Friday, January 4, 2013

Ha Ha Tonka

Quite the name, don't you think? It's the name of the state park we visited. Ha Ha Tonka State Park. It's fun to say. 

It's even more fun to visit. The park has a series of trails all over the place with different lengths and degrees of difficulties and many fun places to see. Kind of perfect for a bunch of ages.

There's a natural bridge. You can walk over it and under it. So Luke and I first took the over, going a little off trail for that part. It was then that I realized I could capture my cutie.

Then we took to the under where I switched to Ben. He's so not willing to have his picture taken because a fun hike was ahead of him, but he endured for a bit. (oh lighting, I still haven't mastered you yet.)

Yeah, I have no actual pictures of the natural bridge, just family. 

We wound our way around the brown path- meaning that's the trail marker color, except I didn't know that at first. I thought someone had pinned up a blue paint swatch and a brown swatch for some color testing. I was thinking "Well, they go well with the surroundings.", until I realized what they were for. :)

Then we came upon this limestone(?) cut-away and I knew the lighting was perfect!! No direct light but bright enough for no shadows, etc. Besides the fact that there was a ledge for our little squirrels to scamper along, we decided this was a great photo op. 

Bill parents, brother and sister
Moving on we came up to a little cave with a tiny, narrow hole to squeeze through (if you're 10 or younger). The rest of us walked around and over it. So I'm not sure if it qualifies as a cave or not.

We finished up the trek, loaded up and headed to a castle ruin. A castle ruin. In Missouri. Once you see the pictures, you'll understand why that guy decided it would be a great place for a castle. Too bad he died a year into the building of it. His son finished it. Too bad it burned down in a fire. But a little awesome for us because it still looks amazing and didn't cost anything to see (whereas a real castle would probably charge). I'm thinking this place has been the sight of many a marriage proposal, and senior/engagement/wedding/whatever the occasion pictures. (You can't go in it, just around it.)

Daylight had burned away and we headed back to our condos but not before stopping for a bite to eat at a Mexican restaurant. El Caporal is the restaurant and Bill's dad recommended it. People, that is a shocker. My FIL is farmer and farmers eat meat and potatoes. And very little spice. So for him to recommend Mexican, well, it's just not heard of. Good thing we tried out the restaurant because it was great food- lots of variety, good service, etc. I perused the menu and my eyes fell upon some item with some unpronounceable, unsolvable Spanish words. You know how you can sometimes figure out what items are by context or piecing together your high school Spanish or what you picked up from the Food Network? Not this one. I asked our waiter what it was. Being true Mexican himself, he could barely describe it in pieced together high school/Food Network/working context English. Basically we figured out it was different kinds of meat- beef, chicken, chorizo, shrimp and it filled our waiter up. So we ordered it for Bill and I to split. Good thing we did because this was set before us!

Hahaha! So funny and really, really good. Bill and I finished it, packing it in around the chips and salsa and beans and rice. *burp*

After the day we had, we all headed back to our condos for some shut-eye (and to digest our food)!

FYI- Ha Ha Tonka State Park is near Camdenton, MO



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