A Visit At The Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

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Since we are not big with traditional Easter celebrations, Kevin and I decided to go with the girls to the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. The park is located south of the Dinosaur Valley State Park outside Glen Rose; and 55 miles SW from Fort Worth. That’s about an hour and a half drive from our house.

When we arrived at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, the girls and I stepped out of the car to see some American Bisons, while Kevin paid for the access tickets and a bag of feed. The park has guided tours, safari tours, family tours, etc. We chose to drive with our own car through the park. This way we are on our own time and speed to see the animals. Kevin explained the park rules to us, before we entered the park: “Girls, only the giraffes can be hand fed. No other animal should be touched and petted. When you feed the other animals, throw some feed on the ground away from the car. They will find it. And you can watch them, eating it.” Sara was not sure, if she really wants to hand feed a giraffe. These animals are sooo big for her. But we will see how she does, when a giraffe approaches her.

Katelynn and Sara were fascinated seeing calm ostriches, addax, antelopes, deer, and other animals. The zebras seemed to be very happy as well. At about mid-point of the 7.2 mile drive are the Nature Store and the Overlook CafΓ© located in the wildlife park. We had lunch at the cafΓ©, before we went to see the giraffes.

Once the giraffes came to our car, Sara held her hand out and waited for one of the long-necked animals to take the feed from her. She loved how gentle the big giraffe took the food out of her hands. KatelynnΒ fed the giraffe, too. She wanted to experience how it feels, when a giraffe takes food out of her hands. The little giraffe came over to take a nibble out of Sara’s hand and left some saliva as a “Thank you” on her hand. Sara didn’t mind. She fed two giraffes without being scared. Later, she would wash it off with some water and soap in the bathroom. “That was AWESOME!” she cheered. “But now, my hand is wet from the little giraffe.”

We went on to see more animals, before we left the park. It was a beautiful way to spend Easter Sunday. Katelynn and Sara both mentioned several times that they had fun, on our way home. But first we had some ice cream to round up this nice trip.

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Our Cute Lil’ “Bunny”

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Since this Sunday will be Easter, I dug out a couple of photos of our little ” Easter Bunny”, Sara. When she was younger, she loved those bunny ears. I remember, I always had to get four or five of them, so she could wear them at any season. When one of those ears broke, we had back up ears for her. Isn’t she spoiled rotten? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰

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Camping At Lake Ouachita State Park, Arkansas

March 11 – 12, 2018

Kevin and I were making plans to go camping on Spring Break, a couple of weeks ago. We didn’t want to go too far, which means in Texas “slang”: up to six hours distance is okay; but no 18 – 20 hour one way trip. Kevin mentioned Arkansas and Oklahoma as a destination. Well, we’ve been in Oklahoma quite often in recent years. And so I looked for a good camping spot in Arkansas. After a little discussion, we decided we would go to Lake Ouachita State Park.

Everything was prepared and packed for Sunday morning. Around 10:30 a.m. we left home and drove toward Texarkana. Before we arrived at the border, we made a short stop to refresh. Sara wanted her sandwich, I prepared at home in the morning. And we all got hungry a little bit, after she mentioned it.

In Arkansas, we stopped at the first Rest Area/Tourist Center on Interstate 30. I wanted to get more brochure of the State Park. While we were on our way, I had the chance to read a little bit more into it.Around 4 p.m. we arrived in the park. Kevin stopped at the Visitor Center to check us in, before we went to our campground. It was a nice Walk-In Campground with one dozen tent spaces. What I liked about the camping area, there was a pre-made square gravelled area for the tent to sit on it. It could fit one big tent or two to four small tents. The area was very clean. And I was happy to find clean toilets/shower rooms.

The wind was something else. It took Kevin, the girls and I quite a bit of strength to keep the tent up. Luckily, we found some big stones to put inside the tent corners. And Kevin tight twoΒ  corners to the nearby trees. Once the bedding was in the tent, we were settled. I warmed up some beef, potatoes and corn, which I cooked the night before. The wind was cooling the temperatures quickly. And the meal hit it spot on. After dinner, the girls roasted each a couple of marshmallows. They skipped some stones over the water’s surface, before the sun set.Β We went to bed early that night. The wind was just too strong and cool. It was no fun staying out.

The following morning, we kept our stay short. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel well and wanted to go see my bed at home. I wish, we could have seen a lot more.Β  It was cool, but the wind had died out on Monday morning. For a five hour drive one way, it was extremely short. We have to go back there another time, when it is warmer. On a good note, we didn’t have to deal with mosquitoes at this time of the year.

Home of The Super Bowl Champions 2018

Last year in June, Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I were in Philadelphia. We also past the Lincoln Financial Field, while driving on the Delaware Expressway/Interstate 95. Since the Philadelphia Eagles won this year’s Super Bowl, I pulled up photos of their home stadium.

Travel Journal, Day 6 & 7: From Arizona Back To Texas

December 29 & 30, 2017

Friday was a much better day. I was back to my normal self. After getting cleaned up and leaving the motel, we ate breakfast in a family owned restaurant. At the table next to us sat four tourists from Sweden. They were here to see the canyons in Arizona and Utah, before they would go to the Californian coast. I shared some information, about the Antelope Canyon and the Colorado River Discovery Tour in Page. Back in May 2008, Kevin, Katelynn and I went camping at the Grand Canyon. While we were in Arizona, we also did the above mentioned tours, walked the rim of the Barringer Meteor Crater for half a mile, and looked at petrified wood and mesas along the Interstate 40. This is the reason why we stayed only for a couple of hours at the Grand Canyon, this time. That way Sara could see the canyon, before we drove back home to Texas.

A little bit north of the Barringer Meteor Crater is a rest area at Interstate 40. I let Kevin know, that I would like to stop and capture several photos of the outer crater rim. Katelynn, Sara and I climbed up on some boulders to get a better few of the rim. It is still huge, seen from a 6-mile distance. Since Kevin, Katelynn and I have seen the Barringer Meteor Crater almost 10 years ago, we decided to save the money and move on.

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The Barringer Meteor Crater in Arizona

At Friday evening we left New Mexico and made it past Amarillo in Texas.Β  At the rest area we slept for several hours in the car. It was nice and cozy with all the blankets and comforters we were wrapped in. And it was a good decision, we stopped in the Texas Panhandles. Shortly after some dense fog rolled in. But the colder wind blew it out of the area over night.

On Saturday morning, we got some breakfast from a drive thru place and moved on. There were only 290 miles left to get home. We all were relieved, when Kevin drove up the driveway. Lexi, Luis, Joshua and Chewbacca greeted us, as soon as we opened the front door. After a long trip with the van, it was so nice to be back home. πŸ™‚

~ The End ~

Travel Journal, Day 5: From California To Arizona

December 28, 2017

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Viva Las Vegas! Sin City looks like an average city by daylight.

On that Thursday, I didn’t feel well when I woke up with a neck ache. I took an Ibuprofen and made sure I stayed hydrated throughout the day. But I still could not get rid of it. Later in the day it turned into a headache. We think, the higher elevation driving through California and Nevada played a part in it. Hoover Dam was planned in. I told Kevin, I can’t make it all the way up the stairs to stand on the bridge and look down Hoover Dam. “How about we cross it and find a parking spot on the other side? I don’t mind seeing it from the backside. It still will be impressive”, I suggested. Said, done. After looking at the Hoover Dam and parts of Lake Mead/Colorado River, capturing some photos and a potty break, we found out we had to cross the dam again. The road to the dam in Arizona was closed. So, we had back track to get to Highway 93. Driving through Arizona, I grabbed my neck pillow and took a nap for most of the way to Williams, AZ. I was glad, when I could stretch out and sleep in the motel bed. Kevin, Katelynn and Sara went for a walk and had dinner in that small Western-style town.

… to be continued …

Travel Journal, Day 4 (Part II): Disneyland ~ From Power Outage Until Leaving The Park

December 27, 2017

First of all I like to say, I experienced first hand how the media is full of themselves. Worldwide it was reported, that Disneyland had a mega power outage and the guests had to leave the park. BULLSHIT! (Yes, I said it “B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T!” And I’m too old that I have to explain, why I curse sometimes. So, if someone feels offended in any way: Don’t let the door hit ya, where the dear Lord split ya! πŸ˜‰ ) The outage lasted maybe 15 minutes maximum, and the people who left the park, where just too exhausted with that many people vistiting the park that day. Now this is said, I move on with my regular vacation blog.

While Fantasyland experienced a power outage, Kevin and I decided to go with Katelynn and Sara to Tomorrowland. Oh boy, that was a mistake! That part of the park was even more gridlocked than Critter Country and the New Orleans Square. I said to Kevin: “Do you know, what? Since it is so crowded, let’s take the train and go back over to Mickey’s Toontown. Maybe we run into some characters. The girls would enjoy that. Waiting in line for a ride seems so much less stressful, than trying to get from one place to another.” Kevin agreed, while we walked over to wait for the Disneyland Railroad.

Several trains came and left the station, before it was our turn. We got the train car booth all the way at the end, which was very nice. Arriving at the station by Mickey’s Toontown, we had some ice cream under the railroad bridge. Kevin mentioned, it was short before 3:30 pm. If we wanted to see the parade, we needed to hurry. But the girls and I enjoyed sitting with our ice cream on the bench next to Mickey’s Toontown. After the refreshing break, we ran into Pluto and went on the Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin ride. While Kevin and Katelynn rode the Gadget’s Go Coaster, Sara and I walked around and looked at some characters’ houses and boats.

It was dark, when Kevin and Katelynn came back from their ride in the coaster. When we left Mickey’s Toontown, we passed “It’s A Small World”. Wow! It was breath taking seeing the display lit up in all these wonderful Christmas lights. We didn’t care, that the line was long. When it was our turn to sit in the boat, we spent about two and a half hours in line. But it would be all worth it. The ride was fun and made up for a lot of stuff in the park.

Our plan was seeing the fireworks. But when Katelynn and I sat on the ground, while Kevin and Sara got some hotdogs for dinner, we both felt the exhaustion. Katelynn just wanted to go to bed. She was very tired. And once I sat down, I had a hard time to move a muscle. Kevin and I decided to skip the fireworks, and go back to the hotel. It was a very good decision. We avoided the big crowd trying to get out of the park after the firework display. Spending about twelve hours in a park, was long enough.

When we came back to the hotel, we all were so tired, we fell asleep within a few minutes.

… to be continued …

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NOTE: My two blogs about Disneyland might come across negative. But it is not against the park or its staff. I love Disney. And I love their parks as well. But we’ve noticed, that the visitors are a little more “aggressive”, than what we usually experience in Walt Disney World. Some of them trying to get to their rides fast, without acknowledging their surroundings; or they are lost and don’t know, what to do next, stop in the middle of the bottle neck, which makes the walk not flowing smoothly. This can get very frustrating for other visitors, who would like enjoy their day in Disneyland. It’s food for thought. πŸ˜‰