Saturday, July 16, 2011

Life As A Mom: Our Houston Vacation and the City Pass

We recently took our first vacation as a family of four.  This usually isn't a big deal for most people, but it is only the second vacation Prince Charming and I have had in the NINE years we've been married- we didn't even go on a honeymoon!  But when you have your own small business it can be hard to get away.

We went to Houston for 3 days/2 nights and had a blast!  In researching the trip we decided to purchase the Houston City Pass (you can find out more by clicking the link).  It is good for 5 attractions over a 9 day period.  These attractions are amazing, so plan to visit only one a day- we were trying to see 2 each day, only saw 4, and needed a vacation when we got back from our vacation!

We left for Houston at 4 am so we could drive while Baby Brother slept.  Right on schedule we woke up as we were pulling into the Houston Zoo.  I nursed him while Prince Charming and Big Sister stretched their legs, prepared the stroller, and took a look around.  Even though we got there early it quickly became too hot to stick around.  It's a good thing everything else we planned was inside!  We checked into our hotel and hung out the rest of the day. 

Big Sister loved the gemstones and jewelry at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and Baby Brother loved that it was air conditioned!  We slowly toured the entire museum, and had a very relaxed morning.  She also enjoyed seeing and learning about all the different animals they had there.

NASA was awesome and I wish we could have stayed there longer.  The tram tour was a bit disappointing thought.  Our tour visited the astronaut training facility.  This consisted of an hour and a half wait outside in the heat (somewhere around 100 degrees!), and then the tram ride to the main facility.  Next time we'll go on a weekday so we will see more than quiet buildings and empty parking lots.  Our tram CD tour guide got stuck so it only told us about Building 17- about 5 times!

Inside there was a lot for big sister to do.  We didn't get to do it all, but she had fun!  Next time we will plan to be there all day.

Big Sister LOVED the Children's Museum.  We spent most of our time there in Kidtropolis.  Where Big Sister learned about working, earning a pay check, and spending the money she earned.  She had several different jobs there including, Vet Tech, Waitress, Bank Teller, Bicycle Repairman, and Ambulance Driver.  I think she enjoyed being a waitress the most.  We could have spent the whole day in there alone.  But, we had other things to see.

The three story indoor play thing (Power Tower) was incredible.  Here's how the museum describes it "The Power Tower is our 40 foot tall climbing structure, the equivalent of climbing almost 4 stories high! You need good upper and lower body strength, but you also need strategy; not all paths through the Tower are equal! How fast can you get through? It takes strength and endurance. Make sure to bring your climbing shoes."  I think Big Sister managed to go through every inch of it- up, down, and all around!  Again, we could have spent an entire day there.

Before we headed back home we made our way over to IKEA.  I LOVE IKEA!!!  Prince Charming had never been, and was skeptical, but now loves it as much as I do.  In fact, our tour of IKEA is what inspired "The Great Sale of 2011!"  Surprisingly, his favorite was the bathroom sinks!  He's planning another trip to the Dallas IKEA when he's ready to remodel Big Sister's Bathroom.  We didn't get to look at much because we were exhausted from the 3 packed days we spent in Houston, but we will be back!

- The City Pass is a great bargain if you have the time/energy to go to all 5 attractions.
-  Even though we were short on time, I am glad we had the City Pass.  It was simple to buy online, and I didn't have to try to research to find the best attractions in the area.  I am sure there are excellent attractions that it doesn't include, but when you are short on time, it was easy to plan.
- The City Pass allowed us to skip the long lines at NASA, and got in the Members Only line at the Children's Museum.
- We are planning a trip to LA in Christmas 2012, we we will probably be buying the Hollywood City Pass then!


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