Bright and early Saturday morning, John, Miranda and I set off on a day-trip to Fort Worth that quickly turned into something similar to the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies. Almost everything that could go wrong, did.
We left around 5:45 so we could get to the zoo right when it opened. We were actually excited to see the rain when it came, since we are in a pretty severe drought. But, little did we know, that the rain would be the source of our crazy adventures. We stopped in Hillsboro for breakfast, then continued to Fort Worth. We kept a close eye on the rain and knew that it was on it’s way out, so we should still be able to enjoy the zoo. Arriving around 9:30, we waited the last 30 minutes by building up how much fun the day was going to be – especially since the rain had stopped and it was still cloudy.
As we purchased our tickets, we were hit with this disclaimer quickly spoken by a teenager: “Since it has rained so much, we will be keeping most of the animals penned up. They will not be out in order to protect them from slipping in the mud. There are no rainchecks and no refunds. Your total is $38.” John and I looked at each other. We didn’t want to spend the day looking at empty animal exhibits and trying to explain to a disappointed 5 year old that the animal was not around. The frustration quickly set it. Miranda had been looking forward to our trip to the zoo for over a week. It was heart-breaking to tell her that we were not going to go.
Camped out in the parking lot, John and I began searching the internet for fun things to do in Fort Worth. We decided to go to the Museum of Science and History since there were supposed to be many interactive children’s exhibits.
The excitement set in as Miranda posed with the statues surrounding the museum.
The museum also had an IMAX theater, which sounded awesome!! The movie we wanted to see was the Ocean Adventure, but it was only showing at 10:30 and 3:30. Since we had arrive at 10:40 and didn’t want to wait around for the 3:30 show, we decided to get tickets for “Tornado Alley” at 12:30. So, we headed into the museum and visited the awesome Children’s area first.
Miranda had a blast! There was a grocery store, ambulance and doctor’s office, bug center, train tracks and much more. It was wonderful! Then we went to the next area which was all about energy and how we get it from the earth to our homes. Once of the exhibits was an interactive 4D movie showing the progression of Texas beginning millions of years before the dinosaurs. It all seemed so fun…
This picture was taken approximately 3 minutes before it all fell apart. See how Miranda is smiling??? Yeah, that didn’t last long. The second the chairs started moving and vibrating, Miranda was scared. She spent the next 10 minutes in John’s lap either wimpering in terror or hesitantly watching the show (without the glasses and her hands over her ears). When it was over, Miranda high-tailed it out the doors and I carried her to the dinosaur exhibit. We walked around a little more and enjoyed the rest of the museum. We got a refund on the IMAX tickets, thinking that if Miranda couldn’t handle the short 4D movie, we didn’t want to take our chances in an hour-long show on tornados!
We then ventured to the Fort Worth Water Gardens, which is beautiful.
It was a little scary walking down, but the view is just as amazing from the top as it is from the bottom!
After the visiting the Water Gardens, we stopped for a late lunch. While sitting in Chick-Fil-A for an hour, John and I poured over a couple of tourist brochures so we could plan our next adventure.
Before leaving Fort Worth, we decided to go shopping. Since we were so close to my alma mater, University of Texas at Arlington, I wanted to get another t-shirt since mine is too big now (yay me!!). The campus store closed at 2:00, so I thought maybe Academy or Wal-Mart would have some. I thought wrong! There was a ton of TCU and UT Austin stuff, but not one UT Arlington shirt! After trying a couple of stores, we gave up.
We headed to Glen Rose, the land of the dinosaurs!! A little over an hour later, we arrived and drove to our first destination: Dinosaur World. There were going to be 100 life-size models of all kinds of dinosaurs. Unfortunately, we arrived at 5:45…and they closed at 6:00. So, there wouldn’t be enough time for us to go through the exhibits and they wouldn’t sell us any tickets. But they said we could still look around the Gift Shop, of course! Yeah, thanks.
We took some pictures of Miranda and the statues that were in the parking lot.
A couple of miles down the road is Dinosaur Valley. They have several sites with fossilized footprints of dinosaurs. Before you get to the footprints, there are two more life-sized dinosaurs. So, of course, we had to take pictures of those too!!
We then drive to the footprint sites, hike down, and…can’t see the anything. Why, you ask? Well, because it rained and there are huge puddles (tiny ponds) where the footprints should be. It was soooo disappointing, but we made the best of it. We walked on the paths surrounding the sites and read all the historical markers and information boards. I did learn that the Brontosaurs died out a couple of million years before the T-Rex. I always thought that all dinos lived at the same time, but apparently not!
Anyway, at this time, it is almost 8:00 and everyone is tired and hungry for dinner. We get back in the car and begin our long drive. After our quick dinner break, Miranda falls asleep and John and I enjoy chit-chatting all the way home.
As we pull into the driveway, you would think that the adventure is over – not so! The garage door goes up, and what do you think we saw? A skunk. Well, we are so nervous now because we can’t pull John’s car into the garage without risking a spray. I don’t want the skunk to spray in the garage for one reason, and one reason only, the windows to my parked car are all down!! So, John tries to scare the skunk out by throwing rocks in it’s general vicinity. But it decides to hang out under my car for about 10 minutes. Then it disappears. We thought it might have gone into the house via the cat door. At this point, Miranda has woke up and is standing on the porch with me while John checks the house for the missing skunk. It’s not in there and it hadn’t left the garage yet. So we send Miranda inside and keep searching. Behind a bunch of boxes is a tiny space, just big enough for a stinky skunk. John keeps making noises and shuffles the boxes to get the skunk out. 20 minutes later, it flees.
What an interesting day our family had! There were so many challenges as we tried our best to have a fun, family day-trip. I was so proud that we all kept our cool (except for Miranda in the 4D movie nightmare) and embraced the spontaniety. We did not get to go to the zoo as planned, but we did have a blast experiencing this adventure together!