Well, it has been almost two years since I posted last! I can't believe it has been that long! But, I am planning on keeping up with this again! So, here is our latest happenings in the family!
Yesterday we returned from a family vacation to Texas to visit with Grandma Melodee and Grandpa Richard! A road trip that was well worth the many hours of driving (20+ hours)!
The way down was pretty uneventful, except the loss of our TV screen early into the second day. The kids did well despite it. They kept themselves busy and picked on each other for entertainment. :) As far as roads.... lots of construction and some thick traffic towards the very end of our trip. So, in case anyone is wondering... Austin, TX is not the place to be during rush hour! Haha! But, except for adding time to our trip we arrived all in one piece! A bonus for sure!
Mom and Grandpa Richard did so much to prepare for our arrival and to ensure our trip was smooth and enjoyable! We could not thank them enough for the amazing vacation!!! I credit them for it all!!
Some of the amazing things we did on this trip were:
Katie started out like this.... full gear! Floaties, googles, snorkle... the works! But by the end of the vacation both her and Nathan were like little fish! They both were swimming under water and Katie was doing somersaults like big sis! Crazy how much they changed in the week we were there! They spent a lot of time in the water! The kids were so thankful that Grandma and Grandpa Richard had a pool!
The U.S.S. Lexington!!
This was an amazing adventure! It was Nathan's favorite place to visit! The U.S.S. Lexington was massive and we spent 4 hours roaming above and below decks and what we saw was only the fraction of the ship that is open to visitors! It was incredible to see what it was like to live aboard. Where they slept and ate... everything! One thing for sure... the close passage ways and steep climbs would definitely take some getting use to!! :) Amazing artifacts and information aboard giving tribute to many ships from WWII. An incredible history lesson within these walls! If you ever have a chance to visit Corpus Christi and the U.S.S. Lexington, you must!
One crazy thing about our visit to the Lexington was the wind! Insane wind conditions during this day! Especially when on the flight deck! For some reason it won't let me add the video right in so here is a link (hopefully it will work) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GotE1xWp414
Before and after the U.S.S. Lexington we visited the beach and spent some time cooling our feet in the ocean and collecting seashells. It was beautiful! Most of the shells were fragments (which we still had tons of fun collecting) and there were a few dead animals upon the beach we had to steer clear of... but it did not deter from the amazing experience it was to see the gulf waters crash on the shore! I am so happy my kids were able to experience this! Also, on the beach was an older gentleman selling palm leaf crosses he had made. We bought three. :) They were beautiful and so well crafted and had a delicate palm leaf rose in the middle. The leaves were still fresh and green when we bought them, and though they are now drying out they are still beautiful!
Glass Bottom Boats!!
The amazing glass bottom boats! You can see the end of one off to the side in this photo. These are amazing boats with long benches along the walls and you lean over a rail to watch the ocean below the glass-bottomed middle. It was neat to see how much plant life was beneath the surface. The fish too! But the neatest part was learning about the aquifer that feeds this river and literally millions of people. Intricate caves running below carry countless millions of gallons of water up through little holes on the floor of the river. Viewing these spots look to the eye as if the sand is boiling. Crazy! Here is a link to one of the videos I took of these "boiling" spots: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk8RlvpKNic
Cabela's is actually a hunting/fishing store. But, it is also a store with some incredible exhibits! Most of my pictures didn't turn out the greatest because of the lighting but this HUGE catfish did. Along with their aquariums they have massive set ups of taxidermy animals from all over the world! They have them set up in scenes. Wow! I can imagine we weren't the only ones that went just for the exhibits! The kids also were able to feed the fish they have in the stream they created in the store. It was awesome!
After Cabela's we all went out for Sonic's shakes! Half off after 8 O'clock. For anyone who'd like to know... the coconut cream pie shake is do die for!!! Mmmmmmm!!!
This was my personal favorite of all our stops! I have wanted to visit the Alamo for a long, long time! It was even more amazing then I imagined! I love history! The history behind this particular site is very sad, but at the same time amazing. It is the site of a very important battle in history and a testament to the brave lives that died here. Though every man died protecting their freedom and seeking independence, the mere 200 men behind these walls held off 2000 trained Mexican soldier's for 14 days! Nothing short of incredible! In this particular battle two famous people lost their lives: Davy Crockett and James Bowie. I wish I was able to photograph the inside of the mission and the artifacts they have inside the long barracks but it was not allowed. I am so glad I was able to visit here! And that the kids were able to be a part of this. It helps to make history real for them.
The River Walk!!
The gorgeous River Walk! This river is lined with amazing architecture and landscaping! I could never capture all the beauty of it with a camera! Here we were able to take a boat tour. I could not believe how long the river goes and all of it just beautiful! I honestly did not know a place like this existed in the US! I tried to photograph and video tape as much as possible, but I know I still did not get it all!
I don't have a picture of the market but it is like an indoor market in Mexico! So many amazing things to see and buy! Beth bought her best friend a gift there. I have a feeling she is going to love it!
Our trip was so much fun and we were all sad to go! While we said our goodbyes and pulled away the kids shed many tears. Thankfully they fell asleep shortly after leaving. It was a long drive home but God directed our GPS and though we questioned the way it took us (which was different then our trip to Texas) it really went well. Except for Dallas (which still wasn't that bad), we hardly had any traffic at all. The GPS did good by directing us to a highway that helped us avoid the tornado damaged suburb of Oklahoma City, Wichita, and the worst of Kansas City. It was a great trip home with beautiful weather! Thanking God for a lovely vacation!!
Thank you Mom and Richard!!!