January 10, 2021

Spending Christmas in Texas and Oklahoma

Spending Christmas in Texas and Oklahoma

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for January 10, 2021

The isolation became too overwhelming so we decided to hop in the car and head south to visit my sisters in Texas.  We were just in time to escape a pretty big blizzard that hit Minnesota and Iowa right after we left.  So we had that going for us.

The drive was about 14 hours to Flower Mound, Texas.  It went really well with the exception of a gas station stop right outside of Kansas City.  Somebody told Miss Sheri that we should get the Blank out of there, because we were in a bad neighborhood.  Of course she didn't tell me this until we were driving away which kind of made me sad.  It seems like I missed out on an opportunity to work on my karate skills.

We arrived at my sister Tracy's house at 2am.  This photo was taken the next night.  They weren't nearly this excited to see us at 2am.

There was much family drama discussing if it was safe to get together.  We decided to all get Covid tested and isolate before traveling which seemed to have worked. None of us were stricken by the virus before, during, or after our trip.

Our old golden retriever, Sunny, used to love coming with us to Texas to swim in my sister's pool.  Blue is not quite that lucky.  He absolutely loves to swim, but had a traumatic experience as a puppy where he fell off a dock and has been afraid to jump in the water ever since.  So he spent a lot of time walking around the water, but never was able to overcome his fears and actually jump in.  Silly dog.

We weren't nearly as afraid to get in the water.  At least the hot tub that is.  The pool was way too cold for swimming.

Even though these 4 have spent pretty much every other Christmas morning together for the past 20 years, they still always seem excited to get up and do it again.

Our primary activity other than staying in the house was going on hikes.  Pretty much the same as we do at home.

We dressed up a bit for Christmas dinner.  I put on some of my fancier shorts.

My sisters made an awesome dinner and we had some wonderful family bonding time.  Family is what the holidays are all about!

 The day after Christmas we had the pleasure of visiting Uncle Cliff and his family who were in town visiting my nieces for the holidays.  It was great spending a couple hours with them even if it had to be with the required 6 feet of social distancing.

Another day and another hike.  This time at some park in Flower Mound.

 There was a lake there which was nice.  I like standing next to water.

We ventured into Grapevine, Texas which bills itself as the Christmas capital of Texas.   They even had restaurants which were allowed to be open for business which was unusual for us Minnesotans.  We did opt to eat outside, though, because we need to ease back into normalcy.

We took a picture in front of their Christmas tree which is a bit of a tradition for us.  This was the first time we did it with masks dangling from people's ears, though.

We traveled to Broken Bow, Oklahoma to mix things up a bit.  We went to Beavers Bend State Park because we felt like we hadn't done our share of hiking for this vacation.

We walked over a bridge which was not that unique of an experience.  It felt just like walking over a bridge in Minnesota although admittedly we were warmer while doing it.

We rode a log which I thought was going to be more fun than it was, but honestly it was a bit of a letdown.  We didn't even go anywhere.

All in all, the woods reminded me a lot of the woods we hike at home.  However these were way better because we had my family walking through them with us.  That makes it way more fun.

We did see a neat hawk in a tree but he had no interest in letting us pet him.

We walked over a bunch of hills until finally we arrived at our destination.  It was a beautiful river with water flowing through it and everything.  Well worth the effort to see!

I was too tired to join Miss Sheri on her adventure out on the rocks.  Although I was very happy for her that she made the journey.

We had a campfire on our last night in Oklahoma and made S'mores with my niece's kids.  It was a lot of fun and a great way to end a fantastic family vacation!

This Week's TikTokVideos

Beaver Bend State Park ##waterfall ##beaverbend ##brokenbow

♬ Waterfalls - TLC

We are having too much fun on Christmas Eve! Merry Christmas!! ##fyp ##christmas2020 ##drinkinggames ##merrychristmas

♬ Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer - Elmo & Patsy

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