Little adventures with the kids in our own city are fun too so last weekend we decided participate in the Austin-Lehman Active Family Challenge and brave the extreme heat and check out someplace new to us in Houston, Brazos Bend State Park. I had heard great things about the park and their wildlife and it's only about 45 minutes from us, but it feels like a different world. Brazos Bend is home to about 300 alligators and hundreds of species of birds and other wildlife. They have miles and miles of well maintained hiking trails among lakes, bayous, swamps and prairies. There are great camping facilities, a Nature Center and several other cool features, like an observation tower.
|A Drought-Stricken Lake at Brazos Bend|
We did see lots of cool birds though, and the creatures that really love this hot weather are the huge banana spiders. Besides the one complete trail we hiked I also drove around the large park to various spots were we got out and walked a short distance to observation decks and a fishing pier. On one such path through the woods Nathan pointed out a massive web spanning the trees above us and a great big banana spider right in the middle. After that we found about five more such webs and their inhabitants, basking in the sun and enjoying their morning breakfast. Sorry if the photos creep you out, I am both intimidated and intrigued by these colorful arachnids.
As lunchtime approached and the temperatures soared the kids lost their stamina and we decided to pack it in for the day, but all agreed it was a fun adventure and we really want to do it again when it isn't so hot and dry and we are more likely to see a lot more gators.
Austin-Lehman Adventures for sponsoring this particular day of local adventure for my family. Austin-Lehman is an award winning adventure travel company with all-inclusive vacation packages for active families all over the world. ALA was voted #1 tour operator/Safari operator in the world in 2009 and # 2 in 2010 by Travel and Leisure Magazine. This year, it continues in the top 5 as #5 in the world. ALA has also made National Geographic Adventure Magazine's list of 'Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth.' Family adventures accommodate kids as young as 5 with intimate groups and a low guest-to-guide ratio in distinctive lodging and with unique activities such as biking, hiking and rafting.
Having traveled with various tour companies through Europe and the Canadian Rockies, I can tell you that Austin-Lehman is unique and looks absolutely amazing for active families like mine. Seriously, check out these links and you'll find yourself drooling like I did:
- Family Adventures
- Family Europe Vacations
- National Park Trips
- Montana Vacations
- European Bike Tours
- Adventure Vacations
So I hope you'll use this as inspiration to gather your family and plan an active adventure today. You'll hear more about the Hubbell family adventures last week in Pennsylvania over the next few days.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Austin-Lehman Adventures and I was compensated for our great morning at Brazos Bend but all opinions and language is my own, active adventure is a Hubbell family value, and I'm dead serious when I say ALA's travel packages rock.