In the western part of Texas
90 miles from of San Antone
There’s a place I go each summer
When I get the urge to roam
I stand out on the highway
If I couldn’t catch a ride I’d walk
To Garner State Park
Let’s go to Garner State Park
Come on along to Garner State Park
I have a confession to make:
There are moments that I forget why I enjoy camping so much. Most of those moments generally occur when we are packing up at home to head out (about half the time) and while we are setting up camp (99.9% of the time) (always, always, always when we are setting up camp and it is 104 outside I doubt my sanity and wish more than anything that we were checking into some nice posh hotel or something with a cold a/c). When I am hot, sweaty, sore and in the process of earning a few more bruises on my legs I can’t remember why I always agree to go out into the great outdoors. In those moments I can get a little cranky and short-tempered.
(Sidenote: If I am every rich I am totally hiring a band of roadies to drag all the camping crap to the campground, unpack and set it up. Then they can come back and tear it all down after we go home.
And I might hire a chef to do all the cooking too.
And someone to pick up.
Wait……that probably wouldn’t make it ‘camping’ would it?
But I’m still a go on the roadies)
But later…….after everything is organized, the sun has done down, I have taken a nice cool shower and am planted in a chair with an adult beverage I remember…………….Oh yes, I remember why I enjoy it. I remember why I love it. I remember why we go. I fall in love with it every single time.
This was my fourth trip to Garner and I enjoy it a bit more each time. I can get around the park and not get lost and I know where our favorite places to swim are. This was my first time with the full park and a holiday weekend and it was quite a change over our week-long trip which is very quiet and private. It was also the hottest trip that I have had.
I was probably the only person on the planet who was thrilled that Garner is currently under a ‘burn ban’ which means only small cooking fires are permitted. I could actually breath for the whole trip without antihistamines and nasal sprays. YAY!!!!! Smoke is hell on my allergies.
For the first time we took Lillyanna with us. She has been begging to go camping since March and we decided that Garner would be a great place with lots of stuff for her to do. I think it is fair to say that quiet was NOT the order of this trip but we had a blast! I was a little worried about how it would go but Lilly did great and so did we. (In a miracle I even managed to read my book…..the whole thing!!!!)
When we arrived at Garner on Friday evening it was still 104 degrees. Stepping out of the truck was like stepping into a blast furnace……..oh my!!!! Scorching was certainly an apt description. By the time we got camp set up and relaxed the temperature had plummeted to the upper 80’s and felt much better. The a/c in the trailer was great at bedtime and in fact we actually got cold overnight and had to dig out the sleeping bags. (And snuggle more…..)
Lillyanna is a high spirited, bright, inquisitive, fearless bundle of energy. These are all great characteristics. But they are also exhausting…..lol. She yelled ‘AMY’ about 3,000 times in the first 24 hours. She asked a billion questions an hour. By Saturday I told her that I was changing my name and I wasn’t going to tell her what I was changing it too…….lol.
My favorite thing about Lilly is how she kept giving me the play-by-play on what everyone around us was doing (If I cared or not….lol) and she made up stories about everyone to do it. (i.e. That is a mommy and a girl and they are riding their brothers bike and going to the river and ………..) That child is going to be a writer one day!!
I’d be lying if I said we never considered drugging her with Benadryl to make her sleepy but we didn’t do that. (Honest. We really didn’t. The thought just crossed our minds once or twice.) Instead we went with a more ‘holistic’ approach. By holistic I mean we ran her ragged all day until bedtime. Kicking balls, swimming, treks back and forth to the potty, more swimming.
Our bedtime routine was to have her take a shower and then plant her in the trailer in front of a movie and wait. She was usually out like a light within minutes and slept in late in the mornings too.
It’s amazing how running around a campsite and playing in the river can tire a little one out. And the older ones too. We bought Lilly a life jacket to wear around the dam where the water is a bit deeper and once she figured out that she was safe as long as she had it on there was no stopping that child. She ran and jumped and swam until she couldn’t go anymore.
She would go and go and suddenly the look on her face would change and I could tell it was time to take her home.
Edward brought his kayak along to get some practice on smooth waters and I got to try it out too. In retrospect perhaps taking my first run on a crowded river with Lilly on board wasn’t the best plan but we made it back in one piece and didn’t run anyone over. (Winning!) The river is a little low and there is a lot of sentiment so we are hoping that they get some heavy rains over the summer to really wash it out.
On the animal front we got to see some deer and a close up view of a jack rabbit which Lilly loved. (There was also a little girl stung by a scorpion in the rest room by our camp and I can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am that it wasn’t Lilly.)
I will say that the $20 I spent on a bag of Play-Dough and accessories was by far the best $20 I have spent all year! Lilly played with it almost non-stop! We decided that Play-Dough was going to be a special ‘camping’ treat for Lilly. She played with it so much she forgot to get the bubbles out of the bag.
Edward and I got to spend some quiet evenings and mornings enjoying the pleasant weather. Those are the moments I have to remember when I am setting up camp. 🙂 And on a trip to an antique store we found an additional four apple plates like we have at home and on sale…….too exciting!!!! but all too soon it was Monday and time to pack up the truck and head back to Corpus Christi.
It was quite a blessing to get to take this time away at a place that we love and spend the time with Lilly. It really was a wonderful trip.
Ok…..ok……funniest part of the trip.
One of the toys I got Lilly for the trip was a MagnaDoodle….like an etch-a-scetch only better. Lilly was drawing pictures of stuff on the trip up there. The conversation went like this:
Lilly: I’m going to draw a kayak
Lilly: No it’s not a kayak….it’s Grandpa
Amy: Hahahaha….she turned a kayak into you.
Lilly: Here look
Amy: Thats a pretty picture
Lilly: I’m going to draw you now.
Lilly: There isn’t room
Edward: HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER
(Seriously…..he was laughing so hard he was crying.)
Edward: She can’t fit you on the page.
Amy: (Laughing along) She means that she can’t fit me in NEXT TO YOU
Edward: (Still laughing so hard he can’t see the road)
Amy: (Now failing to see the humor)
Lilly: I drew you
Amy: Oh, I’m the one on the right?
Lilly: No, you’re the big one
Edward: (Bursting out again into more hysterical laughter)
Edward: Look…you are bigger than the kayak (Sputtered out between guffaws)
(For the record….the kayak is on the left, apparently I am in the middle and Edward is on the right. And I think my legs look great. I am concerned about my head however. Also, I think I was Edward in the original concept but she swapped later on. Very impressionistic)
Amy: She means I am TALLER…..hello!!!!!
Edward: (Still laughing)
Edward: You are bigger than the kayak. You know the kayak is 12 feet right? Hahahahahahahahaha.
Edward: Hahahahahahahahah! I can’t see the road…..are we still on the highway? Hahahahahahaha!
Amy: She means you are SHORT
This went on for quite some time. He still cracks up when he sees that picture………
It’s a good thing I have a great sense of humor and a deep abiding love for Edward. And Lilly.
I’m really excited that it’s a short week……oh wait…..it’s my birthday week! 🙂 And graduation. Going to be a busy one so I guess I’d better get going. Lots to do………I hope your weekend was fun and full of love!
Have a great Tuesday!