Grapevine and the Stockyards

The kids have been wanting to see the Fort Worth Stockyards, and this week I finally got the magical combination of a Saturday off and nice, non-rainy weather. In the spirit of “little experiences tucked in wherever we can fit them,” we decided to drive to Grapevine and travel by rail to the Stockyards. Grapevine has held a special place in our hearts ever since our first December in DFW, when we were searching for local holiday cheer and found it on Grapevine’s Main Street in sparkly abundance. This is one town that loves Christmas.

So we booked tickets for the Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s round trip to the Stockyards, and got there early enough on Saturday to do a little wandering.

Grapevine has just begun to deck its halls.

DSCF1637

We stopped at the Blacksmith Shop, and Luke had fun pumping the bellows while the smithy did his thing at the forge.

DSCF1629

Saw this guy crafting something out behind the glassworker’s shop.

DSCF1633

At 12:30 it was time to board the train. We pulled out of the station at 1pm, powered by a 1953 diesel locomotive named Vinny.

DSCF1618

The cars were looking festive.

DSCF1641

The scenery was nice, just turning to Fall. I saw a few parks and trails that I’m looking forward to exploring on foot.

DSCF1652

We arrived at the Stockyards Station at about 2:30.

DSCF1681

The kids wanted to try out the Cattlepen Maze, so that was our first stop.

DSCF1669

There was more going on in the Stockyards this time than the last time I was here (on a Tuesday). More people, more carriages, more attractions and performers.

DSCF1684

There was a mechanical bull this time, and of course the kids had to ride that.

DSCF1675

IMG_1060

Took a detour though Saunders Park. What a pretty little place.

DSCF1689

DSCF1694

DSCF1696

We checked out the Station shops, bought some yummy fudge and explored the old livestock chutes, and then it was time for the cattle drive. Elizabeth staked out a spot up front on the curb…

DSCF1711

…while Luke and I found a comfy perch on a wall behind the crowd.

stkyrds

My one complaint is that we didn’t have time to see everything at the Stockyards before the train came back and it was time to leave. An hour and a half isn’t long enough!

DSCF1699

Goodbye, Stockyards.

FullSizeRender

DSCF1720

FullSizeRender 2

It was getting dark when we pulled into Grapevine Station around 6pm.

DSCF1744

It was a fun trip. One of these days we’ll drive out to the Stockyards and explore the whole area at our leisure. And, of course, we’ll be heading back to Grapevine at least once more this year, after all the lights are up and the Singing Christmas Tree has begun its nightly performance. They say December is the darkest and brightest month, and that’s especially true in the Christmas Capitol of Texas.

Categories: Animals, Artwork, Christmas, Family, Holidays, Horses, kids, Life, Travel | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Wordless Wednesday: More Parks Along the Trinity

DSCF1564

DSCF1565

DSCF1568

DSCF1574

DSCF1581

DSCF1584

DSCF1587

DSCF1588

DSCF1591

DSCF1595

DSCF1601

DSCF1602

Categories: A Plethora of Parks, Animals, environment, Friends, Life, maps, trees, Wildlife, Wordless Wednesday | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday: Fort Worth Stockyards

image

DSCF1439

DSCF1441

DSCF1442

DSCF1446

DSCF1447

DSCF1450

DSCF1459

DSCF1462

DSCF1465

DSCF1467

DSCF1471

DSCF1476

DSCF1478

DSCF1482

DSCF1484

DSCF1472

DSCF1474

DSCF1488

DSCF1489

DSCF1492

DSCF1496

DSCF1501

DSCF1513

DSCF1514

 

DSCF1525

DSCF1530

DSCF1533

DSCF1536

DSCF1518

DSCF1549

DSCF1554

DSCF1558

Categories: A Plethora of Parks, Animals, Friends, Horses, Ranching, Wordless Wednesday | Leave a comment

Cake, Corn and Pumpkins

My very favorite time of year begins with the start of fall and ends on New Year’s Day. Yesterday after I got off work, the kids and I celebrated the arrival of the Holiday season with cake and cider at Buon Giorno…

IMG_1032

…and then headed up the road to Hall’s Pumpkin Farm.

DSCF1418

DSCF1414

We played in the corn maze…

DSCF1397

DSCF1404

…saw lots and lots of pumpkins…

DSCF1426

…and generally had a nice time welcoming in the Season of Light.

DSCF1429

DSCF1421

DSCF1422

I’m determined to find a way to enjoy the Holidays even though I’m back in retail, and I think this is the secret: little experiences tucked in wherever we can fit them, and celebrating on our own schedule rather than tying ourselves to traditional timelines. Let the magic commence!

Categories: Family, Holidays, kids, Life, Weather | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Evening Walk

The weather is turning to fall, and the trails are beckoning.

When I was working at Cheddar’s, a coworker told me that I should check out the trails at Bob Eden Park. Thursday afternoon, the kids and I finally got a chance to do that. Turns out Bob Eden Park is just the first in a charming string of parks connected by trails that follow Little Bear Creek. We have explored bits of that creek before, but this section was new to us. Here is the part that we covered on Thursday:

FullSizeRender

The trails are sort of a continuation of the ones I wrote about in this post, in the sense that they follow the same line of power poles for a while. Really they’re more of a sequel, though, since there is no direct footpath connecting the two areas.

So, Bob Eden Park.

DSCF1286

DSCF1289

It has sand volleyball…

DSCF1288

…a playground…

DSCF1294

…and wide open spaces.

DSCF1292

It connects to Little Bear Creek Community Park…

DSCF1296

…which has tennis courts…

DSCF1297

…a picnic pavilion and restroom facilities…

DSCF1298

…and more wide open spaces.

DSCF1300

DSCF1304

At this point the trail forks. We chose the left fork, but we’ll probably go back and explore the right fork at some point. The trail we followed wandered along between the creek and a couple of different roads.

DSCF1305

DSCF1312

DSCF1323

DSCF1326

DSCF1330

Eventually we came to McCormick Park.

DSCF1374

It has a nice gazebo…

DSCF1334

…a playground…

DSCF1337

…and a handy directory of the trails.

DSCF1339

Also, this snake painted on a log:

DSCF1342

A little farther along we found another gazebo…

DSCF1349

…another playground…

DSCF1347

…and this sign, which was tall and hard to photograph.

DSCF1351

It says, “The Preserve at McCormick Park,” referencing features such as a bird-watching area and a historic grove.

We continued on…

DSCF1356

…but by the time we got to the lake the sun was setting…

DSCF1357

…so we headed back.

DSCF1377

DSCF1393

DSCF1396

This is a wonderful trail system connecting some really lovely park areas. We will definitely be back to explore the rest of it.

Categories: A Plethora of Parks, environment, Family, kids, Life, trees, Weather | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 81 other followers