On Monday, we left on our post-Christmas vacation. We were headed down to Galveston, but made a few stops along the way. We started driving south-east towards the piney woods and spent the first night in Lufkin, Texas.
We had heard about the Trail of Lights there at the Texas Forestry Museum and thought it would be fun to see. The city’s website touted it as a winter wonderland along the Urban Wildscape Trail. When I pulled it up on the map on our way over it didn’t look like there was enough space for a forest trail, but I just assumed the map was off a bit.
Well, it wasn’t. We literally laughed out loud as we drove up and saw that our wonderland was in fact a single strand of Christmas lights running along a sidewalk that circled the backyard of the “museum” (a building that resembled a double-wide trailer). Some of the houses in our neighborhood had more Christmas lights than that “trail.” Luckily, Raine didn’t care. She touched every light-bulb as we made our way around the track. Isn’t it great how kids find so much pleasure in simple everyday things . . . like hotel room closets!?!!
Tuesday morning we continued our drive south and stopped to hike in the Sam Houston National Forest. It was a bit overcast, but otherwise a very nice day for hiking.
We stopped in Houston, at my cousin Shannan’s house, for dinner and then continued down to Galveston that night.
We started our day by visiting the Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid. They had all sorts of sea life in huge tanks that you could see both above the water as well as through wall-size windows down below.
I was surprised when Raine agreed to touch a starfish; she thought it was great.
Our favorite part was walking through the tunnels in the big tank. My photos didn’t turn out real well because I had to turn off the flash, but here is a huge shark swimming over my little family.
After the aquarium we drove along the beach to the old town. Galveston is a very interesting island and I was glad to see that it survived the hurricane as well as it did. It has a lot of beautiful old houses and buildings. We walked along The Strand and then out to Pier 21 where we saw the Elissa.
That evening we drove back out to Moody Gardens for the Festival of Lights. Let’s just say that it was a whole lot more impressive than the Forestry Museum.
Thursday was a beautiful day so we went to the beach before leaving the island. Raine and DJ saw a washed-up jellyfish out on the sand.
We drove back up to Houston and met Shannan and her family at the zoo. Raine and Alexa had a blast!
DJ and Carter enjoyed it too.
We all loved seeing the baby elephant.
And the girls REALLY loved the carousel.
After the zoo we drove back home and arrived just after mid-night. It was a fun vacation, and we were happy to still have another few days before DJ had to go back to work.