Clint had a week off in April and although we had thought about taking a family trip, the reality of having 3 children is starting to sink in and we realized that we all might have a bit more fun with a relaxed stay-cation. And I think we made the exact right choice--we had such a fun, relaxing week. I think we all needed more time with Clint/Daddy, and it was so fun having this sweet time with him.
We spent the beginning of the vacation putting together a big girl bed for Evie (more on that later...hasn't quite been slept in yet), but fit in some fun in between our (Daddy's) painting responsibilities. Evie loves horses and Charlie loves anything related to ranching, so we spent one afternoon feeding horses at a stable in Dallas. It was so fun to find this rustic little spot in the middle of the city. The kids LOVED it!
It was so funny to see the horses' different personalities. Our favorite wildly kicked his stall every time we walked by with our carrots.
Despite her professed love of horses, Miss E was a little nervous once we arrived.
Charlie was a little more bold, but they both got into it. Next time, we are taking more carrots!
After we finished the bed, we decided to get out of the city for a night. We headed to Dinosaur Valley State Park and Fossil Rim Wildlife Center near Glen Rose, Texas. Our first stop was at the state park for some hiking.
Here is Charlie checking out the trail map.
We loved getting to cross the river on rocks. This was a huge thrill and has really sparked Charlie's imagination.
Charlie loved that he could do it himself.
Evie loved it, but also loved being carried. :)
We found our first dinosaur track! How cool is that? Charlie was beyond excited; he just kept running along the trail exclaiming how wonderful this all was. :)
Charlie's excitement made Evie very excited and she was running along practicing her jumps. I think I may have seen the tiniest bit of air under her sneaks. :)
Ford was a little less energetic during our hike...
The most enthusiastic hiker.
Little Miss got shy when I tried to take her picture. :)
As we were walking back, Charlie and I noticed that Daddy and Evie were no longer with us. We looked and looked for the longest time and finally found them hidden in some bushes up on a hill. They were such stinkers--we were just glad we noticed they were missing when we did! And we couldn't believe how quiet Evie stayed while we were looking! She was SO proud--here is her happy, proud face after we finally found her. :)
After hiking, we headed to dinner (apparently Glen Rose shuts down during the week; we could only find one place open) and then to Dairy Queen (what Charlie referred to as the "ice cream parlor") for ice cream. Our ice cream trip almost started/ended in tragedy. Evie got her thumb stuck in the DQ door and Clint and I could not figure out how to get it out. Evie was screaming, I was panicking, and Clint was trying to pull her thumb out without breaking it. Luckily, he was successful and we were able to rally and enjoy our ice cream. We could tell poor E was in a lot of pain, but she was so tough. She still talks about this all the time--anytime ice cream is mentioned, those in the vicinity will hear about her injury. The nail recently fell off, so I think it is on its way to healing. Here is the thumb right after the traumatic incident:
Charlie was obviously really worried.
Ice cream makes everything better.
Another very worried brother.
Sitting next to her Caga seems to have done the trick!
After ice cream, we headed to the hotel. The kids were thrilled with our digs for the night. Giraffe in the lobby, indoor pool (they got to enjoy a morning swim with Clint), pull-out couch bed, sugary cereals and bacon in the breakfast buffet--what's not to love??
Bath time got a little goofy.
We forgot Charlie's night time pull-up, so he had to wear one of Evie's. For some reason, we all found this so funny--that pink pull-up just looked hilarious on him!
They loved their sleeper sofa. Charlie went to sleep pretty easily, but Evie tossed, turned and fussed for quite a while. Clint finally had to go lay down with them to get her to sleep. Once she slept, she apparently was quite the wild sleeper. Charlie woke up with some bruises and reported that Evie kicked him in her sleep. Poor guy!
Ummm, it's 11:00. Why are you still awake??
The next day, we got to go on a safari! We were all so excited. It was cold and windy, but we didn't let that stop us--we were ready to go!
Checking out the buffalo before our tour.
These three did pretty well, despite the chilly, windy weather. Ford wasn't quite as happy, and especially did not like trying to eat during the ride. But I fed him as soon as we got to our break in the middle and after that, he did much better.
The animals we saw on the way were incredible!
We loved feeding them.
This was right before the tour guide told us NOT to touch the animals because they can carry all sorts of diseases. Oh dear!
The views at Fossil Rim were spectacular!
My favorite was the giraffes. :)
The animals inspired all kinds of odd behavior. :)
Charlie is on a major cheetah kick right now (given that they are the fastest land animal), so he was quite thrilled with the cheetahs that we saw. I had told him that there wouldn't be any "predators" on the tour, so he was quite excited to prove me wrong. :)
This ostrich caused one of the funniest incidents of our tour. The guide warned us not to get too close, as they can be mean. Evie apparently was not listening and was sitting next to the window with her big cup of animal food. I saw the ostrich lunging for her and yelled to Clint. He grabbed her out of the way right before the ostrich pecked her and "to distract the ostrich" (Clint's words), he threw Evie's entire cup of food out the window. Evie was FURIOUS (I think she was more mad about the food than the ostrich) and we could calm her down only by coaxing another cup of food out of the tour guide. :) She now loves this story, however, and is frequently retelling the dramatic story of how "Daddy saved Evie."
We loved the rhinos. Charlie was thrilled to find another semi-dangerous animal on our safari.
After the tour, we drove some exhausted kids back to Dallas...
...and played some dress up.
Next stop: Seguin for Easter!