Finally repaying my brother for his visit to us a few months ago, we drove to Arlington today and spent the afternoon there.
We took the Dodge Neon for fuel economy’s sake, and because of the dark window tinting, which helps a little with the heat. Left the house by 9 a.m. and made it to The Parks (a shopping mall) in Arlington before noon. Rebecca watched DVDs most of the way; only slept a little. We ate in the food court.
My brother and his girlfriend met us about 1 p.m. (as expected) and we spent the next three hours walking the mall, talking, and entertaining Rebecca (when she wasn’t entertaining us).
Rebecca rode the carousel in the mall twice — her first and second time ever — she enjoyed it the second time.
We’d initially planned something more stimulating than a trip to the mall, but the most enticing attractions in the Ft. Worth/Arlington area are outdoors — the zoo, the botanical gardens, etc., all of which wouldn’t have been workable for us at 99°F. Indoor activities like a science museum or a cowgirl museum were either too expensive, or not toddler-friendly enough. The mall was perfect for us.
My brother is doing well and looking forward to starting a new job soon, after a lengthy administrative process.
By 4 o’clock, Rebecca was wearing down, but wouldn’t go to sleep in her stroller or in my arms; we knew we had to get her back in the car. So we bid adieu after a short visit and headed home. She slept most of the way this time, holding her Shrek DVD case for two hours in her sleep.
9:02 a.m. — left the house
9:10-9:15 a.m. — filled up with gas ($3.099 per gallon) on the way out of town.
10:39-10:59 a.m. — break at Hillsboro
11:49 a.m. — arrive at The Parks in Arlington
158 miles in 2 hours, 47 minutes
Averaged 56.77 mph, including two stops
4:30 p.m. — left the mall
6:35-6:43 p.m. — filled up with gas in Temple ($3.119 per gallon)
7:09 p.m. — arrived home
156 miles in 2 hours, 39 minutes
(Averaging 58.87 mph, including one stop)
TOTAL: 314 miles in 5 hours, 26 minutes
Averaged 57.79 mph, including three stops
Averaged 32.0 miles per gallon, with A/C running non-stop.
We had enough gas to make it all the way home, but filled up since my wife has to work tomorrow morning and we needed a break at that point.
At home, Rebecca continued to play in the car, one of her favorite things lately. I thought the trip would’ve broken her of that, but no. We got the cooler and stroller and camera and everything else out of the car, but she kept playing in there, climbing around, clipping her car seat straps, and so on, until I finally had to drag her out.
Because of the long and late nap, she got to stay up a little later than normal tonight. We played in the back yard until it was dark, then started getting ready for bed.
Back to normal routine tomorrow.