Sunday, July 27, 2014

DuFrene Family StayCay

We just returned from our annual DuFrene family vacation. This year, it was a "stay-cation" full of all sorts of fun activities in beautiful East Texas. 

On Tuesday evening, Andrew and I drove to Nacogdoches where we were able to reunite with Jackson who had already spent a couple of days at Grammy and Pop's. Justin had to stay and work for a couple more days but was able to join us later in the week. On Wednesday, Jackson, Grammy and I went to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 at SFA. Jackson reported that his favorite part was the entire package of Skittles he was allowed to consume during the movie! But the most exciting part of Wednesday was that later in the afternoon all of the cousins arrived so then the fun could really get started!

We enjoyed some al fresco dining...

and a little pool splashin (swimsuit optional)....

On Thursday, we went to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, TX. It is a production fish hatchery that raises fish to stock ponds and lakes across the state. 

As we were walking up to the Fishery, Jackson came up with a little song. I was majorly impressed with his songwriting skills. Sung to the tune of "Daniel Tigers Neighborhood", it went like this:
We're going to the fishery,
Wonder what kind of fish we'll see?
Won't you ride along with me? (Ride along...)

We first checked out the exhibits where we saw lots of fish, of course, but also a big alligator! 

The highlight for most was the dive show conducted by a scuba diver who told us all about the fish they raise there. He even took questions from the audience. It was very neat!

We went on a tram tour where we saw mostly empty stock ponds (the primary production season is the Spring), but it was interesting nonetheless.

After the tram tour, we got to try our hand at actual fishing!

Supposedly, other lucky visitors have caught 50 lb bass in this very pond. Ali was the only successful fisherman out of our group and her catch wasn't exactly a record breaker. But we all had fun trying!

We left the Fishery and drove a few miles back through the Pineywoods to get to our picnic spot--Love's Lookout in Jacksonville. The view was beautiful!

Gram, Pop and their little grands

Love my mom and sister!

Thursday evening back at the Cabin in the Woods consisted of more al fresco dining, pool splashing and 4-wheeler riding. As we were making smores in the fire pit, we heard an unexpected crunch of tires on the gravel. It was Justin and he had surprised us by arriving a day early! He was greeted by shrieks of "Daddy's here! Daddy's here!" and smothered in hugs. And the boys were pretty excited too. =) They missed their daddy, for sure, but after a couple of days of wrangling the boys mostly on my own I think I was definitely happier to see him! 

Next up, highlights of our lake day, planetarium visit and wildlife safari!

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