Monday, February 20, 2012
Because of a spur of the moment entry into the half marathon for Aunt Rosa we got a bit of a later start. Thankfully we were headed just down the road to McKinney Falls State Park. What a gem of a park! So close and yet you felt so remote. Loved it and it is definitely a great spot to take virgin campers.
We thankfully had reservations because the park was crowded-mostly day trippers. As soon as we pulled into our spot we spotted another Eurovan Westfalia model. It was a surreal moment, no words were exchanged just a tilt of the head and excited wave and point. I'm sure they were thinking, "Yeh super cool peeps got themselves a sweeeet Eurovan just like us." At least that is what I imagined them thinking. :) Our site # 25 was perfect it backed up to a grove of cedars perfect for climbing and hiding.
Ruby can comfortably sleep 3 to 4 so we had to set up our tent. A great tent from REI that we purchased last summer. So we gave the cousins first dibs on their sleeping preference and they chose.....the tent. It was their very first time camping, did I mention it was their very first time camping. As their Aunt Rosa I had a mission to make them fall in love with camping and want to come and spend future summers with me! They loved the tent and took a twilight stroll with Paco. While they were off exploring their momma and I watched a guy across the way convert his white Capri Classic station wagon into what we assumed was a love palace complete with velvetty green cushions. He even had some smooth jazz playing..very sexy. We giggled the next morning to see them emerge from the wagon. It takes all types, am I right?
I know I said I was over hotdogs but the cousins had to have hotdogs and assorted crap food, we even dragged them to Wally World on our way out. In Wally World the cousin's mamma, Aunt BJerky, short for beef jerky, and I contemplated pulling a Father of the Bride move and taking apart a hot dog bun bag. Just kidding but there was one bag open with some buns removed. Who does that?
They were fascinated with the fire especially the older cousin who chose Cousin Goldfish as her alias. Paco gave her the fire talk, which the boy remarked that he remembered hearing when he was much younger. We had the works dogs, smores and even Jiffy Pop. And other assorted goodies including mommy juice. Once it got dark Aunt BJerky broke out the glow sticks. You would have thought the kids were handed $100 each inside ToysRUs they went nuts. They entertained themselves for at least 1/2 an hour until one stick found its way into a tree and then another started leaking all over the boy. It looked freaky like he had some toxic substance all over him..hmm..maybe it was toxic. It eventually found itself up in the tree as well.
I worried that the boy would tire of his girl cousins they are younger and well, girls. But he loved having them to play with. They are not your typical first and second grade girls they are brilliant and just a lot of fun. Soon they were playing hide and seek in the dark. Which was fun till kids started falling out of trees. Then the sugar crash hit and the boy was the first to go up to his man cave. The girls hung a little longer until their momma put them to bed. She ended up crashing with them. I drank some more mommy juice but then the effect of the spontaneous half marathon caught up with me and I too went down for the count. Not before hearing some coyotes..That apparently came back much later and much closer according to our night watchman, Paco.
Morning came fast and we were bombarded with singing birds and tons of robins. The boy set a bad example for his cousins by chowing down on his powdered donuts, sorry Aunt BJerky we really don't let the boy eat like that all the time. Maybe if he had eaten oatmeal like his cousins he would not have fallen out of the tree and then scraped his knees to a bloody pulp, not quite that dramatic but they were gross. On my first trip of the morning to the camp bathroom facilities I got chatted up by a very politically opinionated woman who kept on talking while I was trying to take care of business which stopped that cold..darn it! Seriously I have issues with public bathrooms to begin with and then some crazy woman is going on and on about Rick Perry. Just let me pee in peace!
Once Paco arose we set off on a hike to the falls. On the way to the trail head we walked passed the dining hall and saw what looked like at first a Renaissance gathering of sorts but as we got closer saw that it was some kind of a Star Wars camp for kids. Interesting indeed..The water, Onion creek was flowing high and fast. So nice to see actual water flowing. The falls were murky and reminded me of chocolate milk. The boy took the lead on our hike and would stop occasionally to give his cousins a brief lesson on the flora and fauna. I think every one's favorite part was the limestone craters filled with puddles. Such a gem for Austinites!
Sadly some of us have to return to work tomorrow. I get to take the cousins with me tomorrow for half a day so that takes away some of the sting.. Get out there-NOW! Our state parks need our $ and it is good for your heart and soul. Look for our Ruby. :)