Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Road Trip

Last week, we were invited to join PBJMom and her kidlets on an overnight trip to her mother’s house to drop Bella off for the week. With the promise of field-tip schooly goodness along the route, how could we pass up such an invitation?

First up was a stop at Mission Dolores in San Augustine, TX. The site was home to several Spanish friars from 1721-1797 and was used to help protect Spanish interests from French invaders. They had dealings with several local Native American tribes, including the Ais and Caddo.

We watched a short film about the discovery of the mission ruins and the rebuilding of the visitor’s center and historic site markers, the toured the exhibits. For such a small museum, they had a decent hands-on area for the kids – they got to play with a letter box and parchment and quills, and they got to put on woolen friar’s vestments and lay on the rope bed. After the museum, we walked the little trail on Mission Hill, then headed back out. It was a nice, quick little stop, and full of interesting little tidbits of info that we’ll be happy to dig deeper into when we study Texas History more in-depth.

Rancho Grande Mexican Restaurant (816 Tenaha, Center, TX) looks run down, but has AMAZING salsa. If you’re ever in Center, give them a try. They even have a nice little patio/courtyard that you can eat in if it’s nice out.

We got to Louisiana around 4Pm, which gave us plenty of daylight left, so we took the rowdy boys out to one of the local parks, They had these awesome climbing rocks and the boys had a really good time jumping off of them. It’s so interesting to me to watch the kids make friends with the kids at the park; in this case, they befriended a little boy that was hanging out around them. They were playing some kind of tag game and had a little tribal council to decide who would be ‘it’.

Wednesday night was the first time that my kids have been guests in the formal sense of the word. We’ve had weekly etiquette lessons for the past year and rarely have a chance to use formal manners. {Mommy brag} I am SO proud of my boys! It’s really hard to be a guest in someone’s home that you’ve just met. It’s even harder when the house you’re staying at is not used to kids, much less 4 very active and enthusiastic young men – but they all did so very well. I’m still smiling! {/Mommy brag}

Thursday was St. Patrick’s Day, and had we been home, we would have had lessons centered on the history and celebration. This is the third year in a row that we’ve missed out on St. Paddy’s Day goodness. I’ve seen such cute ideas to observe and if we don’t manage to stay home next year, I fear the boys might be too old for all the fun leprechaun stuff.

As it was, we spent the morning at Cypress Black Bayou. They have a great little zoo and nature center with all kinds of animals to look at and a couple to pet. They were particularly enchanted by the peacocks – close enough to touch!

After that, we went out to the Boardwalk for lunch and a trolley ride.

And then went to the Multicultural Center of the South and then out to the 8th Air Force Museum on Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport. I didn’t get any pics from the MCotS, but they had a ton of really cool stuff. There were representations of 20 or so different cultures that influence the South; most interesting to the kids were the Native American, Scottish, African and Greek cultures.

We tried to figure out what those tail spikes were for, but Googling has garnered no results. Anyone out there know what they’re for?

With all that running around, the kids were positively pooped by the time we got home Thursday evening. They were great sports though (for the most part). Even for well-rested kids, 5 field trip locations in 2 days is asking a lot, you know.




6 responses

  1. Amy R

    The spikes look like the things used to keep birds from perching (and pooping) on any given surface.

    March 20, 2011 at 5:24 pm

  2. Oh, that’s a possibility… I was thinking along the lines of breaking up the wind (like the feathers on nocturnal aerial predators) to cut down on noise. I can’t find anything on them though.

    March 20, 2011 at 5:59 pm

  3. Yep, Amy is right, they are to keep the birds from perching on and leaving their droppings all over the static aircraft displays….You’re making me miss Barksdale AFB just a little bit! My husband and I and our 2 boys were stationed their from 2004-2007….we live in Washington State now (home for me 🙂

    Looks like you had a great trip! I love your blog 🙂

    March 20, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    • Cool – and thanks, Megan! Good call Amy 🙂 Smart friends rock 😀
      What a small world, right?
      Thanks for commenting!

      March 20, 2011 at 8:15 pm

  4. Amy R

    Random google example of bird spikes, also called porcupine wire :

    March 20, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    • Yeah – that looks like exactly what it is 🙂

      March 20, 2011 at 8:16 pm

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