Abilene State Park
Hi there folks! It's me! Amy's little sister and now guest blogger for
Ruby's road. Couldn't be more excited to write about our adventures to
Abilene State park. These plans to go camping all started in early
spring when my kids, Ellen (6) oh no sorry, she is 6 1/2 :) and Joey
(2), and I started to plan out annual Texas trip.. Initially plans were
to fly to Amarillo, but as it turns out flying to Austin from San Diego
was oodles cheaper,especially when flying x3. My brilliant older sister
suggested that we fly to Austin (o' twist my arm) and drive up to the
AMA together...ROADTRIP! Heck ya! Oh wait... The 2 year old?! 9 hour
drive, no can do kimosabe! Are you crazy? Do you like pain? In the form
of crying that only a 2 year old strapped down in a car seat can dish
out? Oh wise sister what's that you say? Camp half-way there in your
new snazzy Eurovan? Yep, were in! Right kids? Wanna go camping with
Auntie Amy in Texazzzz? Yeah!! from the 6.5 yr old and a Who-Hawww!
from the 2 year old.. And that's dear readers how it began...
We started off on Thursday morning 9am... (sounds like rocket man from
Elton John, no?). Eurovan packed..I watched Amy one day prior make a
dozen lists or so for this trip, so I'm pretty sure we had everything.. I
was busy chasing kids, which is probably why again we don't camp. On
the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again (thanks Willy!)
headed to Brownwood, Texas for lunch... At a place called Underwoods,
they are famous for their cobbler and yes it was indeed yummy! Yes, go
there for cobbler! and nothing else... :/ we landed at Abilene state
park around 3pm, checked in at the park ranger station and received a
signed personalized map of the park! Only in Texas dear readers! As we
entered in the camp it was so green and lots of shady trees. As we
entered the screened shelter areas we were pleasantly surprised, as it
was very cute and almost completely shaded. We jumped out of the van
and opened the screened shelter... Hmmmm?... So the floor was swept and
reasonably clean, but dark, and the corners of the room just seemed that
there may been small creepy crawly creatures lurking there, not to
mention the little critters that might be crawling underneath the door.
So sleeping plans were rearranged...we emptied out the van and decided
that Amy and Caleb would sleep up in the top part of the eurovan and my
kiddos and I on the bottom.. Problem solved!
Next on the agenda was to swim! The park had a swimming pool! Perfect
for us to chill out from the hot Texas midday sun! An historical tidbit
about this pool was that it was built decades ago by the Civilian
Conservation Corp, it was cool to see the retro-ness of this pool and to
imagine all the summer memories this pool brought to the area, not to
mention cool relief from the hot summer. But that was not the best
part... The best absolute part was the...(drum roll please!) the 12 foot
diving board! I mean when was the last time you saw a diving board like
this? They don't exist anymore! I assume they are just too much of a
liability these days... What a shame! The kids made a beeline for the
diving board much to my surprise! With no hesitation the kiddos climbed
up and jumped! Even my baby girl! I was nervous, shocked and sooo
proud! Everyone had a turn at the board except Joey, who was content in
the little toddler pool until he wasn't, and was held in the big pool.
After swimming we headed back to our camp ground, rinsed off at the
bathroom near our camp site and hung the swimsuits to dry. The
adventure seeking Caleb, a pro at camping I might add, sought out the
nearby bird blind. Poor kid loves birds and my kids well, they are loud
and didn't get the memo that one must be quiet to see the birds.. But
after traipsing back there multiple times, we finally all went back to
see the bird blind and it was super cool. One sits inside this little
cabin on a bench and watches out a large window onto this playground for
birds. Once everyone quieted down the birds would fly to their
'playground' to eat, chase each other or simply sit there looking
amazing. At this point it was getting to be dinner time so we took the
short walk back to our camp site and as we were getting closer what did
out wondering eyes should appear but 3 ant-hungry armadillos. So cute!
The kids loved them! And by the way, armadillos don't run away, they
sort of waddle away. And they weren't that startled we had arrived. What
a neat-o sighting!
Next was the gourmet dinner! Hot dogs and chips for the kids. A
charcuterie of hard salami and goat cheese for the sisters, oh and wine!
Fancy! Yum and perfect for a warm summer night...and the s'mores! Not
camping without s'mores..
As things were settling down for the night, pj's on, teeth brushed. Amy
walks back from the bathroom to say that she saw a bobcat, which I
imagined as a mountain lion. Yikes! As she saw my freak-out level rise,
she mentioned quickly that it was the size of a large house cat...
Whew.. I could totally take that on! No worries! Eventually, tired
young kids were sawing logs while older kids and sisters stayed up,
circled around the kerosene lantern watching for low flying owls.
Finally, everyone headed to bed, unfortunately the eurovan was much
warmer than being outside.. After blasting the air conditioner, it
cooled down, but was still warm inside the van. In the middle of the
night, amy jumped ship to sleep in the shelter *shutter*.. As the
morning sun rose, kids looked bright-eyed and bushy tailed and moms
needed some coffee STAT! We quickly packed up the van and headed out of
the park at exactly 8:05am. On the way out we saw some momma deer and
baby fawns. We ahhh-ed at them and snapped some photos..
Abilene State Park! You are a gem in the middle of Texas! Loved the
trees, had lots of nature, and although we didn't get to experience the
lake, it was for certain a great time and a very well-kept State park.
P.s. don't take down the diving board!! What a fun experience for us
Thanks to my wonderful sister for arranging this camping trip and making
some lasting summer memories for my children! Until next time.... :)