Each time I cross something off my Texas Bucket List I document it here, both because Chasing Roots serves as my Texas journal and because looking back on these posts and "watching" our love affair, if you will, with our now-home state unfold is a beautiful thing.
You can see my full - but ever-growing - Texas Bucket List here. Feel free to let me know what I'm missing!
We've taken two- and three-day vacations to both Houston and San Antonio, and while I know visitors can't possibly see and do everything these cities have to offer in such a short period of time, we did our best to fit in as much as our young children would allow us to given their ages and temperaments at the time of each trip. I imagine we will eventually circle back around to these cities to catch more of their tourist destinations and local hotspots, but our Texas Bucket List requires us to hit the rest of Texas' big cities first.
Over spring break, we headed to Austin for a whirlwind tour of just a few of the city's highlights. After stopping in Caldwell for breakfast - kolaches for Tom, Will, and me and a sugar cookie (not a battle we fight while on vacation) for Hallie - we spent a few hours brushing up on our Texas history at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. We enjoyed the many exhibits, artifacts, and galleries and loved the museum's multi-sensory film, Shipwrecked, which tells the true story of the sinking of La Belle, "the ship that changed history".
|We took quite a few pics of Will - by himself - with |
landmarks, as each one is worth classroom cash at school.
|Hallie's sugar cookie breakfast.|
|Will, Hallie, and the massive |
Texas star outside the museum.
|Outside the Texas State Capitol.|
|My maiden name is Mueller, so we took quite a few pictures with |
the Mueller Lake, Mueller Park, and Mueller Town Center signs.
|We all found this touch-sensitive light board somewhat hypnotic.|
|The kids - Hallie in particular - loved identifying |
different kinds of skin cells using microscopes.
The following day we spent the morning at Zilker Park. We visited the newly restored Park Ranger Station (we happened upon this building and the park ranger on duty eagerly showed us around for close 30 minutes), rode the train, played on the playground, toured the Splash exhibit, and checked out the Barton Springs Pool. We didn't swim because the spring-fed pool was closed for cleaning, but even if it had been open, I don't know that we would have considered the weather warm enough to jump into the 68-degree water. We also hiked to the beautiful Campbell's Hole, where we waded in the stream and Hallie fell in up to her waist and elbows. She responded as one might expect...
|The park ranger station, which up until a couple of months ago had |
been "walled off" behind a six-foot fence and in dire need of restoration.
|The Barton Hills swimming pool - someday I'll cross |
going off that diving board off my Texas Bucket List!
|Enjoying the park's "Splash" exhibit.|
|"Keep Austin Weird", right? This musician |
serenaded us as we rode by on the train.
|Will wading in the water at Campbell's Hole.|
|Tom and Hallie wading, right before...|
|...Hallie fell in up to her waist and elbows.|
|Tom and the kids hiked up to a small cave along|
the trail. I was nursing (and continue to nurse) a
severely pulled hamstring, so I couldn't join them.
|Food truck heaven!|
|Don't mess with...Will?|
|6th Street in downtown Austin.|
|Checking out the Pandora tent at SXSW.|
|One of our favorite street musicians.|
|He was incredible - check out the video below!|
|Maybe my favorite pic from the trip...|
We wrapped up our 6th Street adventure with frozen yogurt and smoothies from Berry, Hut's famous onion rings (which didn't impress us as we'd hoped), and a late night pizza party back at our hotel.
|The kids didn't quite get Berry's sign.|
|The onion rings from Hut's were mediocre...I wish we'd|
been hungry enough at the time to try their hamburgers!
Hallie in particular enjoyed acting scared whenever an opportunity presented itself.
And finally, because I know those of you who follow Chasing Roots regularly are wondering...did Hallie take any of her signature "I hate family vacation" photos? Well, 30 minutes into the trip we captured this one:
|There were approximately 19 things wrong when I |
took this photo: the grass was wet, the sun was bright,
I was taking a picture of Will alone, and we wouldn't
stop at McDonald's for breakfast, to name a few.
|I kind of love it.|