell into fitful sleep only to wake at the border crossing to 1.) demand a new diaper (provided as we sat in line; changed her leaning over my seat and with her still in her car seat... yes, just hand me the kick-ass mama award now, please) and 2.) a blanket for the big kid (not provided.  we didn't have one).  

Mark and I, who were positively punchy by this point, started singing random nonsense songs about America and acting like dorks, which put them back to sleep.   

When we finally made it home Anya ran around exclaiming, "Look!  My Stairs!" "My stroller!" "My dollhouse!" "My pillow!" etc until she was dizzy with joy. Then we tucked both girls into their beds and said goodnight.  I've heard nothing but snores since then.  AWESOME.

Now it's bedtime for the big people.  Tomorrow will be a day filled with laundry and groceries and checking the tress for fruit and cleaning off the play structure and just getting settled back home. 

 Home rocks.

Just in case

use at own risk


I don't know that we'll have Internet access all day Thursday as we travel up Baja so I figured I'd cover my arse in the NaBloPoMo thing and prepost a just-in-case entry.  If I can, I'll purdy it up some but even if we find a connection, I'll likely be busy carefully removing the duct tape from my kids mouths after over 8 hours of car time with them that day.  Forgive me? 

If you're missing us hard (and I know you will be) just go check out our photos from the last time we stayed at Ignacio Springs.  Likely, our current stay will look at lot like those photos.  

OK.  Off to the City Club (which looks startlingly like a Costco) to stock up on duct tape.