In Texas we first went to Big Thicket National Park; they have a nice visitor center but many of the areas were closed due to flooding. Next, we went to Padre Island National Seashore and it was windy! In fact, my dad’s hat blew off and the whole RV shook like crazy one night and none of us could sleep.
We left the area due to the bad weather and headed to San Antonio. First, we went to the San Antonio Missions (a national park) that were developed to convert indians to Christianity and forts to protect them from the war prone Apache Indians. Altogether, we went to four missions including the Alamo. It was at the Alamo that we lost a battle in the Mexican-American Wars fighting for Texas. Mexico actually established land rights in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Oregon and our ancestors fought to take the land.
Second, in San Antonio we went to the famed River Walk. The River Walk is touristy since the river is lined by hotels, restaurants, and gift shops. However, I did like it because we enjoyed food here, saw boats drive by, and stopped to admire water fountains along the route. Our third stop was the La Villata – the old town of San Antonio – the old adobe building have been turned into an artist colony. There were candles made here, a copper gallery with hand painted copper, glass blower, paint shops, and leather workers. Our final stop in San Antonio was the Tower of the Americas built for the world fair. The Tower of Americas is a tall tower and had an observation deck on top. You could see all of San Antonia from the top of the tower. We also got to see a 4-D movie about the “Sky’s Over Texas” that had a simulator that moved and everyone in awhile a special effect would send out water or steam to enhance the movie.
We went to Austin after leaving San Antonio. Our first stop was the Children’s Museum of Austin. We had already been to many museums so we had done most of the experiments and seen most of the exhibits before. We had a good time here though. We also stopped the LBJ library but most of it was closed. We stopped off by the bat bridge where up to 500,000 bats roast each year. We could hear and smell them. The second day we went to the University of Texas that had a huge open house. It was cool: we saw a laser light show, we completed a bunch of crafts, we did a bunch of science experiments, we played some fun games for candy, and we got to play old video games. We had a great time here but did not get to visit all the school’s departments. Our final day in Austin was spent at the 83rd annual kite festival. We got to make new kites for free and they flew pretty good; there must have been thousands of kites. It was fun! We even found two new kite that got stuck in the trees that other people had given up on retrieving.
We left Austin and headed to Amistad National Recreation Area. We went to a fun ranger program here called, “Ancient Hunting and Fishing”. There were free donuts! Plus, the ranger talked about weapons and traps the Native Americans used to hunt animals. This guy had a lot of things go wrong during his presentation. First, he showed us how they used an atlatl and he got an arrowhead stuck in his target. Next, he showed us how to use a rabbit stick, similar to a boomerang and he lost it in the cacti. He then showed us how to use a trap but it didn’t spring and my brother used a stuffed chipmunk and escaped with the bait. The final problem was the trap was a big flat rock that broke in half. After the talk, we got to shoot the bow and arrow. I removed the stuck arrowhead for him, someone retrieved the boomerang for him, and he needed to get a new rock for future traps.
We headed to Big Bend National Park. In Big Bend National Park we celebrated my brother’s birthday, so we stayed at a nice campground/resort for his birthday. We hiked and biked here, slid down a large rock, made a cake, ate at the resort, and opened his gifts. There were a ton of kids for spring break but we spent a large park of the time playing with his new Wii games and Nintendo games. We saw a new animal called a Javelina which is a large rodent resembling a pig.
Next, we went to Marfa and tried to see the “mystery lights” but we never did. We also drove to the Museum of Big Bend in Alpine; it was a small but nice history museum. We also went to Fort Davis and went to the national park – an old Indian fort, the Chihuahuan Desert Center, and went to McDonald Observatory for a tour. The observatory was a great tour and we got to play with some more science exhibits.
Our final stop in Texas was another national park called Guadalupe National Park. We went on a hike here. It was okay but hot. Next, we head to New Mexico. Overall, we had a great time in central and western Texas.