In an ideal homeschool world, I love to take in-the-moment field trips that correspond with whereever we are in our studies. But, with medieval history coming to a close for us and that trip I want to take east (Philadelphia, New York, D.C.) becoming increasingly illusive right now, what I wanted immediately was simply a chance to get out of the house. So, we took off for an off-the-beaten-path trip to visit missions down in coastal Texas. When we cycled through American history previously, the kids read Junipero Serra, and we talked about the role of the Spanish in the attempt to convert Native Americans into Christians. This time, we chose to not remember the Alamo, but to instead find a road less traveled by. Here we are in Presidion La Bahia in Goliad, Texas.
This was an excellent field trip for not much money. I wanted them to see all the components of the missions system–the presidio (home/ battle station for the soldiers), the village/ living quarters, and the church.
Amazingly enough, this church is still in operation, hosting a weekly congregation.
We were also able to learn much from the war memorial nearby, a commemoration of the fallen soldiers in the Texas- Mexican war.
I wish I could have actually gotten a shot of them kneeling in the flowers–they were gorgeous, but this is the closest I could get.
The history lesson was fun. It was actually the end of the trip rather than the beginning. Before we found Presidio La Bahia, we found the Corpus Christi National Shoreline, a well-kept beach area that begins the northern portion of the South Padre Island beach area.
It took the kids a while to adjust to the vast amounts of seaweed parked on the shoreline, but oh, once they did…
It was much cooler than we expected, especially as the sun went down. So I took our younger two to the car (son had the sniffles), while Dad and the oldest fed seagulls.
It was a fast, fun trip that offered us the perfect combination of education and entertainment. I came back excited about the headstart on next year, and happy that the family had a chance to get away. More importantly, I had a deep sense of joy at seeing God’s crafting of a beautiful world, and I was happy to sit still for a moment and just enjoy it.