3/18/2010

Family vacation, well kind of...

But forget about all of that... this is the real story.

My husband ditched me the night before we were to leave at 7am. Not that this had been planned for a year or anything, but he had some things at work that he couldn't miss. So we loaded up the truck and trailer, I said a few nasty things to him and the kids and I were off! It's not like we were staying at the Ritz or anything, for crying out loud we were camping, I love camping, but not by myself with 6 kids and a sick baby. Or towing a trailer with nightmare trailer mishaps still fresh on my mind.

Have I mentioned that we are in a severe drought? The entire state is almost 30 inches behind in annual rainfall, we are not allowed to water our lawns AT ALL. The hill country is really suffering, entire lakes have dried up. Knowing this you are probably not surprised at all when I tell you that I caught in a torrential downpour on a two lane, windy switchback road without the trailer covered, and everything getting either ruined or soaked. So I had to jump out, dig for the tent tarp, untie all the rope, cover everything and retie it all complete soaked with my kids all crying in the truck and screaming my name. It was AWESOME, I hope I can do it again soon...

Oh yea, and I drove out of San Antonio on the WRONG highway for 90 min. before I realized my mistake. That was really AWESOME as well. My 5 hour trip was a good 8 hours at this point. If my children teach your kids any new 4 letter words, I apologize, it is my husbands fault.

Oh and did I mention the baby is sick? Just ask the entire campground, they all know he isn't feeling well and didn't want to get any sleep either.
But anyway, deep breath.... onto more fun things, like dead animals and rabid squirrels. This is the beautiful view of the gorgeous valley where we camped at my favorite camp ground, and most popular Texas state park called Garner. This place is really magical, and have I mentioned beautiful?

But that isn't what the kids came for, no, they came for the wild life.

Like rabid squirrels. We were sitting down by the river when a squirrels fell out of the tree right next to us, it landed right there with a HUGE thud! We watched it for a minute laughing, it seemed kinda stunned. It tried to run away... and couldn't. Then it got really sad, the poor thing was trying to hop while dragging its head on the ground. It was having some kind of seizures and acting bizarre. I thought it might have hurt itself when it fell out of the tree, but my brainiac brother gave us the run down on rabies and was sure that was the problem. At this point all the kids came over to see what we were looking at. The poor thing tried to climb a tree again, but only got part way and curled up into a ball. This is where we should have walked away with the kids. But no, we let then stay and watch.

If we were not in a State park I would have killed it myself to put it out of its misery, but if I am going to get arrested and fined $500 it is not going to be for killing a sick squirrel!

Quit reading at this point if you are an animal lover, I am just warning you. Now that the dying squirrel has a proper audience of small children, it dramatically starts coughing up blood and slowly falls down the tree and dies. Right at the feet of all my little girls! So we are all now fairly traumatized. Please don't mention squirrels to my kids unless you want to rock them to sleep at night and tell them about animal heaven for the 1,085 th time in the last 72 hours.
We didn't do much better later in the day. Next they found a dead bat, and a very large dying insect. I was expecting at any moment the bat to jump up and eat the insect right in front of us. That would have been priceless.
So when we came across this cute little baby bird I feared the worst. It was just learning to fly and its leg was stuck in the nest. It was wearing itself out flapping like crazy. My brother climbed up to where the nest was and tried to free it, only he dropped it on the ground first. Don't worry, it lived, we came back the next day to make sure our luck was changing.


Garner is a beautiful fun place. Most everything there was built in 1941 by the CCC. Every night in the summer they have a dance at the main lodge. All the campers in the camp ground get dressed up and show up to dance. EVERYONE dances! It is so fun! My 4 oldest kids were asked to danced by other kids in the park, it is a blast! This is the dance area under an old beautiful tree.
My Brother-in-law dancing with my daughter.
Now, during the day you spend all day on the river. It is called the Frio. Meaning freezing. It is spring feed so it is always cold and crystal clear! This is how Storie looked for 4 straight days, well, when she wasn't making me walk her to the bathroom every hour 3 blocks from our campsite.
I just threw this picture in because I took it, and I think it turned out REALLY cute. It is my niece Sadie.
Ummm and this one because someone needs to spend less time on the computer and more time teaching their children how to eat a banana. Obviously takes after his fathers side of the family :)
Well, and this one because it was priceless. I caught her looking at her reflection in the bumper, she was fascinated by the dirt on her face. In a really cute way, not the I am a bad Mom because my kids were filthy, kind of way!

Now to the end. If you read this far, pat yourself on the back. My trip did get better, my husband showed up for the last day and a half and helped me pack back up to go home. I knew he wasn't going to miss jumping off rope swings.
When I got home the house was spotless, except for the shoes and stuffed animals the dog had murdered while we were gone. The dog has a separation anxiety problem...

So again, I am sorry I didn't just say I was going to be gone. Thank you for all the help with guest posts and for putting up with me reposting old posts!

Its always good to be home, even if it takes a month to put it all away! If you are interested in trading laundry services with wild animal sitting services you met the right girl. You can do my camping laundry and I can kill your wild animals in front of your children. Any takers??



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15 comments:

A Musing Mom (Taylorclan6) said...

Oh my gosh. I totally want to be you when I grow up.

The Fru-Gals said...

OMG thanks so much for living my mightmare right along with me, you can just read my posts when you get to the teenage years, and just stay the heck in your home until it ends. which I am afraid to tell you it does not. I currently do not drink, but if I start you are one of the people that will know why:)

haleywynn said...

I LOVE Garner! And yes, it is SOO dry up in the Hill Country! Thankfully I'm down in Houston for now and it is as humid as ever ;)

Life by the Handful said...

I'm laughing about your trip. Unfortunately, my kids and I would have been right beside you watching the dying squirrel suppressing gags and cries.

Suzanne said...

The picture of Rush...blow it up, frame it...it is hilarious!! I have to say I have witnessed this and is even more funny in person!

Mach Momma said...

Your "vacations" are always the funniest posts:)

girlsinwhitedresses said...

Loved this! Not only can you find the deals, you can take 6 kids on vacation BY YOURSELF! You, my friend, are superwoman!!

Hattie said...

I luv, luv, luv Garner State Park! I was asked to dance by a boy for the first time there when I was 7! We used to go every year when I was little. I hope to take the boys when they get a little older and I get a little braver to take all of them camping! You rock for taking the kiddos by yourself. You're my SHEro!

Jennifer said...

What an eventful trip!! We would have been watching that squirrel too...sad, but interesting right??....rather educational. Glad your entire family was able to make it which made the headaches worth it!

AddingOn said...

I just started following your blog, and this post made me laugh out loud. Did you cry when you realized you had driven that far out of your way, if you didn't you are a much stronger woman than I, or heavily medicated.

babyyahyah said...

that place looks amazing and your kids and niece are so cute in all those pics.

Hillori said...

SO FUNNY! This is one of your best posts!!!

The Queen said...

Seriously, this was hilarious. you need one of those magnets, "I love not camping!" haha

sarah k. said...

"SHEro" is right! you're awesome. i can hear you roar all the way over here in south carolina! my favorite pic: just you and the kids in front of the trailer. priceless!

.:Anna:. said...

I am so glad the flying squirrel didn't just drop dead in your camp fire on this last trip-that would have been AWESOME.