We hit the road at 5:30 last Friday morning to head to Austin for Camden’s doctor appointment. The stretch from Dallas to Austin is a lot of stop and go, fast and slow, so leaving at this time was perfect. We stopped in Waco for breakfast and had plenty of time to spare for our 10AM appointment. At the doctor visit: After that, we grabbed lunch and then checked in to our hotel. Camden doesn’t ask for much. He points out hotels around town and remarks, “hotel.” I loved staying at hotels as a kid, and apparently he does too. The boys were thrilled. The hotel had an indoor pool that the guys made good use of. Brian said this swim time was his favorite part of the trip because they had a blast and both of the boys are tall enough now that there is a lot less stress involved for the parents. Camden felt more secure since he was able to touch the bottom. We got cleaned up and headed to In & Out for dinner. Camden was stoked to be sitting close to the train tracks. We’ve been in Austin several times, but this was the first time we took the boys to the Capitol building. We didn’t arrive until after 6PM, but the doors were still open to check out the inside. Saturday morning we took the Austin Steam Train from Cedar Park to Burnet. Here’s the blurb from the website:
This 66 mile round trip excursion journeys through the Texas Hill Country, crossing the wooden trestle bridge over the South San Gabriel River and Short Creek Canyon. During the two hour layover in Burnet you can enjoy lunch on your own, a leisurely stroll around the historic town square and the Wild West Gunfight (weather permitting). Finally, relax and enjoy our historic cars as the train returns to Cedar Park in the afternoon. All cars are pulled by our 1960 Alco diesel locomotive. Parties of two may be seated at shared tables. This ride is 6 hours round trip with a 2 hour layover. SCHEDULE: Departs 10:00 AM, Returns 4:00 PM.
Cost is around $28-40 each. If it’s your birthday month, you get a free ticket so I made use of that! Camden is very interested in trains (Thomas the train, model train layouts, I Love Toy Train dvds, etc). He struggles with gravitational insecurity and doesn’t like the feel of elevators, escalators, planes, etc. I’d heard this train was pretty smooth, so we were hoping it’d go well. He was uncertain when we arrived, and once the train departed it took him about 15 minutes to relax. After that, he was fine. Camden’s iPad is often utilized to help with tough transitions or new and uncertain experiences like this one. I decided it was going to be a no iPad excursion. The ride was 2 hours one-way. He did great! Once we arrived in “beautiful Burnet” it was time for lunch. The locals recommended a certain restaurant, and once we got there I saw that it was buffet. I’m not a fan of most buffets, so I passed. Thirty minutes before departing back to Austin/Cedar Park, there was a short play with an old western back drop. I had forgotten to pack Camden’s noise-cancelling headphones, so when the first gunshot was fired, he was done. I don’t see us doing this train excursion again, but I certainly enjoyed trying something different. After the train ride, we headed to New Braunfels to stay the night with some of our dear friends. Camden and Carson LOVE going to their house. When we were at the hotel, Carson told me, “Mom, I love hotel-ing, but I mostly love staying at Ms. Danielle’s house.” =) They have two teenage boys who are amazing role models for my boys. We were fed, loved on, and encouraged. Our friends headed out for church Sunday morning and we packed up. I peeked in the play room/man cave to see the boys having a jam session. Totally cracked me up!We loaded up our stuff and headed to Morgan’s Wonderland, an all-abilities park in San Antonio. The weather was overcast and pretty pleasant. The park had gotten a Ferris wheel last month and we were excited to try it out! Camden had me in a choke hold the entire time.We logged four hours at the park, and then started the journey back home. It was a short but fun trip!