It’s time for another “Works for Me Wednesday” over at We are THAT Family. It’s also past time to get the vacation pictures posted. Kristen’s helpful suggestion was to have snack bins in the pantry so your kids will always know what is permissible to eat. We did the same thing on our vacation – anything in the white crate was fair game at any time! (Yes, there was more than paper towels and plates in there; you just can’t see the granola bars and chips and fruit snacks, etc.) However, another thing that works for us is routine and tradition. So, the rest of this post is really for the older brothers (although anyone is more than welcome to read along), to show them that our traditions are still intact. Of course, it would be nice if they could come along with us too, but we understand they’re growing up and doing their own thing now. Here you go –

#1: Arrive at the park entrance and take a picture.

#2: Drive to the campground, find the “best” spot, and set up camp.

#3: Head on over to the visitor center and read all the displays.

#4: Start with the shortest, closest hike. This one was the “Windows Overlook” and it was flat, short, and beautiful – the best kind of introduction to the park.

#5: Divide the park into areas and start exploring the first one. We chose the Rio Grande Village area and the first hike was to the Hot Springs – an old resort out in the middle of nowhere. Wayne and the kids hiked along the Rio Grande – with Mexico on the other side of the river – and I picked them up at the other end. Actually, I started hiking from the other end and was able to meet them to get some wonderful pictures of the view.

After lunch it was time for the next hike. This one was to the entrance of Boquillas Canyon, up and over a little ridge and then along the Rio Grande for a mile or so until you couldn’t go any further. It was a hot day (over 105°) and Steven didn’t pack a hat. So we stopped at the little shop in between hikes to buy him one, which he then paired with the lovely turquoise hand towel to spare his neck from sunburn. Look for it in all the hiking pictures!! At least it matches Wayne’s infamous turquoise hat.

Since we had an early dinner, and supposedly the best time to go to the “Window” is at sunset, we decided that would be a good thing to do. It was kind of cool walking out to the edge of the cliff, following the little creek. It’s kind of hard to tell, but the upper left corner shows the water falling off where you can’t go any further and the center is the gorgeous view of the distance (although my pictures don’t do it the justice it deserves). If you ever try it yourself, be careful – it’s slippery. And maybe start a little earlier in the evening. The last mile or two we were hiking in the dark. Although we had flashlights and a good moon, it was still a little disconcerting. All in all, though, it was a great end to a fun day, and a wonderful start to our vacation.