Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mother Neff State Park and Galveston State Park

Well we just recently got back from our biggest camping trip yet!!  We have had reserved for several months now a trip to Galveston State Park.  We love Galveston and have been quite a few times!  We were excited about being able to take the camper!  We decided at the last minute to leave a few days early and go to Mother Neff State Park.  Daniel had one meeting in that area on Monday and then he was done for the rest of the week!

We left Sunday June 5th and went to Mother Neff.  It is the oldest state park in Texas.  It is really small but a very very neat park!  I have to give accolades to the Park Ranger there!  She does an OUTSTANDING job keeping up that park and keeping it clean!

We were the only campers there and because the bathroom and showers were not working they gave us a discount on our site (even though we would not have used the bathroom and showers even if they were working...funny) anyways they charged us only $10 for 2 nights!!

A storm moved through Sunday night and we experienced some small hail (about pea size) but thankfully did not get the 60+ mph wind they were forecasting!

 Aaron napping on the way down!

 Our pretty little spot!

 Seth playing like he was pulling the camper.

 While Daniel was at his meeting Monday morning the kids and I hit the trails.  When Daniel went to the office to pay for our site the park ranger asked if the kids would like to earn Jr Park Ranger badges.  We had a questionnaire that we had to fill out as we explored the park.  The kids had a lot of fun trying to find the answers and the trails were AWESOME!!!  They were in the well-wooded areas of the park, which kept us out of direct sunlight and kept the heat down some!

At one point I noticed that there was still a lot of water on the leaves from the storm the night before.  I found a small tree and told the kids to stand right under it and then I shook it and all the water shook off onto the kids!  They thought that was the neatest and we spent some time afterwards finding our next "water sprinkler tree".
 A wooden bridge on the trail

 Seth was up ahead of me and he came to a sign and yelled out "Mom here's a sign for the buffalos".  I was like "what??" and then I saw this sign and had to laugh!  My little emerging reader - not bad for a "sight reading"  :-)

 They did it!!  They earned their badges and their certificate!  I wish I would have gotten a video of them taking their pledge from the park ranger!  They were so proud of themselves!

A view from the beginning of the trails - aren't those trees just beautiful?!?!?

 Seth and Aaron along the trail.

 My littel trooper!!  She walked most of the trails by herself.  I only carried her for a very small part of the time!  She did so well!!

Walking along the trails. 

 Walking up rock steps to go to the cave.

The Cave!

 Taking a break at the cave.

The washpond - there is a natural underwater spring that comes up from under the rocks.  All the rain water will pool here - when there has been a lot of rain this pond will fill all the way up (of course things were very during this trip)
 When Daddy got back we went to the rock tower that looks over all the park.
 Daddy and Alyssa climbing the steps of the tower.

 A view of a trail from the tower.

On Tuesday we left for Galveston!!  Unfortunately we had a slight problem with the truck and had to find a dealership.  Thankfully a HUGE Ford dealership was actually on our route!  The Service manager was very nice and accommodating and got us in and fixed up and back on our way in 2 hours!!

We were so excited when we finally made it to the beach!!  :-)

 A view of the beach from outside the Park office.

Our campsite was on the Bay side of the park and to be honest was not much to write home about!  They have the sites piled on top of each other - there is not enough room to breathe!  The first night we had tents on both side of us that you could reach out and touch from inside the camper.  We moved spots the next day and were in between to other large RVs.  It was quite a bit crowded.

But Seth of course made friends with everyone at the park.  He loved riding his bike around greeting and talking with everyone.

Poppy and Joey came up Friday morning and we went swimming in the Bay while him and Daddy fished.  We went and ate Friday night and then Seth and Aaron spent Friday night with him and Joey in the tent.  Mom, Aunt Jennie and Jackson came Saturday.  We had fun playing on the beach and had a fish fry on Saturday night!!
 The beach - there was a lot of seaweed on shore.

 Aaron was my early riser all week and was pretty much every day when the sun came up.  One morning we enjoyed some time outside in the lounge chair while everyone else slept.

We had a fun time!  I thought the kids would be glad to be home but Monday morning we were on our way to the store and Aaron goes "Mommy I wish I was still camping!"  We decided to have smore's for snack that afternoon to hang on to a little bit of vacation!

We can't wait until it is time to go again!!!!  


Spring Trips to Bardwell Lake

Spring is a pretty busy time of year around our house.  With Seth's birthday in March and Alyssa's in April, and then throw in Easter in the mix, there is not too many free weekends.  But we wanted to go camping so bad so we did two different trips to Bardwell Lake, which is only like 20 minutes from home!

Our first trip was from Thursday March 31, 2011 to Saturday April 2, 2011.  We stayed at Waxahachie Creek Park and really enjoyed the park.  It was really small but it was also quiet and we didn't have too many neighbors.

We found a neat little spot for the kids to put their feet in the water.

We also enjoyed flying our kites!


Our second Lake Bardwell trip was Thursday May 19, 2011 to Saturday May 21, 2011.  We tried to go back to Waxahachie Creek Park but were unable to stay there because their computer system was down and  they had no way to record payments??? Kind of weird but we went across the street to Highview Marina and Park.  It was a nice park but we didn't like it as well as Waxahachie Creek.  It was more open, not as many trees.

But the biggest memory of this weekend was the fishing!!  Seth caught either 4 or 5 fish all by himself!!  He was so proud of him!  Daniel also got a few small fish on his line and he let Aaron reel them in and think that he caught them!  They really enjoyed fishing.

There was a big storm that rolled in Friday night so we had our first experience of the camper in the rain!  Thankfully there were no leaks and we didn't blow away!  Whoo!!

It is nice to have a place close by that we can go to for a quick getaway!

Shame on Me and a new Treasure!!

Ok so I realize that I am several trips behind on updating this blog - I know - shame on me!!  I am working today to get caught up!  I have some new motivation though to get myself caught up and to stay caught up!!

This is my motivation!!

This is my grandmother's camping journal that she kept of trips that her and my grandpa took with my mom and her brothers when they were kids!  My grandmother was notorious for documenting and keeping EVERYTHING (sometimes to a fault) but she has everything documented - where they went, where they stayed, what food was stocked in the camper, her menu plans, and even how much she paid for the food!!

I have already started making a camping recipe book and including all the recipes that she has in the journal and have enjoyed reading stories from the journal of their camping adventures.

And then I realized I am not doing a good job of keeping up with our trips and I want to do better.  I want my kids and grandkids to have this treasure from me :-)

So I am going to hopefully get this blog caught up today with our trips and hopefully will do a better job of keeping it caught up :-).

So I better end this post so I can start that catching up!!



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