Saturday, July 26, 2014

Family Vacation 2014: Day 3

Day 3 began with packing up and leaving the beloved Days Inn to head to the Bedre Chocolate Factory.  I had reserved a tour, which they seemed to have no record of, but a lovely employee gave us a run down of the history and operations.  We watched them make meltaways from the windows and then set our kids free on the chocolate shop.
The each got a couple things, and we picked up a few more for later.  I tried out the diet chocolate soda, which was quite good.
B chose the HUGE cherry gummy bear and everyone had a chocolate feast while the kids played on the playground between the chocolate factory and the Chickasaw Nation Visitors center, which was our next stop. Brent and I reviewed the literature and decided our kids are generally too young for the full-on history of the Chickasaw Nation so we headed to the Chickasaw National Recreational Area for hiking and science (and to burn off some chocolate).
Ready to hike :)
Inside there were some live animals, history lessons about the springs, and a few gift items.  We found a postcard for our scrapbook and one to send to B's librarian.  Ironically, or not, it features a picture of the waterfalls, which were completely devoid of water during our visit. I also learned a lot about travertine in its various states, including marble that I sometimes see used in Oklahoma homes.

Where they are standing here should be the basin of little Niagra.  It was interesting to explore in any case.

There were also lots of empty creek beds.  The trail we were hiking was much easier than yesterday's trail so of course we often opted to hike up the empty (more challenging) creek beds instead.  They contain large travertine stones covered in moss, which make a weird, strangely hollow sound when tapped.
Here we are exploring Travertine Island--- it took some deduction to figure out why/how it might be an island when there was almost no water in sight.
B spent quite a bit of time looking at the map. His map-reading skills, like my own, could use a bit of work so we gave him some opportunities to navigate.
The park has tons of picnic and bathroom areas.  This huge picnic table is made of local stone and a perfect place for a drink stop. The woods were full of bugs and very loud on this warm summer day and full of beautifully dappled light.
We found some water!  This water would run along one side of Travertine Island, but was largely still this day.  We could see many small fish though and hypothesized about how high it might normally be.
Here we are climbing another creek bed.

Exploring caves, stairs, and anything we find. 
Brent didn't have to carry E as much on this hike as the last one, but E was definitely tiring on the way back. 

We found some bones as we hiked up the creek bed and Dr. Richards emerged to teach us a few things about zoology and what we could learn about the animal from the skull. 

While most of the rocks were small for the rest of us, small britches had to climb like this a lot. 
There was plenty of resting and hydrating.  After our hike, we headed out in search of lunch and landed at Deb's Burgerland.  This is your classic small town dive burger joint.  It is kind of like Mami's in Douglas many years ago.  Basically everything on the menu is friend and completely delicious.  Our kids ate every last bit.  Also, every single person stared and conversation stopped as we came in :)  I'm sure we were the talk of the town, but had a great meal before heading north to unpack and shop for school supplies before our quick vacation ended.  

Day 3: 
Where we went:
Bedré Chocolate Factory - 

Chickasaw Nation Welcome Center & Playground
Chickasaw National Recreation Area - We concentrated on the area near the Travertine Nature Center

Where we Ate:  We have rule against eating at places that exist in Edmond/OKC while on vacation so you'll see lots of local choices each day:
Breakfast at the Days Inn--- B lists this as his favorite part of the trip
Deb's Burgerland - everything was good, particularly the chicken fried chicken sandwich. 

We had this Bella & Brie salad at home for dinner as we seriously needed some greens :)

Where we stayed:
Days Inn - Pauls Valley

Prior Posts:
Day 1
Day 2

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