Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Field Trip to Crystal Caves

We took a field trip to Crystal Caves with our local homeschool group.  I made the mistake of telling the kids we would pack a picnic lunch to eat there.  Georgie decided he needed his backpack to carry his lunch like he used to when he went to school.  Not a problem, I actually even knew where his backpack was.  Vicki decided she needed her Dora backpack.   After searching the dress-up box (where most of the backpacks, purses, etc. wind up), the toy cabinets and the hooks where the rest of the tote bags are kept I suddenly realized.....Vicki doesn't have a Dora backpack.   I managed to convince her to use the backpack that came with one of her baby dolls instead, which of course meant a baby doll had to come along.
The picnic area was right next to a small stream and field of wildflowers.  Vicki had fun poking the water with a stick and eventually ended up wading right in, soaking her shoes and her jeans to the knees.  Another mom was nice enough to offer me a dry pair of pants but I told her we'd be fine.  I'm glad I didn't bother changing her since once we were in the caves Vicki proceeded to jump in every standing patch of water in there (and if you've ever been in caves, you know they are WET.)

Georgie accidentally got his shoes wet so sat down for a while blowing dandelions so his shoes could dry.  It was a pretty warm day outside but the caves are chilly.  Vicki didn't care that she was wet to the knees but Georgie hated that his shoes were a little damp.
Once we hiked up the path to the entrance to the caves (and mom recovered from her near-heart attack from carrying Vicki all the way up) we saw a brief presentation about the caves.  By this point, everyone in the place knew Georgie, both from him going around introducing himself and from me constantly calling "Get back here George", "Don't touch that George", "Sit down George" and just plain old "GEORGE!!"  It also helped me make a very important decision.  I was thinking about attempting to take the kids to see Toy Story 3 in theatres this Summer.  I don't think its going to work.  Georgie cannot sit still for more than 2 seconds at a time, while Vicki likes to provide commentary while she watches a movie.  "Look an arrow. It's pointing to the rocks", "Look a waterfall how pretty", "Oooo those rocks are Bea-U-ti-FUL".  The mom sitting next to me was laughing and observed how Vicki doesn't miss a thing while I just wanted to hide.

Once we were in the caves I tried to stay toward the back so the kids wouldn't be too disruptive of the guide speaking.  The kids had to be watched very closely since the floors were wet and slippery, there were a lot of steep, rough stairs and I didn't want them falling down a crevasse.  We made it through in one piece.  The kids both enjoyed looking at the different rock formations but Vicki had the most fun stomping in the various puddles and swinging from the walkway railings.

After our tour of the caves we did some panning for pretty rocks.  The gift shop provided bags of various stones (quartz, peridot, pyrite, citrine, amethyst) in a lot of sand.  The kids poured the bag into a screen and held it in running water to wash away the sand and reveal the stones.  This was a lot of fun and something I've been thinking about trying to adapt to do at home when we study rocks and minerals.

Vicki also had lots of fun playing in the water flowing into the trough.  The little girl was quite wet by the time we were ready to head home.
Overall the trip was a lot of fun but I don't think I'll be doing it again until they are a little older.  It ended up being a two hour drive each way, I don't think they actually learned much since they payed very little attention to the guide and keeping track of both of them in the caves was exhausting for me.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! link up from Homeschool Creations. Cave trip looks amazing. We have been to Ruby Falls and Howe's Caverns before and loved them.