After a great time at Padre Island, we started making our way back to San Antonio. We wanted to take the kiddos to Six Flags Fiesta Texas one more time, and we also wanted to stop in Austin and see some old friends from the Queen’s Swing Dance Club.
My S/I joint is sore, there’s sand between my toes and under my toenails, the arches of my feet ache…. and I’m happy.
The line is long, but the wait is worth it. The Iron Rattler is a big roller coaster and has a great drop, and K-girl and G-boy are both tall enough to ride it. K-girl loves it (and I do too, of course—if you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you probably already know I love most roller coasters).
If you were going to spend several months in a single US state to see as many natural areas as possible, Texas might be arguably the best place to go. We have been enjoying the natural beauty of Texas. Dinosaur Valley was a treat for parents and kids alike, and Meridian State Park was no different.
At Texas State Parks, you can go on easy hikes, rugged hikes, see nature in all its glory, and even find dinosaurs and the footprints they left behind millions of years ago. Texas is a beautiful place, full of charm, history, and a coastline boasting sunrises that will take your breath away.
For the last three and a half months, we have been living in our 32-foot RV, a cozy home on wheels that we acquired for an amazing deal back in our “hometown” of Kingston, Ontario. Life on the road is adventurous, exciting, and full of learning opportunities. I’m loving every minute.
We are privileged to be having this experience, and have seen more of Canada and the US. than most people get to see in a lifetime. From the unique scenery of Newfoundland, to the red sands of Prince Edward Island, to the scenic mountains of West Virginia, nature has blessed us with some incredible sights on this journey. And we’re enjoying some commercial entertainment too, especially all the roller coasters.
I can’t lie—if I could live as a permanent nomad, I probably would. I love the thrill of the road, the ability to pack up and leave anytime I want; the freedom that being a full-time traveller provides, all the interesting people we meet on the road.
But I do enjoy the comforts of a larger house, too. Having more than one bathroom tops that list of comforts. Indoor space for the kids to wander through is nice, too. And even though we’re having a good time travelling, we decided to spread out for a few days. And so it was that we rented an airbnb in Granbury, Texas, where we could spend Christmas in a larger space.
Our hosts, who met us at the home when we arrived, were really nice. We talked for a while, and they asked us why we chose Granbury. There was really no particular reason. We simply looked at the map and calculated the area we’d be around on December 23rd, and then looked for airbnbs in the area. We’d be in Dallas on the 22nd, so we just looked for places nearby. This particular airbnb popped up on a search, and it looked good and reasonably priced. So we went for it, and the place didn’t disappoint.
Impeccably decorated, clean as a whistle, and very spacious, the “Hangout on Hidden Cove” is a beautiful place to stay if you need a home away from home near the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We enjoyed all our extra space after more than three months in small quarters in our RV.
We made delicious meals in the beautiful kitchen, and the kids enjoyed some movies on the large, flat screen TV. I especially enjoyed the views of the water from the sun room.
Our hosts were friendly and very thoughtful. Before leaving us to enjoy the house, they pulled out a large bin of Lego for the children, who played with the toys for hours on end over our 3 days there. They also left water, flavoured water, and treats in the fridge and cupboards for us to enjoy (and we sure did).
The home has three beautiful bedrooms, one of which is an en suite. In the cozy sun room, there’s a sofa bed, so the children could each have had their own beds while we were here. Of course, G-boy and M-girl still ended up in the same bed anyway. K-girl enjoyed having a nice bright room all to herself. The kitchen table was large enough to accommodate all of us, and there were plenty of places to sit down and enjoy a good book, indoors and out.
One day, I might return to the Dallas/Fort Worth area for a vacation… and it’s tempting to rent this airbnb for a longer period. I’ll definitely keep this place in mind, because we made some beautiful memories with the kids here.
Normally, we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, but since this year we had nowhere to go, we just enjoyed a quiet evening on the 24th and opened presents on Christmas morning. We gave the kids the toys they wanted, plus new sweaters (they had all outgrown the ones we brought for the trip), and some fun little things, including bubbles and other small little toys. The children had a lovely time opening their presents, and then they played for a while.
After the kids had a chance to enjoy their gifts for a bit, we got ready for Christmas mass. We had looked up a church very close by, and we arrived early enough to ensure we’d have spot to park the big rig.
When we finally went into the church for mass, we realized we’d come to the Spanish service. As this was the last mass of the day, we stayed. It was an eye opener for me—I only understood about half of what the priest said. And I used to be fluent in Spanish. But after 18 years out of practice, I have forgotten a lot. It really is true; you don’t use it, you lose it. Time to brush up, I guess. I interpreted what I understood to Dan and the kids after the service was over, and I explained our error to the priest when we spoke to him after mass. He immediately switched to English, and gave us a blessing for our travels.
In the evening, we decorated our gingerbread “house.” I found this at Walmart and thought it was very appropriate for this year. The girls decorated one side and G-boy decorated the other. They had fun with the candies and icing, and they had even more fun eating it the next day.
On Boxing Day, we packed up our things, cleaned up the airbnb, and headed out to Dinosaur Valley State Park. We had a wonderful Christmas, and we hope yours was truly blessed.
The gunshot rings in the air… and out of it falls a chicken, directly in front of the young boys’ toes. Fort Worth Texas is the Wild West, and you better believe there’s going to be a gun fight.
After being a little underwhelmed at Six Flags Great Adventure, I was interested in seeing if the Texas park was better. Don’t get me wrong—the rides in New Jersey were fun. But the park looked old and the staff wasn’t very friendly. I love amusement parks and roller coasters though, so I’m always willing to give things another try.
As the Christmas hymn plays, the water accompanies the rises and falls in the melody.