Last weekend we went camping for Brielle’s birthday. Winter camping. It dropped below freezing at night. How do we know? We burst at least one hose because it froze outside. It was still a fun weekend and it was her special request to camp for her birthday. It was toasty warm inside our camper and during the day it did warm up enough to enjoy being outside. We stayed at Fort Parker State Park in Mexia, TX. It is a great, small state park on a beautiful lake and piece of property with lots of wild life. We camped by lake front and woods. We saw deer and many raccoons over the weekend, all nearby our campsite. It is a lovely state park less than two hours from the DFW area.

She requested a cake with a camper on it. It was custom made by KB Cakery and it was absolutely perfect! She was more excited about the cake than the new bike she got from us.

I chose Fort Parker State Park because of its proximity to the Franklin Drive Thru Safari and Old Fort Parker (an early settlement from the 1800’s and part of Texas history). We were less than an hour from Franklin Drive Thru Safari, which is located in Franklin, TX (Southeast from Waco). Another friend from Facebook had posted her photos from their visit to this 100 acre safari park and it looked fabulous! It was even better than we imagined! My favorite part was petting the zebras and then feeding the giraffes. It is truly an up-close and personal experience with animals. It was a birthday surprise for Brielle and it was an incredible experience for the entire family!

If you want to visit the Franklin Drive Thru Safari or learn more, go their website:



We were just minutes from Old Fort Parker while staying at Fort Parker State Park. Old Fort Parker is a historical site with an interesting story. This settlement began in 1932 with Daniel Parker. A fort was built to protect the families that moved there from Illinois to settle into this area of Texas that also had Indians living in the area. In 1936 Comanche Indians attacked the fort, killing multiple people and taking captive 5 others. Cynthia Parker was a child captured by the Indians. In the years to come she married a Comanche chief and had several children with him. She was recaptured years later and reunited with her family. Legend has it that she mourned the loss of her Comanche tribe and never readjusted back to her life with anglo society. Here is the complete story if you want to learn more:

Here are our photos from our visit to the Fort: