KATYTRAVELThe Newman family of Katy takes a roadtrip to see the bluebonnets every yearThere’s nothing more historical than Texas bluebonnets,which are in bloom March through MayTake a Texas History TripH ISTO RI C A L SITES O N LY A C A R RI D E AWAYWWritten by Jeff Leeith Spring Break just around the corner, you may bethinking about a vacation with the kids, but not feelinglike taking a long and draining trip far from home. Thegood news is spring time in Texas is perhaps the best time to getout and enjoy the Lone Star State and some of its rich offerings.It’s also the perfect time to give school-aged kids, who are in themidst of learning about Texas history, an up-close and personallook at some major historical sites. And while it is not alwayseasy to get the kiddos fired up about an educational excursionwhile on a break from school, thankfully some of the best his-Baby Ian’s first time inthe bluebonnets62 katy magazine Visit for Katy jobs, events, news and more.torical destinations in Texas can be mixed with other family funvenues to form a memorable trip and learning experience.

BRAZOS, BLUEBONNETSAND BLUE BELLTexas declared its independencefrom Mexico on March 2, 1836,at a convention meeting in anunfinished building located inWashington. Close to Brenham,Washington has an excellent andinformative visitors’ center witha replica of the IndependenceHall. There are picnic areas andbeautiful nature trails as well.Katy kids can step away from school books andtouch a real piece of Texas historyPack up the kids and head toBrenham to take the Blue BellIce Cream tour, which offersfree ice cream samples, and thenstop off in Washington on theway home. And, if the weathercooperates, Mom can take thatpostcard-perfect “kids in thebluebonnets” picture along theway too!A MONUMENTAL TRIPWITH A SHIPSan Jacinto Battle Ground andMonument sticks out along acoastal marsh, near the TexasTo advertise, call 281-579-9840 or email [email protected] katy magazine 63

The San Jacinto Monument is the tallestfreestanding monument in the worldrefineries. Here, Sam Houston led the Texas Army to a decisive victory over Santa Anna and the Mexican Army and securedindependence. The monument itself is the tallest freestandingmonument in the world. Newly renovated, there’s a terrific viewfrom the top, and a great museum on the ground floor. An actionpacked movie about the battle shows in the theatre, which willentertain the youngsters. The Battleship Texas saw action in bothWorld Wars and is anchored on the site, open to the public for tours.BIG-TIME CAMPING AND BIG SAMIf camping has crossed your mind, then pack up the tent andhead toward some of the State Parks in the area that adjoin majorhistorical sites. Stephen F. Austin, the Father of Texas, made thecapitol of his colony, San Felipe de Austin, not far from Sealy offI-10. Down some very scenic back roads, the original town site isnow a museum. Besides the golf course next door, Stephen F. AustinState Park stands ready for overnight camping. Or, head up toHuntsville State Park. The “Big Sam” statue greets you on I-45,along with a multitude of museums about Sam Houston and theprison system, and Huntsville’s town square, which includesseveral great shops for antiques and other curiosities.On Palm Sunday in 1836, Colonel James Fannin and more than 300soldiers were captured, marched out, and killed by Mexican soldiersfor participating in the Texas Revolution. Goliad State Park is near64 katy magazine Visit for Katy jobs, events, news and more.

both the monument to Fannin andhis soldiers and the mission/fortthat they were defending. Goliad,not far from Victoria, is on theway to Corpus Christi’s beautifulbeaches.The Goliad State Park grounds sparkled with lightsduring the recent History of Lights displayREMEMBER THE ALAMONo exploration of Texas historyis complete without a visit to theAlamo in San Antonio. With a bustling modern city all around, it ishard to imagine those days in 1836,where Alamo commander William Barrett Travis, folk hero andwoodsman David Crockett, famedknife owner James Bowie, around180 other Texans, and untold numbers of the Mexican Army died inthis important battle on the marchto Texas Independence. But theydid so heroically, tragically, andquickly. The whole battle lasted justaround two early morning hourson March 6, 1836. None of the defenders survived, so it’s no surprisethat visitors are strongly encouraged to remove their hats uponentry and to speak only in whisperswhile in the chapel building.To advertise, call 281-579-9840 or email [email protected] katy magazine 65

Lots of affordable hotel rooms can befound in the San Antonio area with a littleadvanced planning. Cap off the trip with afew days at Fiesta Texas or SeaWorld, andshopping and fine dining on the famedRiver Walk.APPRECIATING THE PASTIn a state as big as ours, with cities likeLubbock and Abilene being closer tofive other state capitols than they are toAustin, Katy residents are lucky to havesuch historic locales so close to home.From setting up camp along some of thestate’s most historic sites to hiking on thegrounds of famous Texas battles, therewill be something fun for everyone whilelearning along the way. And, be sure tohave your kids beef up their school history reports with all the free brochures,pictures, and first hand experiences at theplaces they read about in class. KMJEFF LEE has been a peace officer with Harris County for the past eight years, studyingTexas and American History on the side. Heand his wife, Kim, have three boys.Taking your school aged kids to statehistorical sites such as the Alamo canbe a fun family learning experience66 katy magazine Visit for Katy jobs, events, news and more.

State Park stands ready for overnight camping. Or, head up to . few days at Fiesta Texas or SeaWorld, and shopping and fine dining on the famed . Katy residents are lucky to have such historic locales so close to home. From setting up camp along some of the state’s most historic s