Monday, August 3, 2015

Deep in the Heart of Texas... Day #5

From the Caves to the Capitol- Natural Bridge Caverns and Austin 
Thursday, July 30, 2015 

The day started early again with Chris and I both using the hotel exercise room to get our jogging in before we packed up the room and loaded up the car to head back home. We started our morning out with a stop at a local diner called Lulu's Bakery which featured a famous 3 pound cinnamon roll. This had been featured on numerous TV shows including MAN vs FOOD! This was the absolute BEST cinnamon roll I have ever had with moist and flavorful insides as well as so much icing that is was oozing off the side of the serving plate! Natalie and I tried to eat as much as we could but we only ate about 30% before packing it up in Saran Wrap to take home!

Look this place up the next time you go to San Antonio! It was delicious! 

The 3 pound cinnamon roll we tried to tackle! 

The amount we took home! 

We then headed north on I-35 to the Natural Bridge Caverns just west of New Braunsfel. I have always wanted to stop and see these caverns in the many times I have travel I-35 southbound to San Antonio but never have made the stop. We were worried about Luke and him being scared of the dark but he did REMARKABLY well! We did the discovery tour for $21 per adult and $12 per kid and it was amazing! These were awesome caverns and both of our kids loved them! We then did the Maze and this was a lot of fun too! This place also featured a HUGE canopy zip-line area and while we did not participate in this area of the attraction due to Natalie's height, we definitely plan on going back next summer on our annual San Antonio trip and we will do it then! You can easily plan an entire day around this attraction! 

Welcome to Natural Bridge Caverns! 

The "natural bridge" for which the caverns are named. 

We are headed down! 

The St. Mary's Hall large room! 

Caverns Selfie! 

Somebody had perked up and was having a GREAT time! 

Poor Luke did not like the flash photography! 

More of the Caverns! 

Natalie really enjoyed this tour! 

Luke was still not liking any of this! 

Natalie with the Fairy Castles! 

Luke had now lightened up and was beginning to like the tunnels and caves! 

This whole thing was incredibly fascinating to me! I LOVED it!

And so did my kids! 

Natalie's Cave Selfie! 

The Maze we did after the cave tour! 

Luke really liked running all over, even though he had no idea what was going on! 

It took us longer than we thought but we still had a LOT of fun! 

Punching our cards and clues! 

More of what this attraction offered... a MASSIVE Canopy and Zip-line area! We will be checking this out next time! 

We then went back to the MASSIVE Buc-ee's and got some grub before heading further north to Austin. We really wanted to show the kids the Capitol but never expected them to like it as much as they did. They loved walking around the bottom and top of the rotunda as well as the House and Senate Galleries. They behaved very well and Natalie asked lots of questions. We were even able to see a really neat live experience called "Patriot Academy" where 21-26 year olds partake in a week long experience where they get to actually pretend to be a representative and actually write and vote on their own bills. It was fascinating and we really enjoyed watching it all. We spent over 2 hours in the Capitol before our kids started to get hungry and we knew it was time to go!

As much as I HATE Austin... I love seeing state capitols! 

Family Capitol selfie! 

Our 1st look up into the rotunda! 

Luke is LOVING being in the AC! 

My kids really enjoyed this surprisingly! 

The loved posing by the Texas seal! 

But they loved the stairs more! Natalie and that pose... pray for me now! 

A look at the rotunda floor from the 3rd floor! 

They loved looking up at the rotunda! 

Rotunda Selfie! 

I LOVE that I live in a state that still stands for what is right! IN GOD WE TRUST! 

On the Senate Floor! 

Thumbs up... We're having a GREAT time! 

Time for the House of Represenatives floor! 

The "Patriot Academy" was taking place in the House Chambers while we were there! 

The Governors Reception room! 

Say hello to future Governor Miss Natalie! 

And Future Governor Luke Davis! 

Being silly in the Governors room! 


House Gallery Selfie! 

Senate Gallery Selfie! 

Seriously, they loved sitting in the Gallery! 

The city of Austin has grown exponentially since the last time I was there. I do not remember ANY of these massive buildings being there 12-15 years ago! It is hard to believe it is the same town! 

Looking Southeast from the Senate Gallery! 

Looking Southwest! 

Looking Northwest! 

Looking Northeast! This is disgusting.... stupid school! 

My kids absolteuly LOVED sitting in the gallery in the chairs and just taking it all in! 

This is the Governor I remember and can I just say... he has aged A LOT! 

If you know me at all.... you know I could not leave without getting THIS PICTURE!

Goodbye Capitol! 

We went to a place called Hulu Hut on Lake Austin which came recommended from a teacher friend of Chris's who went to college in Austin. It was almost identical to Chuy's and we all LOVED it! The scenery was beautiful and food was delicious but it was time to head home. We braced the 6 o'clock traffic and headed southeast to Houston. We made pretty good time and arrived home about 2 hours and 40 minutes later!

The view from our table! Absolutely gorgeous! 

They LOVED eating outside! 

We had a GREAT dinner! 

If you are near Lake Austin... check this place out! 

The food was delicious! 

Keep Austin WEIRD... Umm, Nitrogen tied off to a light pole with a bungee cord?!?
Yeah, Austin will ALWAYS be WEIRD! I think we just need to keep the WEIRDOS IN Austin! 

This vacation turned out to better than we expected or even dreamed it could be and we are so proud of our kids and their behavior and attitude during this trip. They were very appreciative to us and this was very important to us! We plan on making this an annual thing! 

We traveled Deep in the Heart of Texas and created memories that we will hold onto FOREVER! Thank you Lord for this opportunity and for an incredible trip! 


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