The entire month of May I eagerly awaited the beginning of summer for a few moments of extra sleep, relaxation and even some greatly needed family quality time. With each day and the blaring sound of an alarm clock I repeated the all to familiar mantra in my head that summer will soon be here. Hang in there and soon we can all relax, I repeated to myself on more than one occasion.
The month of June arrived and brought a great deal of disillusionment for me. My visions and dreams of sleeping late, relaxing and enjoying some family quality time were quickly replaced with the reality of graduation ceremonies, graduation parties, preparations for Boy Scout Camp, trips to Boy Scout Camp, moving a teenager back home where she belongs and let's not forget the tedious extra yard work due to the large amount of rainfall in the area.
June came and went without a second moment to catch our breaths just in time for July to come roaring in! With the approaching holiday plans I knew we needed to squeeze in a few precious hours of family time and so we hopped in the car for a quick trip up I-35 to San Marcos and the Aquarena Springs.
I had researched a little on the internet to find out that Aquarena Springs offered glass bottom boat tours to view the ecosystems, wildlife and natural springs. I have always been interested in this and seeing as I don't have a great deal of energy due to my health problems I figured that this was a great idea because it would be interesting AND we could sit throughout the tour.
Even though the weather was poor due to a hurricane that had come ashore a couple of days before no lighting was evident and tours were still permitted. Therefore, we purchased our tickets and climbed aboard a beautiful wooden boat that had been made in the 1950's.
This is a view from the back of the boat looking out over the river.
If you look at the water you can see the raindrops hitting the river.
After settling in for the ride the tour guide began his monotone of information that mainly floated over the top of everyone's heads as we all leaned over to discover the wonders of the springs. The bottom of the boat was indeed glass and the views were breath taking. So much so that I hardly stopped to take pictures.
We did learn a few things such as the turtles love to eat the arrow shaped plants growing in the river. At least they do except when a boat carrying Megan the turtle lover is not moving overhead! I can't tell you how hard we tried to watch for turtles only for them to skirt away quickly before we could turn our heads each time another passenger screamed "TURTLE!" The tour guide even backed the boat up once for me in an attempt to feed Megan's love of turtles and allow her to view one. Oh well, in the end I was able to convince Megan that a dark shadow was indeed a turtle hiding in the foliage. Well, it could have been, right????
The foliage in the river grows at such a rapid rate that it
actually has to be mowed with special equipment
sometimes as much as twice a week!
Throughout the entire tour the guide continued with his educational speech answering the sporadic questions of the passengers. It became obvious that he really took an interest in his work when he showed us a fault line with natural springs that happened to be very close to a wall and required a bit of extra maneuvering of the boat.
The white areas where the springs are evident are often
referred to as The Cream of Wheat due to their
texture and appearance. Depths of the river have been
recorded as much as 17ft deep!
All in all I would say that the trip more than met the goal of spending a few hours of quality family time together. It was interesting, calm and we did not hear the sound of one cell phone for almost 2 solid hours!