A Weekend at Garner State Park

IMG_20141116_105411498This weekend we went to Garner State Park for the very first time!  I’m still baffled by the fact that we have an RV sitting in front of our house, and yet we don’t take it out very often when we are stationed at home.  I guess that’s all the more reason to take it out on extended (like year long) trips like we do.  When we are home, it’s just not a priority to “go camping”, even though we have so much fun when we do!  Other things stack up and we spend our Saturday’s mulching trees or running to birthday parties.  Some of those things we love, but it still means that taking mini trips as a family only happens 6 times a year at best, instead of hitting a new destination every week like we will soon be doing!  Eek! Nervous attack!  Okay, moving on.

So we went to Garner for 2 nights.  The original plan was to go to Padre Island National Sea Shore  this weekend, but when the weather took a turn for the freezing, we changed directions and crossed our fingers in hopes that Garner would be less windy and wet.  It was a great choice!  The weather was just about perfect and the cool temps made hiking even better!

Our plan was to leave home at noon on Friday.  Ha!  So when it was clear that we were not going to make that deadline, we aimed for leaving by 2.  Ha!  We finally rolled out of here at 4:30.  What took so long!?  I guess you could say that packing can be a bit of a down side to weekend RV camping.  It takes for freaking ever!  I’m now a fan of the have two of everything approach, so all you have to do is throw cloths and food in and GO!  Plus, Joe had some last minute mods he was getting done on the old girl before we took her out, like strapping the mounted TV to the wall so it didn’t flail around while we drove, and installing a floor threshold, and some other stuff.  And, oh yeah, we had three kids to manage and feed while we did all this.  And, I’ll admit, maybe we are a little bit of procrastinators.  So because of all this, we pull into our campsite at night, in the deep dark darkness.  Parking was fun.  NOT!

We eat, we make fire, and the kids start their ritual first day camping, you’re in my face, fighting.  Not so awesome.  But eventually the kids all go to sleep and Joe and I (genius’s that remember to bring the baby monitor) sit out by the fire and drink wine and have some deep convos and an all around great time together.  Campfires are theroputic like that, you know.

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Day 1- Baby wakes me EARLY (like before 7am y’all)!  He’s coughing and we are all very aware of the climate change we have entered into with our itchy skin and insasiable thrist, and coughs.  I’m up so I make coffee.  I’m making coffee, so I make the big weekend breakfast, of eggs, pancakes, and bacon.  Once that’s done and Joe’s still not up, I send the girls in to get him.  Hehehe.  We eventually get outside and the weather is pretty good, meaning not too freezing.  High 40’s.  We’re Texans, remember!  First mission- get gas  in the truck!  Second mission- get Jr. Ranger Books!  Locating the Jr. Ranger books, accomplished our Third mission, which was to see the park.  We drove all other that park, Headquarters (nope), Store (nope), Gift Store (they’re different!) (nope), and finally the Visitor Center (yes!), to get our books!  Once we had those in hand we set out to do some hiking and Geocaching!  We had never Geocached before, but we had been wanting to give it a try.  Joe, being the techy of our family, pulled up the app and we set out to find “treasure”!  But, as newbies, we sucked at it.  Our first 2 cash’s were fails and we didn’t find them.  Lou was ready to give up and say to heck with Geocaching!  I told her the third times often the charm and to give it one more shot.  So glad we did!  Cause on our third try, we found the Geocache in a hollowed out tree and now we are all HOOKED!

Our VERY FIRST geocach!
Our VERY FIRST geocach!

It’s so fun and exhilarating when you find one!  And this one was especially cool, cause it gave you the coordinates to two other cashes in the park that weren’t on the Geocash app map.

Here' s what a cache note looks like, showing you coordinates.
Here’ s what a cache note looks like, showing you coordinates.

We decided to leave those 2 other cashes to find the following day and went back to the RV for some biking ridding, lunch, and resting.  Then we were back out again to listen to a ranger talk on animals in the park.  It was interesting, but COLD as it was dark and Jonah could only take about 40 mins of the hour long talk, so we left early and headed to the RV/home for dinner. Loralai learned the following from the talk (cause I asked her)                                  .By this point, the kids were over their adjustment fighting period and played beautifully together while I cooked and Joe made another fire.  Lou was pulling the two littles around on a sleeping bag and everyone was laughing, including me and Joe!  IMG_20141115_203408528

I love that about RV living, the kids play right under your feet and you get to hear and be apart of all the fun they are having.  We all went to bed a little earlier that night after L and I hung around the camp fire for a bit, just her and I.  Special times.  Love those campfires!

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The next day we started out by starting and finishing the girls Jr Ranger books at the picnic table.  The weather was even better than Saturday and we were headed to hike/geocash!  We found 3 geocashes that day and walked along some lovely trails to find them, and even spotted a humongous rat snake! thanks to Joe.  He’s got an oddly good eye for spotting wildlife!  One of the geocashes was one that had some items in it to trade.  So Loralai took a plastic bear claw and traded it for a homemade necklace she had in the truck.  I thought that was a cool item to trade, since she had made it.  Then we had a decent burger at the park restaurant and met a nice family with 2 little girls,  that my kids lurked around while they ate at a separate picnic table and then L showed them where a geocash was hiding once I unleashed her to go and talk to them again.  We grabbed the girls Jr Ranger badges at the Visitor Center after showing them their workbooks.  Then it was back to the RV to pack it up.  The kids did some more bike ridding and Jonah even got on the plasma car with L while I pushed them around.  His face was histerical; he was so awesomely happy to be ridding on that thing!  Then it was back in the truck to race back home so we wouldn’t have to park in the dark again.  And guess what……we ended up parking in the dark.  But it was a great trip, full of memories made, to a place I hope we visit again soon!  And once the kids quit fighting, it was a great inspiration for our extended trip that’s coming up so soon!  Eek!

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Head Spinning- So much to do!

We are less than 3 months from our departure date and here’s the point where my head starts spinning.  I just spiral in an ADD tunnel for weeks over all the things we need to do.  One of the many things I should be doing in preparation for this trip is taking photos of items we want to sell online.  Except, a.  I’m not a great photographer, and b.  I’m not so good at uploading photos, and c. I just don’t wanna.  I know, I know, I could learn, and probably pretty quickly.  But the task itself is really no fun at all, which is probably the real reason I have not done it.  Leaving on the trip, renovating the RV, planning and researching our destinations; now those are all FUN!  But uncovering and dusting off items in my garage so I can take photos and sell them online, NOT fun.  It’s so not fun, that I’d almost just rather give it all away, then go through the process.  Almost.
I know I should be a grown up and just do it.  I scold myself everyday for not doing it.  But it doesn’t help.  One of these days I bet I will get to it though, cause it’s a necessary step to get to go on this trip.  And I really, really want to do that!
Ah, but I’m so much better at delegating tasks to my super talented and capable husband, then actually doing them myself.  I mean I am doing SOMETHING while he does all the things…..I’m holding the baby!  But there are a few things that despite how badly I do them, I still do them better than Joe.  And this means they are on MY job list.
Here’s the rest of our TO DO list before we leave in the next few months.  Joe’s jobs are in blue and mine are in pink, and purple means it’s going to take both of us ….

Sell Everything
This is hard to do when you think you still need things while you are living where you live.  It’s like I’d like it all to be picked up THE DAY we leave and not a moment sooner.  Sigh.

Pack Everything Else
I can’t do that until we get closer to leaving and the holidays are over, cause that’s actually the only time of the year I use all those obscure serving dishes that I store all year long, and would otherwise be the very first things I packed up.  You’re with me on this one, right?

Get house renter ready
We’ve done a lot in this category!  Main house painted, gutters put on, decks stained, big oaks trimmed, things fixed.  But we still need to get my mom’s house spruced up and get her wish list checked off before we go off and leave her for a year.  This includes painting outside wall, fix tub, install shelf, and install washer and dryer connections, and whatever else she throws at us before departure.



Septic Field
Whaaaaa!  It works……but badly.  There are holes and gurgling sounds and I’m just not sure our renters will be as forgiving about all that as we have been for the past few…..years.  We keep putting this one off, but I think it might need some addressing before we go.  Luckily, Joe’s dad is a master plumber!  <—-That’s me trying to be positive.

RV Renos
We’ve really been knocking this one out!  Cause it’s fun!  Most of the major stuff is done and we are just left with the millions of small details that will never end! 

Take Practice Trips (Really just an excuse to hang out with our peeps and camp, cause we like it)
So far we have planned a camping trip to Garner State Park in November and Dinasour State Park in December and we are thinking Pedernales Falls State Park in January.

Stuff in as many social events as possible cause we are gonna miss y’all!
Jonah’s Birthday, Bean’s Birthday, Host Thanksgiving, Run in a 10K, 2 Christmas’s, New Years, Endless holiday parties, and our Epic Good-bye Party (that I should probably get started planning, instead of selling all our stuff online, cause that’s FUN!)

So we will keep moving, probably at a snails pace, right up until it’s time to leave and then we’ll be losing our minds, busy as usual.

We (Joe) are also currently working on getting our new WordPress Blog site, CUGGIN’ ALONG, up and running.  It looks cool so far and should be up this week!  So stay tuned for that announcement!

Keep sending those good vibes y’all!

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