Hello. Hola. Bonjour. Happy Friday night, when I am writing this. I have been wondering if the thing I thought might never happen — that I would get tired of writing on this blog — is actually starting to happen after all. Writing posts seems to take more energy than it used to. Hmm.
I’ve been working on a QuiltCon post for 2 weeks now.
Last week was spring break! Now that I am paying attention to it every year, it seems to come so early in Texas. When I was a kid, it was always pegged on Easter, so spring break was usually in April.
We waited until pretty late to actually decide whether we were going to do anything or not, and ended up choosing to go back to San Antonio like we did last year. We left on Wednesday and came home Saturday, and stayed at the Hyatt Regency on the Riverwalk.
We arrived at 9:30 Wednesday evening yet somehow they did not have our room ready, so they offered us a room with a king bed plus roll-out instead of the two doubles we had booked…and also said they’d give us $100 off per night plus a free night of valet plus free a free breakfast. A $400 kickback was too much to ignore, so we took it. The girls slept together on the twin roll-out and it actually worked out fine.
(The primary hotel disappointment turned out to be the fact that the weather was too chilly for the rooftop pool! The girls were bummed but took it mostly in stride.)
We spent Thursday and half of Friday doing an exact repeat of last year’s trip! Thursday was SeaWorld, where the crowds were worse than last year but the weather was better. And the girls loved it, which was really the point in the first place. They both remembered the beluga whale/dolphin and orca shows, and we all enjoyed seeing those again.
On Friday we went back to the Doseum, a really great kids museum. But this year we had a bonus! My brother-in-law and his family drove up for the day from Corpus Christi, so we got to see them and the girls loved spending time with their little cousin AJ. After a late lunch/early dinner, they headed back to CC. We had gotten tickets to a performance of The Cat in the Hat at a historic theater only a couple blocks from our hotel, and that was cute and fun. The girls haven’t seen many theater shows and I think they both enjoyed it!
Saturday morning was pretty leisurely, but after we finally checked out of the hotel we headed over to the Tower of the Americas. When we went to the top of the Space Needle a couple years ago in Seattle, the girls were totally unimpressed. This time around, they seemed a little more interested in the views at least! Ha.
With spring break behind us, this week turned out to be sort of weird. First, there was the fact that I think we all had a bit of a vacation hangover. Second, there was the gorgeous weather, which is obviously a great thing. This may have been Houston’s one week of ideal spring weather! But then to spoil that, we had a raging chemical plant fire about 10 miles north of us in Deer Park — which started last Sunday, and burned for THREE DAYS with several associated shelter-in-place orders for the Deer Park area until the emergency crews finally managed to put it out early Wednesday morning.
But it didn’t end there. On Thursday, elevated benzene levels were detected in the area around the fire and another shelter-in-place was issued. (Emma’s school field trip even got cancelled as a result, since her school district went the conservative route and cancelled outdoor activities even though we were not under the shelter-in-place order.) And then today, the actual fire flared up AGAIN for an hour or two.
The whole thing is both scary and infuriating. Most frustrating/worrisome of all has been the relative lack of information about what was burning and what the impacts were. We all know that Houston is full of nasty stuff thanks to the huge oil & gas presence in the area, and “shelter-in-place” orders for the communities closest to the industrial areas are way more common than they should be. But the information getting passed to the public on this incident was pretty poor at times.
I haven’t done much sewing since returning from QuiltCon. I’ve managed to stay on pace with the first two weeks of the Trinket quilt sew along that’s currently happening (and that I’m leading at my local shop) but that’s it. And they are small blocks, so it only takes about 10 minutes to make one.
I’ve gotten all my furniture and things moved back into the sewing room at last, and for several days I was being quite diligent about going through each box and bin and getting rid of things I don’t need. But this week I lost steam and as I sit here looking at several more boxes and bins to go through, I must admit that the thought makes me tired. I’m hoping I have the energy to make a bit more progress this weekend.