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Tamara's Flooby Web Log

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Finally! A Brief Blog About the Paul Family Reunion

This time last week I was waking up at my cousin Priscilla's house. This year we didn't have to sleep on the hard floor. We took our brand new inflatable mattress and were resting somewhat uncomfortably on that. It was better than the floor at least but it sure wasn't my own bed.

Now to backtrack a bit. Friday we were supposed to pick my brother up at his house between 8:30 and 9. Yeah, right. We weren't on time of course. Instead we got there around 9:45. Oh well. At least we're consistent.

My brother is a light packer and was ready to go so after loading his one bag on board we headed to mom's. Mom had more stuff and after loading some of it in the luggage carrier on top of the van and then tying said luggage carrier down securely we pulled out of my mom's driveway around 10:15.

Our first stop of the trip is always in Gainesville, TX at their Outlet mall. There's a small playground area so Cal can run some energy off and they've got a food court so we can eat lunch as well.

We used to like to visit this mall for the KB Toys outlet. KB went through reorganization a few years ago and the store closed. Now the mall is saddled with a sorry excuse for a toy store. It's full of over-priced, cheapass, knockoff toys. It's so bad I can't even get excited about visiting it.

At least the mall still has the kitchen gadget stores and the discount book store. I didn't hit either this trip because we'd hit the book store coming home from our 20th Anniversary Dallas trip. Instead we went to one of the shoe stores. Duncan needed new slip on shoes and Mike needed a new pair of black work shoes. I've been trying to entice him to buy them on Ebay but he didn't seem thrilled at the prospect. As luck would have it, we found shoes for Mike and Duncan.

After shoe buying we ate lunch, let Cal play a bit, visited the crappy toy store and headed for Corsicana. My brother got quite the education in lunch time with Cal. He wasn't the least bit interested in eating and spent the time playing on the fifty cents a ride cars (and one horse).

We left Gainesville and then headed on to Dallas. What were we met with soon after leaving Gainesville? Traffic...and lots of it. Dallas is known for its traffic and it took us quite awhile to get through it. We ended up rolling into Kerens, TX around 5:30, just in time to head to the Double D Diner and catfish night.

Just having been released from the car, Cal was having none of sitting still and eating. I was able to get him to eat a little bit of his corn dog and the rest of the time we had to corral him to keep him from moseying up to the front of the restaurant and the gumball machines. Once again I did my mom duty and took Cal to the car after I finished eating. He played and I sweated. It was damn hot in Kerens.

After dinner we went back to my cousin Priscilla's house and I set up the slip 'n' slide for the kids. This was Cal's first experience with a slip 'n' slide so he mostly ran the length of the thing and belly flopped into the little pool at the end. He had fun doing it though.

I let the kids tire themselves out with that for about an hour and then I herded them all in so baths could be had and jammies could be put on. Mike inflated our keen new mattress and Cal and I watched The Cat Returns. Actually I ended up watching all of the movie. Cal wandered, gifting everyone in the house with his presence for a short time.

Soon it was time for bed and Cal bunked down with mom, Justin slept on another inflatable mattress and Duncan slept in the living room with Mikayla. Mikayla is a year younger than Duncan and quite a hoot. She looks forward to us visiting now and bugs Priscilla mercilessly about when we'll arrive.

Saturday morning we all slept in a bit. Today was the day for the family reunion but it wasn't scheduled to start until around 1. We had to pick up a few things to take with us, however and headed back to the big town of Corsicana.

First stop was the Collin Street Baker to pick up some fruit cakes. Now, I've been going to this reunion with my mom since Duncan was a toddler. About the only thing Corsicana is famous for is the Collin Street Bakery. People all over the world order their fruit cakes. They've been profiled on some show on Food Network even. This was the first time I'd ever set foot in the bakery.

It was actually kind of nice. Their storefront area was really small. They offered samples of their fruit cakes. I sampled the pineapple pecan, apricot pecan, and apple cinnamon pecan cakes. I ended up buying an apple cinnamon pecan cake. The other two were too sweet. I picked up a few fruit cakes to send to E and we departed the Collin Street Baker $80 poorer.

Next up was HEB so mom could buy a fruit plate for the reunion. It's potluck so you're supposed to supply enough food for your own family and then everyone picks and chooses from all the assembled food. Sadly, HEB didn't have a decent fruit plate in their produce section so we had to go to Wal-Mart. Sad I know.

Wal-Mart did have a fruit plate and then we headed to KFC to purchase a bucket o' chicken. Once everything was ready we headed to Camp Wanika and the Family Reunion.

Okay. This has turned into a not-very-brief accounting of our Family Reunion weekend and it's 11:48 on Saturday so I'm gonna stop here and pick up again tomorrow. Sorry, E, you're not scary enough to make me finish this tonight.

Samples of the Crappy Toys in the Gainesville Outlet Mall Toy Store

Crappy Pseudo Superman
What the hell are the accessories with this thing? Superman doesn't need a steenkin' sword.

Super Heroic Man
It's a bird, it's a plane it's...Superheroic Man. Nah...doesn't have the same ring.

Marvel gets screwed too.
Look! They're ripping off Marvel (or should that be Mavel?) too.

posted by Tamara - 7:35 AM -- Link to this entry
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