Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

I wish I could say we spent yesterday, Memorial Day, bar-be-que-ing outside somewhere...but we didn't! It was way to windy and very, very hot! Instead I woke up early, got CC and Luigi up and took Luigi to the park to play. It's the first time he has been at the dog park in a looooong time. He definitely had fun!!

After he played a bit we walked the large Water Loop we used to always walk, the one that at once didn't seem long enough....well, yesterday I dragged my old self through it. Man it was hard!!
After the park I brought Subway home...gotta love the $5 footlongs! Ha! Perfect after a hard sweaty workout at the park....

The rest of the morning Papa Bear and I relaxed and laid in bed watching Pawn Stars. It has been so long since we've been able to do anything like that. I didn't realize how very much I mess it!!

While he was working, CC and I decided to make my Apple-Praline bread. Another thing I really missed was making this.... it has been way to long!

Oh I can't tell you how good the house smells when this is in the oven. The hardest part it is waiting for it to cool!!

We turned in early last night. It felt good to get a good night's sleep!!

This morning it's back to the rush of getting jobs done and homework in. Last week Lena helped me separate invoices. She got a bit flustered but overall she enjoyed it...and I enjoyed the help!!

It's been so hot here. I am ready for a nice big rain!! There just isn't any in the forecast!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

HOT Memorial Day Weekend...

I checked the weather forecast yesterday and this is what I saw....

Look at these temps!!!

It's only the end of May....what in the world is this summer going to be like??


Friday evening we all drove down to Yoakum to watch my nephew graduatate high school. You might remember him from this post, playing his last high school football game before leaving to college on a full scholarship.

We are so proud of him. It hasn't been easy for him but he did it!!

Half of the graduating class of 2011!

My Papa Bear even came ! He made Quin such an awesome dogtag. Quin had been wanting one for years....Papa definitely delivered! Quin was so excited. Mom will probably KILL me for putting this picture on here!

Well, it's 11:35 Sunday morning and I'm already sweating!! I need to hop in the shower!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Aquarena Springs - Part 2

On to part 2 of our day at Aquarena Springs... I think I left off with this photo on my last post. It pretty much sums up how pretty and green everything was.

After the glass bottom boat tour we girls walked over to the Wetlands Walk, a floating pier.

It was so pretty!!

I was a bit scared at first because you could definitely fell the pier move a bit, nothing major though. But after the first few feet we eased up and really enjoyed it. It would have been much more enjoyable if we were dripping with sweat!

It didn't matter which way we tried to turn the sun was glaring down on us making photo-taking almost impossible!

The long brown plants you see here are called dogtails. The tour guide told us that because the water is so clear and the plants undergo photosynthesis so rapidly, these dogtail plants can actually grow a foot a day!

The tour guide also told us that tilapia are not common to Texas but somehow they ended up there at Aquarena Springs. These large holes are where the tilapia lay their eggs. She told us the holes and the fish were huge. I didn't believe it.... but she was so right!

You can't really tell here but this fish was HUGE!! I couldn't believe it! And there were so many of them!

Lena loved the Lily pads.

Me and CC trying hard not to melt!

It was so quite and serene. I never imagined the park would include an area like this.

My sweet girls....

There was such an abundance of greenery around the water. I loved all the different shades of green.

Mom would have loved these elephant ears. They have always been her thing. Now I want elephant ears.... I've never grown them before but I think I'm ready to give them a try. They are just so pretty!

My girls nearing the end of the walk. By this time we were all sticky and hot and grouchy. All we wanted was a nice cold iced drink....

But of course I made them pose for a few pictures before we left. The background was just so beautiful I couldn't pass it up!

Lena was actually asking me here if I was sure I wasn't taking a picture...oops!

The end was in sight!!!

But CC called me over to look at these crystal like things on the plants. At first we thought it was water droplets but it wasn't. They were like small little crystals. I've never seen anything like it. I don't think my camera truly captured what they looked like.

One last shot before we left the Wetland Walk.

This was actually the entrance as you come into the park. I didn't have my camera out when we drove in and there were cars behind me, so when we left I took out my camera and snapped a couple of pictures before we left.

I'm not sure if you can see him on the right behind that first tree, but there was actually a man playing golf. I'm not sure that's really allowed there!!

After we left we stopped by McDonald's to get a Frappe. Their iced coffee fraps are sooo good!! And we were so hot... that iced coffee was much needed!!


This week has gone by so fast just staying busy helping Papa Bear with his work. I tried to register for my last two classes before actually entering nursing school. It turns out I need Chemistry before taking Microbiology. Ugh! So I tried to enroll for an 8-week summer Chemistry course. I was too late and every good spot had been taken. I am now one of the lucky ones who gets to take the course at a location about 40 minutes from my house on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30-10:30 pm. Oh I can hardly wait..... I just keep hoping someone with a better time slot will have to drop, then I can come through and snatch it up!


Scotty won on American Idol tonight. I'm so happy!! I love that a country singer won.... and he is just so good!! He, Lauren and Casey were my favorites since this season started. So, I'm happy he won!!


Today we hit our first 100 degree day of the year. It was horrible. I had to vacuum the car out and I swear I was having heart palpitations it was so hot. If it's this bad at the end of May what in the world will August and September be like?? Oh this Texas heat is so miserable!! I wish I lived somewhere that had four seasons.... instead of hot, hotter, hot as h**l, cooling off. Oh well... a girls can wish!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Aquarena Springs - Glass Bottom Boat - Part 1

The girls and I wanted to do something today.... we have been so busy with going to Austin and back and me finishing up this semester. We haven't really been able to do anything fun. So I told CC to look up Aquarena Springs. I have always wanted to go there since I was a little girl and never got the chance. The main attraction is the Glass Bottom Boat tours over the Edwards Aquifer. Way back when, when I didn't get to go, they had "aquamaids" swimming in the water and it was like an attraction park. Now it's an environmentally protected park.

I took so many pictures I will have to divide this up into 2 posts! Bear with me.

It just so happened that today the Texas Parks and Wildlife were hosting their first annual Yappapolozza, a benefit to raise money for the endangered turtles at Aquarena Springs. This meant no admission fees into the park for us! Bonus!! Our boat ride wasn't for another 30 minutes so we looked around in the aquarium on site.

This fish tank was HUGE!! And the fish in it were GINORMOUS too!!

Some of the endangered turtles...

We walked around a bit outside too. It was so hot and sticky and humid...ugh! I think the high was 97 today...and it certainly felt like it!

I loved all the large, lush, green trees. They were huge and amazing!

It was finally time to climb aboard!

There was a single bench along each side of the boat and the middle was glass so we could see the life underwater.

Because the water is so clear the plants under water receive so much sunlight and photosynthesis occurs so rapidly these bubbles are actually pure oxygen coming up from the plants.

In the beginning this was actually the beginning of the San Marcos river. A man by the name of Edward Burleson put up a damn creating this aquifer which now supplies water to more than 2 million homes. In the early 20's it was a resort and entertainment park.

You can still see the steps here from when it was a natural swimming pool. The original diving platform is still there as well. The building now houses offices for the Texas Parks and Wildlife. They are in the process of restoring the aging buildings.

This little guy is an endangered species. He has the body of a beaver but a long tail like a rat. I hate that I forgot his name!

This is how clear the water is...it's simply amazing!!

The turtles are in nesting season right now. There were signs around the park that said "Turtle Crossing" and we were told to not touch them or disturb them in any way so as not to scare them and then they wouldn't lay their eggs.

Our tour guide said the water is usually 72 degrees but since Texas is in such a drought the water levels have dropped and it's about 69 degrees. She also said this water is so clean and pure it's about 3 times cleaner than tap water.

You could actually see where the water was coming up from the aquifer floor. The sand would bubble up in these areas. There are more than 200 springs and three large fissures. There was one area where the water comes out so fast even plants cannot grow there.

This particular area is 28 feet deep. Look how clearly you can see straight through to the bottom.

In the middle of this photo is a long fish, again I don't remember the name but it was really cute and the tour guide was able to position the boat so that we could see it clearly through the glass.

She also said they have to have someone come and "mow" the grass under the water regularly because it grows so very fast. If they didn't "mow" it, the boats could get stuck!

It was so beautiful!! It was definitely worth the wait it took me to get there!

A school of bass swam by under the boat. Luckily I had my phone camera out just in time!

A view out of the window across from me.

My girls looking down through the glass....

It's up this hill that the original houses still stand. You can still see stairs that lead up to the houses. This is what they are working on repairing and creating new trails for visitors.

The next part of my post will show the wetlands and the floating pier.

We had such a good time. We were exhausted and hot but we definitely enjoyed ourselves. You can read more about Aquarena Springs here and here and here.