Phwew, I am way overdue for a post. Life always gets in the way of my writing. At least, the writing that I don't get paid to do. Speaking of which, I am ecstatic to report that on my added income, I was able to completely pay off one of my three debts last month! Two more to go! The way things are going with my writing, it'll be sooner rather than later, it seems!
This past week I was essentially on a work-cation. Y'know, like a 'stay-cation', but I was actually there for work & was getting paid. Pretty rad, in my opinion. The Adopt A Beach coordinator conference was held in San Antonio Thursday - Saturday of last week. It was amazing. We were stationed out of the Emily Morgan Hotel, which is centrally located downtown, right next to the Alamo. Downtown San Antonio truly is beautiful. I need to make it a point to go explore there more often when I am in town.
Thursday evening after registration, we were lucky enough to be treated to a private tour of the Alamo. It was Lily's first time to the historic site. I've been to the Alamo many times, but never on a tour, and it made a world of difference. The anecdotes, the stories, the minute details that those walls hold that, to the untrained eye, would be completely missed... I was extremely grateful for the tour and felt a deep connection to the building, one that I had never felt in previous trips. Texas history is quite amazing.
Fun fact: the iconic shape of the top of the building was added after the infamous battle. It was built in the 1840s by the military to accomodate a new, pitched roof on the building.
After our tour, we had a small reception in Alamo Hall. We snacked on some light food, chatted with fellow coordinators, and then Lily was ready for bed so we headed out early. I fully made up for this the following evening....
Friday we had a full day of training. I love meeting people from all over the state, both out in the field and headquarters at the GLO offices in Austin. Everyone was fantastic and I made fast friends with two women from the Galveston area. At the end of the day, we had a dinner reception, and I made the decision to leave Lily at home for this one. Mommy wanted to socialize and stay out talking and, let's be real, mommy wanted to drink wine. And I did. And it was glorious.
It was the second time I've had a 'night out' since Lily has been born. I am still debating if it even counts because it was for work, but I'm going to say it does because ample amounts of red wine were consumed and lots of fun was had. After dinner, Chet Garner, the Daytripper, gave a wonderful presentation. He is an ex-lawyer who decided that his urge to travel was too strong to ignore. Now he has a show on PBS where he travels all around Texas, exploring the amazing scenery, history, culture, and food that we have to offer. His presentation made me want to get up and go all over the state. I'll attribute the subsequent trips that I took while I was in the area to him. Thanks, Chet.
I cut my shenanigans short around 9PM, though the desire to stay was strong. I knew we'd be back at it early in the morning and I needed my beauty rest. I still felt a bit rough in the morning, which was awful for the mock interviews we did. I managed to pull myself together and kick ass on mine, though. What can I say? Public speaking is my bag, baby. Meow.
Once the conference was over, I was free for a few days until I had to attend an ATV training at Government Canyon State Natural Area. I took full advantage of Sunday's beautiful weather and my time off and headed an hour and a half north to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. I hadn't been in ages, and I jumped on the chance to add another state park to Lily & I's list.
We woke up early and headed towards Fredericksburg. We arrive around 9:30am and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. The first thing we set off to do was hike the summit trail.
There's really not much of a 'trail' going up the dome. You just kind of... climb. First things first - what is the dome, you ask? Well, it is a giant fucking rock that looks like a basketball was cut in half and plopped down onto the earth. The scientific term is exfoliation dome. I prefer my phrasing. A wise man told me that the rock was important to the Comanche because during the cool summer nights, the rock would lose heat and actually 'moan' like a ghost. I cannot verify the accuracy of that statement, but I thought it was interesting. Anyways, essentially it's this huge dome of granite that was underground at one point (and in fact, most of the rest of the granite in the area still is) but now has been uncovered. It's really beautiful and odd and curious to see. And, naturally, we had to climb it. Climbing the dome of Enchanted Rock is the equivalent of climbing the stairs of a 30-40 story building. It's no joke and it's quite the work out, but it was completely worth hiking my ass up there, even with a baby on my back.
The view was spectacular. You can see for miles & miles on top of that rock. It feels magical, somehow. Or rather... it feels... enchanted? I don't know, but I do know that the area is truly beautiful and we had a great time clambering around on the rocks and taking in the fresh air and cool breeze.
Okay, I've written more than I intended to tonight & I am tired and ready to crawl in next to Lily. Stay tuned for part 2: Guadalupe River State Park adventures + details on my new 100 park adventure goal.
PS - I have to share this funny picture of Lily when she passed the fuck out on the hike we took after climbing the dome. Floppy headed baby.