Sunday, July 01, 2018

50th Anniversary Trip

So Friday, June 29th, was my parents' 50th wedding anniversary.
Fifty years of marriage is a remarkable achievement.  Mom and Dad are pretty great people as individuals, but they are even more amazing as a couple.  They've set an amazing example for me in terms of having a marriage that has been defined by love, generosity, compassion, and respect for one another.
When I was a kid, like most kids, I sort of took my parents for granted.  As I've gotten older I've come to realize that the way that they live their lives- dedicating themselves to friends, family, the church, and their community- truly is exceptional.  They never turn down people in need, and although they have each had a lot of success in their professional lives, the starting point for how they have always measured success has been in terms of whether they were simply being good people.
When I was a kid and my parents volunteered at church or school events, hosted holiday celebrations, assisted sick friends or neighbors, provided help to struggling students from Mom's classes, or helped people out in countless other ways, I just sort of thought that was the sort of thing that all adults did.  As I got older I realized how much work and effort had gone into the things that they did.  There are plenty of other people (sometimes, sadly, myself included) who have good intentions, but just don't find the initiative or energy to follow through.  But my parents always walked the walk.
They did it because of their strong religious beliefs, but also just because my parents both genuinely like other people.  They have a great ability to see the best in people, and they take a lot of joy in forging connections with all kinds of other folks.
Bottom line- my parents are great, and I love them a lot.

So this week, in celebration of 50 years of great marriage, our family went to the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort.  Amy, Raylan, myself, and my parents went down to San Antonio on Wednesday.  Ryan and Jamie joined us down there on Thursday afternoon.

We got there on Wednesday and took Raylan out to the water park that adjoins the hotel.  Raylan got to try out his first small water slide and splash around in the kid pool.  My parents met up with us and we did a little swimming.  We intended to meet up with my parents that night for dinner, but Raylan managed to slam his face into a sharp corner and cut open his lip while running down a hallway at the hotel, so we retreated to our room and ordered a pizza.

Amy on a walking path on the resort property
The next day we got up and had a very nice breakfast buffet at the resort.  Then we visited the San Antonio children's museum, The DoSeum in the morning.  Raylan loved it, and the rest of us had fun playing with him on the exhibits.

Papa helps Raylan work the bucket on a mini frontloader.
I think it was a mind-blowing experience for both of them.
Dad, Mom just wrote my name with light.  WITH LIGHT!!!!

This robot had a face on a screen that told you whether you were making
it happy or sad.  I spent a lot of time trying to keep it happy.  I'm
apparently a very needy person.

This thing was awesome.  Raylan colored in a picture of a truck.
They ran it through a scanner, and....

... it appeared in a moving 3D mural on the wall behind him!

The water exhibits were outside.  Raylan managed to not get himself
soaked until right as we were getting ready to leave.  :-)
We went back to the resort after the museum.  Raylan took a big ol' nap.  Mom sat with him while Amy and I used the very nice exercise facility at the resort.

In the evening Ryan and Jamie arrived and we all went out to dinner at Alamo Cafe.  (Both Jamie and I used to eat their when we were in college, and Amy used to eat their when she was a little kid and her family lived in San Antonio).  We had a good, fun meal.  Raylan was really excited to be eating with the whole family in a new place.
Amy and I introduce Raylan to a little piece of our respective histories
Raylan's first toast!

Uncle Ryan shows Raylan how to throw a penny into a fountain
 and make a wish.  Critical skill!!
After dinner we raced back to the resort to try to catch the s'mores campfire that they were hosting for the kiddos.  

Kids playing at sunset on the lawns and golf course

Raylan's first s'more!  (he liked cooking it but wasn't crazy about
the roasted marshmallow)

Random shot of our suite.  Mom and Dad were very generous with us.
Thanks, Mom and Dad!
On Friday Amy and I got up and worked out.  Then the family headed down to the water park.  We hung out down there for a bunch of hours, riding the lazy river, doing the tube shoots, and swimming with Raylan in the pool.  It probably bears mentioning that even though it has been especially hot in June this year, the weather at the resort was dry and breezy pretty much the entire time.  So the weather was very pleasant, and it never felt anywhere near as hot as they said it got on the thermometer (it was the sort of weather where I had to keep reminding myself to put on sunscreen because it was dangerously easy to be outside).  Anyway, there was even a little artificial beach next to one of the pools, and Raylan and I made a really sad looking sand castle (but we tried hard!).
Between Dad's hat and Amy's hat, I could generally spot my people
from afar.
I think we all napped on Friday afternoon.  For dinner, to celebrate Mom and Dad's actual anniversary evening, we had dinner at 18 Oaks, an upscale steak restaurant at the resort.  The food was good, Raylan settled in and was well-behaved, and we had a nice evening just chatting.

50 years after my parents got married!
After dinner we wandered the grounds a bit and came across one of the organized, family-friendly resort events on a different part of the property.  There was a live band playing, a large lawn where kids were running around and adults were playing cornhole, and a sort of building that had a large bounce house set up in it along with some other activities for kids (they had a virtual reality setup).

Band.  Lawn.  Sunset.  Muy bueno.

Somewhere in this picture Amy and Raylan are waiting in line
for the bounce house
Saturday morning I did not work out.  Amy wanted to exercise, so I had breakfast with Dad.  Mom watched Raylan.
Later we all went back down to the water park for a good while.  More lazy river.  More tube shoots.  More sweeeeeming.....

Raylan shows off his floating abilities for Mom

Dad, Amy, Ryan, and Jamie, camped out on lounge chairs
and possibly thinking about ordering a beverage.

Raylan takes a break with me

The pools were nice.  We ordered some food and drinks poolside and ate down there.
On Saturday evening Amy and I pawned Raylan off on the rest of the family, and we went out and had ourselves a date night at the resort.

Raylan was very excited to pack up his backpack to go "stay with
Grandma and Papa" on Saturday night.  At their hotel room.  About 3 doors down from
Amy and I had a really nice evening.  We got a drink at the hotel bar, and sat outside.  We talked to a few random people, because pretty much everyone is in a good mood at a resort on vacation.

I love my wife.
Eventually we sat outside too long and Dad walked by with Raylan and Ryan.  They ended up wandering away to grab dinner, but not before we got a picture with Raylan on our date night!

And now I'm gonna hang out with you for the rest of the night, right guys?
Anyway, we had a fun dinner and a nice evening.  Sounds like the rest of the family had a good dinner and evening as well (I think they found more live music).

On Sunday we worked out and then packed up and headed home.

It was a great trip!  

Thanks, Mom and Dad.  Thanks for including us in your celebration, and thanks for once again showing me and our family so much love.  

We all love you very much and are so happy to have you in our lives.

Congratulations again.


Jean said...

Can't think of a better way to celebrate 50 years of marriage. Great post! xoxo

J.S. said...

Thanks! It was really nice!