Because we get hits on the farm here ~ you should know that In December 2003 we published a page specifically for what we call 'Granny's Farm' ~ same place, she's just our Granny and not yours! Get over it and check it out...
We left Prescott, Az and headed to Texas for the holidays. On the way we stopped at Petrified National Park in Az, the VLA in NM, White Sands NM, Carlsbad Caverns NM, and then drove straight across through Texas to get to Port Aransas where Jenn's parents live. Here we stayed for a little more than a week and visited with Jenn's parents, brothers and sister, and friends around the island.
Jenn's mom and little sister Sydney with Jenn. She is a wicked cool sis even thought she is a billion years younger than Jenn.
Kind of creepy, really.
Austin and Jenn's first brother Adam. Adam lived with us when he was twelve and has always been a creative guy. When he was younger he went into our storage room in the backyard and took a bunch of different things to create some really cool fly fishing lures. We thought they were cute and all, but when he asked to go door to door to sell them we were skeptical. He went out for a few hours and came back home with about eight dollars! He even got requests to make more! As a treat he took Jenn and the kids out to eat, knowing we were tight on money and couldn't afford it at the time. We have always appreciated that.
Here is Sunny with Jenn's brother Adam, 2nd brother Jake, and sister Sydney. Jake is going to be a lot like Adam. They are both creative, talkative, and brilliant.
Jenn and her dad. You can't see the 32 Bertram in the back it's full of 5200 (fiitee 2 hunerd).
Kesley with another Santa in Port Aransas, TX.
Santa with Jake, Jenn's 2nd brother.
Jenn's mom with her sister Margo (Jenn's Aunt).
Mark is our family friend and a great guy here with our cousin John (Margo's son). We see him when we go through Texas and has a fondness for Jenn's legs.
We left Port Aransas and headed to San Antonio for Christmas and spent time with Greg's grandmother, Ditty, who is 94.
Here is Ditty with her husband ('Bud' or 'Bo') aboard the Queen Mary when they took a trip to Europe in the 60's. They rode the Queen Mary one way and Queen Elizabeth another. Greg was born when they were on one of the boats - Ditty came off the boat to help Greg's mom when he was a baby. Made our tour of the Queen Mary very special.
The kids in the hay stack at Greg's mom's farm. She has all kinds of animals, sheep's, goats, emus, horses, donkeys, chickens, rabbits, and deer. The kids have a lot of fun hanging out there and get to adopt different animals. Granny even lets them drive the tractor.
The kids love playing with the animals and riding the horses. Austin was introduced to the horses here when he was just a few days old.
Greg's mom Mitty. Sunny's real name is Mitty Samantha after this awesome mother.
Greg can do a few stunts on horses. He runs up behind them and leaps on to their back. I wish he would stop doing that to me.
Austin is still learning how to turn the horse before he starts leaping onto them. All the horses on Granny's farm are tame and gentle for kids of all ages or else she shoots them. Literally. It's a Texas thing.
Kesley will probably be the first to start the horse leaping thing, she seems to take after Granny quite a bit.
Sunny is more the emu type. No, really she is seriously afraid of Granny's emu on the farm. One day she was walking around with a can of feed and when the emu heard it he followed her around. He started pecking at her and chased her down till he got a hold of the feed. She didn't realize she should've dropped the bucket and still has issues when she is around emus. It is hilarious to the rest of us.
We ran the horses around and while we were doing that Kesley's horse actually layed down with her on it, she was pretty freaked out but managed to jump off and get away before it rolled over on her!
Greg's mom has this baby deer she is raising and it is really friendly. We don't how she got the deer and what she is going to do with it, but it is cool to play with.
This is where Greg grew up. The house looks over the farm. He lived here pretty much his whole childhood. He woke up early in the morning to feed the horses and animals before school and helped with riding lessons after school. He literally grew up in a barn.
This is Ditty's house which is next door to Greg's house that he grew up in. When he got mad at his parents he would walk over and sleep at Ditty's.
Here is an other view from Greg's old house. The house in the background is Ditty's.
There are hand and feet prints from Greg and his brother James in the driveway when they were little and moved into the house that their dad built for them. Greg was seven and his brother James was eleven when they moved in and made these prints.
This is the front of the house Greg's house. It's a cool house that Greg's Dad helped build with a real estate developer in the seventies. At the time these were the only houses and it was a dirt road leading to them. Now there are tons of houses with paved streets. Greg's Dad built their house, Ditty's, and Granny's aunt Hunditty around the corner.
The kids standing in front of the Spidercow in downtown San Antonio, TX. The downtown area is very touristy and it is fun sharing this with the kids. This is where we grew up and the kids have not spent much time here. It is best in the Christmas season.
We went out to dinner for some awesome Mexican food with Grandpa Perry and Granny in downtown San Antonio and took the riverboat ride down the Riverwalk. You can get the best plate of fajitas anywhere, sit on the riverside, and listen to Mariachis for about $6 a plate!
This is down on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX. The seating is under the bridge right next to the river. The river flows just to the left of this picture. Casa Rio restaurant is the oldest on the river. Austin took this picture - what a photographer!
On the river in San Antonio, they decorate the Riverwalk with a lot of lights. Makes it so beautiful and really difficult to photograph. You can take the boat ride through the Riverwalk and relax for an hour. It is pretty cheap too.
We had to replace the clutch in the Volkswagen while we were in San Antonio and that meant that the whole motor had to come out to do it.
And there it is!
We met our friends in San Antonio at Jacala's (thanks Karen!) Mexican Restaurant owned and operated by the same family since 1949! The food is incredible and we were entertained by Mariachi's once again. From left is Mike, Greg, Victor, Debbie, Melissa, and Jenn. Our journal from May '01 to May '02 talks about Victor and Melissa's wedding. Jenn was the Maid of honor. Debbie is Melissa's Aunt and Mike is her husband. We sure had fun with these guys once again! Miss ya'll and love ya...
Our kids with some friends in San Antonio visiting with Santa #3.
Some of the girls' friends in San Antonio.
We found this marriage license with some other old papers in Ditty's house and were surprised when we read that it belonged to Greg's great grandfather in 1875! As we read it we learned that they got married on the same date that Greg and I got married, June 13! Thomas D. Smith is Greg's great grandfather, 'Buds' dad (TDS II). He owned and operated a grocery store on Congress street in downtown Austin, TX.
We got sooooo lucky to see Greg's brother's kids - Trey, Ashleigh, and Dustin in San Antonio. From the left is Ashleigh, Kesley, Sunny, Dusty, Austin, Trey, and Jenn. These guys are always fun to hang out with.
Austin and Trey. Trey is a great kid and very talented. He also remembers Jenn as one of Greg's old girlfriends from when he was about three. We just go with it now, we have tried to explain it to him that was not Jenn, but he isn't having it.
We put the top down, removed the doors, and laid down the front window on the VW. Kids and Greg had a blast. Jenn stayed in the rental car (it's a hair thing).
We went skating at Skateland East in San Antonio. Greg and Jenn both used to skate here when they were kids. The place hasn't changed that much.
It was a lot of fun watching six kids learn how to skate on 'old' skates. They're all pretty good with inline skates.
Ashleigh and Aunt Jenn. Jenn remembers her always following her around when she was little. Now that she is big and she still wants to hang with Jenn.
Austin was a bit excited.
Greg and Jenn on New Year's Eve at Embassy Suites in Austin, TX. We thought it would be cool to splurge on a suite for New Years. The kids loved riding the elevators for hours and running around the floors. We are not good B&B people.
We came back to Embassy Suites despite the cost because Austin had to be with the swans in the lobby. His argument was simple - "but they have swans!". Ours was logical - 'free' breakfast and a good happy hour.
The girls didn't care where they partied for New Year's. Look out Barb and Jenna! The BNF girls are in town!
Austin - Live Music Capital of the World...
>> Jan '03