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So last week I shared about our foray into goat ranching…and, as promised, here’s how we spent the rest of our childless Winter Holiday…

Clark Kent riding the nose of two dolphins in Jamaica — they’re down there somewhere (he’s an awfully big boy), he isn’t walking on water. Note that we were childless b/c of this awesome family trip over Thanksgiving and celebrating an early family Christmas.

No, not in Jamaica. That was Thanksgiving. Christmas and New Years we spent in … Big Bend. After living 30+ of my 46 years in Texas, I had never visited the one million acres of Big Bend State and National Parks. Well, shame on me. Pictures don’t do it justice, really. Trust me, if you have an interest in geology, American History, wildlife, and nature in general, you owe yourself a visit.

There aren’t many places to stay INSIDE either park, and the accommodations range from Spartan to camping. However, within an hour’s driving distance in several directions are perfectly charming options. We spent time in the Davis Mountains and Fort Davis, the eclectic Marfa, and the fantabulous and historic Gage Hotel in Marathon. * Highly recommended *

Favorite sighting of the trip? Real live javelinas. I only just talked Eric out of attempting to domesticate one. Best activity? Canoeing the Rio Grande River in 35-degree weather, and stopping to dip in the hot springs. Best hike? The panoramic views of Lost Pines. Best meal? Reata’s in Alpine. Biggest disappointment? Not seeing a single hackin’ frackin’ mountain lion or black bear.

The parks are in the Chihuahuan Desert, so high summer is an iffy time to visit. The water levels are highest in the fall, and the vegetation is best in the spring. Winter, for us, was just perfect.

We wrapped up our adventure with a stop at a Barnes & Noble in Houston to pick up sussies to give each other while Eric traveled to India for a few weeks. We were shocked to see Saving Grace on the shelves, and learned that, while we were away, B&N had approved our application to carry it. Since then, we’ve learned this is a BIG DEAL, so I have to type that in all caps.

Regular blog followers may wonder where I left my funnybone. I’m sorry to say I used it all up finishing Leaving Annalise and doing live appearances promoting Saving Grace. I’m sure it will be back soon. Until then, just look back up at that picture of Clark Kent, and if that doesn’t make you laugh, nothing will.

TTFN,

Pamelot

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