Category: Fun

Nov 04 2019

Hallway through the center courtyards, the water tower is in the middle

During our stay at Huntington Beach South Carolina State Park our family visited the Atalaya Castle. There is a small fee to tour the house, if you want you can purchase an audio tour for an additional fee.  We choose to do the tour on our own.

Atalaya has a neat history!  It was built by Acher and Anna Huntington during the Great Depression. Archer was their philanthropist from New York City and Anna was an artist. They built the house in South Carolina as a place to stay during the winter after Anna was diagnosed with tuberculosis. They designed the house after Spanish and Moorish architecture. The house has 30 room with a center courtyard full of native plants and a water tower. The Huntington’s insisted that the house be built by people from local community to help boost the economy in that area during the Great Depression.  The house was once on 9,000 acres of land.

If you are in the area and have some extra time we recommend stopping by for a visit.

One side of the inner courtyard

Touring the castle

Anna was a sculpture and she designed these wrought iron pieces to cover the windows. They are both decorative and serve as protection from hurricanes.

Entry doorway

Vine growing up through the window

In the kitchen….

My crew!

Outside of Atalaya Castle

Oct 21 2019

Peaceful

We had nice walks along the boardwalks near the marshes at Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. The boardwalks went out over the marshes where you could see a variety of wildlife and enjoy the beautiful weather. There was at one point a nature center, but it was currently being rebuilt when we were there.  It will be another great addition to the park once it is complete. There were not a lot of bugs in the evenings when we went for walks which was really nice.  It was a good place to visit, explore, and spend time together with the family.

The Huntington Beach campgrounds were nice. We had electricity and water hookups at our campsite.  There was only one trash dumpster in the whole campground and it is near the visitor center / gift store so depending on where your site is located you may have a good hike to get rid of your trash. The bathrooms only had 2 showers and there were not a lot of bathhouses on the campground. We went after school started so it was not the busiest season but there were still lines to get into the showers most days.  Overall it was a great park and we enjoyed it.  The biggest improvement would be in the bathhouses, they could have been a little cleaner and larger.

Sunsets were beautiful

We stayed at campsite 111. It was gravel and level

Nice walk at dusk through the marshlands

Awesome boardwalk that takes you through a good bit of the marshes

Sun is going down

The clouds looked pretty neat

Enjoying the last few rays

Sunset reflecting off the clouds

Quiet day at the marshes

Last rays of the sun going over the horizon

Huntington Beach State Park Chairs

Love this sign!

Oct 19 2019

Enjoying the rain on the beach!

We had a wonderful time on the beach at Huntington Beach State Park.  It was a mix of sun and rain!  The rain didn’t stop us from heading to the beach for some fun in the sand and water.  We stayed at the Huntington Beach Campgrounds, it was a nice walk to the beach.  Access to the beach wasn’t too far from our campground and it was pretty quiet.  Only a few families were on the beach near us.  If you walk further down the beach it got a little bit more crowded especially on the nicer days.  Thankful for an opportunity to get away together and enjoy some time at the beach.

Digging in the sand and watching the little critters

On the run

Fun on the beach

Birds, Sand and the Atlantic Ocean

Sand art

My crew

All smiles

On the move

Atlantic Ocean

Dusk walk on the beach

Sun is going down and the rain clouds are moving in now.

Enjoyed our time at Huntington Beach

Jul 25 2019

The 2 tigers were together in the pen, we got to see them interact, swim, play, and relax.

After the girls got out of Cub Creek camp in Missouri we went visited Wild Animal Adventures.  It is outside of St. Louis in Stanton, Missouri.  It was a smaller establishment, but the animals were well cared for.  We went at busy time and their parking lot was full (they had a trailer blocking part of the parking lot which made it a little inconvenient) but after a few minutes we got a spot.

They have an indoor section with aquariums, touch tanks, birds, reptiles and more.  Outside the have both farm and wild animals in different sections.  The workers seemed to enjoy being there, interacted well with the animals and were happy to share stories about the animals.

Our girls did two extra interactions, playing with the foxes and the dingos. The dingos also known as “singing dogs” were tired so they were laying down and let the kids pet them. I was hoping to hear them “sing” but they were not into that while we were there. The workers allowed 4 people in at one time with the dingos.  For the foxes they gave the kids “treats” aka cat food to feed to the foxes.  Our two girls were the only ones other than the worker in the pen with the foxes.  The foxes loved munching on the treats and were more energetic.  The website lists the extra activities with a price range, however, at least one of the activities was more than their list price. They need to update their website if they are not still charging those rates.

Overall it was a fun stop for our family.  The animals were fairly active and the employees were nice. If you are driving through the area it is a nice place to stop especially if you  have kids that enjoy animals. We have included a sprinkling of photos from our trip to Wild Animal Adventures.

The llama had some personality.

Gorgeous colors

The kids were not interested in the pretty flowers, but I enjoyed them!

Their 3 legged white fox. He can still move quickly and nibbled up treats from the girls.

This one liked to interact and have conversations with you!

The llama was more interested in you if you had food!

Glad this one was in a cage and behind a window.

Beautiful white tiger!

Wild Animal Adventures

Jul 22 2019

We specifically picked Trackrock Campground as one of the places to stay so we could go to their stables.  Our girls love horses.  When we booked our campsite we also booked a 2 hour trail ride. They have about 65 horses on the ranch, 45 are owned by Trackrock and the other 20 are ones that people are boarding at their location.

The horses each had their own individual personalities. The trail was a little tight and steep in some places (bushes would brush up against you) and my horse, Tango, enjoyed bouncing from tree to tree.  They had a lot of different trails you could ride on depending on the weather and wildlife in the area. There were bear tracks on one section of the trail and our horses were a little skittish in that area so we took another path.

We had 9 guests and 2 guides on our trail ride. We walked, trotted, and cantered with our horses. The trail went through the woods, meadows, streams and more. It was a hot day, but the majority of the ride was in the shade. At one point it started raining, however, it didn’t last very long so we didn’t get too wet.  The horses were well trained yet had a lot of spunk.  Thankful for the opportunity to go for our ride at Trackrock Stables.  The kids LOVED it!

Karlie riding Chef

Jake on Carlos and Brina on Felipe

Enjoying the trail ride!

Our crew in one of the meadows.

Are we having fun yet!?

Trackrock Stables