Monday, 12 December 2011

Sand, slides and stepping stones

You will probably remember me blogging about Granbury and Dinosaur Valley State Park before - it's a favourite place of ours to take family when they come to visit, or just to hang out ourselves.  Normally we would just do a day trip down there, but this time we decided to make it a weekend.

Maddy, Graham and Toby in Granbury

Granbury town square was all dressed up for Christmas, with cowboy-hatted Christmas trees and wreaths in every window.  Anthony and Maddy picked up some Texas souvenirs in the stores and we ate lunch in our favourite 50's-themed diner, Rinky-Tinks, with a bit of Elvis on the juke box.

In Rinky-Tinks

Venturing outside the square for a change, we strolled along a pleasant street and found a park.  Standing in a playground for the afternoon would not previously have been high on our list of weekend-away activities, but having a one-year-old kinda changes your perspective on these things.  Toby discovered slides for the first time and went right on down, head-first, giggles all the way!  And again.  And again.  And just as many times as we'd lift him back to the top, which we were quite happy to do, giggling almost as much as he was.

Swings are an old favourite, of course

Wheeee!

After all that hard work it was definitely time for an ice cream!

Back to Rinky-Tinks again

And then a visit to the beach.  Somebody had dumped a few truckloads of sand at the edge of Lake Granbury, adorned it with palm-roofed huts and labelled it City Beach.  It certainly wasn't a tropical paradise, but it wasn't a bad little spot to watch the sun setting over the water.  We let Toby loose on the pier and in the splash park (dry for the winter) and got a few atmospheric shots.



I know it's hardly top-notch cuisine, but should you be travelling in Texas with a one-year-old, I can highly recommend Spring Creek Barbeque and the free breakfasts you get at motel chains.  Spring Creek, for a start, has highchairs with trays, which makes life so much easier, and serves meals with unlimited sides.  Since Toby can eat beans and potato salad till the cows come home, all I had to do was keep refilling my plate and passing it on to him, and we were both happy.  Next morning at the motel, the buffet offered almost all his favourite items - bagels, cream cheese, bananas, milk - he just kept on stuffing it in, while we tucked into our favourite - a nice big Texas-shaped waffle.



To work off all that food, we went down to the Paluxy River for some dinosaur footprint hunting.  We should hardly be thankful for the drought, but the river was lower than I've ever seen it, leaving the stepping stones to the main footprint area high and dry.  Even Maddy, who was nervous about river crossings, had no trouble at all.  We hiked up to an overlook to admire the surrounding countryside, and then it was back down and time to find some lunch.

Anthony, Maddy, Martha and Toby on the banks of the Paluxy

Intrepid explorer in socks

Crossing the river

Paluxy from the viewpoint

Well, you know, we wouldn't want anyone to go hungry or anything!


 Not that that's likely to happen at the Loco Coyote, where you get to overdose both on fried catfish and Texas rustic chic.  Or whatever the appropriate label is for sawdust on the floor, graffiti on the walls and drinks served in Mason jars.  Rustic probably fits, but chic... maybe not.  It's a fun place to eat, though!

At Loco Coyote

We were there, too

From the outside

Heading home with our bellies full, we swung off the highway for a few minutes to drive through Glen Rose's quaint town square, and discovered a new attraction: Big Rocks Park.  It has, um, big rocks.  How and when they arrived is probably an interesting geological question, but one we didn't feel like engaging right then.  Maybe next time...

Big rocks and a seriously depleted river





Cracker? No?

Well, I'll eat it then.

2 comments:

Susan Ewing said...

Your sweet family is soaking in Texas. Sounds like there is much to see. Love the TX waffle!

Anonymous said...

Finally got to read your entry that I've known about all week. Hope all that food is adding to Toby's stature, not his girth!
love Dad