Saturday, December 20, 2014

$400 walmart gift card giveaway


Welcome To The Years End! $400 Walmart Gift Code Giveaway!

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Well everyone, it's finally time to set those New Year resolutions, party like it's 1999, and tell the one you love the most what they truly mean to you. What better way to ring in the NewYear than with a giveaway?
This giveaway will run from 12/20/14~1/3/15. One lucky winner will win a $400 gift code sent right to their inbox!
Everyone have a safe and happy New Year! From our families to yours!




Disclosure: All About Parents is sponsoring this giveaway. All About Parents will be contacting the winner via email. The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn. The winner will be drawn randomly via Giveaway tools. No other participating blogger is responsible for drawing or awarding the prize. No purchase necessary. 18 year or older required to enter. U.S and Canada only. Void where prohibited by law. This giveaway is strictly intented to be fun. Thank you very much for participating! If you should have any questions please feel free to contact All About Parents anytime.
Note: This post may contain a sponsored/affiliate/referral link. Thank you for supporting this site!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Natural Bridge Caverns ~ Natural Bridge Caverns, Texas

disclosure~ My family and I received free tickets for the Discovery tour in order to write up my review! Thanks bunches to Natural Bridge Caverns and USFamilyGuide for the great adventure tour!! The pictures below were taken by me and my children during the tour.

On the way back from our #BeachHoliday we stopped at an Amazing place called The Natural Bridge Caverns. The Natural Bridge Caverns is a National Natural landmark located in the heart of Texas scenic hill country. It is a really beautiful area. We had lunch at the picnic tables while we waited for our tour to start. A trip to the Natural Bridge Caverns would make a great family vacation if you are in the San Antonio area!
We only took the Discovery tour while we were there.. 
It was an amazing tour!!


 Here are the kiddos heading down into the "sink hole"")
 Here is our tour guide Sam. She was explaining the rules and what we were about to see and the history of the caves. The piece at the top of the picture is how the Caverns got its name, it was a natural bridge that had collapsed. The number 1 rule was not to touch the walls or the structures.
 The plaques at the entrance of the caverns. 
They were explaining the owner of the land and the explorers that had discovered the caverns. 

The Story behind the Caverns
In March of 1960, Orion Knox Jr., Preston Knodell, Al Brandt and Joe Cantu, four college students from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, obtained permission to explore the area that is now Natural Bridge Caverns. The students were convinced that large underground passages existed under the amazing 60-foot limestone bridge. On their fourth expedition, Orion felt a cool draft from a rubble-filled crawlway. Such air currents often indicate the presence of additional rooms or passages.
The explorers made their way carefully climbing and crawling through two miles of vast cavern passage. After making this amazing discovery, they returned to the surface to tell the landowners. The discoverers knew immediately what an astonishing find they had made and the land owners decided to develop the first 1/2 mile, the most spectacular part of the caverns, for the enjoyment of guests from around the world. That first 1/2 mile is now the Discovery Tour. Natural Bridge Caverns Discovery Tour was developed with two main goals in mind: preservation of the caverns' environment and comfort of its guests. The result is one of the world premier show caverns, and one of the most popular attractions in Texas.
Here we go into the Caverns!
From the time we entered till we exited there were many breath taking things to see!
Our pictures just don't show the true beauty of the Caverns.













During the The Discovery Tour we saw many chambers filled with spectacular formations. The tour is a family friendly guided tour along paved, lighted walkways. The discovery tour leaves every 40 minutes and takes about 75 minutes. The Cavern has a temperature of 70 degrees with 99% humidity. Comfortable walking shoes are a must on the tour. It was wet and steep in some places. 

Natural Bridge Caverns is so much more than one of the most treasured natural attractions Texas has to offer. This beautiful and historical cavern system offers an experience that is high energy, educational, fun and family oriented. Whether you are a first timer, an avid caver or someone in between, Natural Bridge Caverns awaits with a once in a lifetime experience you'll never forget.

There are many things you can do at the Caverns. The Discovery tour is just one of many tours you can take. There is a Hidden Passages tour. In that tour you get to tour two huge underground chambers decorated with some of the most rare formations found in the caverns. The Hidden Passages tour is a 70 minute tour.

There is also an Adventure tour. You have to call in advance for this tour. In the adventure tour you will crawl, climb and rappel through challenging passages. Caving gear is provided for this tour.

My kids liked watching the Canopy Challenge! In this challenge you are given 30 minutes to grapple your way to the top of a 60 foot, four tier adventure course. This challenge will test your agility, balance and strength on a 47 fascinating obstacles. Then if you dare, you can take a ride on one of the zip lines, gliding high above. The thrill of the ride matches the beauty of the surroundings.There is also a course for the little ones.


The Discovery Mining Co is located at the Caverns. This is the largest mining sluice in Texas. It is a treasure trove of discovery. You can pan for gems, minerals and discover fossils from around the world. You can also enjoy an outstanding selection of rocks and minerals from all over the world at the Discovery Village trading post.

There is another section of the Caverns named Amazen Ranch roundup
There are over 5,000 square feet of twists and turns to navigate. For an added challenge, you get timed to see how quickly you can find the tower and bridge checkpoints. There is an observation deck or your friends and family to help, or to cheer you on. This is the most fun you will have getting lost.

The last building you have to check out when you visit when you stop by the Natural Bridge Caverns is Big Daddy's Sweets, Treats and Brew.

Big Daddy's is an old-fashioned general store and candy shop offering hand dipped ice cream, homemade fudge, specialty candy, beer and much more.

My Readers can Save $2 off an Adult and $1 off a Child's Discovery Tour ticket. Valid only on the Discovery Tour, cannot be combined with any other offer. Limit 6 per coupon.
For More information on Natural Bridge Caverns and to plan your visit please check out the WEBSITE and other social media channels FACEBOOK and TWITTER


Sea Turtle Rescue Center ~ South Padre Island, Texas

Hi!
My family and I were blessed to be able to take a wonderful #BeachHoliday trip to South Padre Island this past weekend. Since we were down there we took the opportunity to check out many great places on the island. One of the locations we stopped by and toured was the Sea Turtle Rescue Center!
Rehabilitation of sick and injured sea turtles is an important part of Sea Turtle, Inc's mission to save sea turtles! Each year, they rehabilitate anywhere from 40 to 100+ patients and release them back to the ocean.
The Sea Turtle rescue Center was neat because you could get up close to the turtles. 
Although, you could not touch them or pet them, the the turtles did come up to the top of 
their tanks to say hello to us!
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The first turtle we got to meet was named Allison. 
She is 1 of 8 a permanent resident of Sea Turtle Inc. facility.
 Allison is a very special turtle. She is an Atlantic Green turtle. She has only 1 flipper so she uses a prosthesis to swim. She was attached by a predator in 2005. In 2009 and intern of Sea Turtles Inc developed a prosthesis that helped her swim around and not just to swim in circles.:) She is now on her 5th prosthesis. We watched the staff put it on her and she got all excited..LOL.. When she was found she fit in the palm of a hand, now she is more than 100lbs!
You can read more about Allison and  WATCH a LIVE video of her swimming around 
in her tank on her page. 

Another resident that the boys really liked was Fred the Loggerhead. 
The boys said he looked like a ninja turtle..:)


Fred was found entangled in fish line in the late 1990′s. One front flipper was amputated and Fred was released back twice but washed back every time! He was transferred to STI care in 2000. 
He now weighs around 200 lbs!

Another resident we got to met was a real treat ~ 
We got to feed him! 
His name was Gerry!
When we first walked up to his tank he was playing Peek-a-boo with us:) He is very friendly and funny. He is a famous turtle. He has appeared on many shows such as Johnny Carson and David Letterman. He has the largest tank at Sea Turtles Inc. 
His tank is 20,000 gallons!

 Gerry got stranded due to a hurricane during the mid 1980's. 
He was held back as an educational animal. 
 Jessica feeding Gerry. 
To feed him you put the lettuce against the window of his tank and he comes to you.
You then toss the lettuce in his tank and he swims for it:)
 Andy got a kick out of Gerry. 
Gerry and Andy tilted their heads at each other a few times. 
It was so cute.
Anthony feeding Gerry:)

There was also a short educational class help while we were there. 
They explained the different types of turtles and how we can help them to survive.
The instructor also explained what Sea Turtle Inc does to help the turtles live longer and how they help the turtles when they are sick and injured. It was a great class!
She is showing us a real turtle shell and how big they can get! It was HUGE!



There were many more turtles and things to see but I dont want to give it all away:)
If you ever get the chance to visit South Padre Island, Texas this should be on your list of places to visit and explore. You can check out more about Sea Turtles Inc on their WEBPAGE or social media channels. TWITTER, FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM
It is well worth the visit!

More about The Sea Turtle Rescue Center 
 Sea Turtle, Inc. was founded in 1977 by Ila Fox Loetscher, better known as "The Turtle Lady of South Padre Island." In 1999, Sea Turtle, Inc. moved from Ila's backyard into its current location at 6617 Padre Blvd.
Originally this organization was formed to aid in the protection and recovery of the endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle. Our mission has since expanded into three parts: EducationRehabilitation, and Conservation.
Today, Sea Turtle, Inc is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit. The sole source of income is public donations and gift shopsales, which are used to achieve the three missions. We do not receive any government funding.
Donations help with the upkeep of the sea turtles housed at the facility. This includes food, medications, heaters, filters, water and electricity. Donations are also used to support Sea Turtle, Inc.’s educational programs. In addition, about 20 percent of our income is used to fund alternative resource and conservation projects involving sea turtles around the world, increasing our conservation reach.
Sea Turtle, Inc. awards college scholarships to biology students. Each summer we host an internship programfor currently enrolled or recently graduated biology students. Donations are important to fund both of these opportunities.
Hours: Open from 10 am - 4 pm Tuesdays through Sundays (Closed Mondays). In the summer months, our hours are extended from 10 am - 5 pm. 
We ask for a donation of $3.00 for adults and $2.00 for children over the age of 4
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Thanks Bunches to the volunteers and staff of Sea Turtles Inc for the tour and information! We had a great time and learned a lot! Hugs from the Melendez Bunch:)