Beachcombing and Spelunking...

We have recently returned from a family vacation to South Texas. For a fun summer trip, I was surprised at the curiosity and inquisitiveness of our oldest two. I was reminded that learning takes place every single day, in some of the most unusual settings.

Our initial departure was in the middle of the night (great idea with 2 toddlers who need to sleep :)). Leaving this early allowed for a 2 hour field trip at Natural Bridge Caverns, outside of San Antonio. This tour was outstanding and we were determined to go as a family... who cares that we couldn't take the stroller and that the 75 minute tour was at a terrifically steep incline both ways! No mind that Mom didn't bring the diaper bag and Prince Caspian did a doodle within 2 minutes of being underground.

Most of us stayed to the rear of the tour, for obvious reasons... However, Budding Author was very interested in listening to the guide and asked lots of questions while hubby and I tended to the wee ones. I was excited to see that the names of the various caverns were from literature and history and Budding Author knew 90% of them. He made a connection between the story and why the original explorers might have named the cavern as such.

Onward and Southward to the beach... lots of opportunity for learning! On a pier walk, a fisherman had accidentally snagged a baby hammerhead shark, we were able to see those odd eyes up close and personal. South Padre Island has a sea turtle rescue which has successfully repopulated the Kemp's Ridley sea turtle, once endangered, in the Gulf of Mexico. Prior to our trip, we had spent a day reading about sea turtles and the kids were fascinated to see several up close and to hear about their habits, etc. I am so happy when I see their desire to learn happen without my interference... I could sit there and prod and poke at them to learn and never see results. Or I can just lead them to the interesting and unusual and let their imaginations take flight.

On our return trip, we stopped in San Antonio at the Alamo. Oh, to have had several hours there with happy toddlers who weren't longing for a nap! Even with fussy ones, Budding Author and Little Mommy were excited to see all that happened at the Alamo and even see an inscribed gun of Davy Crockett's. We will certainly venture back down South when we study Texas History (when are we going to study Texas History??? Hmmmm. Don't have an answer for that one!)

Here's to field trips which coincide with family vacations!


Steve Sensenig said…
How fun! I've been to all those places, so it was neat to visualize what you were talking about.

When are you guys moving to NC? ;)
Melissal89 said…
Thank you for commenting on my blog. It has been nice to read through yours. And yes, it's nice to meet another family with a heart for adoption.

Your "field trip" sounds like it was so much fun! We are getting ready to go to Florida to stay with friends for a week. I'm sure we will learn lots, while having tons of fun!

Blessings, Melissa
Melissal89 said…
Ladybeetles = symmetry, of course! Thanks for sharing! I added a place at the bottom of my post for share ideas like yours.


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