|Alanna, posing at the entrance to Oil Ranch|
|my sister Michelle, 'milking a cow'. sort of.|
Friday during my Houston trip, I accompanied my sister Michelle on my niece Alanna's field trip to Oil Ranch. It wasn't exactly chaperoning, because this is pre-school and the parents almost outnumbered the kids. But it was fun to be able to do something special with my niece (and my sister).
|hen and eggs, being a chain link fence.|
|feeding the sheep.|
Oil Ranch is part amusement park, part petting zoo/dude ranch. It seems to be a popular spot for elementary school aged children and apparently corporate events? They have tons of animals (donkeys, geese, chickens, bunnies, cows, donkeys, etc), offer pony rides, train rides, hay rides, and several other interactive children's activities. It was not a hot day by Houston standards, but the sun was strong, and we really appreciated their picnic pavilions (where we ate our packed lunches)!
|pony ride, anyone?|
|Alanna on a big horse|
I really enjoyed watching Alanna be active and interact with other children. She'll be starting kindergarten in the fall, and I am sure that she will do well in relationships with her teachers and classmates.
|my niece and I at Oil Ranch - courtesy of Michelle Herrera|
The day was fun, but tiring. Did I really forget, after all my summers working with children in camps and the year I spent nannying, that children are a lot of work? My niece was not high maintenance, and I did not even provide much direct care for her, but even trailing around after one child (with my sister) at Oil Ranch was exhausting. I also got pretty sun burnt, so I must not be used to equatorial conditions anymore. Or perhaps my whirlwind, less than 5 day trip to Texas had an impact on my energy level? I didn't sleep in the same bed twice for the five days leading up to our field trip. Yeah, let's go with that.
|Alanna, milking a cow. for real.|
In any case, I already appreciate the memories from this day and hope I get to do something similar with my nephew David in the next few years!