Monday, April 18, 2011

24 Hours at Padre Island National Seashore!

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We've been planning on heading to the coast on our weekends off this month since Josh doesn't have a lot of gigs. He loves to fish and I love to just lay there and relax. So we got up Sunday morning and Josh said "let's go." It was 9am. We figured we could get outta the house by noonish and be on the beach at 3. HA! We did end up leaving at noon, but we had to make a couple stops on the way.


Stop 1 - Wal-Mart. This should have been relatively easy. Josh needed a new tackle box, some stakes for the tent, and was also going to look for a shovel in case we got stuck and some doggie sedatives for our car anxiety queen Daphne. After what seems like 30 minutes, Josh emerges from Wal-Mart and I ask him if he looked for a shovel. He said no and turns around and heads back in to Wal-Mart. Then after about another 5-10 minutes he emerges again with shovel in hand but apparently had just gotten my text that said "did you get your tackle box?" and he drops the shovel off and heads BACK into Wal-Mart a THIRD time. So now that it's 1:00, we are finally on our way to San Antonio.


Stop 2 - The bank. Josh needs to cash his check from the gig Saturday night and we kinda need the money for gas so I suggest stopping at my bank because we can just deposit the check in the ATM and get the cash out for the band on the way back tomorrow. After 6 attempts, we fail to get the ATM to accept the check. So we give up and decide to get lunch.


Stop 3 - Subway. We decide to eat fresh and not get Burger King or Whataburger. I walk inside to get our lunch ... six people waiting in line. 1 Subway Sandwich Artist. OY. So by 2:00 now, we are finally heading down I-37 to Corpus.


The doggie sedatives finally start to work, or Daphne finally figures out whining isn't going to get her out of this and she snoozes off like a little princess. THANK GOODNESS!


Soooooooooooooooo a few hours and ONE MORE STOP (for bait) later, we finally arrive at the Padre Island National Seashore. The sign says at the entrance says lots of seaweed. We go down the drive, emerge on the beach and start our drive down to find our ideal spot. I think the park people understated how much seaweed there was. It was in piles about 2-3 feet high in some spots. The masses of seaweed, combined with the 25mph winds, made the beach a lot of fun to drive on. And by fun I mean a bumpy, slippery mess. We somehow made it to the 4 wheel drive section (which is about 5 miles and at least 30 minutes down this time) and we don't go much farther. We stopped at about mile 7 and about 6pm. Only 3 hours past when we thought we'd get there. LOL. But that's how we roll.

You know how else we roll??? Causing it to be cloudy, windy and generally non-ideal conditions ANYTIME WE GO SOMEWHERE. I don't know what it is about it but it happens every time and this was no exception. Oh well. We were at the coast ... darn it ... and we were going to make the best of it! Josh sets up the tent and then heads off to fish.
Doesn't that look fun??? All that seaweed and it's cloudy and windy so he's gotta wear a jacket!


Josh catches nothing but lots of world record seaweed balls. He decides to get the dogs some play time and takes Bailey and Daphne out to the water with him one by one. Daphne LOVED it. She loved jumping around in the water with him while he fished. In retrospect ... maybe next time we don't put them in the water at night when they'll have to end up in the tent with us ... HA! But it's okay they loved it. 

I put on my long sleeved shirt and grabbed a towel to cover my legs as I sat in my zero gravity lounger and read my magazines. When Josh comes back up he grabs me a jacket from the truck and mixes us some drinks. There we go! The solution to our problem! Drinking will make us forget how cold we are!


The dogs were pretty low key. They were really pooped from their car ride and from running around in the ocean with Josh.



Although Josh thought that it would be a good idea to give Daphne some of his Whiskey. Or a lot of it.

It was funny though. LOL. Then he decided to go back out and try his hand at fishing some more. I decided I'd have a drink or two more ... I was just now starting to get warm!!! The wind was finally dying down!!! Or was it??? Haha. 

Ya I doubt it was dying down. Pretty sure it was just me. LOL. I then had some crackers and cheese since I hadn't eaten since lunch, and my last drink turned out pretty strong, and then called it a night. I got in the tent with Rox and left Bailey and Daphne out since Josh was still out there. Josh ended up catching a fish sometime between when I went to bed about 10:30 and when he finally decided to call it a night at 3 or 4am. Haha. Here's what he caught -

Awesomely enough that fish ended up in that red cooler with our food ... cuz we hadn't brought an extra cooler to take fish back. When Josh came in he said he's seen lots of coyotes coming around so we brought Bailey and Daphne in the tent with us. 

I woke up a few hours later to the sunlight coming in the tent... and the sounds of Josh cutting up the fish. My favorite part about camping at the beach is waking up to this view ...

Sunrise view from the tent... glorious! Checking out this view, wanting to capture it in photo (and obviously before taking this pic), I found myself wondering ... where did my phone go? I'd had my phone and a flashlight in my jacket pocket before I went to bed and I checked the jacket pocket and they were not there. Once I started moving stuff around in the tent I found my phone ... but the flashlight would never be seen again. It was not in the tent nor anywhere around the tent. As I uploaded my photos today when I got home I realized why my phone was not in the jacket pocket where I thought I left it. I'd apparently drunkenly taken pics of Rox walking around inside the tent before going to sleep. LOL.

Another nice thing to wake up to is sleeping, peaceful dogs ...

So cute they are when they are sleeping. Kinda like kids I guess. Ha! So I decided to get up and make something of this day. Josh was already starting to put stuff up, he said the fishing was too difficult with the wind and the seaweed and that we could pack up and go try somewhere else. I'm game. Sick of fighting the wind and eating sand. But as I step out of the tent, I get a much better view...

However, it's still cloudy and it's still windy and still lots and lots of seaweed so I'm down with trying somewhere else. There's a state park nearby and plenty of other places. We're finishing packing up and we're packing up the dog leashes and we find that Roxie's harness is missing. We look all around, dig in the sand, and never find it. Josh says likely taken by a coyote because it smelled like her. SUPER! I start getting the dogs ready for transport, get as much sand off as possible and I see that Roxie has taken a nose dive into the sand at some point.

LOL. That poor smooshy face. Got her and everyone else cleaned off, loaded up and off we went ... the 45 min or so trek back off the island and back into reality. Josh decides he wants to try his luck in the bay. He figures not as much seaweed there as there will be on the seaside. So we stop at Packery Channel Park. We stake the dogs out and Josh starts throwing casts.



I take the opportunity to clean up the truck a little. But checking in with him, alas, catching nothing but seaweed yet again. He calls it ... 3 more casts and I'm done. So he casts 3 more times, catches nothing else, and throws the rest of his bait out into the water. We decide to just head home. It's a nice day back home from what I can tell from the Weather Channel app... not as cloudy, not as windy, if we really want to we can hit the river when we get back. Josh is a little sleepy from only getting 3 or so hours of sleep so he hits the hay and so does the rest of the passengers.



Poor Bailey. Daphne is a seat hog. 

We make it home about 2pm and unload the truck and rinse the sand off of every inch of us including in our ears and hair and we decide to just chill at home for the rest of the day... Oh well maybe someday we'll head out on an adventure and actually have nice weather for a change!





Saturday, March 26, 2011

Our new 2011 adventure ... Texas State Parks

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Our new adventure for 2011 is to check out the Texas State Parks. We went to Enchanted Rock State Park a few weeks ago to check out this giant glob o rock with the pups. Boy was it a hike! This is the trail heading up to the rock.

Here we are starting to ascend the rock ... 
And finally the view from the top!!! Hiking of course would make my Bailey boo have to go poo poo ... and of course this is a State Park so you have to pick it up and there would of course be no trash cans at the top of the rock so ... 
Here we sit with a big steamy bag of poo in the backpack. Josh is making that face because you can smell it.
 Thanks Bailey. :P
 Daphne has spotted something that she would like to dart down the rock for ... 
 We then take off down the hill looking for new adventures ... 
 Blazing our own trails ... Josh says we should go that way!
 Daphne attack :)
And finally as we approach the end we find a neat rock to take a picture in front of. Man we are pooped. I thought my knees were gonna give out on me at the end there!




Then, last weekend, we headed up about 2 hours north of our house to a park just southeast of San Saba - Colorado Bend State Park, on the Colorado River. After an 8 mile drive down a very dusty road, we finally descended upon the park and the river. It was a beautiful park. Since we had already paid $60 for our annual pass, all we had to pay was $14 to camp overnight. Not bad! However the park had some lessons for us ... 


We set up shop at camping space #22 ... due to it's proximity to the water, the trail and it was at the end, so should be furthest away from other people.


After a bit of fishing for Josh, and a little bit of sun for me (and I do mean only a little ... of course it would be overcast on our trip), we decided to head on over to the falls. At the other end of the park there is Gorman Falls, and we could either drive the 8 mile road back over there, or take the trail. According to the Texas State Parks map, it was only about a 2.5 mile hike so we figured we could make it. DO NOT TRUST THE STATE PARK MAPS!! We learned, as you will see ... 

So we embarked on the river trail... this little 1.5 mile jaunt would take you to a fork in the road with two options. One would be to continue on the river trail, which ironically enough, jaunts away from the river and adds a little bit to your hike. Or there is a "seasonal" trail that continues along the river. We chose the "seasonal" trail, or what we thought was the seasonal trail because we thought we had already gone 1.5 miles by the time we reached the hippie campgrounds and foolishly listened to some of them who told us the trail continued past a tree that was laying in the trail's path. That should have been our first clue. Afterward, we named it the "Choose Your Own Adventure" path because that's really what it felt like. We were climbing over trees and limbs, ducking under trees and limbs, there was hardly a trail to follow at times and we were guessing... going through some thick brush and hearing "things" rustling around in it. It was a rough trail to say the least ... 

Josh actually ended up slicing his finger open trying to move a branch, so my battle wounds were small compared to his. But then come to find out as we met back up with the river trail... that was not the seasonal trail. WTH. So we still had at least another mile or more to go and we'd already been walking over an hour. It doesn't take me an HOUR to walk a MILE AND A HALF. The map lies!!!! So we finally reached the "seasonal trail" ... which actually did end up looking WAY more like a trail than our "Choose Your Own Adventure" trail. However, we did have some sketchy pathways to cross like this one here -

But! There was finally light at the end of the tunnel! We reached the end of the seasonal trail, and hit back up with the main trail and finally found a sign that we were near the falls! (And only 2+ hours into this supposed 2.5 mile hike now) That's Josh pointing to the sign for Gorman Falls ... 
So at the end of what seemed like the hike to the Texas border, we FINALLY came upon the falls. It made it worth the trek -







Interesting side note ... this pic was taken by a fellow who brought his two young children on this long hike, with their bikes, and brought no water for them. We met up with him on the seasonal trail and he was Mr. Directional Know It All. A PITA he was. But we felt really sorry for his kids, so we ended up giving them our water.
So now that we have seen the falls, it's time to head back. We decide to take a different route this time to see if it is shorter. It is not. Me wondering if we are even on the right path, we finally see a brown stick of hope!
And after what seems like another 5 miles, we find ANOTHER brown stick of hope! But still not back to the river trail (which takes us back to our campsite, and would be another hour or more hike itself) and dark is approaching. Josh thinks he is going to die. I tell him he is not, and to keep walking.  LOL.

After another 2+ hour total hike back, we finally make it back to our campsite, and before dark. Our legs are about to fall off, our feet hurt, so it's time to kick back and relax with a nice adult beverage.

Josh heads off for some late night fishin and I head into the tent for some early night snoozin. I get up with the sun in the morning, and it's a little chilly so I bundle up and kick back in my zero gravity lounger for some rest time before it's time to head home.
All in all, we had a fun trip to Colorado Bend. It was cheap too. Beautiful park and river area, it'd be nicer once the river is up though. And we learned ... DO NOT TRUST THE STATE PARK MAPS! :)


Which State Park shall we go to next?!?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Leggings Update ...

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I am now the proud owner of two pairs of leggings ... pics soon to follow. Love them!


Thanks Katie for your shopping help :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Leggings ...

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I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before but this weekend it dawned on me ... why don't I wear leggings?? I saw a really cute girl out on the dancefloor in a pair of black leggings, black boots, a short sleeve cream colored sweater with a belt and it looked adorable! Why am I not wearing these things? Well at the gig it's probably so I can stay warm ... but I was wearing jeans and a hoodie. I need to start doing it up a bit ... I mean, how cute are these things?!?


I will be adding these to my "to purchase" list ... but I'll have to wait until after the cruise.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I HATE HAVING TO BOOK FLIGHTS!!

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I never know how to get the best deal! I think I do, and then just when I think I have it figured out, they change it!! I was worried when I booked our holiday flights because I didn't want to spend over $400 each but it was around Thanksgiving, so the holidays were fast approaching and they weren't going down very much. Finally they got below $400 after taxes so I bought because I figured with it being the holidays, and less than a month out, they weren't likely to get lower ... and two weeks later they DROPPED A HUNDRED DOLLARS! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!


Now I'm trying to book our Puerto Rico flights ... they've been about the same for the last few weeks. The lowest flights are $350-400 but that's for an early return flight which we can't do since the cruise ship doesn't get in until 7am and we can't book a flight before noon. To get a flight after noon on most airlines has been over $600 each. I found JetBlue (which is a great airline I hear and no bag fee for the first bag), and those were only about $500 each before taxes but we wouldn't get in until 11:30pm on Saturday (so less time to spend in San Juan) and we would have to drive an extra hour or so to and from Austin because JetBlue only flies out of Austin.

Finally I found a way to get them slightly under $600 after taxes with AirTran (which I have company benefits for, including no bag fee for the first bag , priority boarding and priority security lines) and we would get into San Juan at 4pm Saturday so more time to spend there, but it would include two stops on the way back. But at least the two stops aren't Detroit and New York like the Delta flights making travel time the ENTIRE DAY, they are Atlanta and Orlando ... reasonable I think for San Juan to San Antonio. So I have the itineraries on hold for 24 hours (another company benefit) and I was about to book them (almost $1200 total) ... and now I look and the JetBlue flights dropped! So now it's almost $200 cheaper to do that over AirTran .... UGH!!! What to do?!?!?!

Make a pros and cons list my mom would say ... or wait?!?! Heck I don't know!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Speaking of Puerto Rico ...

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This is where we will be staying before we depart on our cruise ...