After a couple of good solid days in New York, trying to show the kids as many things as possible, we came away having achieved pretty much everything we planned to. We’d seen the sites and snared some views. We’d chowed down on some rather tasty food and immersed ourselves in the frenetic nature of the city for the duration of our stay.
We were pretty happy.
And couple that with the weird serotonin hit you get from seeing the Apple Watch’s Activity Rings colourfully coiled around themselves like a bunch of nuclear snakes with the horn, we felt ready to move onto the next part of the holiday which promised to be much more relaxing – Texas.
Able to house 2.8 UKs inside the state of Texas alone, it’s a big ol’ place and makes no apologies for it. When you go to Texas, you go big.
The Walmart my wife’s auntie referred to as the small Walmart was roughly the size of Reading. When you order food in a restaurant, the portion sizes are so generous, you’ll need to ask for a doggy bag and carry it out over your shoulder like a cartoon thief. And if you’re in a suburban area and pulling out of the drive and onto the arterial road of the estate, you can find as many as four lanes.
In England, we call a four-laned road the M1.
But of course, the big doesn’t just belong to the places. There’s also that big, thudding thing inside of the people there too. Certainly the ones we spent time with anyway.
We stayed with my wife’s auntie and uncle. Right from the moment they picked us up from the airport, her auntie, uncle and cousins were amazing. They really looked after us. They made room for us in their home for over a week and not once did we feel we were an imposition (though I’m sure we were – disruption generally is our Modus Operandi) and we were given a proper local experience too.
In New York, we were unapologetically tourists through and through. Throughout our stay, I carried two bags – one on my back and the other across my chest, our cameras were constantly snapping away. At least one of us was wearing an I ‘Heart’ New York t-shirt at any given moment.
But here, we got to experience it like the locals.
We were introduced to the majesty that is Target multiple times (one of the destinations my kids were most excited about), and we got stuck into the fast food – Golden Chick, Sonic, Braums, McDonalds, BBQ’d Brisket and Tex Mex. We sampled the culture too and were taken to the theatre twice to see performances of The Prom and Frozen: The Musical.
We moseyed around the Perot Museum, gawped at the dinosaurs and discovered how everything we put under a microscope looks disgusting. I ended up firing handguns at a Gun Range and discovered a quality backyard game called Cornhole.
Naturally, the kids loved it. And if they weren’t doing any of the above (or any of the other things we got up to), they were partying in the pool.
We’re back at home now. Back to reality. Once again the mornings are a furious blur of chaos with the usual tussles to get ready for school and work. The relaxed vibes of the holiday seem like they were an age ago.
But we’ll be back. And if it’s not for the family time, the pool, a Braum’s Bag of Burgers or even Cornhole, it’ll be because the kids are itching to get back to Target.