Raising Them Right

Labor Day weekend kicked off football season for us and brought with it lots of fun and family.  We planned this weekend for months and were so excited to see it finally arrive.  Alabama played Michigan here in Dallas which is only a 4 hour drive for us!  The family all made plans to attend so it was really a special treat for us.

On Thursday night I started prepping, cooking, and packing.  Justin volunteered to "watch" the boys and keep them occupied while I worked.  He did a great job didn't he?

sleeping on the job

craziness going on in my living room.  Yep, that suitcase
was in the bedroom packed!

Even with all those shenanigans happening, I got us ready to roll.

Zoe's chicken salad and pimento cheese - weekend essentials
We left on Friday morning headed to find "Poppy and Dee Dee".

Roll Tide 

On the way up we made a great lunch stop at Collin Street Bakery  which we learned was featured on the Food Network's show "The Best Thing I Ever Ate".  The fruitcake.  Didn't try it but I will say their chicken salad on pecan bread got 2 thumbs up.  The boys gave their cookies 4 thumbs up!

We stayed at The Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine and for weeks leading up to it the boys watched videos on their website of the indoor water park, games, and of course wolves. It truly was kid heaven!  We had a great family suite so we all got to stay on top of each other together.  The boys thought it was so cool and of course it was like a circus right near our room. Arcades, games, ice cream, pizza, swimming, etc.  It was a bit overwhelming to take in at first. 

We did so many fun activities at the hotel over the next 3 days that you would have almost forgot about the game.  Nah!  The whole weekend was just fun fun fun and packed packed packed.

The lobby had these large coloring pages set up with crayons.  The boys loved to stop by there on the way in and the way out.

They had this really cool game called MagiQuest.  The sold these "magic wands" that were activated.  Then you went on a quest.  The points were kept against other kids playing and they were displayed on these huge tv's all over.  The boys were in demo mode so they were able to just wave their wands around and make the magic happen.

At night we went to Bedtime stories.  There was first an animated song and story with different animals and then a pack member came out and told a story.  After story time the boys got to meet Wiley on of the many characters.

Bed time stories
The boys were crazy about the "games" meaning the arcade.  They both got some one on one time in the arcade and they played with together.  It was nice that there were small games that they could play and win tickets. Even the big kids got in on the action.

Loved the rocks in the gift shop

Madison and JB in a shoot off

The main attraction though was the WATERPARK.  It was truly amazing to be indoor at a hotel that had this attached.  Now we were there Labor Day Weekend so it was a bit crowded and overwhelming.  However, it does house 2 of the most amazing water slides I have ever been on. And I feel like growing up we went to A LOT of theme parks. I cannot tell you the surprise though.  You need to just go and visit yourself!  I don't have a ton of water park pictures because, well, I value my camera and didn't want it wet!

One of the water towers

awesome slides

"lazy (crazy) rivers"

Toddler playground heaven

wave pool

cuties in the hot tub
Of course we got in some of the sweetest family time too.

Uncle Bubba reading "3 Little Pigs"

Daddy and Beckett reading "Spookly" 

Hanging out on the patio with Ma

Loving dinner with the family 

After a full and busy morning on Saturday at the hotel and good naps, we headed out to Dallas Stadium.  The game was crazy!  The parking lot so full but we got there, got parked, and decided to go ahead and go in because it was SO SO HOT.  This was the boys first game and I have to say, they are spoiled.  Not too many games will ever be as first class as this one.  We were club level (Thank you Uncle Colby and Aunt Laura) and watched the game in style.

heading into the game

Best attempt in the hot sun for a picture with mommy

American Airlines club level - glass door into the stadium

leather padded seats

airplane bars

largest jumbo tron ever

pizza eating

checking our the players with poppy

the band takes the field

We went in over an hour before the game so mid 1st quarter, Eli was over it.  He and Beckett had a huge offensive/defensive struggle at the beginning of the game over a toy.  We were all watching the game and didn't intervene until they were almost choking each other!  So Eli was the first to need to go out.  We headed out to the club level which was gorgeous.  He had a popcorn break and then said ready to go back to the game mom.

Next, Beckett needed a break.  So off he went with Daddy.  Eli and Dee Dee joined them later for a few rides on the "allivator" otherwise known as the escalator.  And a little shopping.

And after all this excitement post half time, Dee Dee and I needed a break.  How cool is this? The stadium has a Wine Tasting room.  You purchase a card and then stick it in the "fountain" Make your selection of 2, 4, or 6 oz pour.  In the cutest little Cowboy glasses.  We had a blast!

Now, back to the game.  We won!  A huge blowout fortunately because honestly everyone except Poppy didn't see much of the game.  Ma, Dave, JB, Madison, and GG all sat in different sections but had a great time too.

The day after the game we woke up and decided to flop our day around and do the water park late in the afternoon instead of first thing.  The Gaylord Texan was right across the street and we heard so much about it we decided to pop over and see what it was all about.  What an amazing hotel!  The inside looked like San Antonio complete with an Alamo facade and a riverwalk.  The boys got to run, look, and climb some energy out.  We got a great lunch.  Works for me :-)

Alamo inside the hotel with shooting water

my little men climbing the rocks

The "riverwalk"

The center of the hotel 

checking out the trains

love birds under the Riverwalk

Bama fans stay here 

cuties on the bridge helping Eli throw in "monies"

looking for fish

balloon animals they boys got
We were all SO SO tired.  So after a short nap for me, and a super super long nap for the boys we split up and had some fun time.  I went into Grapevine with Ma, Dave and GG to shop and have some fun.  We found lots of cute things.  We visited an olive oil tasting room which I loved.  We went to several gift type stores that had really neat things.  Met tons of Bama people and as always, found a wine tasting.  Ma, Dave, and I have been to quite a few on our adventures.  This one wasn't the "tastiest" we have been on but we sure enjoyed the company and relaxing together.  Grapevine is really a neat little town and I hope we got back at Christmas sometime because I hear its amazing!

Olive Oil Tasting Room 

My sweet Ma and I at Su Vino wine tasting

Ma and Dave

Our yummy brie afternoon snack 
On Monday, the family had early flights out so we packed up the room once they were gone to come home.  We stopped for lunch at a FABULOUS lunch spot that we found called Hook, Line, & Sinker in Dallas. Look it up if you visit and like seafood.  We loved it.  One the way home we let the boys have a rare treat at a bathroom stop at Dairy Queen.. ice cream cones! 

And no trip on a Texas Interstate is complete without a stop at Buccee's!  The biggest, best gas station on the planet.  People.  This place has bathroom attendants in their marble, super fancy, a million people bathroom. It has a deli and 10 register lines. You can't even imagine unless you have stopped. Labor Day Monday? As Justin said "printing money".  Eli went in with me because he had to potty and then he asked for a special treat.  I had no money on me so I brought him out and Justin took him in.  I was expecting gummy bears, taffy or something with loaded sugar.  Nope.  He got beavers!  One for him and one for Beckett.  We are now the proud owners of 2 baby Beavers named... Buccee of course!

A great weekend filled with tons of excitement, water parks, family, fun, hotels, adventures, tantrums, loving, laughter, and so much more.  What a great way to celebrate Labor Day Weekend.  On the way home we were asking the boys what their favorite part of the weekend was.  Was it the water park? No. Was it the arcade. No.  Do you know what they said?  "The football game"  Well.. Roll Tide!  Raising them right!!!

The Riley's
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