Hill Country State Natural Area | January 2015
Goliad State Park | March 2015

Mustang Island State Park + Pedernales Falls State Park | February 2015

I just returned from my first overnight trip away from Lily. I had to go to McKinney Falls State Park in Austin for a two day meeting. It wasn't too bad! She apparently did great and I was able to let my hair down a bit. Okay, a lot. Probably too much. It was a fantastic meeting, though. It's always great to meet other staff from around the state. We played Cards Against Humanity, which I am convinced is the best way to really get to know someone. We drank beer, played the horribly offensive card game, and stayed up far too late. YOLO. I'm just fucking with you, by the way. I hope that you know me well enough to know that I would never seriously use the phrase 'YOLO'.

Anyways, I digress. I just wanted to give a brief summary of recent happenings. My dear friend, Crystal, who I went to college with came for a visit a couple of weeks ago. It was so, so good to see her and it was as if no time had passed, even though it had been five years since we last saw each other. We caught up on life and enjoyed ourselves for a few days. They had never seen the Gulf of Mexico, so naturally, I took them to Mustang Island State Park - my home base.

This was Lily's first 'real' time to the beach. Y'know, because before she couldn't even sit up on her own or do any cool shit. Now, she tore the beach up. She absolutely loved it. Which, I must admit, was mildly surprising because she is terrified of the sand box my parents bought her. Maybe she just knows the real shit when she sees it.

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A grand ol' time was had by all. It was sad to say goodbye to Crystal, but we'll see each other again soon enough.

Now, let's jump forward a few weeks. I knew that I was going to be coming to Austin for my work trip, so I did what I normally do and popped up to San Antonio for my weekend that preceded the meeting. Kim's birthday is coming up and since I can't make it to her celebration, I wanted to do something else for her. What better gift than the gift of the outdoors?! RIGHT?! Really, though, nothing is more perfect for us. So we ventured out to Pedernales Falls State Park in Johnson City. We almost bailed on this trip because of the weather, but I had faith that it would hold out for us & it did. It was cold still, but the rain stayed away.

Initially, we planned on hiking the Wolf Mountain trail, which is about seven miles round trip. But, between the weather and our feelings of being semi-crunched for time, we opted for a shorter trail instead. We picked the Trammell's Crossing trail, which led to about a 5.5 mile loop (of which we only did about four miles).

Let me start by saying... I don't recommend this on a cold day. Why, you ask? Because apparently we didn't get the meaning of the word 'crossing' until we were faced with just that - crossing the damn river. It took us about 20 minutes to decide a) if we even wanted to attempt it and b) where/how we would attempt it. Finally, it ended with us taking off our shoes and gritting our teeth in the chilly water to get to the other side. I did it with Lily on my back, too. Duh.

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"How in the ever-loving fuck are we going to do this?"

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"Why in the ever-loving fuck did we decide to do this? BRR."

Once we got across and got our shoes back on, though. The hike was nice and peaceful. The initial ascent got us both pretty winded, but we kept trucking on up (as we so often do). Once it flattened out up at the top, I let Lily out of the carrier and had her run around for a little while. She played and we swung her around and let her have her fun until we had to pop her back onto my back for the sake of time.

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After the hike, we had lunch at Pecan Street Brewing. It is a small, local brewery right in Johnson City. Kim & I both ordered bunless burgers with some sautéed veggies and we snacked on chips and salsa. I tried the County Jail Pale Ale and the Screw Loose Blonde - both were tasty! We feasted until our tummies could take no more.

It was starting to drizzle at this point so we loaded up into the car and decided to just do a quick drive through of LBJ State Historic Site & the Sauer Beckmann Living History Farm. I won't count either on my list of parks visited because we didn't even exit the vehicle, but I plan on getting back out there with Lily soon enough!

UGH. I am always amazed at how fucking long it takes me to write a post. I think, "okay, I'll just write something real quick before I go to bed" and sure enough, without fail, an hour later I'm confused as to how it took me so long to spew a bunch of words onto this thing.

 

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