Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Braunfels Trip - Part 2 - Gruene & Natural Bridge Caverns

So after a beautiful day swimming, riding boats & choo choo trains, going down the watersides, and playing on the playground, we went to the hotel and cleaned up and headed to the historic town of Gruene (pronounced Green). The town was founded in the 1840's on the river and is home to one of the oldest dance halls in Texas (Gruene Hall), the Gristmill River Restaurant (an old cotton gin founded in 1878 that sits no the river), historic shops, bed & breakfasts, and a few bars.

We ate dinner on one of the many big patios of the Gristmill. The food was great and the company even better, the margaritas weren't too bad either. Uncle Russell even spoiled the kids with a hot fudge sundae at the end of dinner. After dinner, we looked around some of the historic shops, then had a nice time at The Grapevine. It was a nice wine "bar", I use the term "bar" lightly because it's a wine tasting room, but the outside is picnic tables under the trees. Matt, Russell, an Lara got wine while I got a wine-a-rita (margarita made with wine instead of tequila.) Katherine even made a friend and play with her in the wine garden.

Here are some pics from that night.. keep reading below to find out about us exploring the cave!
Colin dancing outside of Gruene Hall to the live music
Uncle Russell, Kannon, and Katherine at the Wine Garden
Kids love hotel beds WAY more than their own.

Sunday morning we got up and had breakfast, the went to Natural Bridge Caverns. We played outside on the dinosaur exhibit, then did the Illuminations Tour. The tour went 1/3 mile down into the cavern going through two very large underground chambers. When you first get in, they turn off all the lights in the cave so you can experience the total darkness. They then bring up certain lights at a time, highlighting rare formations and showing the dramatic setting of a cave. At the end of the tour, we sat in one of the caverns and they did total darkness again, for about 5-8 minutes. Katherine did a great job, Colin got anxious halfway through, he kept turning to me saying "lights on, lights on!". Kannon stole the show from the tour guide, while she was explaining about the different formation, he was blowing bubbles loudly with his mouth, the rest of the tour thought it was too cute. At the end, we got to take a group photo of all of us in the cave.

After the tour, it was time to get back on the road and head for home. It was a great trip even though it was short, we got to do a lot in a day & half. I am so glad everyone else got to go with us this year. As soon as we got back Katherine & Colin asked when are we going back.. A sign of a great trip!. Katherine said her favorite part was swimming with Turner, Colin said his was the boat and choo-choo. Everyday this week Colin has told me…" Mamma, I go boat, choo-choo again, I go boat choo-choo again"! I told him soon, maybe we can go back before the summer is over.
Colin kicked Kannon out of his carrier.. silly Colin!

1 comment:

sunshine said...

Made me miss all those family moments. Matt did a great job on father's day--made me remember the days of getting coupons or I OU's from my kids. At least Matt's dad is getting to cash some of those in!