We just returned from a week long trip vacation. It was probably the BEST vacation I’ve ever had. I didn’t want to come home, but reality set in and, well, there are bills to pay, so we are home.
Do you want to see what we did?
We rented a 31 foot RV and camped in four state parks during the week. (You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.)
We started out at Lake Arrowhead State Park (known for it’s Prairie Dog Town) just outside of Wichita Falls. We spent two nights there.
We then spent a night in Caprock Canyon State Park in Quitaque, Texas (aka. Middle of Nowhere). I can’t wait to go back there – it was just amazing.
After Caprock, we spent two nights in Palo Duro Canyon State park. Oh, my heavens. You HAVE to go there. It is just stunning. Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States (just after the Grand Canyon.) Absolutely spectacular views.
Because Palo Duro is so close to Amarillo, we had to stop by Cadillac Ranch and the Big Texan Steakhouse.
We drove a little bit out of the way so we could see the giant cross in Groom, as well as, the smaller stations of the cross. The cross is 190 feet tall, it’s just huge.
Then we spent our final night at Copper Breaks State Park in Quannah, Texas (aka. Also Middle of Nowhere.)
All in all, it was a fabulous trip.
It was definitely my style of “camping.” We had rain several nights but we didn’t ever have to worry about a tent flooding.
Our vacation seemed more complete because we were able to take the dogs. We all had a good time, but we were all really happy to be back home.
If you would like to see more of our vacation photos, visit my flickr vacation page here.
A couple of weeks ago our family did a short driving vacation through the Texas Hill Country. It was wonderful to have some time to spend together. Here are a couple of photo mosaics of our trip. (You can click on the image to enlarge it.)
Day 1. I LOVE taking pictures of wide, open spaces. I don’t know how many “empty road” shots I took. There’s just something about seeing it that gives me a sense of peace. We drove from the DFW area to Dublin, Texas to visit the original Dr. Pepper plant. Today, the Dublin Dr. Pepper plant is known for sticking to the original Dr. Pepper recipe. Yep, it is different from the one you buy in the store (which is bottled in Waco, TX.) The difference is the sweetener. Dublin Dr. Pepper uses Imperial pure cane sugar, the other Dr. Pepper uses high fructose corn syrup. (Now you’ve learned something new!) And believe me, there is a difference!
After our tour we drove to The Antler’s Hotel in Kingsland, Texas. Let me tell you, THAT is a cool place, especially if you (or your children) like trains. I enjoyed the lake and taking pictures of the blue bonnets on the property. In addition to the hotel, they have several cabin/cottages and several train cabooses and one train car that have been converted into sleeping quarters. We stayed in the McKinley Coach. The boys loved sleeping on a train, and I thought it was quite comfortable. Hubby enjoyed everything except the door. He is a very tall guy, and after hitting his head on the door frame (several times) – he was not pleased.
Day 2 – We got a lot of usage out of our family State Park pass. We visited Longhorn Cavern State Park in the morning. WOW. For someone who is a wannabe rock hound, I REALLY enjoyed this place. It was fun to walk through the cavern, but even more impressive was to hear of the history of the cavern. The Comanche Indians used it for ceremonies and as a hiding place. Texas Rangers once snuck in and rescued a hostage back in the early 1900′s. The Confederates used it as their Powder Room – meaning gun powder, not a place for ladies to powder their nose. Some outlaws used it as their hiding place, and in Prohibition days it was used as a Speak Easy.
After our tour we went to Llano to have lunch at Cooper’s BBQ. It was fanger-lickin’ good. (Yes, I meant fanger. For you Yankees, think “finger” only much tastier!) Men all over the world dream to see that much meat on a pit at one time. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by.
To wrap up the day, we headed to Inks Lake State Park. I snapped a few pictures of blue bonnets, the sky right after sunset, and plenty of deer. I hope we get to revisit it again some day. It was a beautiful place.
Day 3 – I took a few more pictures of the inside of our rail car. I loved the intricate work on the door knob, so there’s a few hundred shots of it. We moved on to Austin in time for lunch, and then took a tour of the city via the Duck. If you have not done a “duck” tour, you should. We got to see the sights of the city AND go on a short boat ride, all while sitting in one place. The boys loved it, and those blasted quacker mouth pieces.
For dinner we met up with my folks and then had fun chatting while hanging out in their hotel room.
Day 4 – After a leisurely breakfast with my parents we went to see the state capitol. It is truly a magnificent structure, one that makes your heart swell with pride, I might say. The fine craftsmanship is awe inspiring.
After our visit at the Capitol, we drove out to visit with my grandfather for a couple of hours and then we made the journey home. All in all, it was a good trip. I’m already looking forward to the next one.
PS: Remember you can enlarge the image by clicking on it, or (if you’re really bored) you can see them on my flickr page here.
Your regular programming will resume shortly.
I’ll miss you! Oh, wait. I won’t be gone that long – just for a few days. The family is heading out for an extended weekend/vacation/road trip through the Texas Hill Country for the next couple of days. I’m excited, the boys are excited – so hopefully things will go well.
Whenever vacation time rolls around, I remember this quote I heard years ago:
â€œA vacation is like love – anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort and remembered with nostalgia.â€ – Author Unknown
I think the author, whoever they were, got it right.
Anyway, we’re off today – Want to see where we’re going?
Cool, huh? We aren’t going as far West as I originally planned, and we won’t be avoiding the interstate the whole trip, like I originally planned – but I think we’ll have a good time anyway. There are lots of state parks to explore (and photograph.) Since it is Spring time, there are sure to be plenty of wildflowers( for me to photograph.) And, we’ll get to see some family on our tour, so it’s sure to be a fun time.
I’ll be back next week, and I’m sure I’ll have lots of pictures to share. Have a great weekend & be safe!
The final two days of our vacation we visited Epcot and spent another day at the Magic Kingdom.
Out of This World
As the expression goes, all good things must come to an end – so too, our vacation had to end. I am so glad we went, and I am glad that we waited until the boys were big enough to do it on their own leg power. I think dealing with a stroller would have slowed us down quite a bit, since they have to be parked in certain areas before going on rides or watching shows. If I had to do it again, the only thing I would want to change is to schedule our beach visit to after Disney, rather than before. It would have been nice to relax on the beach after all that excitement and tons of walking – but since I can’t change anything – I must say we had a splendid time. And most importantly, we have wonderful memories of spending time with family.
Prior to our trip, I followed the recommendation to read “The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2008.” The book offers a wealth of information on all things Disney, as well as, many Orlando area hotels and other attractions in the area. The book even offers “field tested touring plans” that keep you from spending hours waiting in lines versus actually going on rides. There are several plans available depending on which age group you are trying to please: adults, teens, or the young ones; and how many days you plan on spending at the park. Obviously, we were more interested in making the trip magical for the Woody and Tigger, and we knew we would be spending two days at the park. While we didn’t follow it to the letter, we did reference the “Dumbo-or-die” plan, and also squeezed in the three Mountian (Space, Big Thunder, and Splash) rides for Hubby. Honestly, I think we were able to do so much because the park was not that crowded. Apparently, the crowds are usually light the week between President’s Day week and the first week of March. And, boy am I glad we chose to go that week.
I should take this time to tell you that the night before visiting the Magic Kingdom, Tigger woke up at 2 AM, 3 AM, 4 AM, and 5 AM – each time making the announcement “The sun is up, Daddy!” Needless to say, Daddy (and Mommy and Woody) were all ready to make him sleep in the bath room. The little bugger… Once we were awake, we were able to analyze that several factors probably kept him from sleeping well:
1.Watching “Fantasmic” was pretty stimulating and gets the imagination going, especially for a 3 year old.
2.The boys each had a treat in the form of chocolate ice cream around 8 PM.
3.The Disney property has lighting outside the hotel rooms.
4.When the curtains are not drawn, the exterior lighting illuminates the closed window blinds giving them that sort of “daybreak glow” look.
5.I’m sure Tigger was wound tighter than a pocket watch about seeing Mickey and Company.
We managed to get a few hours of sleep, and headed to the Magic Kingdom for a funfilled day.
As it turns out, we didn’t take many pictures that day – I guess going on rides and trying not to break a camera don’t really go together very well. The lack of pictures just means we were too busy enjoying it all, instead of taking pictures of it all.
We all loved the tea cups, but they were Woody’s favorite.
The Dumbo ride was Tigger’s favorite. Along with being a cool ride, I think it has to do with his love of elephants.Woody having a good time.
It’s A Small World hippo.
“Wishes” – the evening fireworks spectacular event at Magic Kingdom.
A magical ending to a wonderful day.