Saturday, March 19, 2011

Child (and Woman) Meets Beast

Nature beckoned and we answered the call!

We went to one of our favorite places...even though this is only our second time there.  It is like a slice of heaven.    A place to leave your worries behind and just be.  Where soaking up the fun and laughter of your littles finds you in a state of kid-dom yourself.

I was dreading the  two  hour drive but  found myself relaxing as soon as we snaked our way out of the city leaving the concrete and steel behind.  A drive southwest that slowly unfolds all of God's beauty before your eyes.  With every blink, came a new view...a new terrain.  All gorgeous!

That's what I like about Texas. 

We first found ourselves in  flat land spotted with cedar trees...a place where you can see forever.  There are longhorns and railroads along the route.  A drive where small businesses thrive and towns proudly announce their teams' state football championships on their water towers.  You won't find the BMW's and Mercedes Benz here.  They are replaced with big  trucks with the silhouette of a big cowboy hat in the driver seat.

And then you blink and find yourself entering a land where the mesquite, cedar and cactus grow abundantly along the craggy, rocky terrain.  A place that makes you think,  Now this is where some western movie was made!

I was seriously waiting for some cowboy to come riding out as I took that photo.

And then we arrived.  Fossil Rim Wildlife Center.  

The scenery is oh so breathtaking.  Seriously! Knock your socks off, catch your breath, pausing and reflecting on God's awesome power, beautiful!

And by saving 25 old cell phones you have earned 5 tickets into this wonderfully expensive place! 

Major Cha-ching  moment for me.  

How did I save 25 cell phones you ask?  You can thank dear husband's old cronies in the corporate world and a couple of fellow homeschooling families.

$8 (for the bag of feed) and 25 old cell phones bought us a day of grand memory making.  The ticket lady said it was the cheapest entry she's seen all week.  No fooling.  I have come to embrace the meaning of frugal!

Fossil Rim is a place where you  your child can hang out and be amongst the beasts.  Literally!  From your car window.  We had some good hang time.

Then there were those animals that we would rather look at. We know that Zebras are not friendly animals.  My hand was totally positioned over the "up" bottom to the windows... ready and waiting.  I did not want anyone to go home with missing digits!

And these two little people were looking for cheetahs...which were behind a nice, tall fence.   (That would be a dust line on the car window that is rolled up.  It was a dry and dusty day.  Texas is very dry right now.) 

And oh! there were so many gorgeous animals to look at from afar.   

We packed our lunches and picnicked at the midway point called The Lookout.  Another beautiful spot to rest in the shade and take in the views.  The weather was simply gorgeous (mid-80s)...a perfect compliment to our scenery.

 And I have to laugh when I tell you joke...Texas even does spring break BIG

The entire state pretty much follows the same vacation schedule around two weeks in March.  Elementary schools through Universities, public and parochial.  It is a respected and revered time of year where families vacation together...perhaps before the bloody heat sets in?!   Everywhere you go, everyone knows you are on spring break.  (Even the ortho closes for spring break.)

Fossil Rim was filled to the brim with spring breakers.  So much so, the bellies of the animals were filled from all the carloads of feed being fed to them.  Only a handful of times did the animals come to the car windows to feed from us.

Case in point...look at this line of cars...

...and we were #30 in the exit point.  See that rhino?  He and his comrades were pretty far away, enjoying their shade....too far away to have anyone feed them by hand :)

We came out of there with half a bag of feed left, so we passed it off to others who were just coming in for the day.

But like everything...all good things must come to an end.  We needed to head back northeast...back get our van washed.  I swear I had a pound of dirt in each eyeball and desperately needed to peel my contacts off by the time I reached home.  So worth it!!!

Definitely one of our best field trip places.

I love being able to hop in your car and with a full tank a gas and vacation for a day.  You can drive to one of the numerous regions of Texas and it is like entering another part of the country. 

So why am I doing flip-flops?  Why is it such a big deal?  I grew up amongst cornfields and soybeans fields....where driving from Illinois to Nebraska (Creighton University Alumna) one had to check the mile markers to make sure you were even moving! 

And of course there is the wild spirit inside of me that has this overwhelming need to be fed with learning and seeing and touching and experiencing.  I am definitely an adventure enthusiast!

~ Patty ~


  1. Oh what a fun family adventure!

  2. What a great day trip, glad you had so much fun! We definitely need one of those soon! I love hearing all your frugal tips, keep them coming.

  3. What a spectacular experience!! How many hours do you think it would take us to get there? My boys would *love* that!

  4. 25 cell phones???!! Wow, that is a feat in it self! That place looks awesome. We went to a similar one last summer and it was expensive. Is that your purse by the American Girl bag on the picnic bench? I have the very same pattern :) Have a great weekend and thanks for sharing your field trip.

  5. That looks like such a neat place to visit! And, with the price of gas being what it is, those free tickets must've come in handy!

  6. Hi Patty~ Thanks for sharing your awesome adventure! Love the rhino in the rearview photo and the collage too. Great job answering the call to nature. It's so refreshing, isn't it? God Bless!

  7. Oh how fun and the pictures were great! Nothinf like perspective to see the long lines behind you.

    I'm a new follower from Catholic Mothers Online. Please stop by and return the favor.

  8. Patty, that looked like so much fun! I am in awe of your wonderful homeschooling ways girl. I can relate to the Illinois driving boredom. or should I say midwest.

    Georgia is like Texas. You can drive a couple of hours and be in entirely different surroundings. Beach to mountains here in old GA. Blessings!


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