a stay at the brown palace (and on leaving your babies for the first time)

A friend recently told me about a trip she and her husband took—a weekend abroad without their two little ones. I was amazed, and began asking all the questions.

Where did you go? How long were you gone? Who watched the kiddos? Was it hard to leave them? Did the kids do okay? Did mom and dad do okay?!

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Texas field trip: Newman's Castle

Last week I took the kids to a completely random little town in Texas (it may be that most little towns in Texas are completely random and I just haven't lived here long enough to learn that) to visit an even more completely random Medieval castle.  I knew four things about this place going into it: one, that it was a castle; two, that it was somehow associated with Newman's Bakery & Deli, also in Bellville; three, that the guy who built it actually lived there; and four, that the children get to reenact storming a castle. The first and last things alone justified a visit. I'll admit, the fact of the guy living there puzzled me. I just couldn't imagine what kind of place this was! The puzzlement never really cleared up - this place remains one big (amusing) puzzle to me. 

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