Field Trip Memories

What happens when you homeschool and your son reads out of his history book about a museum in Victoria that has the original canons used by La Salle and his men?  Why you get on the computer and check it out.  Then you find out there are 7 museums in the Coastal Bend district that are actually featuring exhibits on La Salle and his ship The Belle.  La Salle is the person your son is doing a presentation on next week for school and the coastal area is your old stopping grounds so what do you do next?  Why you plan a spur of the moment field trip down to Corpus Christi and Victoria!!!

Knowing you have a short week this week already and the children must get all their school work done, you have the children pack their bags and place them at the front door the night before.  Then you pack a lunch because this trip was not in the budget and you send the children to bed early.


6:00 a.m. sure comes early for homeschooling children so Shipley’s Donuts is the only way to start the morning off right.


With donuts in hand, I mean mouth, you and the children watch the sunrise as you head toward I-59.  Once arriving on I-59 you announce it is time for the books to come out of the backpacks and school to begin.


A couple of hours later as you approach Corpus Christi one of the children notice a whole field of not cows or corn or rice or wheat, but wind turbines.  (It is hard to tell in this picture with the cloudy skies in the background, but believe me there were so many we couldn’t count them.)


Not to much time passes before you approach THE BRIDGE.  This would be the very same bridge that terrified your mother when you were a child.  Of course you have to share the story with your own children of how your mother was taking you and your sisters to Chuck E. Cheeses one day and just as she crested the top of the bridge a full size mattress was in her lane.  Luckily, she was in the middle lane and no one was on either side of her.  Her majorly quick reflexes (did I just say that?) caused her to whip into the next lane and avoid the mattress.  Once at Chuck E. Cheeses she phoned the police (yes you had to wait until you got to your destination to make a phone call because there were no cell phones when you were growing up) and notified them of this terrible situation so they could find a way to remove it.



Nevertheless you arrive at Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History.  After paying the entrance fees and getting the yellow band placed around each of your wrists, you and your children are let loose in a totally empty museum (okay there are five other people there who are actually visiting the museum.  The rest are the workers and there are only three of them.)  Let the fun and exploration begins.

Crocodile anyone? You can’t resist these expressions!!!
Giant Redwood from California. You can’t remember how old this one is because you are caught up in your youngest’s fascination with it’s size. 🙂
Naturally, the oldest son finds anything with horns and mounted on the wall mesmerizing.
As a Rockport girl, you can’t go to South Texas and NOT take a picture of all the fishing lures. Of course you prefer the brown cork, but what does it matter. It’s still fishing. Salt Water Fishing. Salt Water and you like to be on it!!!
Your children thought this old-time beauty chair, perm machine, and hair dryer are cool.  (Secretly you do too and take a picture.)
Your daughter is in yearbook this year and loves this old photography display.
This is just an amazing gown worn at The Buccaneer Days held every year in Corpus Christi.
You’re not a Texan unless you can ride in the saddle!!
The La Salle exhibit was fascinating. The children had such a wonderful time seeing the actually things they had only read about in their books.
As Mom you just walk with the children as their minds are filled with Texas History in a tangible way.
Who doesn’t want their picture taken with a Pterodactyl?

Before leaving the museum you head up the stairs to a section dedicated to the history of Corpus Christi.  It is there you find where your grandmother’s love for coconut cream pies and thus yours comes from as you read about survivors from the past.

They knew their priorities!!

A bonus for you is having a guided private tour of the Santa Maria and Pinta ships docked there at the museum.

  Now you and your children have been/seen three of Columbus’s ships. (You saw the Nina when it was in Matagorda last year or the year before.)



Knowing you have to leave by 12:30 p.m. so you have enough time to reach Victoria and it’s museum before it closes you are bombarded by your children to stop and see the USS Lexington docked right next to the museum.  Everyone loads up, breaks into the lunch kit, and you drive back over THE BRIDGE.  (No mattress this time either!!)  Because time is short, you drive by and pictures are taken.  Your children immediately begin to plan for the next field trip down to Corpus Christi because there is too much to see and they really want to board the Lexington.  This planning includes trying to persuade you to purchase clothes at the nearby Wal-mart and just stay the night.  When that fails, they switch to scouting out which hotel you will stay in on the next trip.




After viewing the ship from the car, being the hard-nose school teacher and not wanting to waste any valuable time in the car, you remind your children they did not bring their backpacks for nothing.  You secretly sneak the camera up in the air and catch them in the action.

Wait a minute, Peter is not studying anything about oranges!!! He must have thought he needed some extra vitamin C to counteract all the mosquito bites we just encountered.


Arriving at the Museum of the Coastal Bend you and your children are expecting big things.  You are not disappointed when before you walk in you are greeted with a great big sign advertising the reason you are there.


There are many things to explore and once again you and your children are let loose to explore a totally empty museum till your heart’s content.

An old Indian shelter. You wonder how long it will be before one shows up in your own backyard to replace the current one you have now.
La Salle’s original canons laid out in the position they originally discovered them.
One of the museum workers who gives you a private tour and even goes and retrieves one of the current arrowheads they are working with before placing it on display.
Of course the Wild West Gun exhibit features the most modern guns, including the Wii Wild West Game. Your children will not pass up this interactive station!!
Be careful pulling the trigger on this thing!!

Time is running short so you load back into the car.  As a former Rockport girl who had multiple trips to and from Rockport to Houston to visit family, you know there is only one other thing you MUST do before heading home.  You must do this for several reasons:

1)  It is tradition

2)  You are a Larrabee

3)  You can’t have your past fellow coastal people mention leaving home before having their coconut cream pie and not get your own for dinner!!!

So what do you do?  You drive your children to Heinz’s!!!

The only place to stop for lunch or dinner if you are in this area. Hinze’s Bar-B-Que
Sorry, but no leftovers on your or your children’s plates. You do remember your husband and put aside some fried okra for him. You even order a pound of chopped beef so you don’t have to cook tomorrow and can still relish this awesome field trip with your children.
The only question at the end of the meal was whether or not to eat the coconut cream pie there or at home. What do you think we did???

For the last time today, everyone packs back into the car for the final leg of the trip.  You stop once for gas and you only remind the children once about finishing up some school work.  Instead you listen to all the talk about the day and 12 hours later from when you left you arrive back at home.  Memories forever made for you and your children and history lived outside of the textbooks.

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  1. I positively Love, love, love it!!! I’m with the kids you should have spent the night!! There is nothing better than tying book learning with something tangible, unless it’s the family memories.

  2. What a wonderful field trip, kids look like they had a very good time. Your a fantastic teacher. Oh have to say I still dislike that bridge. It was a huge freezer that we almost hit, will never forget that. You made me remember those lazy fishing days, and hungry for some BBQ. Love the pictures of the kids and letting me join in on the fun thru this blog. Love you Alicia <3

  3. Angie, yes I would have spent the night too, but Hannah had an ortho. appointment this morning, I would of had to make more arrangement for the girls and we do have a lot of school to finish. 🙁 At least it gives us an excuse to go back!!

    Mom, mattress, refrigerator I just remember you freaking out about it. 🙂 Love you too!

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