Monday, February 14, 2011

Aquarena Springs

On Sunday, we loaded up the family, picked up the girlfriends, and headed out to San Marcos for an afternoon of outdoor fun at Aquarena Springs. The Huschka's, the Monica's, and the Needom's met us out there.

For anyone who visited as a child (elementary field trips!), please know it is very different. In fact, the only thing that is the same are the glass bottom boats. But that is also the only activity that has a cost.

The property was purchased by Texas State University in 1996. They use it for educational purposes, including marine biology studies and grade school field trips. It is open to the public all year long.

They added a floating walkway into the "wetlands" which is the shallow part of the springs. You can walk out over the water and see plant and animal life. They also added an aquarium building. In there, you can see tanks holding the famous & native San Marcos Blind Salamander, several species of native fish, and native turtles.

The weather was PERFECT!!! We had such a great time! You will see why in the many, many, many pictures I took. (So I took over 200 but have whittled them down for the blog!)

Inside the aquarium building....

Waiting for the Glass Bottom Boats....

We got our own boat since we had a big group.
Inside the boat and under the boat....

Springs and fish.
This picture shows the newest area of springs which appeared in the last month, our tour guide said. She asked for name suggestions. We all hollered out names like, Oreo's, ice cream sandwich, milk shake, cookies and cream, and cream of wheat. But my favorite was the combination of two names- "Cookies and Cream of Wheat!" To which the kids all hollered "gross!" at me! Ha!

Plant life.

More springs.

Reflections in the glass.

The crack in the middle of this picture is the result of an earthquake that happened in the 1920's on the Balconies Fault Line. The brick shows where the springs come up in the crack.

Back on shore, we headed to the wetland walkway. But first, a cool picture of a naked tree!
The place where you used to be able to catch the Sky Cable Cars. Doesn't look the same, does it?
First thing in the wetland walkway, we see some native turtles soaking up the sun.

Plant life and animals.

The floating walkway.....

We headed over to the picnic area for lunch and play time.
We all packed picnic food and outdoor toys. The weather was so great we played for a long time!

The grounds and structures are so beautiful. I just had to shoot posed pics of the kiddos. These are the best and in some cases the funniest!
The Gang!

Lizzy and Dane

Jessica and Clark

Carly and Mason

Kennedy, Dane, & Lizzy

It really was a wonderfully relaxed and fun day. We couldn't have asked for better weather or better company.

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