Costume Parties, Downtown Laredo, and More!

Last year, I decided that, rather than go home for Thanksgiving, we'd go for Halloween instead from now on. By the time Halloween rolled around this year, though, I'd changed my mind and had decided to stay and enjoy all the cool goings-on around here instead.

Fortunately, Pumpkin and my family prevailed, and off to Texas I went with my kiddos. Unfortunately, Pumpkin came down with croup again shortly after we arrived, but he healed rapidly this time and a good time was had by all. (BTW, thanks again, Lulu, for helping him get better. Love ya!!)

I took the kids' warm weather costumes with us to Texas, and Pumpkin got to use his more than once, which was neat. To start with, we had a costume party at my parents' house the day after we arrived in Texas. It was really, really last minute, but it worked out great! Everyone wore a costume, we all pitched in with fun Halloween food, and the kids had a blast goofing off together! Here are some pics from that night. Pumpkin was a soldier, and Giggles was a ballerina (thanks again for the duds, Oz!).

Joining us were a princess, a corpse bride, some sort of death, a ghost, a dog, Dona Florinda, a medieval knight, a pig, a jockey, a ketchup bottle, a camper from Camp Rock, and a transformer. Oh, and my brother, the red grinch who stole Halloween. ;)

Pumpkin spent most of the party on the trampoline at the house next door. ;)

A couple of days later, my sisters and I (and mom, and Coach Vic, and the boys) went on a Haunted Historic House tour that was being presented via trolley by the Webb County Heritage Foundation (pictured above). I think the boys were expecting something slightly scarier, but we all agreed it was a fascinating tour nonetheless. Below are pictures taken before the trolley arrived for us.

Wednesday, Grandma Toni took the kids to Peter Piper Pizza while I enjoyed lunch with a girlfriend at La India Packing Company. Yummy mole! Mmmm.

On Thursday, I took Pumpkin and his cousin D downtown to ride the free trolley just for kicks. We hung around the plaza for an hour, but the trolley never materialized! While we waited, we walked over to QT's grandparents' old house, which was sold about a year ago to a development company that's hoping to revitalize the San Agustin Plaza area downtown. I believe the house was never officially designated an historic property; however, repairs could still not be undertaken without approval from the Historic Building department. Their backyard had a stone wall that is supposedly the last remaining structure from a Presidio that stood here back when Laredo was still under Spanish rule circa 1700's. It looked to me like whoever bought the house was doing a nice job of fixing it up. Seeing it anew made me wish we could've done that ourselves, which is what QT had wanted to do.

After that, we headed back to the plaza, where I finally found out from the doorman at La Posada Hotel that the trolley had stopped running some months before, probably due to lack of funds. Well, pfffttt! Rather than call it quits and go home, the boys and I took off on a short shopping spree in the downtown shops. They picked up some nice loot then we headed out to visit the Lamar Bruni Vergara Environmental Science Center at LCC, site of the former Fort McIntosh and home to many an historic building of its own. There, we saw alligators, bobcats, foxes, raccoons, turtles, fish, and a javalin (um...I think that's wild boar in English, but I'd have to verify). They also had some interesting displays on the Rio Grande River watershed that Pumpkin and I enjoyed...though D perhaps not so much. ;)

Later that day, Pumpkin accompanied his cousins Van and Cass to a trunk-or-treating event at their school. They attend a private school, and I've gotta say, those private school parents hand out good loot because Pumpkin came home with a big bagful of all his favorite candy!

In between our running around, we ate most of our meals at my parents' restaurant and the afternoons and evenings hanging out with my sibs and their kids. Friday afternoon, my brother, his wife, and little D drove us back to San Antonio to catch our flight back to Denver. The boys played their Nintendo DS's all the way there, and I'm glad Pumpkin got to spend his last couple of hours in Texas playing with D, who's become a really good friend to him this year.

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