hot springs

How to Hike the Hot Springs Trail with Kids

Our third hike on Day two at Big Bend National Park is the Hot Springs Trail. Like Boquillas, this is rated as a not-to-be-missed hike. Along the Hot Springs Trail, there are ruins of the old bathhouse, post office, and motel; a hot spring (duh!); the Rio Grande; pictographs, and petroglyphs. To get a fantastic history of this trail read “Big Bend: A Homesteader’s Story,” by J.O. Langford (referenced in the Packing & Prepping article).  Oh, and did I mention the thrill of almost dropping to your death? Shear fun. This is in reference to the road in. It is terrifyingly narrow. It is only a one-lane with quite an angled drop off. Wide vehicles and RVs cannot take this road (there is a parking lot and you can walk in) and I have no idea what you do if someone decides to leave when you are coming in! What We Would Do Differently This trail also gave us some good hindsight perspective. If I did it again I would still make it our last hike of the day, but, particularly with kids, we would only hike the first quarter to half – maybe just down to the hot springs. Everything

Rio Grande Village Nature Trail – How to See Four Ecosystems in One!

After hiking down to the beautiful Boquillas Canyon and screaming our echoes for one singing Mexican to hear we drove to the Rio Grande Village. Here there are bathrooms, a visitor’s center, and a store. The visitor’s center was closed on the day we were there. Rather, we bought sandwiches at the store and topped off our Camelbacks with water. Our late start meant we would be out in the mid-day heat longer than we had originally planned. The store has picnic tables out front and we ate in the shade before trekking to our second trail. Our next scheduled trail is the Rio Grande Village Nature Trail. If I did this day over I would do this one first as there is no shade or cover. Even though, this would mean a bit of backtracking to head to Boquillas then come back for the Hot Springs Trail. The Rio Grande Village Nature Trail is a short loop, about three-quarters of a mile. Even though it is brief and hot it is not to be missed as you travel through all the ecosystems in one little hike. However, if you have young kids and it is the middle of the

Little boy hiking Boquillas Canyon

Discover Boquillas Canyon Home of the Singing Mexican

Boquillas Canyon Our first hike is at Boquillas Canyon. It is another popular hike as it is pretty easy for everyone with gradual inclines and it gently heads down to one of the three canyons in Big Bend National Park. Not to mention, if you bring your passport and time it correctly, you can pass into Mexico and visit the town of Boquillas. Boquillas, Mexico While you are there you can pick up your Boquillas stick – a light-weight hiking stick that is usually adorned with a painting of an animal or vegetation. These make great souvenirs for the kids. If you are unable to cross the border the Boquillas sticks are pretty easy to find around Big Bend National Park in the various stores and centers. They are cheaper on the border ($5-8) but you will not spend more than $20 either way. River Singers and Puppies Notably, Boquillas is famous for “Singing Mexican.” As you descend toward the river listen for bars of “Ay – yai – yai – yai!” ringing out. Do not be alarmed it just means you are in the right place. Unless border patrol has come through recently, you will likely see small handmade

Santa Elena Canyon Trail

Big Bend National Park | Boquillas, Hot Springs, & the Rio Grande

We have reached day five of our Big Bend road trip and it is another amazing day exploring Big Bend National Park! Today our plan is to head down to the Rio Grande Village. This part of the park is southeast of Panther Junction. Once you get down there it has three great family-friendly trails in close proximity. BBRT Day Five: Big Bend National Park | Rio Grande Village Unfortunately, we got another later-than-planned start. My husband had a rough night. He had a raging headache and was dealing with bouts of nausea. Perhaps he was dealing with a little dehydration or altitude sickness but either way, we decided to slow down and head over to the Chisos Lodge for a full breakfast. Though Big Bend National Park is not at an extreme elevation the Chisos Basin does hit 5,400 feet. Moreover, Houston is basically at zero and different people get affected by altitude in unexpected ways. While something was definitely ailing him I do not think generally you need to prepare for any sort of altitude issues. Like any illness just be prepared to slow down and roll with it. Once we had full stomachs and everyone was feeling

A College Fair & Conference Just for Homeschoolers

HSPA Virtual College Fair & ConferenceJanuary 12, 2021 | 8:00 am – 2:00 pm EST The Homeschooling Parent Association (HSPA) announces its first annual, Virtual Homeschool-Friendly College Fair & Conference, “Get Connected 01122021.” It will be held on January 12, 2021. 8:00 AM-2:00 PM EST. This college fair is a little different. It is exclusively for homeschoolers and will address their specific needs and questions. As much as the typical college or university application process is straightforward for mainstream education it is regrettably, confusing for homeschoolers searching for the perfect higher education opportunity. Fortunately, colleges and universities are eager to meet homeschool students. Take this unparalleled opportunity to meet with colleges directly and ask questions pertinent to your unique situation. Connect! “Get Connected 01122021” will offer a full day of virtual college presentations along with motivational speakers. You can expect, presentations on scholarships, dual-credit courses, financial aid, starting college early, application processes, and advanced placement. More than that, attendees can visit virtual booths with representatives from homeschool-friendly colleges & universities. Likewise, students will be able to download information as well as view pre-recorded and live presentations. How will the College Fair Work? Each college will have its own “HUB” for virtual gatherings. At

new year's eve 2020

New Year’s Eve 2020 | Houston’s Best Fireworks and Festivities 🎇

New Year’s Eve 2020 is here! It can be family-friendly or just friendly. We should all definitely expect it to be more low-key and family-oriented than in year’s past. We anticipate that families will be staying in as many of the larger displays have been canceled. Check out all the places to ring in the new year around town. There are some great noontime celebrations for your little ones. These usually have balloon drops and confetti (that you don’t have to clean up!). What are your big plans for New Year’s Eve 2020? Staying in? Fireworks? Let us know below in the comments! We have the same hope as everyone. That day-to-day life will move toward normal. That families will be healthy and find a stable sustainable place to balance. And, as always, be safe and have a great holiday and Happy New Year! Looking for more to do this season check out our Guide to Houston Winter Festivals, Lights, and More! We track more than just snow in Houston. Additionally, we have found all the Santa sightings, Christmas lights, tree farm fun, markets, and much more. HOUSTON NEW YEAR’S EVE 2020 In year’s past the city and all the

hot cocoa bombs

The Best Hot Cocoa Bombs in Houston! Right Now!

So, it is nine days until Christmas and you need Hot Cocoa Bombs – let me help a mama out! Without a doubt, hot cocoa bombs are the breakout stars of the 2020 Holiday season. Perhaps the best thing to come out of 2020 as a whole! However, if you have been so immersed in that #quarantinelife that you have no idea what I am talking about let’s recap. What is a Hot Cocoa Bomb and How to Use Them Hot cocoa bombs are a hard chocolate shell, filled with all the goodies you need for premium hot cocoa – except the milk. They are usually a sphere that looks like a delicious bath bomb. But can really be any shape that you can find a candy mold for. But, how does a chocolate orb become hot cocoa?! This is where the magic happens. You put your bomb in a mug and pour hot milk over the top. Then, the chocolate melts away to release the cocoa and the marshmallows (and some times other goodies, like crushed candy canes). Stir and enjoy! They’re whimsical. They’re fun. And, like cake balls, I’m glad I can buy them. Buuuuuuuuuuut, so is everyone

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