Sunday, August 28, 2016


Backing up a little here. In July 2015 before we trekked to Utah, we took a last-minute trip to Balmorhea in West Texas. Jared had been on-call and wasn't sure he'd have it off, but when that magical time came Friday morning (when it was too late to call him in), we all packed up and jumped in the car. Without reservations. On the Fourth of July Weekend.

So...when we remember our trip to Balmorhea, we have LOTS of memories. Lots of miles on the road; several shushes, some music and an audio book; a few tiffs and some nursing/pit stops. We tried to keep calling the park to see if we could make a reservation, but there was no answer. As we got closer, we even began to stop at whatever inns we could find on the way--no room in the inns. We had a Star Party to attend, though, so we headed up to Fort Davis.

The Star Party was awesome. We all learned a lot and enjoyed the night of stargazing and telescope-viewing on the mountaintop. We got everyone good and tired. As we drove back down toward our morning's destination, nearly everyone fell asleep. And then, after some searching for a safe place to park, Jared turned off the car. And what turned on was everybody's discomfort alert! Except Baby Natalie, who slept like an angel the entire night. We heard every single complaint possible from her siblings; Jared and Laurel had a few they could've added, too. The temperature was too warm for Jared. Laurel's seat didn't go back because of the baby's carseat right behind her. But we survived the night!

The next morning, to brighten everyone's spirits, we found a gas station. With delicious breakfast tacos! We knew there would be a long wait at the park entrance, so we saved them to eat later. Jared pulled out, and the curb pulled off our running board. Our new car! Sad.
Sad car side. Sad face on Jared as we trashed the running board. And yep, there was a line!
Plenty of time to eat tacos and goof off.
 The good news is, that is when our trip's troubles ended. The rest of the day was filled entirely with great fun. Balmorhea is a GIANT swimming pool built around a natural spring with frigid water and lots of cute little fishies. It was worth the wait in line. And the uncomfortable night. And the long drive. Definitely worth it (not going to make the same mistakes next time, though)!
Ellie had fun
Fishes and faces...and Noah's body mid-jump....
Isaac had fun

Isaac went on the high dive more than any of us!

The high dive!

Even La tried to show off

Noah had fun

A restaurant with your name and a snooze right afterward
Until next time, Balmorhea. And, yes, there will be a next time...!

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