Back in February the kids and I started to plan out our family vacation for this summer. We decided that we wanted to go somewhere with lots to do . So we decided to try out one of the wonderful Texas State Parks. After looking online at numerous parks with no reservations available we were finally rewarded with reservations at the Guadalupe River State Park
Man what a week.
- a little stressful getting there. It was the first time I tried to take the kayak on the top of my SUV and attempted to lash it to the racks with bungee cords. Ummmm - Nope. About 40 MPH with a stiff 20MPH crosswind and that yak was floating all over the roof. I just had no idea the amount of force that the wind puts on the yak would render the bungee cords useless. So after 3 stops to try and get it settled I just decided to go 30MPH (much to the irritation of the drivers behind me) till I reached a place where I could buy some rope and cinch it all down. There - all good. Now on to the park. Got to the park and selected my location with great shade and access. Wonderful! Now to make camp. Electric - Check! Water - Check! Sewer - BZZZZZZZ! What? No sewer connection? Sigh... Good thing I brought my turdtote. We put the food in the fridge and waited for it to get cool. AC is working good and temps are getting comfortable in the "turtle".
Once we have everything placed, the kids are eager to get to the river so off we go. The Guadalupe is a beautiful river and the flow is up. I mean UP. WAY UP. Over 3X what the normal flow is. Recent Texas rains are still pushing down and its making the normal placid river very swift. But it is cool and refreshing and the kids are amazingly happy. Alright - good so far. Had a great hamburger dinner and called it a day by watching episodes of "Bob's Burgers" as we slip into slumber. Bliss...
- awoke to my dog (chocolate Lab) holding her tail drooping down (typically up and wagging). Evidentially she has mashed it a little and is favoring it a bit. I checked her out and she's just a little sore. Benadryl to the rescue to make her drowsy and let her body heal. Took the kids on a small 2 mile hike on one of the 8 different hiking trails and started to get our bearings with the new surroundings. Found the public bathrooms and discovered some really cool things to do at the park (Discovery Center). Another fun day at the river on a different uncrowded section where we skipped rocks and swam against the current. Lunch, nap and then another swim before a great "Taco Tuesday" feast. Tonight's video entertainment is brought to you by "Futurama" - a new fav of the kids. Dog is doing better. Wagging her tail a bit but still a little sore for her.
- Another wonderful day exploring - this time with a dog, tail all better and wagging happily. Another hike, swim, lunch, nap, bike ride, swim and then chicken spaghetti to replenish our energy supplies. Tonight the kids wanted to play "Apples to Apples" after dinner and man that was hilarious. Being that they are a bit young (10 and 8) I had to "G" up my answers and try not to be esoteric with my responses. We laughed until our sides hurt. One episode of "Scooby Doo" tonight before we all succumb to the siren's song of the sheets...
- I awoke early to a slight "chirp" coming from my AC unit. The outside temps were in the low 70's and as well in the Airstream so I gathered that the unit was freezing up a little bit. Once the temperatures warmed the chip went away and all was right with the world. Today we started with a bike ride and then a brisk dip to refresh our bodies. WOO-HOO that water is COLD when it hits your giblets - a real eye opener. We decided that since we brought the dang yak we might as well see what is up stream. We each took turns paddling a little ways up river and then coming back to the gathering point. I couldn't get the kids out of the darned thing. "Just one more trip dad..." kept echoing off the canyon walls. Heck... knock yourself out. Late lunch, nap, Yatzee, hike, another swim and then a fried chicken dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy. "Futurama" episodes played until the stars swirled into the black hole of slumber. Then the "chirp" started... Time to open the windows and sleep with the drone of the crickets and frogs. Ahhhhhhh...
- Awoke early to enjoy a morning coffee in the stillness of the morning and reflect on the week. Kids woke an hour later ravenous so I filled their tanks and away to the day. We started off with 2 hours of kayak fun and then a brisk dip to increase our enjoyment of the forthcoming lunch. Hunger is the best sauce. Short nap and then 3 games of "Clue". My daughter whips our butts each game handily. We eat an early dinner of ham, broccoli cheese soup and garlic toast and then one episode of "Scooby Doo" while our feast settles into hollow legs. Now that the requisite 30 minutes has expired we hiked down to the river for the last swim of the trip. Chilled and ready for a "treat" we retire to the outdoor pit and I build a cozy fire for the only campfire treat worth of our last night - s'mores. I bring out the tablet and the wireless hotspot and we watch "Futurama" as the amber coals die into white ash that swirls into the air and dusts our weary eyelashes.
- well today we have arrived at the end of our stay. Feet shuffle slowly as minutes depart. The Airstream looks solemn and lifeless as we pack and clean for our departure to workday lives. Even our dog senses the change and is head down, desperate to remain. As we pull out the Airstream gives a faint groan as if resigned to the coming dormant fate. She has been our home, our mother ship and protector. Shepherd. And for this we are truly blessed to have such a wonderful Airstream. She will remain with us as we dream of adventures to come...
Thanks for reading.