In the course of our travels we’ve had a few short layovers in some cool places that didn’t warrant their own blog post, but we’d hate not to mention them at all. Here’s a quick re-cap:

LBJ National Historic Park –

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Liam and CJ learned about cattle branding – LBJ preferred to brand the horns which was more humane.

We made an impromptu stop at LBJ’s ranch on our way to Big Bend. The park encompassed a working homestead that replicated life for early German settlers to Texas, LBJ’s birthplace, a one room school house LBJ attended, and the family ranch where LBJ returned to after his presidency. The kids enjoyed seeing the long horn cattle and Rick and I enjoyed learning more about both Texas history and our former President.


Living Desert Zoo State Park –

While in southern New Mexico we stayed at two state parks, which on their own were unremarkable, BUT we made a side trip to a third state park – Living Desert Zoo which was definitely worth the stop. The kids loved getting up close with some of the native animals. The mountain lions and bobcats were particularly excited to see CJ. The mountain lion came charging down from his perch when he saw CJ and continued to pace, agitated he couldn’t get closer to her, while we watched him and his mate. Next door at the bobcat enclosure the male bobcat came up to see Cora Jean and proceeded to try and pee on her! Needless to say, we left the cats alone and went to check out the prairie dogs after that!

Carlsbad Caverns –

After Guadalupe Mt we stopped at Carlsbad Caverns on our way North. This is an incredibly unique National Park and walking deep within the caverns was like stepping into another world. We had fun making up stories about what the different cave formations were, although we had to give everyone a pep talk before making the 2 mile trek back out of the caves, it was a long way up!

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Santa Fe –

The city of Santa Fe was a welcome stop after several weeks in the boonies. We enjoyed the luxuries of city life – a dinner out, a fully stocked grocery store and…ice skating! We spent a full day at Santa Fe’s community center, first swimming at their large indoor pool, which included water slides and a lazy river, and then testing our skills on the indoor ice rink. No one was pulling any triple salchow jumps, but the kids enjoyed their first time on the ice – Liam is even thinking of taking up hockey!

Our final stop in Santa Fe was to Meow Wolf – the coolest and most bizarre art exposition I have ever seen. The easiest way to describe it is to say, we stepped through the looking glass. Artist took over the old bowling alley and have built and entire new world inside, including a house in which you can slide through washers and walk through refrigerators. Giant rabbit statues, mammoth skeletons you can play with drumsticks and treehouses built on chicken legs are all inside. It’s really too bizarre to describe, but if you find yourself in Santa Fe we strongly encourage you to check it out.

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