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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Our Texas Trip (Y'all) *photo heavy*

Ok so I'm finally getting around to this. Yippee!

Last weekend, my little family and I went on a four day road trip to Texas and back. My stepdaugther Amanda lives there and we decided to visit her because we haven't seen her for a while and also because she just had a birthday. Here's some snippets of our trip...

We left Colorado Springs on Thursday. Mitch planned out our route and we decided to stop by Carlsbad Caverns on our way to Texas.

Because of tough times right now we decided to take the cheapest route we can with this road trip. So we brought some food with us so we didn't have to stop at a fast food joint at every meal. For our lunch, we pulled over the road, luckily there was a tree on a long stretch of open road, and made sandwiches. This tree was a blessing because New Mexico was HOT that day.

We drove past the famous Roswell city and it was filled with all things aliens. It was fun to see all the E.T. type of decorations that filled it's main street.

just me trying a self portrait infront of the truck's side mirror. I've been doing this for all of our roadtrips. I'm thinking of putting them together in a scrapbook page one day. :)

This photo was taken at the little city just before the entrance to the Carlsbad Caverns. The people there sure capitalize a lot on their aliens!

When we got there, we were too late to tour the cavern so we had our dinner (ate our packed food again) and then watched the famous "bat flight". We've seen that on tv was looking forward to big group of bats but unfortunately they've been having a dry season and there's not a lot of moths for the bats to eat therefore there's not a lot of them roosting in the cavern compared to years past. I didn't get to take anyphotos of the bat flight since we were not allowed to bring our cameras.

that night, we searched for an open space not too far from the road, parked our truck and slept in it! Yes I'm telling you, we were cutting cost everywhere we can. It wasn't actually that bad. The bed of the truck was long enough that Mitch and I were able to sleep comfortably inside our sleeping bags in there and we folded the second row seat in the cab where kids slept inside their sleeping bags as well.

On our way to the entrance of the cave (where the self guided tour started) was the amphitheater where we waited for the bats to fly out of the cave the night before.

another shot of the amphitheater from a different angle.

and here's the winding road down the entrance of the cave. This will be the last spot where we will see natural light until we get done with the tour. According to the map, it is 1 mile to get down to the "big room" where all the majestic formations are at and another 1 mile to go all the way around the "room". It took us roughly 2 hours to go through 'em all.

as many caverns and caves, there are a lot of nooks and cranny to go through.

I have to say that the photo just doesn't do justice to what we saw down there. With low lighting and the flash (which I needed badly),it just doesn't capture the beauty of the stalactites and stalagmites well.

This photo was taken when we finally got down to the big room. They said that this spot of the cave is 6 football fields big. The kids were getting tired by the time we got here and we had to literally drag them around the trail because they kept on stopping.

These are really huge rock formations that took centuries to build. Just amazing! As you can see, they're not just huge but the textures on them are just awe inspiring.

my favorite photo of the day. No photoshop here just got lucky that the dark background kinda gave it that darkened edge all around the rock formation.

and here's another favorite photo of mine. The kids sooo tired from our hike that they immediately fell asleep in the truck with mouths open! Seriously made me crack up!

We finally got to the city where Amanda lived at about 8pm. We met her at about 9, chatted a bit then headed to a hotel for the night (we needed the shower. LOL) The following day we picked up Amanda and her boyfriend Devon then headed to Hamilton pool. They recommended this place and once we got there,

we were blown away by the beauty of the landscape and the natural pool.

the rock formations eroded in time and created this beautiful shaded part where the water from a connecting river rests. The water is nice and cool plus it had fishes in it! That says natural in all sense of the word to me.

After swimming for a bit, some of us walked around the pool and this is another photo of the beautiful pool in a different angle. I can only imagine this place when there's water up in the top of the hill. There's probably a good amount that it is a beautiful cascading fall there too.

and here's a shot of the family. I was going to set the camera by a rock but a passerby was kind enough to take the shot for us. This spot was uneven hence the reason why I looked the shortest out of all the adults. :)

the pool got crowded after 11 am so we decided to pack up, get out of our swim clothes and take the other trail to go to the river side. The scenery was great but because of it being so humid, the hike was not a fun one for me nor the kids. They kept on stopping because they were tired and I kept on fanning myself and wiping out the sweat. We didn't even get to the end of the trail because the kids' had given up on us. Marcus just decided to stop in the middle of the trail, sat down and even after many coaxing refused to move forward anymore.

When we finally left the pool, the line to go into the parking lot, just the parking lot was about 20 cars long. Surely a popular place and no wonder because it was a great place!

and we can't visit Texas without having some BBQ! We found this place while driving back to Amanda's apartment. Don't really recall the name of the place since I was half asleep, half awake when we got there. But the food instantly perked me up. It was delish! Mitch got the ribs and he said that it is a definitely competition for Rudy's (our fave BBQ place in Colorado Springs) ribs. I got the jalapeno sausage and chicken. Both of them were super yummy and the sides didn't disappoint as well. Plus the best part, they were not too expensive! That's my kind of food!

So after dropping Amanda and Devon home, we headed northeast to see Mitch's friend Wesley in the Dallas area. We got there at about 9pm and they treated us to dinner at Babe's chicken restuarant. That was a surprisingly fun experience. The vibe was casual and laid back and our waitress as showing all sorts of tricks and telling jokes I felt we got a little show with our meal. The food was great too. I got their country fried steak and besides it massive size, it was simply cooked yet very flavorful. So much so that I had to ask how they bread/cook the meat. I'm definitely going to try their technique the next time I make a country fried steak. The kids enjoyed the chicken tenders and biscuits with honey. Mitch forced himself to finish their smoked chicken. Just like mine it was a big portion.

So after visiting with them for a while we finally headed back on the road at about 10 pm. Driving for another 2 hours finally settling in a rest area and parked their for the night. It was not a good sleep compared to the first night we camped in our truck because of all the traffic that we heard not to mention the loud 18-wheeler trucks that was parked in the same area as we were.

The following day was spent driving until we got home at about 6pm.

So that's our trip. Thank you for enduring through all of those pictures and words. And we are thankful for all of our family and friends that showed us a great "Texas style" time!Yeehaw! *wink*

Till next time,



Anonymous said...

That was a lot of fun. I am happy for Marcus and Maddie that they had these experiences in their early life. Mitch knows how to educate his family about nature and places. Kudos to Mitch.
You too must have enjoyed those sights too considering different subjects to covered by your camera. Great.


Jan said...

sounds like a super fun road trip :)

Amanda said...

I am glad you enjoyed your stay in tx and I had a ton of fun and I am glad I got to see you guys! I sure miss the family and I will defiantly be saving up to see you in Colorado! I love you guys!