Monday, June 6, 2011

Texas Hill Country Road Trip

So, Daniel never gets a two day weekend because he works on Saturdays. When Memorial Day weekend rolled around I knew we wouldn't be doing anything big like most people because, really, it was like any other week. Daniel works Saturday, gets off around five, church on Sunday, back to work Monday, off on Tuesday. However, Monday was Memorial Day.....soooo, three day weekend after all!! Sunday, Monday and Tuesday!! Last minute road trip to the Texas Hill Country?? Yes, please! So, we packed our bags Saturday night (after my ten year reunion) and loaded the kids up in the car. Here's how it went.

We left Sat night and drove to Cedar Park, got a hotel room and slept in! Indoor pool meant Coen and Daddy took a dip after breakfast.
After we checked out we hit the road again, stopping at Target for a few things I forgot in our packing frenzy and headed out to try and snag a few seats on the Bertram Flyer. Coen has been SO into trains lately, I really wanted to do this! According to the website, this train takes a scenic trip through the Hill Country and stops in Burnet with a 15 minute layover to tour the historic train depot. Only problem was that only a few of the cars have a/c. We did NOT want to ride coach, even if the windows DO come down. Not in 95 degree temps with a toddler and a two month old. Not for three hours. No thanks. I call ahead of time and they have two seats in an air conditioned car, but they have a blocked view. Better than nothin, but we can't buy over the phone. So we pull into the depot and people are already boarding, with coolers! Hmmmm. I make it to the ticket office and they have sold the tickets we were hoping for. The only thing available is in coach. I'm strongly advised NOT to buy those tickets. Bummer. Daniel and the boys were waiting in the car. We have nothing else planned for the day and we've been talking about the train the whole time to Coen. After breaking the news we figured we could at least go look at the train everyone else is boarding. One more stop in the office to see if there have been any cancellations....there HAD!! We quickly made pb&j sandwiches (ALWAYS stay at a hotel with continental breakfast. I swapped fruit and mini peanut butters and jellies from the breakfast bar. Hello free lunch!) , gathered our things and got to our seats!! The air felt so nice!! Coen was excited!
Here we are waiting for the train to go. Turns out most of the ride is the train getting ready to go, stop and turn around. And the "scenic route" is more like open fields and back yards. It's ok, it was still fun.
 Playin' while we wait...
..we waited too long. Coen conked out before we even picked up speed!
Abandoned Douglas.
Everyone only wanted to sleep on Momma. Which was fantastic because I was in the sun, with two sleepin' babies on me and right about the time this picture was taken the air is starting to fizzle out.
I enjoyed every minute of it, though, because times like these are few and far between and are gone in an instant.
We woke Coen up when we got to the depot. He was a little groggy... :)
Great picture Daddy!
Coen is becoming a champ at posing for pictures!
So the a/c never recovered. Luckily, having an infant made some people really pity us. So we were moved to a little seating area in a car with air. Totally the Lord! Plenty of room and windows for the ride back. Afterward, we weren't sure if Coen had much fun, but walking to the car he was talking in jabber and then said, "woowoo!!" in his best train impression, so I'm thinking he did. :)
After dinner we were off to Blanco, where we hoped to visit some lavender farms and find a hotel for the night. Turns out all of the farms weren't doing great due to lack of rain, so we were turned away and Blanco is a hole in the wall of a town, so we trekked on to Marble Falls for a hotel and some pie at the Bluebonnet Cafe!
Sigh, the Cafe was closed on Sunday so no pie. :( So sad.
However, we do find a park and a hotel and ended up just relaxing! I did some research on our next stop, Krause Springs, and hoped that the next day would be a bit more promising.
Krause Springs totally delivered.
 Probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.
We hiked around first, knowing that our eventual destination was... 
A spring fed piece of paradise.
Complete with waterfalls and several natural splash pools for the littles.
 So we ate our lunch, tuna sandwiches with free mayo packets from target and free fruit from the continental breakfast that morning...
An apple a day!
 ...donned our cutest swimming gear...
...and jumped right in!
Actually, we didn't jump right in. It was a steep walk to the swimming area with lots of slippery spots. Also, the water was freezing, so it was more on an e-a-s-e right on in.
Coen enjoyed splashing around with Daddy. I wanted to get a picture of them under the waterfalls....biggest. mistake. ever.
The waterfalls weren't far away. I could see people under them and lounging on the rocks near them with drinks and floaties. A woman lent me her raft and I looped it under my right arm with Coen under my left and started paddling out there. Nope. Couldn't reach. REEEAAALLLYY couldn't reach. Trying to hold onto a raft, a 30 someodd lb. toddler and paddle is very difficult. I got super scared and finally made it to a spot I could touch ground. The raft lender suggested Daniel take him and they sit on the raft. I was out of breath and terrified for my son to be back over there, but Daniel assured me it would be ok.
 This is one of three pictures I took.
You can't even see them. 
I started having my first panic attack. I hollered at Daniel to come back, but he couldn't hear me over the noise of the waterfall. Then they went into the cave and I started crying. Right there in public. Standing on the slippery rocks, in my swimsuit, holding my infant and a camera, panic stricken and completely helpless with no one to comfort me. I just knew Coen would freak out from water splashing in his face. Slippery when wet, Daniel wouldn't be able to hold onto him and he would fall into the water and they wouldn't be able to get back. It was the best feeling in the world when I saw them emerge from the cave. 
We didn't go back into the big swimming area after that.
Well, Daniel did. To do the rope swing a few times.
Coen loved watching that!
My sunbathing baby!
Next time we go we might try the man made, spring fed pool.
The place really is beautiful. I encourage everyone to go visit. Especially if your kids are a little bit older.
They have picnic tables, grills, and amazing restrooms/showers. Plus... sticks for everyone!
Next stop....Fredericksburg!!
We checked in early to shower and relax before dinner.
Every restaurant had some sort of mounted elk in it. Coen spent all evening making elk sounds. Fredericksburg has gotten a few new places. Not your typical "historic downtowny old lady boutiques" anymore.
This place, "Red" was particularly neat.

We slept in again, and lounged.... 
 It was so relaxing.
Then we hit the town for the park and lunch...
Yes, I've become a parent who stands their children next to random, inanimate objects that have no business ending up in a photo album and takes their picture. Turns out, everything looks better with my cute kid standing next to it. ;)
Then we hit up the candy store for some treats for the trip home.
Coen picked this sucker. :)
Such fun!!

1 comment:

misty said...

Such a neat family trip! Thanks for sharing! cute, cute family!