Friday, August 01, 2008

Barton Springs Pool

Back when I was working with after-school and summer day camp programs for the city Parks and Recreation Department, I was continually amazed at the numbers of kids who had never enjoyed some of the greatest parts of our city until I took them out on field trips.

Austin, being the state capital has some beautiful and historic sites that were regular haunts for my groups. But it was a common occurrence for me to take children to the capitol building, the museums and some of the awesome nature sites for their first time. And I am talking about kids who had lived their entire lives here.

Back then I swore that my own children would experience these treasures regularly. I did not want my not-yet-born-progeny to grow up ignorant of the history and beauty in our city.

And thanks to nearly 6 years as a Stay at Home Dad, I have been able to show the kids some of the coolest stuff Austin has to offer. But last week The Boss Lady mentioned that our children have missed out on one uniquely Austin experience. Swimming in Barton Springs Pool.

Even though we are at Zilker Park regularly, neither The Talker nor The Princess have ever actually gone swimming at the pool. It is a mighty chilly, 68 degree, spring fed pool, but still. Our kids NEEDED to swim with the fishes and the salamanders.

We hit the water with a neighbor family this morning. The kids decided it was COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD in the water but everyone had a blast. Especially when they were exploring the "island" at the north end of the pool.

After swimming, and trying to get creative with the digi-cam, we ate a picnic lunch at the playscape. While we were dining on some fine PB&J sammiches, we got to watch a squirrel digging through a day care center's field trip lunch.

Yes, I tried to chase the squirrel away. Once. After that, someone with the group should have been watching their stuff.

Yep, exciting stuff.

And even if their friends and classmates don't get explore our great city, I bet our kids remember this trip to Barton Springs Pool for a long time.


LiteralDan said...

That even looks cold, but still quite fun.

I wanna know if anyone discovered the squirrel, or if he got his fill and they were confused when they got back.

KC said...

Squirrel huh? Good thing it wasn't a 'coon.

Love Bears All Things said...

This looks like such a great spot. The water looks so clear and clean. I love that you have this nearby.
Mama Bear

Anonymous said...

It does look AWESOME!!!!
To bad there isn;t anything like that round here. :) well... not at least where I live.
Oh... there are rivers and ponds... but I live in London... it would be a crime (and WAAAAY TOO COLD) to get into any of them!

Anonymous said...

Didn't know you lived in Austin. I'm gonna have to pass this along to CareerMom who got her undergrad. degree from U. Texas!

Mike said...

literaldan - The Boss Lady went back over there and a staff member was looking confused and worried. She showed him the video.

postandpast- Yep. Didn't grow up here, but got down as fast as I could. I once told an elementary teacher "I don't know what I'll be when I grow up. But I'll live in Austin!"

I loves me some Austin. Hook 'Em