Published on July 13, 2021

New Mommy Diaries

The magic of a Fiesta weekend

Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry; when you wake, it will be party time

By Stephanie Johnson / The Bulletin

Traveling with a toddler is not the easiest thing to do. It takes a lot of patience. We decided to take a road trip to San Antonio for the weekend. We all needed a mini-vacation, and it was time to celebrate at Fiesta.

Before we could start having fun at the annual festive event, which was canceled in 2020, we had to get there. With a baby in the car, that is not always the best part of the day.

We left on a Friday afternoon right before our child usually takes his nap. We figured it would take him a while to fall asleep in the car. A sleeping baby in the car makes the parents very happy.

He fell asleep almost immediately before we even got on the highway. Usually, this is a great thing, but we hit some construction slowdowns on I-10, and he decided it was time to wake up and start screaming in the middle of a traffic jam.
This went on for a while. I’d rather listen to fingernails on a chalkboard. Then we spotted something that could be our rescue - Buc-ee’s. We exited immediately.

The plan was to get him out of the car, walk around some, change his diaper, look at the toys and pick up some food while we were there, and it would all be fine once we got back in the car to continue our trip.

That plan fell apart. The screaming and crying restarted when the car started.

We were out of ideas. What else could he possibly want? I leaned over and wrapped a blanket around him, and he eventually fell asleep again. Thank goodness, I was getting close to jumping out of the car, figuratively speaking.

We were almost to our destination when he woke up again. We had finally made it after what felt like days of driving.

As soon as we showed up, we were greeted by my parents. The mini-vacation could now start. Here we come, Fiesta. Hello Market Square.

The screaming toddler magically changed his attitude, as if saying: “Oh, I didn’t know we were going to party. I thought I was being driven to the doctor’s office again.”

First stop, a store to purchase big-brimmed hats to fit the occasion and to give us some protection from the sun. Then we dived into a pastry shop. You know you went overboard when your pastries are put in a huge, brown tote bag.

Time to soak up some Tejano music and classic rock n’ roll. We danced the early evening away as 22-year-old Elora Valdez and her band cranked out one oldie classic after another. Without the baby, we would have danced the night away, but it was time to call it a night.

The vacation continued the next day with a visit to the family friendly Pearl Farmer’s Market - a great decision.

We walked around the market for a while and purchased some local goods that were delicious, especially the peaches.They had a splash pad, and kids were running around having a blast. There were chalk drawings everywhere, especially all over my baby, who was covered in chalk.

As we walked around by the San Antonio River behind The Pearl, the kiddo decided it was nap time and fell asleep in my husband’s arms. It was so sweet, except that now we were stuck. We were about to head to a restaurant, and now all plans had changed. And, it was hot.

The beautiful Hotel Emma came to our rescue. Do you know what made it even more beautiful? The air conditioning.
As we walked around this magnificent historic structure, we noticed that there were four or five other babies also passed out on their parents’ arms in the lobby. We fit right in.

We had a great meal. It was time to head back to our weekend home, enjoy some family time and continue devouring our Mexican pastries from Market Square. I heard somewhere (I don’t know exactly where) that they were all zero calories, so it was O.K.

Sunday morning brought along with it another challenge - the trip back to the real world. That meant that the kiddo had to be placed back in the car. We dreaded it.

But Fiesta time and our other outings worked miracles on our mood, and his. He was knocked out five minutes into our drive and stayed asleep the entire time - a gift from the Fiesta gods.

(You can reach Stephanie at stephanie.bulletin@gmail.com. Or by writing to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516)