Family Vacation Part 9 – 7/11/2012

If there was any question about where we went for vacation, we only had to look as far as breakfast. I’m not sure if Texas is full of itself, or proud. With a Texas size blueberry waffle in the shape of the state, we were full and ready for anything the day offered to us.

We arrived in the city of Lubbock Texas today. There, is the American Wind Power Center and Museum which was a defianate stop for us. We are huge fans of alternative energy as we have solar on our roof. I even went to a solar conference in Denver, Colorado to look into investing into wind energy.

The museum had about every kind of windmill you could ever want to look at. It was fascinating to get up next to one of the large 1.5 megawatt windmills on the ground as well as to walk up to the base of one that is operating. I can’t say enough good about this museum if you’re into wind energy!


One thing that I struggled with this vacation was the use of new technology. Danelle got her first smartphone before the vacation started. While driving, it seemed that she spent a large amount of time looking at her phone, playing with apps and maps. Driving in downtown Austin, I asked her where we should eat while driving through a high density food district. She went to her phone to see what was available. This upset me as I wanted her to look out the window and point to something that looked interesting.

Today however, using her phone, she found a restaurant that we never would have found without the Internet. She found a place that had tons of transportation related decorations and a train running from the ceiling. I wish I could remember the name of it to say thanks to the owners, but I didn’t get a photo of it. We would not have found it without the Internet and great reviews. So now I’m torn about technology and our search for food…

After a great morning and a great lunch, we were a short drive to Palo Duro Canyon State Park just outside of Amarillo. As we approached, I wondered where it was. The land seemed flat for miles and I wondered if we were lost. The road signs were there, but I wondered if it was some sick joke! Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw a small ditch on the north side of the highway. I followed it across the road to the other side and beheld the canyon system. It came out of nowhere! The canyon system was amazing and deep to the south of the highway. 

Palo Duro is a great place to visit, we wish that we had more time to hike around. It didn’t help that it was 100 degrees outside and we didn’t have enough water for an extended hike. We made a short hike to a tiny cave as a family.

Corvin and I did a 1.5 mile hike from the rim to the bottom of the canyon before we left. I wish that we had more time that all four of us could have done the hike. It was much easier than I expected with breathtaking views!

With the canyon visited, it was time to head towards home. We started heading east towards St. Louis. There was still time until we had to be back, but we decided that it was time to go home. The kids fell asleep around 8 and we started our longest drive of the vacation, not needing a bathroom or gas break for quite some time. We went almost four hours before we called it a night! Unfortunately all of the tolls on I-44 and some other random highway put a damper on our spirits. We spent approximately $11 on tolls. I wanted to stop sooner for sleep, but I wasn’t going to give any city along a toll road my business!