Posts Tagged With: River Legacy Science Center

Spring Break, Part II

Luke, Elizabeth and I had planned out Tuesday’s itinerary long before Emma stepped off the plane. The rest of the week was left to the whims of fortune until Wednesday morning rolled around and we still had nothing planned for my Thursday off. I instructed the three of them to come up with a detailed flight plan by the time I got home from work that night. They did not disappoint.

So our first destination on Thursday morning was the Ripley’s Believe or Not Odditorium.

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The shiny silver dinosaurs outside the building are constructed entirely of chrome car bumpers. The blue dino and the adorable gorilla are made from random machine parts.

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Once inside, our first stop was Louis Tussaud’s Palace of Wax.

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Bear with me, I’m still getting the hang of my camera’s indoor settings. My last camera really struggled in low-light areas, so now I habitually overcompensate. Working on that.

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After the Palace of Wax, we braved the Enchanted Mirror Maze.

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I wouldn’t describe it as “enchanting” so much as “disorienting as fuck.”

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It was fun, but kind of short. We probably would have spent more time in there if we hadn’t used the classic “right turns only” method to prevent aimless wandering.

Next up was the Odditorium itself.

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The shadow wall is really cool. You stand against the wall, a bright light flashes and your silhouette is “saved” as a slowly-fading shadow. Unfortunately, I only got one good photo of this effect.

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After the first one I remembered to turn on my camera’s flash, and it turns out that the flash completely washes out the shadow effect, thusly:

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Bummer. But the Odditorium was full of awesome, bizarre stuff. For example, horses and cows get made into handbags all the time. But some enterprising artist decided to turn a bunch of handbags back into a horse-cow.

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Actually, “things made out of other things” describes like 80% of the Odditorium.

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Plus some cool movie props.

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We goofed around in the activity room for a while.

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The video wall was fun. We’re the four silhouettes on the left.

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Exit through the gift shop.

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By then we were pretty hungry, so we headed over to the Mellow Mushroom in Arlington. Their pizza is amazing, unlike my potato-quality iPad selfie:

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Took a better pic outside.

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On the way home we drove past River Legacy and impulsively decided to pull in.

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This is one of our favorite local parks. Entry sign photo to make it an official addition to the collection:

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River Legacy has some magnificent trails along the Trinity River, but after all of our adventuring none of us were really up for a hike. A frolic on the playground was totally doable, though.

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From there it was an easy walk next door to the Science Center.

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The warm sunshine felt like heaven to a heat-lover like me.

On Saturday morning, we begrudgingly fed Emma to the sky gods at Love Field Airport.

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It was so much fun having her out for Spring Break! Hopefully we’ll be able to do that again.

And now I need to sit down and read my camera’s user manual cover to cover, because the number of wasted shots I ended up deleting last week made me die a little inside. It’s time to learn how to use this thing.

Happy spring!

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Categories: A Plethora of Parks, Animals, Artwork, environment, Family, food, Friends, Holidays, kids, Life, Love | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Hikus Interruptus

This morning the kids and I continued our Trinity River Project by covering this bit of trail:

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We had planned to hike farther today, but the rain that was forecast for this afternoon rolled in early. I don’t mind hiking in a nice autumn rain, but my camera and phone do. I guess I need a waterproof case for them now that I’m not in the desert anymore.

Before we hit the trail we stopped in at River Legacy Science Center. It’s a great little place that teaches about the local wildlife and river systems, and has some of the river species on display.

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Apparently there’s a plan in the works to connect all the trails and parks along the Trinity River from Fort Worth to Dallas, but it’s complicated by the fact that a lot of the land is privately owned. It’s a cool idea, though, and since the trails themselves are mostly already in place I don’t think it would be too disruptive. I hope it works out — how cool would it be to be able to ride your bike from Fort Worth to Dallas without ever having to touch a street?

Another cool thing we found at the Science Center was a map with tiny lights that show the course of each major Texas river when you press the corresponding button. Here’s the Trinity:

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There’s a spot behind the building with steps leading down to a pond, and I think they must feed the local turtle population from there, because a lot of very hopeful-looking turtles popped their heads up when we came out.

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A better view of of the pond:

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We saw even more turtles once we got out onto the river trail.

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We got as far as this strange, abandoned bridge…

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…and then it started raining, and we turned back to save our gadgets.

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It’s just as well; as we were driving to our next errand the skies opened up and unleashed the sort of deluge that makes you crawl along behind the next guy’s taillights and hope that everyone doesn’t get washed off the road. That wouldn’t have been fun to hike in at all.

The rain disrupted my weekend plans with Mahogany. I might have to play hooky Monday morning and slip out for a ride.

Categories: Animals, environment, Family, kids, Life, Trinity River Project, Weather, Wildlife | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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