Today’s final vacation round up includes some fun stories, great quotes and some close encounters with a parachute, a bomb squad and a tiger. Let’s get to it.

Our last half day in Florida, we did it up right. Will and I went parasailing! So. Much. Fun.

Because kids under three weren’t allowed on the boat, we decided that I would take Will this time and that Scott gets to join the fun next year. I’m not sure I had any idea what to expect, but I certainly didn’t expect it to be quiet, cool and utterly awesome. We arrived early (7:45am) and headed down to the dock to wait on our captain. I could tell Will was nervous, but I reassured him that I’d be right next to him. He says, “Mom, I had no idea you were into extreme sports. Who are you?” I replied, “Honey, this is the kind of stuff I did before kids.”

You should’ve seen his face.

And, here we are in various stages of total fun – waiting on the dock, taking off, up in the air and skimming in the water. I might just have to mark it down as my favorite activity of the vacation. Will and I spent some pretty precious time in the air.

After flying high, we showered, ate lunch, hugged some family and headed back to New Orleans. We hit a horrible (as in, fatal) wreck in Mobile, so our arrival time was so much later than we expected. We were all a bit slap happy when we hit LA. Fortunately, we were able to enjoy a Mass and dinner with the Archbishop. It was a lovely meal and a reminder of abundant blessings. I was exhausted from keeping Luke happy during the meal, but as fate would have it, every child crashed within ten minutes of lights out. Honestly, it was nothing short of a miracle. Scott and I enjoyed a little bit of Olympics and then geared up for a long day of driving home.

We did make one pitstop in Baton Rouge to see if we could scare ‘ol Mike the Tiger. No such luck. We did give him a message: Bring on the SEC, baby. Oh yeah, I’m drinking the kool-aid. This is A&M’s year. I feel it.

Just when we thought the trip couldn’t take one more good “story for the books,” we stopped at our favorite BBQ joint, Rudy’s. We were ecstatic to be back in Austin and were practically bathing in ribs, sausage and sauce. John Paul asked to go to the bathroom and we sent him on his way. As I returned from getting more sweet tea, I see an APD officer, dressed in bomb squad fatigues, talking to Scott and John Paul.

Y’all, you do not EVEN want to know what was going through my mind. Seriously, what did that kid do in five minutes? Come to find out, John Paul was so polite in the bathroom – holding open the door and saying ‘yes sir’ – that the officer was mightily impressed. {Note: This could be my only true “mom of the year” nomination, so I’m writing it down for posterity.} He invited everyone out to the bomb squad truck to see the robots and get some stickers. APD had just finished a call on a bomb false alarm. He was heading back to the station, but decided to oblige the kids.

How awesome is that? Way to end it on a high note, John Paul. A bomb squad tour РBOOM!

And that, folks, is a wrap on Family Vacay 2012. Thanks for hanging with us.

 

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