Saturday of Fun – Part 3

We all got off okay and were off to the second surprise: The Fort Worth Nature Center.

When we were at Disney World, we visited the Conservatory inside Animal Kingdom. We saw black rhinos, giraffes, elephants, alligators, and hippos. The Fort Worth Nature Center is great, but it has a little less variety. They keep bison and prairie dogs. That’s it. Just those two animals. And we didn’t see any bison. Welcome to Texas, y’all.

Honestly though, the center really was a fun visit. At the visitor’s center, there are lots of snake skins, bones, rocks and skulls that the kids are allowed to touch. And they keep a small number of frogs and snakes and one prairie dog indoors, so we spent a lot of time looking at those just in case we couldn’t find a prairie dog in the wild.

After we were bored looking at frogs, we started down the shortest hike. It was supposed to be 1.3 miles total, but part of the trail was closed, so we took a detour and I know that added another half mile to the trek. But on the hike, we did find a couple of prairie dogs and lots of grasshoppers, birds, and butterflies. Anytime we heard a rustle in the leaves, the P would stop and tell us both to hush. We would all listen carefully until a bird would fly out of the bushes. He thought he saw deer tracks and maybe an armadillo. This was a successful hike.

About halfway through, the Princess grabbed the map and started repeating, “The map say it’s time go home.” But she made it…mostly because I carried her for 90% of the trip…so when I say she made it, I mean, she didn’t have a complete breakdown on the trail.

Now, this is the part where I almost cried. I had brought a Moby Wrap with us because I’m a smart mom, and I anticipated carrying the Princess for the hike. It’s much easier to carry her in a wrap than with my arms. We have not used this wrap since last summer, but it’s supposed to hold children up to 35 lbs. The Princess barely weighs 23 lbs., so I knew she would fit.

When I started to put on the wrap, the Princess started to cry. She kept point at the fabric and saying, “No, not that. Not that.”

I said, “You want me to carry you, right?”


“But not in this thing?”


I knew it would be impossible to wrestle her into the carrier, so I put it away and just carried her in my arms. When we got home, I was rolling the Moby Wrap back up and asked the Princess, “You used to like to sit in here. Why don’t you like it anymore?”

She said, “I two.”

I said, “Oh, you’re a big girl.”

She said, “I not Baby Josey.”

In case you need to know, Baby Josey is a 8 month old that we know. The Princess is not Baby Josey, and she wants that to be known.

I didn’t really cry, but it was a close one.

Read my detailed review of Fort Worth Nature Center here.


Saturday of Fun: Part 1

After too many weekends in a row of being stuck indoors, we decided to hit the road last Saturday morning. No one was ill, we didn’t have any other obligations, so we traveled to far off Fort Worth for a couple of surprises.

By the time we were at our exit in Fort Worth, The P had already guessed that we were going to a park and a zoo. This was pretty close to accurate.

First, we went to ride the Forest Park Miniature Railroad in Trinity Park. It’s a 40 minute train ride through a pretty park.

I had not been to Trinity Park since I was, maybe, 7. So I really didn’t remember anything about it. I used Google Maps but the directions it gave lead us to a giant very official “road closed” sign. This was met by my 6-year-old, who still didn’t know about the train ride surprise and was getting a little anxious, with many questions. “Why is the road closed? What does that mean? Can we still get in there? Do we need to find another park? Why did we drive all this way if the park is closed?” These questions did not help my anxiety level one bit.

We did see a few joggers and cyclists in the park, so we decided the park must not be completely closed. We did not give up hope.

We tried to circle the park to find another entrance. I learned alot about the neighborhood around Trinity Park that day, including the fact that Lancaster is one giant bridge that drives over the park, but does not feed into the park. I also learned that there are only 3 entrances to the park and that they were all blocked.

We eventually found an abandoned lot where some other parkgoers were parking. We found a space and asked some strangers if they thought we would get towed. They didn’t think so as there were no towing signs, but they were from Dallas and had never been to Trinity Park before either, so really, this was a blind-leading-the-blind kind of situation. We all walked together toward the road close signs and quietly prayed that our car would not get towed.

I am still so glad a policeman was sitting in his car near the “Road Closed” sign. I asked him why we couldn’t drive in the park, and he explained there was a walk for some disease or foundation or something going on, but it was almost over. The road would open in about 5 minutes. I told him we were going to “the depot.” This was my secretive mom code since this was still a surprise. The kind policeman did not pickup on the code. He asked the P directly, “So, you’re going to ride the train? That will be fun.”

P just smiled and nodded. I forgave the kind policeman because then he told us this:

“The train depot is really far from here. You should drive around to the other entrance and park closer. The other entrance will be open by the time you drive there.”

I checked later with “Map my Run” and the train depot was almost a mile from the abandoned lot. And that would have been if we had walked in the right direction, which we would not have. I am forever in debt to that policeman. If we had walked to the train depot, we would have all been so sad and tired by the time we got there. If I knew how to find him, I would send that policeman a cookie to say thanks.

When we finally found the correct entrance and train depot, we only waited about 10 minutes before the next train came by. It seemed a little cut throat finding a seat. I think they were busy because it was so nice out. Plus, we found out later that someone was having a birthday party, so our train was a little full.

Waiting for the Train...

The first, and most important, thing I realized is that the combination of the angle of the seats and the angle of my pants pockets, everything I owned was falling out. I lost $40 right off the bat. The man behind me helped fish it out from under his seat. The side of the train were wide open, so I spent the rest of the 40 minutes doing a mental inventory of my “keys, phone, and kids.” It was especially stressful when the train passed over the Trinity River, which it does 4 times. There’s no way I could have fished anyone or anything out of there.

Really, the bridge that travels over the river is fenced in. No person could accidently slip in. Phones and keys, however…better hang on.

The Princess wants to do everything her brother does, even if it means she can't see what's in front of her.

The Princess and the P loved it, until the saw the playground. We passed the playground towards the end of the ride and then all the Princess could say was, “I want to go there. I want to go there.” The P agreed that we should hit the playground before the next “surprise,” so we did.

More to come…

Read my detailed review of Forest Park Miniature Railroad here.