There’s an old proverb I once heard that fits our situation perfectly: “When the cat’s away, the mice will play.”
Okay, so it only works if by “cat” you mean “boys” and by “mice” you mean “girls”, and if by “will play” you mean “go on a road trip to look at bluebonnets.”Â Ah, the nuances of language.
This Saturday was “B-Day”.Â Code name: “Project Bluebonnets.”Â A.K.A. “The Great Bluebonnet Adventure of 2011.”Â Whatever you call it, it was definitely a day we won’t soon forget.
We started off fairly early, packing a picnic lunch and making sure we had our picnic blanket, camera, gas in the car, and a few outdoor games in case we found somewhere to hang around for awhile.Â We drove to Garland to pick up Grandma for a true “Girls’ Day Out.”Â She even had PROPS for our picture-taking.Â Anticipation was high.Â Excitement was in the air.Â And beautiful rainbows of wildflowers – pink, red, yellow, white, blue, violet, and purple – dotted the highway as we sped along on our quest.
By the time we had nearly exhausted our repertoire of car games (I mean, seriously, how many times can YOU go on a picnic and bring apples, bananas, carrots…) we were nearing our exit.Â My plan was to start at the south end of the map and work our way northward.Â We exited onto a 2-lane Texas highway and our spirits soared.Â We couldn’t wait to see what lay beyond us…
Like a horse in a garage, parked next to a car.Â Only in Texas.Â *shakes head*Â (If I hadn’t been driving, I’d have taken a picture.Â You’re just going to have to believe me on this one. )
But as far as bluebonnets?Â Notsomuch.
Trailer homes?Â Yes.Â Lots and lots of them.Â Dotting the hillsides with their redneck beauty.
But bluebonnets?Â Not really.
Cows and horses, standing in stock ponds to drink, or nibbling on dry grasses and hay?Â Yep.Â We saw ’em.Â Â And our mouths watered for Bar-b-cue.
But bluebonnets?Â Nope.
Finally, in desperation, we pulled into a gas station to ask for help.Â The woman behind the counter directed us to continue along our path about a mile where there would be some parks that “should” have bluebonnets and rangers to provide further assistance.
So we did.Â And we ended up at a nature preserve on the shores of Bardwell Reservoir, which we decided was a perfect place to have a picnic lunch.Â In gale-force winds.
We managed – somehow – to enjoy our lunch without having it all fly into the lake or end up in the treetops.Â And then it was time for some pictures with the little patch of bluebonnets we *did* manage to find.
It’s virtually a requirement in Texas to have at least one picture of your children sitting in a field of bluebonnets.Â I’m so glad I can now cross *that* off my list.
We have learned that contrary to popular lore, it is technically *NOT* illegal to pick bluebonnets.Â But just to be on the safe side, let me assure you that no bluebonnets were picked in the taking of this picture.
We ended our day in the most appropriate way: with a stop on the way home at Dairy Queen.Â A chocolate-dipped cone brightens any day.
Yes, “The Great Bluebonnet Adventure of 2011” may have left us feeling blue.Â It certainly wasn’t “Great” nor particularly filled with “Bluebonnets”.Â But the memories we created and the fun of our “Adventure” certainly left us tickled pink.