Friday, May 22, 2015

Ian working for Memorial Day

Ian had a bit of work today for the Boy Scouts - he got to plant some flags at the Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery in preparation for Memorial Day.

We had some bad intel and got there an hour too soon, but Ian was a trooper and lasted all the way until we finally got to go plant some flags.

We barely missed some rain, having finished up in the newer part of the cemetery and then walking to the car to get to the next part of the cemetery.  We got stuck in a huge traffic jam (unreal what some people think when they park their vehicles blocking the ONLY route out!), during which it rained fairly heavily.

Our plans are pretty soft for the weekend - the weather doesn't look like it is going to play nice, and I have my final couple of weeks of school to finish, as well as a comprehensive final oral exam to prepare for.  Have a great weekend!


Monday, May 4, 2015

Hamilton Pool and Westcave Preserve

Yesterday (Sunday) was a beautiful day, so after church I loaded up Catherine and the kids into the car to take a chance at getting into Hamilton Pool.  I say take a chance, because the county park officials regulate how many people can get into the pool (swimming hole) at any one point in time.  The park is located about 20 miles or so west and south of Austin.

We took our chances, hoping that since it was early May and Sunday, that we'd be able to get in (they don't allow you to wait along the road, so it is either make it or don't).  When we first got there, they were turning folks away, the pool was closed.  Fortunately, there was a sign for Westcave preserve just a mile down the road, so we went there to see if that was worth visiting.

It was.

The photo, below, is from the area just outside the visitor's center at Westcave.  The flowers and cacti were blooming, which were really very pretty.

We got there in time to sign up for a guided tour down to the Westcave and grotto, which we all agreed was cooler than Hamilton Pool (we got in on our way home).  The kids chatted up the tour guide the ENTIRE way to the grotto, Catherine and I were chopped liver...

The tour guide told us she enjoyed the questions and comments (rattlesnakes are actually polite, because they rattle before they strike - says Ian in regards to the tour guide's comment about all four poisonous snakes residing in/around the preserve).  Gotta love that boy!

The photos, above, are from the grotto just outside of Westcave.  Leah is doing her modeling thing.  Again, I have no idea where she learned that.

We spent about two hours roaming around Westcave, enjoying the hike and the sights.  We left Westcave and went past Hamilton Pool to see if we could enter the second time around, which we were able to do.  So we hiked the quarter mile down from the parking lot to the crowded pool.  It is a really good idea that they control the numbers, or this place would be teeming with people.

The roof to this cave fell in a long, long time ago, leaving this really cool swimming hole, complete with waterfall.  Thanks to the magic of photoshop, I've cloned out most of the people, leaving in only those folks on the far side under the waterfall.  We are glad we went to see it (the kids got their feet wet - water was 65F, no way I was going to swim), but we all thought the Westcave Preserve was neater.  I'm sure in July when the temperature is 105F+ that Hamilton Pool would be the better place to go cool off (you aren't swimming at Westcave), but for our money, Westcave was the better of the two.

Have a great day!


Saturday, May 2, 2015

End of fourth semester, and beginning of summer fun!

This past Thursday was the last day of my fourth semester, all that is left is the fifth "mini-meeter" . . . about 6-7 weeks.  From there we head back east.  It feels good to be wrapping up the didactic portion of my next degree, and I am looking forward to putting this new knowledge and skills to good use.

Until then, though, we'll enjoy some sun and fun while we can!  And that means swimming.

If you are Ian and Leah.

Catherine and I think it is a shade too cold to swim just yet, but the water is almost to the perfect temperature.

Both kids had a great time in the pool, they've already logged several hours this week.

Catherine had a nice opportunity to visit with a friend in town on business from our Cincinnati days, so I stayed home and made pizza with the kids.

Catherine didn't stay out late, so when she came back I decided I wanted a couple of photos of the kids.  I unpacked my flash gear, for which Leah strutted her stuff like a real life model.  We don't know where she got it, but she would change poses after every pop of the flash - she is too cute.  Ian just wanted the process to be over, but I really like the photo I got of him, I think it is the best one in quite some time.

Have a great day!