Archive for June, 2009

Caddo-LBJ National Grasslands

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Click for Decatur, Texas Forecast

About 50 miles to the northeast of the Dallas/Fort Worth area, is the town of Decatur, TX. We were visiting our friends, Roland and Karen, who have a summer place in the area.  Unfortunately, we were parked under some trees and couldn’t receive a satellite signal from our dome on top of the 5th wheel.  Since we were only going to be there a couple of days, we didn’t set up the tripod.

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When driving in the area, we came across a sign for the Caddo-LBJ National Grasslands. The four of us decided that it was time to explore the site.  There are two nearby parks, the Caddo (18,000 acres) and the LBJ Grasslands (20,000 acres).  We took a look at the LBJ section.  It is fairly undeveloped and scattered around. (Note the blue areas on the map below.) There are a few picnic areas, lakes, along with numerous walking and horseback riding trails.

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We stopped for a while at a recreational area consisting of some primitive campgrounds, picnic areas and a small lake.

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It appears that this girl figured out how to escape the heat.

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A ranger wandered along and provided us with good information about the park and walked with us for a while. When we reach the cars, he gave us a map of the chopped up park to help us.

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For more information about the grasslands, click here.

Granddaughter Week Ends

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

Click for Garland, Texas Forecast

We have had a wonderful time, but were also glad to see this day arrive.  Our final day with the girls was to be spent at the Firewheel  Hawaiian Falls Waterpark in Garland, TX.

I’ll have to hand it to Tinka, she planned things and kept everyone moving the entire week.  I don’t know how she kept up the energy level.  I positioned myself for the day under a small palapa with my book and didn’t really move except for a float on the Lazy River.

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Tinka also took advantage of the Lazy River which makes a slow 1/4 mile circle.

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The girls exhausted themselves moving from one attraction to the next.

Fountains

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Half-Pipe

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Playground areas that give you a surprise soak.

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Waiting for the waves a the wave pool.

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Small Slides

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And large tubes.

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The fun continued until park closing time at 6:00 PM.  Then we picked up some happy meals for the kids and delivered them to their parents.  We realize, once again, why young people have kids.

On the way home we ordered take-out from Olive Garden, grabbed a bottle of wine and went home to collapse.

Swim Day

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Click for Cedar Hill, Texas Forecast

Swim Day, also known as “Regain Our Sanity Day”, turned out to be another beautiful day.

Cedar Hill State Park is located on Joe Pool Lake just minutes south of downtown Dallas, TX. The park is quite wooded and prior to our arrival, in order to insure TV reception, we wandered the entire place with a compass to determine satellite-dome-friendly sites.  In other words, RV sites that open toward the south and are long enough for our rig.  Many sites are quite short and can handle a car for tenters.  All site areas are large and most have a covered picnic table.  There are several clean bath houses with toilets and showers.  Most sites have 30 AMP electric and water.  There are two large dump stations.

We selected several sites and, upon arrival, found our third selection available.  We had a long site and lake access.  We have a path that extends about 50 yards to our “private” beach.

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The girls love the spot and spent quite a bit of time there making “rocks” which consisted of mud and shells.

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We had planned to tour the Penn Farm, which is located on the park property, but it was too hot.

Tinka decided to take the girls over to the designated swimming area near the park’s yacht club.

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The girls had a great time, but mentioned that they like their own little beach just as well.   After dining in style on hot dogs, the girls were spent.

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Now for the test, under the 5th wheel, I spotted this beetle.

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I’ve never seen one like it.  It was about an inch long and just crawled around slowly.  If anyone knows the name of this critter, please let us know.

Six Flags – “More Flags, More Fun”

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Click for Arlington, Texas Forecast

Another day with the grandchildren, another amusement adventure.  Today was Six Flags Over Texas.  I figured that we put in about 1.5 hours per flag.

Our first ride was a huge water ride that drenched us completely.  It’s been decades since I had the opportunity to wander around for hours with damp underwear.

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It was 98 degrees today.  They have the nerve to charge $6.00 for two bottles of water.   Thank goodness that they have drinking fountains and misters (Fans that spew a fine spray of water.) to keep you cool.

The biggest treat for all, except Tinka, was the Judge Roy Scream roller coaster.

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This wooden coaster is one of the oldest in the park and still as much fun.

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Here’s the first of many successful exits.

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The sombrero went over well with the kids.  There is something about a ride that only goes backwards that I don’t like.

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The girls look a little bored on the Mini-Mine Train

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Only Ayden would ride the Gunslinger, a giant rotating swing.

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Tinka and Gracie tried their hand at the parachute, in the background.

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The place is lousy with superheros and cartoon characters.  These were my favorites.

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Every time that we saw one of the characters, Gracie made a bee line to them to give them a big hug.

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Apparently Ayden was too shy, except for this dirty old man.

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Even Tinka got into the act.  The old man does pretty well with the ladies.

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Here’s a tip.  If you want to try to go Six Flags, I would suggest that you purchase your tickets online.

IMAX – Night at the Museum, 2

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Click for Fort Worth, Texas Forecast

Fort Worth is loaded with really great museums.  So while we were in town, we decided to head over to the Fort Worth Museum of Science where they house a terrific IMAX theater. The name of the theater is the Omni Theater.  Currently showing is the film, appropriately enough, Night at the Museum, 2.

The girls, hiding in the bushes, barely escaped this dinosaur on the way in to the theater.

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The flashbulb ogre stole Ben Stiller’s the face from the poster.

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This was Rick’s first IMAX.  The screen is huge and fills the dome of the theater.  The chairs recline for easy viewing.

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Bring a sweater.  It gets pretty cold in there.