Deep in the Heart of Texas

Jeff had a little time off this week, so we headed down to Gruene, TX for a little R and R!  We found this cute little cottage really close to downtown Gruene, and it was just adorable. 

We stayed in the back suite of this house and while everything worked out great, it made me glad to have a home with more than one room...I'm just saying. 

Traveling with a little one is an interesting feat.  You basically do the same things you do at home, except you lug all the crap you need to do what you do at home wherever you're going.  Jack isn't a super high maintenance baby, which is good, but I will say he has had better days...

We ate at the famous Gristmill overlooking the Guadalupe River...

walked around adorable downtown Gruene...

and went swimming!

Some one's a big fan of the pool!  And doesn't his hair kinda remind you of Conan?  Just sayin'.

Jeff and I played a lot of Skip Bo...a baby still sleeps a lot while on vacation, so we had quite a bit of downtime. 

On night two, we ate at the Gruene River Grill and it was the food was so good!  Our appetizer consisted of a cheesy jalapeno won-ton wrapped shrimp with raspberry chipotle dipping sauce and it was DELICIOUS!  And I got a Gorgonzola and herb butter fillet which was very yummy...but I have to say, the best part of dinner was Jack's obsession with our waitress.  He was in love with her and the whole time we were there, was looking for her to come back.  He even turned himself around backwards in his high chair so he could see the kitchen door!  So funny.   

The real excitement started on our last night.  At about 4am, Jeff and I both woke up to a crazy thunderstorm.  Like sheets of rain and lightening constantly kind of thunderstorm.  And not the far away lightening, where you count to see how far away it was.  This was lightening that pops and thunders immediately, because it was right outside our back door!  Well, usually, those types of storms come and go pretty quickly...not this one!  Finally, at 6:30 Jack woke up and we all got up...and the crazy lightning and thundering and heavy rain was still going on.  We did our little morning routine, wondering what we should do.  I mean, it was really raining out there!  We sat around a bit, but were getting kinda 7:30am it'd been raining heavily for at least 3 hours...and we were right by the river.  The satellite TV was out, but we were checking the radar on my iPhone and could see that the storm wasn't moving at all.  While we're doing our contemplating, we hear a gush of water and turn around to see that the outer wall of the suite was completely leaking and pooling on the floor.  Jeff says, "Ok, time to go."  About 3 seconds after that, the electricity goes out.  Really?? 

So I'm scurrying around in the dark, trying to pack all of our baby paraphernalia up, doing what should take about an hour in 5 minutes, while Jeff packs the car.  With in 10 minutes we're in the car, buckled in and on our way out.  The drive from Gruene to I35 was crazy...flooded streets, torrential rain...I honestly felt like we were in a movie!  We were driving about 30 mph, but it seemed like even that was too fast!  We found a local AM talk radio station that confirmed our decision to leave...and our decision to drive 30 mph.  People were calling in, sharing road closures, canceled summer school because of flooding in the schools, emergency management people telling everyone to stay off the was scary!!!  My dad called to make sure we were ok because he'd been watching the news:

GRUENE, Texas -- There has been major flooding in the historic town of Gruene.

Authorities say they started receiving calls for high water rescues, lightning strikes, and fires around 3 a-m.

Three helicopters were launched to search for stranded people.

They pulled dozens of people to safety from roof tops. Many took to tree branches to avoid the rising water.

But, there was nothing they could do to save the Rockin' R Tube Rentals.  It was smashed and torn apart by violent flood waters, and it is a similar story in most other parts of the small town.

Water rose above one Gruene bridge, but it could not rise enough to affect landmarks like The Gristmill or Gruene Hall.

In a community west of Gruene, known as River Bend, it was a different story. The water and the wind packed a one-two punch on about 100 homes. With trees torn apart , some residents swore a tornado had struck.

Like a colony of ants, neighbors, who could not wait for the city to come to their aid, came out to clear the debris themselves. Neighbor helping neighbor.

On land, the storm toppled boats, as the Guadalupe pushed everything but the kitchen sink down the river.

And here's a video of what was going on across the street from our cabin...if you've ever tubed the Guadalupe, there's a big chance you've rented your tube from Rockin' R Tubes, right off the river in Gruene.  I know I have!  If you're going tubing any time soon, I'd recommend looking for another place to get you're tubes from.

Pretty much the entire drive home was in torrential rain.  It took us about 2 hours longer to get home than it did to get there, and by the time we were home, we were completely worn out!!  And very thankful to be ok. 

So, a great vacation!  Relaxation, good eating, and a little bit of excitement to boot!