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Travelogue: Texas


June 17, 2017

Our First Family Road Trip

This is a trip I have been looking forward to for quite some time. We’ve only been down to visit my sister and her husband one time since they’ve moved to Texas. One time! With two kiddos and our chaotic schedules, we’ve struggled with making it work to get down and visit. Since deciding to leave Starbucks and the hectic schedule that came with it so I can focus more on my sweet little family, Jon and I have really dedicated ourselves to following through on spending more time traveling to our families. After saving and some cajoling for my parents to join us, we headed out on our first family road trip!

If I’m being really honest, the idea of two 15-17 hour car rides with a three year old and a 16 month old, plus us four adults, in one car had me a complete bundle of nerves. What if they just cried and screamed the whole time?! I didn’t know how we were all going to survive!! Harper sits and sleeps pretty easily in her car seat, while Jackson is absolutely miserable trying to sleep in his. The first car ride we did overnight with the hopes that the kiddos would sleep through. The built-in DVD player and an endless supply of Disney movies really helped keep the kiddos occupied and this mommy sane. Now if only I didn’t suffer from motion sickness…..We ended up with only a couple of episodes of tears in the middle of the night for Jackson. The rest of the trip went by pretty smooth and we arrived bright and early Thursday morning. Thank goodness!

 There is nothing Jackson loves more than seeing animals, so we knew the one thing we absolutely had to do was visit the zoo! Friday started out with the best forecast of partly cloudy and was to be the coolest day at only 80 degrees, but it ended up raining for most of the day. So a quick change of plans had us visiting the Dallas World Aquarium! With over 85,000 gallons of saltwater and fresh water aquariums and a 3-story pathway that winds through exhibits broken down into different areas of the world, the DWA was swimming in – pun intended 😉 – so many interesting animals! I’d have to say my favorite animal we saw here would be the saw sharks featured in the 20,000-gallon walk-through tunnel. So cool!!

There was a break in the rain and we ended up at Hard Rock Cafe for lunch – it was my first time ever! Dad had a blast looking at all their memorabilia and we were lucky enough to sit close to the stage where we could take some cool pictures of the boys. 🙂

We really tried to not jam-pack too much into one day, so that we could have just time to relax together as a family. I think one of my favorites was watching my dad play baseball with Sawyer and Jackson. It was so sweet to watch and boy do those two love their Grandpa!

 The weather cleared up on Saturday and we spent the entire day at the Dallas Zoo. Jackson was in heaven! The zoo has two baby hippos and a brand new baby giraffe. Baby giraffe was so new that it would out for the public to see for a few more weeks and the hippos wanted nothing to do with being out in the hot sun, which was a bummer! However, Jackson and Sawyer were extra brave and paid to feed the giraffes. Jackson could not stop talking about how great it was! It was a full day in the hot Texas sun, but boy did we have a blast!!

LOOK at those cheetah paws! Whoooooa!!!!

I absolutely loved the setup of the Dallas Zoo’s exhibits. While the walking paths were a little choppy and doubled back on themselves quite a bit, the exhibits were definitely designed with kiddos in mind! Each enclosure had low viewing areas of the kids, so they didn’t even have to get out of the double stroller to see animals or have an adult pick them up each time we got to a new animal. Well done Dallas!

Animals and trains – Jackson’s two favorite things EVER. The boys couldn’t pass up riding the T-Rex Express!

 After two full days in crowded tourist attractions, we decided that we would relax and stick close to home for our last two days in town. We adventured to the nearby splash park where the kids had a blast running around getting soaked. The adults had fun watching Disney movies – Trolls sing-a-long anyone?! – and playing several rounds of Machi Koro. If you’ve never played, you should remedy that immediately! Heck, give Jon and I a call and we can set up a game night date. 😉

My sister Kristen has been one of my best friend as long as I can remember. It can be difficult at times to have her so far away down in Texas, especially now that we have three sweet kiddos who absolutely loving being around each other. I am beyond grateful that we were able to finally take another trip down and spend some time in her neck of the woods. Kristen and Chad, we had such a blast! Thank you for setting up so many fun things to do with our kiddos, we can’t wait to see you guys again soon!!

Indianapolis Wedding & Portrait Photographer

  1. Steve Johnsen says:

    I had a blast with all my kids and grandkids. 

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