WARNING: this is a very long post with lots of pics!!!
This past weekend was one of my favorite weekends ever!!! This year we chose Texas for our annual weekend trip and we visited Canton, Dallas, McKinney, and Tyler, TX. Friday we spent in Canton at the monthly First Monday Trade Days - one giant flea market/antiques extravaganza! I hadn't been to Canton in 4-5 years and it has really grown A LOT. We didn't really get to browse "the fields", but we enjoyed The Arbors, three huge buildings full of booths. Here we are ready to tackle Canton! Can you tell how excited we are?!! I bought this pretty neckace there: And although you can't see it too well, I also bought the sweetest bassinet sheet/cribskirt combination linen. It has hand embroidered details all around. I didn't think the vendor would sell it to me since it was on an actual vintage bassinet that was for sale, but she was so sweet and said if I really liked it she would sell it to me for $15!!!! Of course, I did! Originally I thought I would use pieces from it to create little skirts with aprons featuring the nursery rhyme embroidery (who am I kidding, I don't really know how to sew all that well), but after bringing it home and admiring it, I can't seem to put scissors to it! Grace also had her first taste of Dipping Dots ice cream - strawberry cheesecake, no less! She LOVED it!! Mom bought a pretty bread box and some other small things. We didn't really buy too much, but we had a great time.
On Saturday, we visited McKinney, which has the cutest downtown full of antiques shops and cute restaurants. I'll share pics of my finds - including my new prized treasure - in a later post :) We ate lunch at The Pantry and if anyone is visiting McKinney, I highly recommend it. It had delicious quiche and salads and scrumptious homemade desserts complete with the nicest people! Here's Grace with Noonie in front of one of many cute stores. Grace was really into waving on this day! Here we are in one of the antique malls (i.e. upstairs/downstairs stores full of booths). We took turns going upstairs so we wouldn't have to take the stroller. Grace had a blast playing with little trinket toys! You can't tell, but in this picture Grace is giving Noonie "love". When you ask her, can I have some love? She squishes you really hard - it's so cute!! I fell in love with this blue fire hydrant/water valve and just had to have a picture by it. Isn't it cute? Ok, maybe just me! On Sunday, we went to Mass at a pretty church in Las Colinas and then headed to Grapevine Mills Mall in Irving to eat lunch at the Rainforest Cafe. Grace loves being outside and on this particular morning, she was so excited about this stick she found - ahhh, the innocence of being a child, I just love it! The Rainforest Cafe was a hit with Grace. The huge elephant is the registration area to get your "passport" (i.e. your reservation name - a rainforest-sounding name - and your dining time). I think Grace thought it was Dumbo from Disney - he, he, he. While waiting for our adventure to begin, Grace was glued to the fish tank! She got so excited when the animated animals started making sounds!!! Every so often the simulated storm "hits" and all the animals start moving and making sounds. I was afraid Grace would be scared, but nope, she was in heaven! She loved it all and soon started anticipating the storm. She would ooh, hooh, ooh, hooh right along with the monkeys! She didn't want to leave, but finally gave the animals a little wave bye-bye and off we went. That afternoon, since it was still early, we decided to go down to the pool and let Grace dip her little feet in the water. The water was too cold and the air too chilly for a full dip. Judging by Grace's reaction, the pool was a huge hit! This was Grace's first time in a pool and she was super excited! Check out the little sun bathing beauty! When we got home and Lance saw the pictures, he said, "She has a bikini???" - too funny! He's so protective of her - it's so sweet. Can you imagine when she starts dating?!?! In full diva style, we had to do a quick suit change since Noonie really wanted Grace to wear the swimsuit she bought her last year and by the look of it this may be the only time she gets to wear it since it's a wee bit small :) A little ode to Jackie O I just love this last picture by the pool. Grace was so excited, so happy and laughing; she just kept giving Noonie and I love and hugs! When we got back to the hotel room, she could not stop making monkey sounds and playing with the monkey toys. On Monday, our last day, we went to Tyler to go to the Caldwell Zoo before heading home. We ate at Cracker Barrel, a country restaurant complete with a little general store. I had never eaten there so that was fun. And I guess you could say we saved the best for last since Grace was super excited when we got to the zoo, specially since it was her first time at a zoo! Glued to the monkey exhibit! She was so excited, pointing at all the monkeys and "calling out to them". The penguins were fun but not nearly as exciting as the monkeys :) Although we did learn all about penguin mating behavior, LOL, from the guide doing the feeding show! I love this picture of my mom with Grace. You can tell Grace is not too sure about the humongous elephants. She definitely had a tight hold on Noonie! By the way, she learned to say, "easy" on this trip, as in "take it easy". It's so cute it sounds like "eeeeesiee". And this is the only picture of the three of us together! What a great weekend! I enjoyed every second of it, soaking it all in for the amazing memories we made. From staying up late to catch up to seeing the joy in Grace's face as she experienced so many firsts, this trip will forever be inked in my memory and in my heart. Thank you mom for this amazing trip and for the gift of having you as my mother and my friend. I love you! ~Jessica