The BEST Toy Store EVER

I would love to say that my children’s favorite place to visit in Taos, New Mexico during our recent family vacation was the Taos Pueblo, which is the oldest inhabited pueblo in the United States.  Without electricity or running water, the Red Willow tribe has inhabited the pueblo for over a 1000 years and  about 80 people still live there.  It has been designated an UNESCO World Heritage site. Our visit coincided with the annual festival of Santa Ana. But, I had mistakenly promised the … [Read more...]

Crested Butte: Summer in the Mountains

Every other summer my side of the family gets together for about five days--usually in one of the mountain towns of Colorado. This year we headed to Crested Butte. The area, in the East River Valley, was once the summer residence of the Ute Indians. Later it became a silver and coal mining town and now it is a popular ski area in the winter and a biking mecca in the summer. The base lodge area, where we are staying, offers something for everyone.  My brother, Chad, and his two older sons took … [Read more...]

Reach for the Stars: McDonald Observatory

"Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us -- there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries." Carl Sagan Yesterday I encouraged you to swim with the fish--the catfish and minnows of Balmorhea State Park. Don't leave this area of West Texas quite yet because you are about to look up into the heavens and be amazed. A mere 40 minutes away from Balmorhea … [Read more...]

Let the Kids Swim with the Fishes–Balmorhea State Park

Minnows dart around your legs. Black catfish slyly seem to circle around your body. If you are a kid it doesn't get much better than this! Welcome to Balmorhea State Park. Only five hours from San Antonio, it was our first (and for the under 10 travelers their favorite) stop on our Spring Break RV tour. You can see my overview post here. Blamorhea hosts the world's largest spring-fed swimming pool. The pool covers almost 1.75 acres and it stays a nice cool 72-76 degrees year round. … [Read more...]

Hit the Road, Jack. . .Renting an RV for Spring Break

We're impulsive people. During the Christmas holidays, facing a 15 hour drive to Denver,  we seriously contemplated buying a used RV from Craigslist. Food. . .Potty Breaks. . .Movement. . .naps in a bed. . . we figured we'd cut that drive time in HALF. Then the adult voice of reason overwhelmed the egg-nogged drunk voice of "Let's DO IT!" and we decided that we first better rent one and see if this was the answer to our travel prayers. So for Spring Break Scott rented us a 31 footer that … [Read more...]

Riding the Rails for Spring Break

  For Spring Break we rode the rails. Okay--we took a two hour train ride from Cedar Park, Texas to Burnet, Texas, ate bar-b-que and took the train back. It was a low stress and low expectation type of trip--and the children LOVED it! Here we are trying to figure out which train car we are riding. Dylan did not let go of this backpack the entire trip!   The contents of the backpack made sense only to a two year old. I think it contained a Thomas train, a bright … [Read more...]