Friday, November 27, 2015

Camping Party of 8: Thankful for an Early Christmas Present

You might have noticed that I'm not exactly a traditional kind of person.  So spending days and days preparing a traditional Thanksgiving meal and event are not something I get too hung up on!  You may think I am depriving my children of important formative events, but I say pish posh!  We're living our own, new traditions!

One of those new traditions will probably be an annual Thanksgiving camping trip! Because we LOVE CAMPING!!! (Be prepared for a bazillion photos below!)

And this year's Thanksgiving camping trip was made about a bazillion times better compliments of Grandma and Grandpa Wood.  This year for a very early Christmas present they bought us a travel trailer. Next to getting a baby girl named Grace in my stocking for Christmas 2007, this is probably the best Christmas present ever!!!!!


Camping will never be the same (I got to sleep in a bed and with AC).  Hallelujah!

Our first annual Thanksgiving camping trip was to Inks Lake State Park!  And it was awesome!  We had never been camping at Inks Lake.  I was a little concerned that it might not be much fun if we couldn't get out on the water for swimming, but this park had the best hiking of any we have visited so far.

Inks Lake is in the Hill Country of Texas, just Northwest of Austin. The park is in a rolling hills area with lots of scrubby trees and gorgeous rock formations.  We got to climb steep rock trails, see a water fall, and climb trees.  And then we had lunch and took a nap (in our air conditioned trailer) and did it all over again!

One of the really miraculous things that I love about camping is my kids get completely unplugged. We let them play their tablets on the ride to the campground, but once we were there I didn't once have to encourage anyone to get outside and play.  They LOVE exploring and running and climbing and chasing and yelling!  We have to work a bit on the yelling.  It starts a little too early for many of our campground neighbors.  An older couple walked up to Brian on our first morning at camp and said, "You must be the famous Daddy! We heard your name being called about a 100 times this morning before breakfast!"

The biggest downfall of our trip is that it was drizzling rain off and on most of the time we were there. Which meant enormous amounts of mud and dust and sand have made their way home with us. It also meant we had to cut our marshmallow roasting session very short.  So Brian and our die hard roasters stood in the rain and roasted up a bag.  Then we all piled into the nice, dry trailer, the kids watched a movie and the Bigs played gin rummy!  And then we went to bed in our nice, dry (and did I mention air conditioned) trailer.

We will definitely plan on coming back to Inks Lake.  The swimming holes look awesome and the park was better than we could have hoped for.  The scenery was amazing and the kids had so so much fun.  And we did it all without one bite of turkey!

We are home now and we will be spending the day wiping off dried mud and putting our permanent supplies back in the trailer (we need to give it a name) so that it is ready for our next trip.  We are planning a big drive out to New Mexico so Grandma and Grandpa can see the cool present they bought for us. Hope we get a little snow, since only 2 or our 6 kiddos have ever seen any.  Can't wait for our next adventure!!!

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