How has it been like two full weeks since we were down in Waco, and we were only gone for three days, and I'm still not through telling you about it? Dumb. Sorry.
I told you about how I spent my Tuesday down there, but Todd and the kids were spinning in a different orbit that whole day, since they're not uppity members of the media like yours truly, and at least one of them would definitely have covered the entire ballroom in poorly applied chalk paint. So they found other ways to spend their time.
They woke up in our Airbnb, which we all loved.
The owners of our duplex were really kind and were expecting their sixth child, too! They were kind enough to offer to lend us their double stroller and baby carrier if we needed it, and even invited us to stay an extra night for free so we could attend a Christian homesteading event that was going to be happening the day after we were scheduled to leave. (It looked so awesome, and you know I would have loved to go, but Todd has this stupid job back home he has to go to sometimes.)
Anyway. It was so nice having separate sleeping space from the kids, which we definitely wouldn't have gotten if we were just renting a hotel room, and the kids had room to spread out and play throughout the morning.
They dropped me off at my sister's hotel, then spent some of the morning just driving around, checking out the town. Then they headed back for lunch. I had forgotten to pack any kind of booster seat or travel high chair for Rocco, so he got to have a solo picnic on my pajama shirt.
They laid low in the afternoon: the little kids all napped, the big kids watched Leapfrog movies on the laptop. Then they drove into town to meet me at the Silos for a bit.
Then we headed to a local bar/restaurant/thing for dinner the locals all raved about - for a bar, they made a killer shrimp taco. I mean, truly stellar. Apparently Texas is good at Mexican food... who knew?
Also, I spent my entire meal getting up and down to take the girls to the bathroom, because they were apparently coming down with some kind of stomach bug. I swear I was in that nasty bar bathroom at least eight times in the hour we were there; no joke. Penelope didn't eat anything at all - even though we ordered the kids a Texas-sized chicken fried steak with a side of George's famous dinner rolls dipped in George's famous ranch dressing. That shows you how 'crappy' (harharnoreally) she was feeling.
After dinner, we headed back to our duplex, got the kids tucked in bed and called it a night. And that was the Other Van Voorsts' day in Waco.
*Just a note about our Airbnb experience: we were kind of nervous. Todd was especially weirded out by the seemingly sky-high likelihood that we would end up being murdered in our sleep. It absolutely did not help at all that the place we rented was kind of far out of town, on this dirt road with a 'road closed' sign... HOWEVER. We were pleasantly surprised to ultimately find ourselves wrong (and alive). And now we're raving Airbnb enthusiasts.
Seriously - it's not even a question in our minds anymore about how to travel with the kids. $95 per night would have gotten us a single hotel room, where the kids would all have to divvy up sleeping space between a queen bed and a couple of pack and plays... leaving three kids to sleep in the same bed, and all seven of us sleeping in the same room. We even had to brainstorm how we would put them to bed at a decent time, but still get some wind-down time of our own - watch Netflix on the laptop in the bathroom while hoping the kids would eventually fall asleep in the big room?
But for the same price we got a place with tons of room for everyone - a bedroom for the big four, and a bedroom for me and Todd with an attached master closet to put Rocco's pack and play in. AND we got to keep our food in an actual fridge, AND we had a stove on which to heat up Rocco's bottles. AND it didn't smell and feel perpetually damp like most hotels do. (Not sure if I've told you or not, but I get the serious jibblies about sleeping in untested hotels. I really, really, really hate it.) So, for us, it became apparent that it has become a no-brainer. Todd has even started scouting Airbnb for more-local-to-us places (like the Ozarks) for more casual weekend trips we can take through the summer. I mean, it's SO CHEAP to house us all overnight. Why not?